PEACHY DOWN UNDER -Sydney-

Arrival in Syndey on the 2nd of July. Finally some cold and fresh air again after 3 weeks of humidity and heat. Cold but sunny and perfect Peachy weather. First thing to notice: everybody speaks English, no weird gestures, hand and feet needed anymore. And everything is expensive. 30$ for mobile internet for a month? Peachy thought she will find it cheaper in a newspaper shop later but she had to realise, she wasn’t in Asia anymore. The hostel she stayed in was packed with people, very very young people who are on a Work and Travel visa and all work in Sydney. If they didn’t have to go to work, they were drinking. It took a while for Peachy to get used to all this and also to get used to being alone again. But after an ‘orientation day’ she was back to her normal travelling mode, exploring all Sydney had to offer.

The first evening the opera house and harbour bridge were calling to watch a stunning sunset with view of Sydney’s landmarks. 

Followed by a bit of a rainy day, after a quick visit in the Maritime museum, Peachy got herself a reduced ticket to visit 5 main attractions in Sydney: Sea Life, Wild Life, Madame Tussauds, Sydney Tower and Sea Life in Manly. All of that for only $72 was a good deal. Peachy spent the rest of the rainy day at Sea Life in Darling Harbour and was absolutely impressed by the underwater world there. She enjoyed reading all the signs about different species and especially the ‘Wow Facts’ were really entertaining.


The evening had another highlight for the solo traveller as Peachy got to meet a known face, a friend from previous travelling she met about 2 years ago in Vietnam, Jonny. They met up in his favourite burger restaurant and had a nice dinner and a couple of drinks together.

The next day Peachy had an early morning which turned out to be ideal for her time in Australia ever since. As the sun sets at around 5pm already an early start is perfect to make the most of the days. Peachy took the ferry from Darling Harbour which was crossing Harbour Bridge with final destination in Watsons Bay.

It was a nice ferry ride and the explorer found herself surrounded by loads of beautiful nature and stunning viewpoints. She had done a long walk around the Southhead, passing the Lighthouse from where she was able to see Manly (where she was going to the next day), and then through some remote backroads which every now and then had clearings where stunning views of the skyline of Sydney were revealed.

For lunch Peachy had been back to the ferry terminal where she had fish and chips, just perfect after a long walk along the sea. Next she was jumping on a bus to get to Bondi beach. Watching all the surfers was just the right thing after a heavy lunch. 

Peachy wanted to do the beautiful walk from Bondi to Cogee Beach but she only managed to go half way as she needed to get to Sydney Tower on time just before the sunset. She managed to fit all of this into one day and found some rest 250m above the city. Both day and night view were stunning and the sunset just incredibly cool to watch from up there. 

After 3h on top of the Sydney tower tired Peachy went back to the hostel. Almost 30km of walking and 12h being up and about made her need a good rest.

The next day was full of adventure again. Manly was the destination, so another beautiful ferry ride to start with and then again hours and hours of walking and exploring Manly main road, Manly beach, the cliffs at the coast and the viewpoints at Northhead.

 Peachy came across an Echidna in the wild. It was cute and calm, and didn’t mind Peachy’s company at all. 

She spent some time observing the cute but weird walking little animal to then make her way to a very remote viewpoint, where she probably was not supposed to be. There was no real path leading to it and nobody else around. After taking in the view Peachy hurried back to escape the bush on her own and she made it back safely, but decided not to leave the path anywhere else again. She did the walk along the Northhead with different viewpoints where Peachy even spotted whales. As she saw boats being very close to the boat and as she was soooo impressed by the giants she decided to go on a Whale watching tour the next day.

The solo traveller ended her day in Sea Life Manly where she saw sharks, stingrays, sea cows and lots of other sealife. 

It was another long and tiring but extremely exciting day and Peachy came back to the hostel and just fell into bed.

Next morning: the next adventure was waiting already. Whale watching not far from Sydney Harbour. A rather small boat with only about 30 people on it seemed promising to come nice and close to the whales. Nobody could have known that Peachy would not only see many whales (at least 5 different ones from fairly close) but she also happened to see dolphins swimming right in front of the boat for a minute or two.

 Peachy left the boat happy and excited. After a short break she joined a free 3h walking tour through the city centre with loads of information and historical background about Sydney and Australia in general. She was pleased to learn a bit more about the place where she experienced that much already.

The next early morning started in Sydney Wild Life. Peachy was sooo excited to see loads of australian animals: wallabies, echidnas, koalas, pythons (and all sort of other snakes), crocodiles, platypus and many more. The time passed far too quickly and Peachy left all the cute animals behind to go to Madame Tussauds, as it was included in the ‘5 attractions ticket’ as well. 

For the second last day in Sydney, Peachy had planned another highlight – a day tour to the blue mountains including a stop over in Featherdale Wildlife park. Peachy got to feed wallabies and she absolutely loved it. 

The friendly animals were even more cute than kangaroos and very gentle while eating out of Peachys hand. She spent most of her time in the wildlife park with the wallabies and it made her very happy. Back on the bus the next stop was the blue mountains. A viewpoint for the ‘three sister’s rocks’ followed by some time for a walking trail and rides on the cable car and the world’s steepest mountain railway kept everybody busy and excited.

 The day passed too quickly and all of a sudden it was time to head back. The tour ended with a beautiful boat ride back to Darling Harbour.

The following day was packed with planning for Peachy’s East Coast Trip which she started straight away…

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Hongkong

Luckily, Schnagler and Peachy booked a hotel in advance and got to a small room with two big beds. Dinner and an extremely good foot massage for Peachy helped double trouble to relax. After a good and long sleep they started their first morning in Hongkong. A light cheesestick breakfast helped to adjust to the culture. 

The hotel was on Hongkong Island. So the two took a ferry to cross over to Tsim Sha Tsui to walk along the promenade and to see the Avenue of stars. This was closed unfortunately but the garden of the stars was open and a lot of fun 😀


On the ferry the friends received very very good news. The hotel called to say that Schnagler’s backpack was delivered by a courier from the airport. This made them soooo happy.

Next stop was the Ladies Market. After 15min getting used to the haggling it started to rain heavily. Some stalls closed and said there would be a typhoon coming up. Double trouble escaped to an indian restaurant and thought the rain would stop soon. However they needed to face reality and understand that the typhoon would only move on around midnight and there would be a week of thunderstorm and rain afterwards.

Schnagler and Peachy decided to still make the most of it. So they went to Hongkong Timesquare Shopping Mall. However, all shops were closed due to the typhoon. Next trial was to find a massage. First they took a funny old tram to the hotel and couldn’t wait any longer to find out whether the backpack which was delivered to the hotel was really Schnagler’s backpack.

And it was….


After a long walk the friends finally found an open massage place and let themselves being treated. A foot massage for Schnagler and an acupressure back massage for Peachy let them forget all about the typhoon. 

The next morning the friends tried their luck again after a very rainy night. Back to the Timesquare all shops were opened. A couple of hours of shopping let the time pass quickly until the rain stopped. This is all the two waited for to then try going up to Victoria Peak. The tram ride was funny, the pizza expensive but delicious and we found a new family 😛 

But the view….well the view….which view actually?


Back down the weather was stable and the team started their way to the night show in Victoria Harbour. Reaching the bay they were overwhelmed by the skyline with it’s millions of lights and the sea. But let’s let the pictures speak for themselves:

The evening ended with a nice shopping tour on the night markets in Temple Street. Back at the hotel it was time to pack and to find out how to get to the airport in the very early morning. And of course, double trouble needed some money again, which took a while but finally worked out in the end…

After a very short night (no night in fact) it was time to leave Hongkong and to fly to Puerto Princesa (on Palawan) with stop over in Manila and without disasters. The flight to Puerto Princesa was a bit weird because of dust or fog on the plane. 


We still don’t know what it was, maybe gas to make everybody sleepy 😛 However, we both arrived safely and woke up again 😉