Categotry Archives: Trip 2018


Day 8 – Sydney Luna Park

No comments yet

Categories: Trip 2018, Tags:


Sydney Weekender

You’re in Sydney for one day on a weekend- a Sunday – what do you do?

If, like us, you have two kids (aged 5 and 6) then the answer might emphatically be: Luna Park!!  Well, that’s what the answer was in our case.

Casting aside all the rest of what Sydney has to offer, with a fixed and uncompromising determination we made plans for a day at the aforementioned North Sydney heritage icon.

We woke around 7:00am to hoots and so forth (general carry on), but after satisfying food/drink urges, left the minions to be entertained by ABC 4 Kids while we returned to sleep.  I had awoken with a nasty headache, and no amount of ibuprofen or paracetamol would satisfy it.  This carried on well into the morning to my chagrin.  Once we rose again from slumber, it was closer to 8:30am so we started the breakfast/shower routine.  By the time we were properly functional it was 10am and so we hit the mean streets of Sydney.  First stop: Castlereagh St where I popped into a games shop and picked up two items.  I was later joined by the cohort who provided coffee and unwanted chocolate milkshakes.

I ducked back to the Wyndham while Toni bought some additional Opal™ cards for herself and the boys, since train travel to North Sydney is far cheaper than a taxi, and we didn’t want to move our car from secure parking.  Plus, the added bonus of a train ride for the boys – both of whom love trains.  So I returned and we walked down to Town Hall station.  Once we swiped in, a quick bathroom break was necessary for both boys, then we hit platform three for the quick journey across the bridge to Milsons Point station.

It was a fairly quick journey from the station to the harbourside and Bradfield Park.  It is literally all downhill, which is actually worse when two sets of young legs are bounding ahead in joyful anticipation of a fun park.

Luna Park



We approached from the car park side, and saw the famous mouth/entrance.  Once we reached the gate, it was a short walk to the ticket queue.  A man came by on his way out and pointed out to us that there was a near-empty ticket location further in that would save us the wait (thanks!!!!), we took his advice and he was 100% correct.  From there we went directly across to the wild mouse coaster, which I believe is the only permanent rollercoaster left in New South Wales since Wonderland was closed over a decade ago (a very sad state of affairs).  More so, It turns out there are only three left in the world.


So our family of four rode the tiny coaster, and it offered a lot of thrills.  We paid for copies of photos at the end to commemorate our trip.  From here we went to the Ferris wheel to acclimate with the park’s surrounds.  It was a beautiful day and the views were impressive, especially towards the bridge and Opera House.  After the wheel we set off for additional rides, starting with a merry-go-round.  From here we split – Toni and Jake went on the Tumblebug while Damian and I went in search of the UDrive (past Coney Island).  Except, rather than going to the U Drive, D and I went into Coney Island and dropped down an amazing indoor slide instead.  We then exited and made our way as planned.


Jake and Toni caught up with us and Jake managed to get onto the U Drive (the last remaining seat) despite a lack of queueing time.  Once that motored around in a few laps of a short track, we looked at the Mystery Manor (haunted house) but it was only for ages 12 and over, so I went in alone.  It was fine, the only issue was the shots of compressed air that fired occasionally, but otherwise I quite enjoyed the detail.  Recommended for horror buffs, and those who don’t look to closely at the details.  From here we split again, Jake and Toni went on the Spider while I waited with Damian for the Whirly Wheel (a miniature ferris wheel).  Toni and Jake returned to join us as Damian went up in the wheel.  Then, both boys joined the adjacent junior pirate ship which rocked to various angles, mostly inoffensive ones.  The sun was above us making photography a tad tricky.



From here we made our way back to Coney Island (properly) and spent time on the various attractions – notably the slides, the hall of mirrors, barrels of fun, the Wonky Walk, the spinning wheel, turkey trot and I thumped my way down the Devil’s drop.  As I found out later when writing, this is the only example of 1930s funhouses left on the planet.  The interior and attractions are almost identical to those operated when the park opened (slight upgrades to adhere to modern safety standards).  It’s an incredible slice of history and a great way to travel back in time.



We exited and started to head towards food.  D and I went ahead while the others got lost in the hall of mirrors. D amused himself with the crazy reflective mirrors before the others arrived and we put in our food orders.  We slammed down the chips and burgers and such surrounded by the sights and sounds of the harbour, including rock and roll dancers and singers.  After lunch we checked out the Rotor(a bit like a Gravitron) but so close to having consumed food, it didn’t seem like the wisest move.  Instead we split, Damian and Toni went off to queue for the dodgem cars whilst Jake and I queued again for the mouse coaster.  It was a longer wait, but the ride was still worth it.


When we got out Toni and Damian were cruising along in their bumper car, so I got some photos of them cruising around.  Yet again we split, Damian wanted to return to Coney Island to go on the spinning wheel thing whilst Toni and Jake went on something else – the dodgem cars if memory serves.  They joined us in Coney Island afterwards and we did the Wonky Walk together.



From here, we retraced our path back to the Ferris Wheel, and I took photos of the family with the iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House in the background.  They’ll make for useful pictures for later on,I suspect.  Then, after I signed a petition to defend Luna Park from nefarious evil doers, we bid Luna Park a fond farewell and traced our way back to Bradfield Park past the North Sydney pool.

Return to the City

We took the train back to Town Hall station and pretty much walked straight back to the room.  Toni and I took some rest for about an hour or so and then stirred to start making dinner plans. 


The only sushi joint on Liverpool street that we used to frequent is now gone, so I looked up Tripadvisor and found the #1 rated Japanese restaurant ( at the time) is Sushi on Stanley in Darlinghurst, so we walked there and slotted our way luckily into a table (which was indeed lucky – it’s a small and very popular venue.  The food was delicious and well worth the #1 rating.  We actually ordered a large sashimi pack to go, so we could eat a bit more back at the room.

..and on that note, once returning to the room it was pretty much straight into the fold out bed for the little ‘uns – and a bit later bed time for the adults.  It’s also our 13th wedding anniversary today – lucky us!

Tomorrow is our last day on holidays, we pack up and check out early and by the late afternoon ought to be back in Canberra.


Day 7 – In Transit

No comments yet

Categories: Trip 2018, Tags:


Today we lost the day to driving, getting up at 7am and departing Coffs just a fraction after 8am.  We made excellent time to Newcastle, only stopping for fuel on the way, and arriving just after midday.

Upon reaching outer Newcastle, we traversed into the centre of town and Toni dropped me off at Black Pug Records in Islington, while the family backtracked to a playground at Islington Park.


I spent a while chatting and browsing before making two purchases and then getting picked up as we made our way further south via Charlestown.  We stopped briefly at Warners Bay (there’s another record place here btw) before moving to my grandmother’s place at Valentine.

My grandmother is something of an enigma, she just turned 95 years old, and still manages to get by in a three storey house by herself.  She was in need of some assistance when we popped by, so the timing was good.


We spent a couple of hours before bidding farewells and hitting the road again.

Still making excellent time on the road, we managed to traverse the outer northern suburbs of Sydney and in through the Lane Cove tunnel/harbour bridge to arrive around 6pm at the Wyndham Sydney.

IMG_1486 IMG_1495

After sorting out our parking situation and getting our bags and assorted items up into the room, we crossed the road and had a great dinner at the Crown Hotel, which is a hidden gem on Elizabeth St. 

The meals are always great and it’s relatively inexpensive for the Sydney CBD.  Toni got some milk and bread from World Square while I took the boys back to get them settled.  There’s a leaking pipe in the wall of the room,so I expect we’re in for a long night.



Day 6 – Coffs Harbour, Damian’s Birthday & Dinner

No comments yet

Categories: Trip 2018


Happy Birthday, Damian!

Not everyone gets to celebrate their birthday on holidays, but Damian was one of the lucky few this week.

Whilst his birthday party will be next weekend, his actual birthday falls today, so we kicked off the day (early) with a small number of presents.  After a brief respite (adults get to sleep a little further), we were – yes, you guessed it, pool bound.


After the ritual morning pool routine, we were back in the room, showered, changed and ready* to go.  We opted to go local, because free admission, but stayed for Big Oma’s cafe which offered treats from the Netherlands.


After lunch, we went back into Coffs and to the coffee shop, but the scales I thought I saw there (for weighing the aeropress) must have been in my imagination, so we popped onto the western side of the highway and checked out two op shops (no purchases) before turning the car back north.  This time, rather than driving past, we actually stopped at the famous Coffs Harbour Big Banana.  It’s a fun park more than a farm, and there’s still remnants of old amusements around the place.  It’s heavily expanded from what I can recall of when I went there last (in the mid 80s), and we found ways to blow a sizable fortune on attractions.


We took some photos with the aforementioned banana before returning to the main ticketing area to purchase amusement admissions.  We unwisely opted for 4 people for laser tag (mostly at the insistence of Jake), the giant slide (would have been a more sound investment) and the toboggan (Coran forest is better).  At any rate, after the giant slide it was all downhill (see what I did there?).  Damian backed out of the laser tag when he was told there’d be a giant robot and grasshopper that can shoot you, so it was Jake vs me in the most lopsided contest since David vs Goliath.  It was also really just Jake running behind me constantly shooting, so I gave him the slip a few times, then he got scared and we finished up a minute early.  I won though, so there’s that.  The grasshopper was hard to kill.  The toboggan was OK, but the one we have at Corin Forest in the ACT is much longer, I guess we’re spoiled by that.



We hit the candy confectionary factory on the way out, and bought the odd bit of hard candy.  By now we’d hit about 2:30pm, and this was to be our last jaunt in Coffs Harbour this trip. 

We returned to the resort, and had an informal birthday “cake” ceremony (the real party will be next weekend) and afterwards we eventually walked to the beach. 


We must have spent about an hour or two on the sandy shore, I helped D build a giant sand fort to unsuccessfully keep the increasingly encroaching tide out.  Jake went completely into the surf and Toni collected sea shells. 



P9210519 P9210437

The sun shined and everything that could be well with the world briefly was in ours.

Upon return to the resort – yes – we were due back for a final go at the resort pool.  This time, about an hour of swimming before the sun started to become fleeting, and we cajoled the two fish up to the room for shower/change.  I looked up trip advisor to get an idea what our viable dinner options (Damian’s birthday) were, and we settled on a German restaurant occupying a huge windmill in North Boambee.  The other options were Japanese (further south) or Pizza and Pasta (North at Emerald beach).  I think we made the right call.

IMG_1435  IMG_1443  IMG_1444

An easy drive, accommodating staff and a fine meal.  We even explored the second level of the working (but decommissioned by law) windmill which is impossible to miss when driving into town.  Damian retained his two coloured pictures from the meal and Jake donated his to the artist’s wall at the venue.  Stuffed to the brim, we returned to the resort for final packing and negotiations about bedtime.  Tomorrow is the worst of it – driving from Coffs Harbour to Sydney CBD in one day.  With two kids.  No iPads.

* it’s about 11am by now

1 2 3