The Royal Exhibition Building was built in 18 months for the purpose of hosting Melbourne’s 1880 International Exhibition, and it then held a subsequent Centennial Exhibition in 1888. Both the building and the surrounding gardens were designed by architect Joseph Reed, and they were inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2004. The building is constructed in the shape of a cross with a majestic central dome, and large archway entrances with fanlight windows on each side. When it was built it was the largest building in Australia and the tallest building in Melbourne.
We had set out on a day trip from Auckland to go and see a thermal village in Rotorua. It’s a bit of a hike, but there were three of us to share the driving so we took the opportunity. About halfway there we ran into some road work and had to go on a detour through the countryside. As we were driving along we were all thinking to ourselves about how much it looked like the scenery from the Hobbit movie. One of us wondered out loud and then we all said we had been thinking the same thing. So we did a quick search on Google and found out that we were, in fact, very close to the movie set! Since we had no pressing deadlines to meet (the absolute bliss of being on holidays) we changed course and stopped in for a visit at the movie set in Matamata in New Zealand, to see what we could see.
As I was walking around the city of Perth, admiring the buildings, I glanced down a laneway and a burst of colour at the end caught my attention. I went back to the laneway, later on, curious to see what it was. To my surprise, many of the walls of the buildings in the lane had interesting pieces painted on them. What a find, and completely by chance, which made it so much fun to see!
Many cities are now embracing the street art culture and providing spaces – legal walls – where street artists can create their works. Street artists have their own style, some of them becoming independently famous, who are then commissioned for legal murals and works.
The Hotham Valley Railway at Dwellingup is a place that you can go to experience what rail travel was like in the golden age of steam. The team of volunteers work hard to give you an enjoyable day out. The town of Dwellingup is a 40 minute drive from Mandurah, Western Australia.
Oahu is the third largest Hawaiian Island, after Hawaii and Maui, and is home to the state capital Honolulu. Oahu is categorised into five regions: Honolulu, Central Oahu, Leeward Coast, Winward Coast and the North Shore. Each region has a different character – from laidback surf towns, to cosmopolitan city life, fine dining and diverse shopping options.
A short 8km boat ride across Kawau Bay from Sandspit, Warkworth will transport you to the beautiful Kawau Island New Zealand. There are ferries and water taxis that leave from Sandspit daily, or take your own boat out for a spin. The island has three harbours: Bon Accord Harbour, North Cove, and South Cove. Most residents rely on direct waterfront access and have private wharves for entrance to their homes. Other residents choose to live on their boats anchored in one of the harbours.