Home page > Trips >Australia, New Zealand

The famous road-railroad bridge of Sydney port, with the Opera House under it from a commuter ship, and the view of Auckland from a just not working volcano. The pictures in this article are mostly my own, shot between 1st and 15th of december, 2010. I will sign the pictures of others.

The aim of the trip was only Sydney and Auckland in New Zealand because the short time hasn't let me more. 

The roughly 20-hour flight till Sydney (in several sections) can be withstanded only with sophisticated techniques: cabin bag at my legs with reading and writing materials, photo camera) and often isometric exercises - and this way it can even be enjoyable!

I have flown with Emirates from Vienna, via Dubai, Bangkok till Sydney, with Boeing 777-300. The food and the service were excellent on the Emirates, the stewardesses are lovely with the imitated sand-filter hanged from their hats and it is especially kind view on the Chinese stewardesses... Against the Mohammedan religion rules, we got alcoholic beverages.

The stewardesses have come from many countries, there are Hungarians at the Emirates as well though I haven't met any.

On the 2nd of December the snow fall just has started when arrived the airport and the first flight started with about 5-hour delay, but after breaking through the snow-clouds, we had a pleasant flight.

The delay hasn't disturbed me since I had 10 hours wait in Dubai and I haven't bored myself on the crowded airport, even in night hours.

I have got to know only in Dubai that we will have a "fuel-stop in Bangkok in the way of Sydney.

At half past five in the morning the world music faded in the airport and we could hear the voice of the muezzin. I couldn't see a minaret, it could be transmission from the city.

At the Dubai International Airport the sunshades are similar than the Beduins' tents

The Dubai takeoff was also delayed, we were taken to the plane by buses and climbed up on a rather high stairs. I was smiled on some 1st Class travelers: they were taken in a luxury small bus, but they had to carry their heavy cases on the stairs... me too, but much cheaper!

Arab Emirates are a desert country, where there are no concrete or asphalt, yellow sand can be seen. The building plants are huge and can be seen everywhere. On the left photo a motorway exit has been built - the town will be built later.

From Dubai we have flown above the coast of Pakistan and India and crossing India's westerly part the earth could be seen..

Our route to southwest, ...

Map detail from Képes politikai és gazdasági Világatlasz, Kartográfiai Vállalat Budapest, 1974.
and what we have seen:

Probably salt-distilling plant?

The Indian Nazca-lines...

Photos were shot form 10 500 m.

Sunset toward Bangkok (the white dot in the middle is the positioning light on the wing),

and a small church in the transit waiting room in Bangkok.

It is dark when we arrived to Bangkok then the new crew serves good dinner. Then there will be dark in the plane, on the ceiling the night sky with stars is imitated. After a film and some star watching the sun rises.

We were flying to East-Southeast above Australia, the rising sun lights the clouds from north-east.

We were landing from above the see, down there was the usual sunshine in Australia. It is early in December, it is not the 32-33 grade Celsius real summer, the temperature is only 27-28..

Descending to the landing.

The forward camera shows the runway.
On my early trips to Australia the stewardesses blow the cabin with a special spray: it kills some bacilluses carrying not-Australian people. Now I can not see such blowing, it can be soled through the air conditioning.

The border guard does not waste a look on my printed e-visa, it scans my passport, look at me and sends forward. I am stopped at the customs, I have to put my entire luggage on the floor. I understand why: the drug seeking dog is very small. It smells my suitcases, where I put the small whisky-bottle stolen from the plane...

I am in Australia at 9 AM. local time (CET-10 hours). I have time to my hotel, I watch the really huge air traffic and enjoy the internet access.

At half past one I take a taxi. The Asian, probably Korean driver knows where the Gladesville Motel is. "Do you want to stay there? There is nothing, no shops, nothing to see." "I could read it is in a quite district!" "That's right!" laughs the driver. I can see the city of Sydney - far, and we run on bridges and motorways, away...

It will be a bit far, says the driver, it can be even 30 dollars! He tests me. No problem, I have money. The bill became 100 dollars... I gave him 2 dollars tip, nothing is expensive to me!
My room is ready in the motel, small and clean with comfortable bed. Transport to the town? Frequent buses and the ships, the port is very near. How much is the bus? "Not sure!" It was a bit less than 5 dollars (one way), the ship was a bit more than 5 and because of the traffic jam, the boat is faster and goes just to the centre of Sydney.

The situation was that the price of the motel was much lower from other hotel room prices than the 10 dollars traffic fee, so I haven't been cheated.

Fortunately I don't have jet leg, I started to the town at once.

Sydney has long seashore and uses her waters intensively. Many people commute to work by boats. But don't think little Danube-crossing ships.

The typized ship of Sydney's transport is the Rivercat, a brutal beast. Bimaran (or multihull), with at least two engines. It starts from the port with low speed for some seconds, then the engines starts to round up and we go soon with at least 50 kmph. The driver (captain?) is careful: if there is an angler in a small boat, he slows down. The vawes may drop the angler in the water.

The driver works with two arms, and the ship screws can turn reverse also. The ship can turn around its axes or reverses to the port.

During my first trip the half of the travelers are seemingly tourists, many of them are Japanese.

Rivercat is arriving to my port.

There is other kind of ships on the water: first I thought it is Batman's fighter vehicle, but a company party was on it.

And there are such family wooden boats as well.

The Batman ship

The famous road-railroad bridge of Sydney.

It was built after the New York Hell Gate bridge but it is a bit bigger than that. Those four towers hold nothing: pure esthetitcs. Curious people can walk above, on the arc. I haven't tried it.

The Rivercat reaches its ferry port under the bridge and next to the Opera House. There are so many ships in the bay that it is difficult to take a photo on it.

Over the six-stall ferry terminal there is downtown of Sydney. It is a living, hive city. In the XIX. century the British Empire sent convicted people to Australia, more than 160 thousands. Not all the towns got such immigrants: Sydney did, Melbourne, for instance, did not. Sydney seems to me more active place than Melbourne...

The family tree of many important persons in Australia contain convicts. That's why many family tree drawing got into the deep of a drawer. It is fact that many prisoners, served his/her time, went to the society and became a valuable member of it.

The prison where they spent their time is now a museum in Sydney.

In the museum you can see pictures, paintings about the life of the prisoners. It is fact that they had more rooms on the ships than me on the plane but my trip hasn't lasted for more than half a year.

The Sydney Hide Park Barrack,
many prisoners arrived here between 1819 and  1848 

The museum is very interactive, you can take on the prisoners' special colored (not striped) clothes, you can use the handcuffs, the irons, and, though there are many pictures and notes about floggings, it can not be tried. The punishment database is available, the locals can find their relatives in it....
Fifty thousand people have got into the Australian society through these buildings. Very few of them got back to the prison after it. It shows that probably the social and economical circumstances of the motherland made them criminals. Though, the prison life coloured some floggings may make them valuable citizens in the country.

The most of theprisoners were male, and in the country there were few women. So 600 Irish orphan girls were taken to Australia that time. They came from the starving in Ireland.

The building later served as government offices
and from 1984 it is a museum of old times.

The architecture of Sydney is exciting, interesting.

(left) In this building there can be offices or super-comfort residences since it looks to Hyde Park.

(right) Even modern buildings are not plain block-formed.

Map of the city of Sydney, mainly about the visitors' interesting points  

On the right side of the big bridge there is my and many peoples' ferry port. West from Sydney Cove, the Walsh Bay and the Darling Harbour could be the classical port of freight ships. Now they are car parks,
but there is a theatre as well.

Toward west, around Pyrmont bridge and the Cockle Bay is the paradise of tourists. There are museums, 
exhibitions, restaurants, and all of them are connected with Sydney's famous monorail.

Sydney Convention Centre in Darling Harbour, in front of it a huge Christmas tree.

It was interesting to watch people in short and a T-shirt, waiting Christmas...

Well fitted companies and very expensive flats on the shore of Darling Harbour.

Yachts of rich people.

They are not rich because they have yachts. It is not so expensive. They are rich because they probably have their residence around here and it is extremely expensive.

One of main attractions is the Australian National Maritime Museum, and the HMS Vampire destroyer, the "last of the big guns". (picture from the HMS VAMPIRE book).

The ship has fought in the Vietnam War and had been built not far from Sydney, on Cockatoo Island.

Huge and very modern looking warship, now a museum piece.

Different ships in the museum, and a submarine.

The Pyrmont bridge, it can turn when a tall ship comes, that time the bridge is closed such gates.

The monorail is also turned, it is separated here.

 The turn commanding house.

The monorail very good, it runs smooth. You can go several rounds with one token.

You must pay at the station. I asked for a token, the cashier said: "I know where you are from!" in Hungarian, with very strong accent. He recognized my nationality from my pronunciation.

The monorail is in very close connection with the houses that it passes by.

It stops at the living room of the Smiths.

The weather was fine during the whole trip, though the pavement was often wet in the mornings, but the days were mostly sunny.

This is the panorama from my hotel window. No problem, I haven't spent much time looking out through the window...

  The Hyde Park, full with Japanese tourists

The typical Australian animals can be mostly seen in museums and zoos.

The koala 

Cangoroo, a small one in the museum

The Tasmanian devil
It is not the real First Aid, he was only put on the box of it.

The Australia Museum showed the rich culture of the aboriginals. In the early stage of development, their culture and art is really beautiful.

Some huge (4-5 cm) insects. They make big noise in the towns.

There is stork in Australia but its pecker is not so straight and lives on a palm tree.

I was nearing to that bird for five minutes, very slowly. I took the photo, he could hear it and looked at me, very bored, then turned back. I clapped my hands, he did not even look at me.

Probably Chinese style house, maybe for commerce

The Lánchíd (Chain bridge) of Budapest, on a travel advertisement

Shipping artifacts,

and a beautiful old tree in the town.

Small Korean shopping center,

and really well-built bicycle road.

In the city I could see this crocodile meat. As I took the photo, the Chinese shop-keeper came out, called me in and gave me a bit, on something bread-like. I had to accept: it had strong salty taste, otherwise nothing special.

I went on a ship trip to Parramatta. There is the Parramatta river and a nice town.

The official map of Sydney Ferries Corporation 

It was the Rivercat that took me to Parramatta.

I had to change to other cat in Rydalmere. As I got to know later, there is 
GE Healthcare office in Rydalmere (I work for GE Healthcare in Budapest)..

This is my Rivercat.

First houses of Parramatta.

And the port of it. The travelers are advised that in case of low water, there are buses instead of Rivercats.

The  GE Capital office in Parramatta and the American style city centre

The British style old railroad station.

The biggest railroad station of Sydney is the Central.

After the Sydney visit I have flown to Auckland with the low cost Pacific Blue company. Not considering we haven't got anything free on the plane, it was a very good flight

The 737-800
The immigration control was much stricter than to Australia. The officer asked me why I have come to Auckland, I answered "I don't know". I selected this city by chance... He became very strict and asked my back flight ticket, and he checked. Then I told him I am a railroad fan and I have heard a lot about Auckland's railroads. So I was let in New Zealand.

View from my hotel room on the 10th floor:

A kindergarten on the left, a chat corner down, a tennis-court up and a climbing wall. To the other direction there is a complete house on the top of another house.

The famous tower, the Sky City just behind my hotel. It was very useful showing the direction home.

Not far from the hotel, in the Victoria park, there were interesting sculptures for children.

Once waste destructor plant, now market, with really beautiful and extremely expensive things...

     And an interesting T-shirt, unfortunately I have forgotten where I took the photo...

Going to the port, no huge freight traffic, rather containers.

The old port is attacked by office buildings, here is of the Cathay Pacific.

And shops, mainly for yachting and sailing.

Fish market, with very fresh creatures, just caught in the ocean.

Many-many yachts.

and a covered store.

A ship is taken from the store.

The engineer let it to the water,

and a pretty little ship can go to the ocean.

The place of the freight stores.

Probably bridge turning mechanism.

and the electric fence of the oil port.

Small ships, ferries, huge ships...

A serious sailing ship,

and an excitement boat, they will travel through small water-falls.            

The Ferry Building, ant the old, nasty ships behind a wharf.

The statue of the Rainbow Warrior, the ship of Greenpeace that had been sunk by French secret service.

Real traffic in the container port.

As I have taken the left picture on the security appliances, two gentlemen came out from a reception house, a uniformed and one in suit. I have been asked who I am, what I am doing there, I have told them again I am a railroad fan. One of them checked my last 20 photos, then thanked my answer and let me go. I understand that they must be careful.

Beautiful trees in New Zealand.

Trees with all sizes and forms, with some fruits.

This all were in a small park in Auckland.

Famous place of Auckland is the Auckland Domain. It had been created by volcanic activity. There are sport (mainly cricket) courses, and trees, grass, beautiful things.

Open-air concert place and sports ground.

Don't feed the ducks in the water...

It is like our Margaret-island in the Danube in Budapest, but a bit bigger

The Museum. It had been built about their contribution in the 1st World War, but later id has been extended and serves as a National Museum.

A big part of the museum shows the Maoris Culture.

The volcano that created Auckland Domain

Auckland is ready for the next volcano outbreak. "It is not the question if but when".

Nice old building in the really modern city.

The Shakespeare hotel. The big drama writer might have stayed here when he was a wanderer actor...

Some pictures on the city:

The Britomart. Behind the old facade there is a hypermodern railway station.

Memorial stones in front of the Britomart

The light on the rail level,

through this water hole.

The tower, called Sky City.

The ceiling of the lift was glass...

and one part of the walking path above also glass.

It was written it is 38 mm thick and stronger than concrete. I am not interested. The concrete is not transparent, the glass is. I remained on the classical floor.
It can be stood out of the tower. It should stand there who had two mothers, I kiss their hands.

Picture from an advertisement of Sky City.

The earth-quake zone around the legs of the tower.

Breath-taking view from above. A huge marina, New Zealanders have very many ships, boats, yachts.

Probably a monk?

He walked very-very slow.

Modern sculptures.

The board over the cycle park said: "Visitor parking". It was a huge bank...

The second week has passed, I have flown to Melbourne with the low cost. After some visit in the town, have gone to Singapore and Dubai, and some hours later to Vienna.

The wing of the 777-300 before takeoff.

The city center of Dubai with the skyscraper and the famous artifical island.

Europe, probably Romania. Snow and no clouds. 

The wing is getting ready to landing.

In Vienna there was not much snow on 15th of December. At last, we, Europeans are the privileged passengers, not the Arabs as in Dubai or the Australians in Sydney.

As I got to the luggage carousels, both my bags come soon. It can be said to me about the wonder of the flight, the excellent wing-profile, the engines, the navigation. They are only techniques and technology. But, my suitcases are there in the same time as I was, it is the wonder.

English version: 4th of January, 2011.