Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Mia's Weekend Getaway: Australia - Sovereign Hill (Part 1)

After abandoning my previous blog on the 3rd day of my 7-day Vietnam trip in 2009, I vowed never to do travel blog entries anymore. However, with encouragement from bloggers I've known from Discuss SG like oyhz, finaldust, chikumama, coffeeluvs and chenelin, I've decided to give it another shot! 
And yup, I went to visit a friend in Melbourne! 
Upon touching down, I dropped off my luggage at YS's apartment and off we went to Ballarat to get to Sovereign Hill!
Rushing for the train was quite an episode, we first missed the tram at YS's place and got to Southern Cross station barely 10 minutes from the schedule train departure time, ran towards the platform only to be told along the way that the train has been switched to a coach. Oh well, in the end we still made it and I totally KO-ed on the coach for that 1.5 hrs ride (and missed many awesome sceneries!) until we reached Ballarat to take another local bus to Sovereign Hill.
These were the buildings/views I was enjoying while at the bus stop.

We got there pretty late, 4 plus almost 5 and it seemed like the place has closed for the day. Thankfully, they hadn't. And we had the chance to ask for directions to our accommodation for the night and some recommendations for dinner places. By this time, all eateries located within Sovereign Hill has closed and we had not much choices other than to venture out again to Main Street whereby a few restaurants were located.

Along the way there was nothing but greenery and the baby blue sky, along with a couple of cars passing by. Totally fell in love with this peaceful town. 

 And we decided on Fish & Chips! Pretty affordable too, with just flakes and chips at less than $9 AUD. You can also request for either plain salt or chicken salt for the fries. And I went for chicken salt! I'm a huge fan of flavoured salt, especially curry salt and yuzu salt. :)

The place was very simple with an open concept kitchen and a counter table with wall decor as shown. There's also a strip of "namecard holder" across the wall with all sorts of namecards (hair salons, locksmiths etc) stuck on them. I got rather tempted to stick my own up there. But then I realised, I've left my namecards back in SG. :(

And here's my first dinner in Australia, fish & chips with a can of ginger beer! See the before and after pic of my fish & chips? =.=" I hardly touched the chips at all. 
The flake was nothing like what I had in SG, 'flaky' and tough. Instead, I almost thought I was eating chicken cutlet! It was packed with really dense, 'solid' fish meat and was fried till the point whereby the meat remains soft and very moist. The fact that it was generously coated with chicken salt from the fries didn't help much with my 'hallucination' that I was eating chicken cutlet.
And after my ridiculously big dinner, YS and I packed up our leftover fries and retraced our steps back to Sovereign Hill and beyond in search of our accommodation for the night, Comfort Inn, and enjoying the relaxing scenery of the place. 

 After 20 to 30 minutes walk, we finally arrived at Comfort Inn! I was pretty shock as it seems extremely small, like a normal bungalow house. 

They were awarded Gold Award in 2012 for Choice Hotels Australia, as shown. 

 And the reception area is kept clean, impeccably neat and tidy. I found this newspaper area kind of cute and cozy too.

 Upon checking in, we were shown the way to our room and it was then I realised the Inn is actually pretty big with extended wings where the actual rooms were located. We got the twin bunkroom with (supposedly shared but turned out to be) ensuite bathroom located at this 'Military Barracks'.

And this was how our 'brickhouse' bunkroom looked like. It has got this extremely cozy feel to it, with two single beds placed at right angle to each other and a bathroom (didn't take any pictures of it) almost as big as the bedroom itself. The room was equipped with a small clothes rack, an electric kettle, a cup, and a full bowl of instant coffee with sugar. Even though there's no provision of TV (communal laundry room and TV lounge located in the wing) or free wifi in the room, we absolutely loved this place! I wouldn't mind spending a few more days here just to chill out, either. 

And after resting for a while, we 'coated up' and headed out for the show we've gotten tickets to. Blood on the Southern Cross: A Sound-and Light Spectacular. 

Blood on the Southern Cross’ is an explosive multi-million dollar sound-and-light show like nothing you’ve ever seen before!

The story of the Eureka Rebellion, a dramatic battle between gold miners and Government forces at Ballarat on 3 December, 1854, is retold nightly by ‘Blood on the Southern Cross’, Sovereign Hill’s acclaimed sound-and-light spectacular.

Set under the night skies at Sovereign Hill, ‘Blood on the Southern Cross’ involves no actors – just voices, dazzling sound-and-light effects and a stunning open-air set. Visitors travel across the site on a comfortable transporter and view much of the action from the re-created Free Trade Hotel on the Eureka Diggings.

Experience the miners’ disgust at unfair gold taxes and witness the dramatic burning of the Eureka Hotel. Then, listen to Governor Hotham’s reasoning for a dawn attack on a band of men who were the first to swear an oath of loyalty on Australian soil to a flag that was not British – the flag of the Southern Cross.

As photography was prohibited, there is absolutely no pictures of the show. I'll say it's really interesting and pretty engaging with all the lights, special effects, movement of props, the story-telling and background noise. It would have been brilliantly spectacular if they are able to make it into a play (introduction of actors), though. Nonetheless, it was truly enjoyable and brought my first night in Australia to a meaningful end.

For more information on Sovereign Hill, click HERE.

Till then,
Mia

4 comments:

  1. Nice =)

    Btw, saw your new Nuffnang ad!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you saw it before i notice it! :) i found your new ads too!

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Yes it was! If you ever visit Sovereign Hill you can get this package too! Day entrance tickets+night show tickets+1 night accommodation for only $114 AUD.

      Delete

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