Biloxi, MS

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After Hurricane Katrina, much of the Gulf Coast was submerged under water

Biloxi has had a pretty rough trot with Hurricanes going through the area
nearly every year since

Hard to believe this was all under water at one stage

1412 Biloxi Postcard

It’s amazing to see how these little towns bounce back, one tragedy after another

We were first introduced to Biloxi, Mississippi when Jay Leno did a benefit concert to help raise funds to restore the community

We were invited to go for a weekend and have been back several times since

The views alone are pretty amazing, but also the casinos and Headliner acts they get down there are world class, big name musicians, comedians and entertainers

See my Travel Guide Post on Biloxi here

I am sorting through my photos at the moment and listing postcards to sell in my Photography Store

I forgot about some of these photos, they are pretty neat looking over them again

I have more somewhere, I need to find them

2658 Biloxi Postcard


BILOXI bird


BILOXI POSTCARD


Biloxi Postcard1


BILOXI sailboat

Postcards are 50% Off for a Limited Time!
(until Midnight 23rd March 2017)
Enter code: EASTERBEST17 at checkout
in the “Promo Code/Gift Certificate” box

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Luxury Travel on a Budget

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Don’t blow your travel budget paying full price when you don’t have to

There are major discounts to be found if you know where to look

 

1. Travel Off Peak (Shoulder Season)

You can seriously get great discounts on airfares and accommodation, some up to 60% off during off-season

Travel outside of School Holidays or right after major holidays

 

2. Staycations

If you want to travel and only have a few days off, consider a location closer to home

Domestic or even local hotels offer huge discounts for last minute getaways to fill up their bookings

If you look on Google Maps you can find places to travel to within a 3-4 hour radius of your home, you don’t want to spend a whole day getting there

If you do your travelling overnight the night before you are booked in to your hotel, you can get in an extra day of sightseeing / restaurants

 

 

3. Use Hotwire to get 4-Star Accommodation at 2 & 3-star prices

Save up to 60% off 4+ Star Hot Rate® Hotels!

I have done a whole post on Hotwire  to give you more insight to their deals

You can get $315 rooms for $128, that’s a huge savings, staying in much nicer rooms, what’s not to love?

 

4. Book ahead if you are planning to travel during holidays and peak travel

While you can snag great deals on last minute trips during off season, the same cannot be said for peak travel times

Public holidays, School Holidays, Summer are the busiest times to travel.  If you leave it to the last minute to book, you will pay a lot more for accommodation and not get the best deal for your money.  Popular festivals or hotels have people booking sometimes 12 months in advance, around Sydney Harbour or Times Square for New Years Eve for example

Some hotels will only allow bookings 3 months before, so make sure you get in early as soon as bookings are available

It used to be the rule to book international travel 12 months ahead and domestic travel 3-6 months ahead for the best rates

Often vacation packages have special ‘early bird’ rates to popular events like music festivals etc or around Christmas / New Years

 

 

5. Book Flights on Tuesday

It’s the cheapest day of the week to travel, and around 3pm Tuesdays is the cheapest time

Tuesday, Wednesday & Saturday are your cheapest days for air tickets,  while Sunday is the most expensive

 

 

6. Ask for an upgrade, dress the part

If you dress like you belong in business or first class, you can sometimes get an upgrade by politely asking, it doesn’t hurt to try

The answer will be a firm ‘we don’t have anything available’ if you are in a singlet and flip flops or wearing your pj’s to the airport

 

 

7. Ask for a waterview

If you are travelling off peak, chances are the hotel isn’t even 2/3 full

Ask on arrival at your hotel if might be any water views available, sometimes they will upgrade you just because you asked

 

 

8. Bundle

If you book, car, accommodation & airfare all at once, you will save a lot more than booking them separately

Look for package deals or ‘vacation’ packages

 

 

9. Join Hotel rewards programs

They are usually free to join and you can earn free nights accommodation on future travel if you earn enough points

You can earn points from your fist stay and they also send you bonus offers during the year to earn points more quickly

You usually get free wifi, sometimes free breakfast and other discounts & perks for reward members only

Plus you have a better chance of room upgrades if you are a reward member, than if you are not

 

 

10.Stay on the outskirts

If you stay in popular ‘touristy’ locations like downtown or on the riverfront  in popular cities, you aren’t going to get as great a deal as if you stay 10-15 minutes outside of these areas

You can quite often get a much better room if you stay 10 minutes out of town and you will get to see a lot more of the city

Most hotels have shuttle services to the city and big tourist attractions for free

 

 

Offers some of the best discounts on travel (up to 60% off)

 

 

OTHER TRAVEL TIPS:

  • Ask the locals what to see, where to eat…we have had some of the best tips by asking people who live there if there are other places to see while we are there

 

  • Also if you visit museums etc late in the day, say an hour or two before they close, you may get in at a big discount, 1/2 price etc

 

  • Check the tourist guides and pamphlets at the hotel for discounts to museums and places of interest, they offer discount coupons

 

 

 

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FUN FACTS: Sydney Harbour Bridge

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Today the Sydney Harbour Bridge is 85 Years Old

1. The Bridge, affectionately referred to as “the Coathanger”

by Sydney-siders, is a globally recognized, iconic Landmark and today has earned its own hashtag #SydneyHarbourBridge on social media, who would have thought?

2. It was opened March 19, 1932

3. Today the Bridge carries rail, vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney CBD (central business district) and the North Shore

4. The public was allowed to walk across the deck of the bridge 
when it was first opened in 1932 but not allowed 
to walk across it again until  1982

5. When it was first opened, the ribbon cutting ceremony didn’t quite go to plan.  NSW Premier the Hon. John T. Lang was supposed to cut the ribbon, but Capt. Francis de Groot of the New Guard paramilitary group beat him to it, slashing the ribbon with his sword.  The ribbon was tied back together and Capt. Francis de Groot  was arrested

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6. It took 1,400 men eight years to build the bridge 
at a cost of 4.2 million dollars 
16 lives were lost building the Bridge

7. It took 272,000 litres of paint for the initial 3 coats of pain needed to paint the bridge

8. In the 70’s, actor  Paul Hogan was a painter by trade and one of the ‘tradies’ / crew who was employed to  paint it.  He later went on to host his own comedy show on tv (it was hilarious) and then launched his acting career with Crocodile Dundee placing him on the world stage.  He was commissioned by the Tourism board of Australia to do a TV commercial on the Sydney Harbour Bridge aimed towards getting American Tourists to visit Australia

9. When the bridge was built,
800 families living along the path of the bridge 
were demolished without any compensation

10. It took 55 years to pay for the bridge

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Postcards Available In our Store

5773 Harbour Bridge

 

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Pawleys Island, SC

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A little while ago, we were watching Beachfront Listings and they were doing a feature on Pawleys Island, South Carolina

Its a beautiful tiny beachfront community not many people have heard about

I knew some day we were going to travel to South Carolina, I was mainly interested in the Myrtle Beach area

The photos and tourist brochures online looked amazing plus we knew people that lived in the area

I also knew it was going to be a good photo op with all the beaches and sunrise / sunset pictures I was seeing around the internet

As I was planning our trip, I discovered Pawleys Island was very close to Myrtle Beach and I remembered it from the show on TV.  It was definitely ‘do-able’ while we were there

I am so glad we went to see it, it is a beautiful place, small, quiet, remote. There are lots of little beaches that are close enough to do a day trip from Myrtle Beach

I am revamping my blog, my website and my online Stores and  have spent most of today uploading and sorting through photos of Pawleys Island & Myrtle Beach to sell on Postcards in my Photography Store

 

Pawleys Island 1

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Pawleys Island 2

We are blessed to live in a place with so many beautiful bays and beaches and to be able to travel and see the country.  I don’t get to travel nearly as much as I’d like, but hopefully we’ll get to see a few more of these places before we are too old to enjoy it


 

 

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10 Sydney Lighthouses

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I love Lighthouses for several reasons, they are the beacon in the dead of night guiding shipping vessels, they offer some of the best water views and if they are open to the public, have the best aerial views for photography

Sydney is lucky to have several Bays and water-ways and numerous lighthouses, the most famous being the one at Kiama on the South Coast near Wollongong, however, it is not located in Sydney itself and may be difficult to get to for those visiting Sydney

Many tourists are short on time and bound by public transport so some of these may not be easy to get to, but I have found ten that are located in and around Sydney that should offer some pretty neat photographs

1. Barrenjoey Lighthouse

By Jeremy from Sydney, Australia (Barrenjoey Lighthouse) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Sydney’s most northern point – Panoramic Ocean views

Located in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

Barrenjoey Head, Palm Beach New South Wales 2108

You can’t drive directly to the lighthouse, there is no vehicle access – You can drive to Governor Phillip parking area, in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, there is a park entrance fee, you would have to walk to the lighthouse on a walking trail

2. Hornby Lighthouse also known as South Head Lower Light


Wyp at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Cliff Street, Watsons Bay New South Wales 2030

Hornby Lighthouse is the third oldest lighthouse in New South Wales and is located at the Southern entrance to Port Jackson and Sydney Harbour at Watsons Bay

The site is open and accessible to the public, but the tower itself is closed

3. Macquarie Lighthouse also known as South Head Upper Light


By Sardaka (talk) 08:48, 18 March 2011 (UTC) (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Old South Head Road, VAUCLUSE New South Wales 2030

(Macquarie Road)

The best views of Sydney – if you only have time to see one, THIS is the one, the views are breathtaking!

Macquarie Lighthouse is Australia’s oldest lighthouse, boasting a 360 degree panoramic view of Sydney harbour and the sandstone coastline

The grounds are open year round, but the lighthouse itself is only open every couple of months by tour guide and well worth the cost of admission ($5 per adult and $3 per child) and stairclimbing trek to the top

4. Bradleys Head Light Tower

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By Wade Homewood (http://www.panoramio.com/photo/15318081) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

The Bradleys Head Light Tower is located within the Sydney Harbour National Park

The site is open and accessible to the public, but the tower itself is closed. Parking is available at the end of Bradleys Head Road

5. Robertson Point Light, also known as Cremorne Point Light

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©2017 KDArtStudio

The site is open and accessible to the public, but the tower itself is closed. Parking is available at the end of Milson Road in Cremorne Point

Save up to 60% off 4+ Star Hot Rate® Hotels!

 

 

6.Shark Island Lighthouse


By Wittylama (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

The lighthouse itself is only accessible by boat, and it is closed to the public. However, it is visible from Shark Island at close range. The island itself is open to the public

 

7. Cape Bailey Lighthouse


Maurice van Creij [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Located on the south side at the entrance to Botany Bay in Sydney near Kurnell

Lighthouse is closed to the public and access to it takes 2 +1/2 hours to bushwalk/hike  to get to the lighthouse. You enter the national park via Solander Road in Kurnell

Trivia: In 1931, this lighthouse took 19 years 
to be approved to be built.  It wasn't built until 1950
It is completely solar powered today

8. Grotto Point Light also known as Port Jackson Entrance Range Front Light

Grotto Point Light

Brianegge at English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Accessed via Manly Scenic Walkway, historic Grotto Point Light offers scenic views, birdwatching and walking options in Sydney Harbour National Park

The site is accessible by a short hike/walk  from the Castle Rock track. The grounds are open but the tower is closed to the public

9. Vaucluse Bay Range Front Light

Vaucluse_Bay_Range_Front_Light

By MorePix (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Located on private property, it is not accessible to the public

Viewing the lighthouse from the street (80 Wentworth Road) is very difficult, so it’s best seen from the water

10.Eastern Channel Pile Light is also known as the East Wedding Cake


Maksym Kozlenko [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Located off Laings Point in Vaucluse, Sydney, this lighthouse was originally gas powered but has been converted to solar power

It is accessible only by boat, and closed to the public

You might also like my Post on the best 28 of the Best Places to Photograph Sydney

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WPC: Atop New Orleans, LA

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©2017 KDArtStudio

via Atop, Weekly Photo Challenge

Whenever I travel, I always ask for the top floor of the hotel, it gives you access to the best aerial views of the city

This is New Orleans, Louisiana at night (obviously)

28 of Sydney’s Best Photography Locations

Sydney Photography

Sydney is one of the most photographed places in the World.  International Visitors and locals alike are in photography heaven around Sydney Harbour

There are many many great places in and around Sydney to grab that perfect Selfie or Travel Blog photo, but there are many places not covered in tourist guides that have the best photo vantage points with sweeping, million dollar panoramic views of Sydney and its awesome beaches

 

1. Mrs Macquarie’s Chair also known as Lady Macquarie’s Chair

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By Prajwal433 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Mrs Macquarie’s Road, Sydney New South Wales 2000

Best place to take selfies with views of the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House & panoramic views of the harbor

2. Macquarie Lighthouse


 By Bkamprath (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Old South Head Road, VAUCLUSE New South Wales 2030

Macquarie Lighthouse is Australia’s oldest lighthouse, boasting a 360 degree panoramic view of Sydney harbour , the city, opera house, harbour bridge can all be seen from here and the sandstone coastline on the other side (sorry I don’t have a picture of the view, but believe me, it’s worth it, it’s mind-blowing)

The grounds are open year round but the light house is only open every couple of months, a few days of the year by tour guide.  It will be the best $5 you ever spent when you reach the top of the stairs, and take your panoramic photos of Sydney

 

3. Bronte Beach

By Cookaa (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Bronte Road, Bronte New South Wales 2024

Bronte Beach is located between Bondi and Coogee beaches offering beautiful Bronte Beach, rockpools, parks and spectacular coastal views

 

4. Bondi Beach

By User: (WT-shared) Maklinchi at wts wikivoyage (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Queen Elizabeth Drive, Bondi (Campbell Rd area), NSW

Every tourist pamphlet includes Bondi Beach, and while it is beautiful, there are many many other beaches they don’t tell you about

 

5. Cronulla Beach

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© 2017 KDArtStudio

The Kingsway, Cronulla NSW 2230

This is my favorite place to be; beautiful clean beaches, rockpools and an enclosed ocean pool, public toilets & showers

You can drive to Cronulla from the city along Southern Cross Drive or catch the train from the city on the Illawarra train line to Cronulla, its a few minutes walk straight across the road from the train station

 

6. The Esplanade Cronulla

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© 2017 KDArtStudio

The Esplanade, Cronulla NSW 2230

Beautiful beach shots, the lighting around dusk is amazing

 

7. Gunamatta Bay

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© 2017 KDArtStudio

Nicholson Parade, Cronulla NSW 2230

Next door to Cronulla Train Station, you could do Gunamatta Bay & Cronulla Beaches in one day

Catch the train to Cronulla (Illawarra line), get out of the train station and walk right, Tonkin Street, follow the path & road the whole way around to the right to Nicholson Parade, it will take you straight to Gunamatta Bay Park

 

8. Manly Beach

By Adam.J.W.C. (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Catch the Ferry to Manly – Tickets at Circular Quay Ferry Terminal

 

9. Redleaf Beach now known as Murray Rose Pool

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By Sardaka (talk) 07:15, 24 November 2014 (UTC) (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

New South Head Rd, Double Bay NSW

 

10. Watson’s Bay

By Diliff (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Gap Road, Watsons Bay New South Wales 2030

Beautiful views of both the harbour and the sea

 

11. Hickson Road Reserve

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© 2017 KDArtStudio

Hickson Road, The Rocks, Sydney NSW

Hickson Road Reserve is Next door to the Park Hyatt, Sydney.  It’s a fantastic spot for photo opportunities because it surrounds the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and Sydney Harbour

You can walk there from CBD & The Rocks

 

12. McMahons Point


By Yupeng Wu (https://www.flickr.com/photos/dennis6/29941757215/) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Milson Road, CREMORNE POINT New South Wales 2090

13. Sydney Opera House

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© 2017 KDArtStudio

Bennelong Point, Sydney New South Wales 2000

The Opera House is located at Benelong Point, this was taken on the steps of the opera house looking back at the city, on the other side, is the Harbour Bridge

 

14. Milsons Point Ferry Wharf


By weberwithoneb [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Catch a Ferry to Milsons Point from Circular Quay

See Luna Park at the same time

15. Darling Harbour – Cockle Bay

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©2017 KDArtStudio

Darling Harbour, Sydney NSW 2000

You can travel by train, bus or light rail, or walk from Sydney’s CBD to get to Darling Harbour

 

16. Bradley’s Head


Saberwyn at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Sydney Harbour National Park, Sydney New South Wales 2000

17. Royal Botanic Garden


By Flickr user: Will Ellis Reading, England http://www.flickr.com/people/wills/ [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Mrs Macquaries Road,  Sydney NSW 2000

Catch a train or walk from CBD

 

18. Jeffrey Street

Sydney_skyline_at_dusk_-_Dec_2008 jeffrey street

By Diliff (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Beautiful skyline photography from Jeffery Street,  Kirribilli

19. Ball’s Head Reserve


By Daveydboy (Template:David Morgan-Smith) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Balls Head Drive, WAVERTON New South Wales 2060

Wonderful views of the harbour and city

 

 

20. Sydney Harbour Cruise

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© 2017 KDArtStudio

Take a guided tour of Sydney – Captain Cook Cruises – Get Tickets at Circular Quay

 

21. Mossman Bay Walk


Maurice van Creij [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Stunning bays and beaches

 

 

22. Georges Heights (Headland Park)


By Adam.J.W.C. (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Middle Head Peninsula – Middle Head Road, Mosman, NSW

One of the most stunning vantage points of Sydney Harbour with uninterrupted views to Manly, Vaucluse and the city of Sydney

 

23. Observatory Hill Park


By THERKD from Sydney, Australia (North Sydney at Night) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

1003 Upper Fort Street, Millers Point New South Wales 2000

Observatory Hill offers sweeping, panoramic million dollar views of Sydney Harbour and the Harbour Bridge

 

 24. Shark Island Port Jackson

>
Sardaka at en.wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Spectacular 360° views of Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Parking is not available at Shark Island – access is via watercraft only

Not Wheelchair Accessible

Ferry service:

Captain Cook Cruises operate a public ferry service to the island daily and a timetable is available to help you plan your trip

 

25. Duff Reserve – Point Piper


By Sardaka (talk) 09:21, 13 June 2012 (UTC) (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
130 – 132 Wolseley Road, POINT PIPER New South Wales 2027

Duff Reserve has Million Dollar Views of the Harbour Bridge and the spectacular Sydney Tower Eye and the nearby skyline

It is a little hard to access this place, as it is not near the main street. It is on Wolseley Road at Point Piper. You can take bus 324 or 325 which will stop near Rose Bay on New South Head Road. Walk up along Wolseley Road for around 11 minutes and you can find the entrance on your left hand side

It cannot be accessed after sunset and before sunrise and can only be accessed by staircases

 

26. Rushcutters Bay Park


By Alex Proimos from Sydney, Australia (Rushcutters Bay, Sydney) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

New Beach Road, Rushcutters Bay New South Wales 2027

New Beach Road, Darling Point (near New South Head Road)

 

27. North Head Sanctuary


By Alastair Sim [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
North Head Scenic Drive, Manly NSW 2095

 28. View From Sydney Harbour Bridge

 

By Diliff (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

*Affiliate link used in this post to help save you money on accommodation if you need it

Save Money on Accommodation

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©2017 KDArtStudio

 

How would you like to save

60% off Hotels

If you are paying full price for hotels, staying with Airbnb’s, or booking through Travel Agents and Hotel websites, you are paying too much for your Accommodation

There are better ways to save money on a room you are probably only going to shower and sleep in for a few hours a day

And you can get much nicer rooms than your basic 3 star hotel room, for 60% less

Sound too good to be true?

It’s not when you know where to look

I have used many other travel, discount & hotel websites and this is now my preferred option:

 

If you purchase a Hot Rate ® Hotel or Hot Rate ® Car rental,  you will get awesome deals on hotels and car rentals

The savings are real

No gimmicks, no tricks, just good old-fashioned savings

 

What is a Hot Rate ® Hotel or Hot Rate ® Car rental ?

What this means is that the name of the hotel or rental car company is not revealed until after you book and pay for it. You can get rental cars from $11.95/day and 60% off hotels, seriously!

It is a great deal.  I have personally used it several times.  You basically are paying a 3-star price for a 4-star hotel.  All the 4-star hotels are reputable companies.  But you don’t find out until after you purchase the room, which hotel you are staying at.  They tell you immediately afterwards as soon as it is paid for by email where you will be staying

When you book you can use the interactive map to choose which location or part of town you want to stay in, you can choose the hotel star rating as well – 4 stars, 3 stars etc, you can even choose how much money you want to spend on a room per night

It will show you your best options, you choose which option you want to purchase and pay for it

You then receive a confirmation email saying where you will be staying

So far the hotels we have been allocated have been top brands like the Hilton in Washington & Memphis, and Millennium Maxwell House in Nashville

They have other top Brands like Hyatt, Embassy Suites, Omni, Sheraton, Marriott, The Renaissance, plus many others

These rooms usually set you back hundreds of dollars a night, you are paying less than half price

When we only needed a quick, 3 star overnight room for one night, we got

HOLIDAY INN – HUNTSVILLE DOWNTOWN – hey, if it’s good enough for Elvis, it’s good enough for me

BEST WESTERN PLUS Tupelo Inn & Suites – the staff here were super friendly and helpful

I actually did my homework first. The rates they were offering were better than booking directly through the hotel website

They can do this because they purchase blocks of rooms from the hotel chains at a heavily discounted rate and pass the savings on to you

My Hotwire TIPS:

  • Stick to 3-Star properties and above
  • Stick to recommendations that are 80% and above
  • Use Google Maps to see which hotels are located near where you want to stay to guesstimate which hotel you’ll receive

If you are driving your own car, stay a little bit away from popular tourist spots, you can usually get a better deal and see more of the city

 

I have booked through other websites and this has been my best experience to date

I have not had a bad experience

Right now they are running a promotion until the end of June 2017

 

 

If you think you can’t afford a vacation, or think you are too broke, to save, think again

Much safer than staying with strangers in an Airbnb, more luxurious than cheaper hotels at the same price, more money to spend on your holiday and a much nicer room to relax in after a long day of sightseeing

I do not recommend any programs, sales or businesses unless they are the real deal and reputable, and going to save you a bunch of money, I hate spam as much as anyone

I have used them several times and each time we had a great room in the location we wanted to be in

You can really save a heap of money and that’s what I strive to do on my blog, pass on ways to keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket

 

*Affiliate links and non-affilliate links have been used in this post to bring you quality information   Links used in this blog post are with the sole intention of saving you money on accommodation. I may or may not receive a small referral fee if you purchase any product or service using a link in this post

Travel Guide: Sydney,Australia

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© 2017 KDArtStudio

Sydney is a bucket list destination for many international travelers.  Aussies who live there do not fully appreciate it’s beauty until they have been away from it for an extended time.  The beaches, the shopping, the restaurants, the beautiful Harbour & architecture truly are amazing

There is so much to do and see in Sydney, it’s hard to know where to begin.  Many of the travel agencies miss a big chunk of it and send travelers to the usual spots

Attractions:

Take your camera!

The Sydney Harbour Bridge – Not only is it an amazing landmark, and probably the best view of Sydney from the top, but you can also walk/climb/tredge your way up to the top of it as well as drive right through it

Trivia: 

Did you know Paul Hogan (Actor of Crocodile Dundee fame) 
was a painter by trade, before his comedy & acting debut 
and helped to paint the Harbour Bridge back in 1973...
true story!

 

The Sydney Opera House –

Another historic landmark is host to not only Opera, but is a multi-venue performing arts center hosting Music, Theatre, Ballet, Comedy, Talks and Tours an is usually the first stop for Royal Dignitaries and International Visitors

There are restaurants and bars inside with some amazing views of the Harbour

Often there are musicians and street performers outside as well

The Sydney Aquarium

Chinese Garden of Friendship – Definitely somewhere you should see, it’s beautiful, peaceful, tranquil

Paddy’s markets – Oldest markets in the heart of Sydney

China Town – Best Chinese food, try YUM CHA if you haven’t before

Darling Harbour- Restaurants & Shopping

Sydney Harbour Cruise – Tickets available at Circular Quay – The best way to see Sydney! i think they are run by Captain Cook Cruises, you will see their terminal at Circular Quay, can’t miss it, you want the See Sydney Cruise that is narrated showing you all around the harbour places of interest

Sydney Harbour Dinner Cruise

Sydney Tower – 360 Degree Views of Sydney, you have to do this, it’s amazing!!!

Do the Buffet or dining at night with all the city lights and 360 view

Trivia: It used to be called The Summit then Telecom Tower

Taronga Zoo – You can get there by car or Ferry, Ferries leave Circular Quay daily

Travel Tip: Don't go in summer!
WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES !....lots of walking

Luna Park – Best Amusement Rides, Roller Coasters

Take a trip to Manly on the Ferry, tickets at Circular Quay, whether you stop for a while to dine at the Restaurants or get  Fish & Chips to eat on the beach, it’s worth the trip there and back

The Rocks – Beautiful Cobblestone streets & alleys full of Art galleries, boutique shops, pastries, restaurants, cafes, pubs not to mention amazing Sandstone Architecture & outdoor open  street markets on the weekends featuring artisian arts & crafts, fashion, food, music, Australian art, photography and authentic Indigenous artefacts, jewellry and so much more

140 George Street,
The Rocks, NSW, 2000

The Rocks Markets
10am – 5pm, Saturdays & Sundays
Playfair Street, George Street, Jack Mundey Place

The Rocks Friday Foodie Market
9am – 3pm, Fridays
Jack Mundey Place

While you are down that end of town, visit

The Museum of Contemporary Art

140 George Street,
The Rocks, NSW, 2000

Waterfront Dining:

Who wouldn’t want sweeping views of the Harbour, Opera House, Harbour Bridge ?

I could think of worse things to look at while I’m dining…lol, pretty hard to take…

I’m Angus Steakhouse Sit by the water, truly amazing food, worth every cent!

The Promenade
Cockle Bay Wharf
Darling Harbour, NSW, 2000

Waterfront Restaurant 17-27 Circular Quay West, The Rocks, NSW 2000.

Wolfies – 27 Circular Quay W The Rocks NSW 2000

Altitude Restaurant – Level 36, Shangri-La Hotel, 176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, NSW, 2000

Imperial Peking Harbourside – Campbell’s Storehouse, 15 Circular Quay West, The Rocks, NSW, 2000

Pubs & Clubs:

Jackson on George – Great for Lunch or Drinks & Cocktails – 176 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney

(thank God the walls can’t speak, hehe, we used to go there for ‘lunch’ some 20+ years ago…though it may have been a tad more liquid than lunch back then)

I am told it’s since been re-furbished and has a great whisky bar

Phillip’s Foote – 101 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney

Another one that’s been there 40 years + – It had a great open courtyard and the most amazing bbq baby octopus when I was there, but the menu has most likely changed since then

Insider Tip:

10  Hidden Underground Bars 

Beaches:

Bondi – Catch the train

Cronulla – Illawarra train, well worth the trip, my favorite place to be

Day Trips:

Blue Mountains

Hunter Valley Wineries – Some of Best Wines in the World , seriously

Kiama Blowhole & Lighthouse, Wollongong Beaches – Love it here!

Accommodation:

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There are lots of options for accommodation in Sydney, but a lot are out of most people’s budget

I book all of my travel accommodation through

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i am recommending them because you can save up to 50-60% off hotels with them and they are reliable and trustworthy

Travel Tip:

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*Affiliate link used in this post to help save you money on accommodation if you need it

10 of Sydney’s Hidden Bars

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Sydney in the 90’s

We used to go bar hopping, otherwise affectionately known by Aussies as going on a ‘pub crawl’ where we would go from pub to pub to pub to …well you get the idea

There were more pubs than we could get to in a night (someone told me over 300) .  We would usually start at “the Metro” Cnr George & Bridge Streets and go to the upstairs bar, I spent every Friday night for 3 1/2 years in there, the T-Bone Steak & Chips was “the regular” and bourbon & coke (used to cost us $3.50) followed by Heinekin and Black Russians….yep, this gal could drink……thankfully the internet wasn’t that popular then, and people still liked talking to each other. Cell phones weren’t equipped with cameras & those who sported them were usually banker nerds (no offense!) If only those walls could speak, well, let’s just say there’d be some tales to tell…thankfully for me, my secrets are safe.  It has since been renovated into a hotel with a rooftop bar, wow

Sydney Insider:

One of Sydney’s best kept secrets wasn’t the tales told at the Metro.  It is the fact that there were secret bars only known and frequented by ‘the locals’…. lots of them underground in conspicuous locations….the ‘747 Bar’ in Wynyard was decked out like the inside of a 747 plane, it was pretty cool. Then there was ‘Jungle Bar’ which was part of, or very close to the Menzie’s Hotel (I wonder now if it might have been inspired by Elvis Jungle Room, who will ever know).  Probably my favorite, was the ever popular ‘Test Tube Factory’ where the waitstaff were all dressed in lab coats and brought you shots of liquor in test tubes, it was very ‘hip’….. sadly, I do believe most of these bars have now closed down. It’s a shame, you would have liked them

There has in recent years been an influx of “hidden” “secret” bars that only a few know about, some so secret, they remain unmarked and only locals know how to even get inside

Problem is, there’s this thing called the Internet, where everyone IS finding out about them, so any that are any good, won’t be secret for long, and you aren’t going to remain secret hitting the “top 50 bars in the world” list every year

I have corralled 10 Underground, hidden bars & pubs for you, (don’t hold me responsible if you have a great time or get lost down some dark alley)… I’m just the messenger, sharing some good time fun

These aren’t ‘kid friendly places’ and are intended for adults of drinking age (18 in Sydney) and older

The ones I am listing here are all within a close radius of each other and all located in the CBD.  There are others in Darlinghurst & Surry Hills, but for now, these are in walking, crawling or hailing a cab (taxi) distance of each other

10 Hidden/Underground Bars In Sydney:

(In no particular order)

1. The Baxter Inn – Basement 152-156 Clarence Street, Sydney

The not so secret whiskey bar is located in an unmarked alleyway on Clarence Street, nestled among some rubbish bins,  there’s apparently a mysterious door that leads you into The Baxter Inn

It is renowned for its unrivaled whiskey selection (& has a secret whiskey room at the back).  It has been named yearly on the world’s 50 best bars list, and is on several ‘top 10’ lists for Sydney

2. Grandma’s – Basement 275 Clarence Street, Sydney

It has been described by many as ‘a 60s kitsch basement’

2011/12 Nominated for Best New Bar in Australia, Bartender Australia Magazine and
The Australian Liquor Industry Awards

2011/12 Nominated Best Small Business, Sydney City Business Awards

3. Bulletin Place – Level 1, 10-14 Bulletin Place, Sydney

Look for the brown doors to the left of Cabrito

The bar is about 1 minute from Circular Quay

Bulletin Place was opened in 2012 by three bartenders

4. Palmer & Co – Abercrombie Lane, Sydney

Tucked down an alley and hidden underground, Palmer & Co. is a time warp back to the 1920s  the era of prohibition with its bootleggers & sly-groggers

5. Stitch – 61 York street, Sydney

Pop through the faux-dressmaker’s shopfront adorned with singer sewing machines and yarn, and head down the stairs to Stitch, the Bar

6. Papa Gedes – Laneway at the rear of 348 Kent St

This cool Tiki Bar is Named after the voodoo spirit of lust and laughter

7. The Swinging Cat – 44 King Street, Sydney (Cnr Clarence & King St)

The New Oreans inspired bar is located underneath a Subway Sandwich shop with the entrance being shared with Subway and bears almost no signage

8. Gilt Lounge – 49 Market Street, Sydney

Inside QT Sydney, the hotel that joins the old Gowings department store and the former State Theater

9. Lobo Plantation – Basement Lot 1, 209 Clarence St, Sydney

Carribean Inspired Cocktails & Menu

10. Mojo Record Bar – Basement Level, 73 York St, Sydney

Music themed bar with records & music memorabillia all over the place

 

Other “Watering Holes” that aren’t so secret:

Jackson’s on George – 176 George Street, The Rocks,Sydney

Phillip’s Foote – 101 George Street- The Rocks, Sydney (Beer Garden Patio out back )

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