Many Aussie woke up today to celebrate a birthday, but they were not the only ones remembering a special day. Today on the 19th March 2012 the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge is celebrating its 80th birthday.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Now 80 Years OldMuch has changed during this period including the popular mode of transport and the cost to travel over the majestic bridge.

Here is a short article that appeared today in the Daily Telegraph online.

WHEN the Sydney Harbour Bridge opened in 1932 you could ride across on your horse for just 1c.

Eighty years later it will cost you up to $3 and riding your horse across the Bridge is illegal.

The Coathanger opened on March 19, 1932, to much fanfare after almost a decade of construction.

Since then traffic has risen from 11,000 vehicles a day to more than 160,000.

On Sunday (18th March) a 1930s-themed picnic will be held in Bradfield Park underneath the northern end of the Bridge to commemorate the milestone.

The party will feature vintage fashion parades, big bands and roving entertainment.

The event will be held between 9.30am and 2pm and there will be plenty to see and do.

World Famous Sydney Harbour Bridge Celebrates 80th BirthdayIt is interesting to ponder the many changes the have occurred on and around the Sydney Harbour Bridge, as well as the millions of people who have traveled across this world famous Australian icon since it was opened all of those decades ago.


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Sydney is Australia’s largest city with more than 4 million residents. It is located on the southeast edge of the continent and is adjacent to the Tasman Sea. The city has a somewhat unique design, encompassing lots of parks and other open areas into an urban design. It also has many interesting museums and other culturally relevant points of interest. Sydney is also known for its many sports teams and many of its residents love rugby and cricket. Here are some places to see in Sydney.

Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens

The Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens are a real marvel and take up acres of land between the harbour and the eastern part of the business district. Here you can find thousand of different kinds of plants, including monumental trees and gorgeous flowers. It is an ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city while you take a walk or enjoy lovely views. The garden opens at 6:30am and closes at sunset and also offers free admission.

Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is one of the top things to do in Sydney. In this huge structure you will find hundreds of rooms and corridors, all with their own unique atmosphere and stories. Take a guided tour and find out how exactly this massive building came to be. The acoustics are wonderful, and if you have the chance, get tickets to a show here in one of their five great concert halls.

Sydney Festival

If you are in the city in January, you will want to check out the Sydney Festival. It has been in place since 1977, and features a huge variety of culture, including music, dance, theatre, and drama. The festival attracts over a million visitors each year, and there are over 300 hundred performances and dozens of different events, many of which are free.

Sydney Powerhouse Museum

Anybody interested in science and technology at all should check out the Sydney Powerhouse Museum. Here you will find exhibits devoted to technology throughout the ages. You can see one of the first working steam engines, which was built in 1785. There is also a popular exhibit on computers, which takes a look at how computers have changed since they were first built. This museum is ideal for children, because it has many hands on displays.

Sydney ANZ Stadium

The Sydney ANZ Stadium is a must see destination for any sports fan. This huge stadium was home to the 2000 Summer Olympics, and at the time could hold over 100,000 people. It now hosts a variety of sporting matches, including rugby, cricket and Australian Football.

Sydney Harbour

The Sydney harbour is arguably one of the most beautiful spots in the city. Here you can sit and watch the ferries go by, or enjoy a nice meal at one of many wonderful cafes. Take a trip back at night, so you can see the area lit up with enchanting lights.

There are many things to do in Sydney. Whether you want to take in a concert, see wonderful architecture or gardens, experience great sports action, or just relax at the harbour; there is something for everyone to do in Sydney, Australia.

Big Banana Coffs Harbour Toboggan RideAfter our lovely dolphin kiss at the Pet Porpoise Pool last time, we are now off to the famous Big Banana for some fun on the toboggans.

Big Banana Coffs Harbour Toboggan DailyThe day that Greg and I drove down to Coffs Harbour from the Gold Coast it was bright and sunny, but then the rain came. Most days it rained off and on and so it was hard to find a time to ride the toboggans.

The water on the toboggan slide causes the toboggans not to run correctly and hence they are not operational in the rain or on mainly rainy days.

Greg and I were blessed on our final day in Coffs to once again have a sunny sky! So after we checked out of our unit at Wyndham resort at the Terraces near the Novotel, we made our way once again to the Big Banana and went over to the entrance to the toboggan ride.

We have been on the toboggans in previous years when we have visited the Coffs region and so we knew how much fun the rides were. Greg went up first and I followed behind.

Coffs Harbour Big Banana Toboggan RideIt is great because the rider controls the toboggan speed. Greg likes to go faster than I do so he made it down to the bottom faster than I did.

I enjoy going at a reasonable pace, but also taking in the scenery along the way. At the top of the toboggan ride you can actually see the glistening, blue ocean and part of the Coffs coast. You can also see the Big Banana Water Park down below with its inflatable slides.

The hill with its rows of banana plants is also clearly visible as you ride down the hill around each of the bends in the track.

We were happy that we each had two goes tobogganing. It is something that I could do again and again.

Next time we are in the Coffs Harbour region we will once again be back for more rides at this fun tourist attraction, that both visitors to the area and locals alike enjoy.

Next time we are going to look at some of the research we have been doing to prepare for our trip to Tassie that is now less than a week away. Our only concern is that the Volcanic ash that has affected flights to and from Tasmania over this past week will not still be around next Friday to cause problems with our flights.

So until next time, remember to enjoy life and enjoy travelling the world!

Leanne Annett <><

Coffs Pet Porpoise Pool Dolphin KissA while ago we wrote about our visit to the Pet Porpoise Pool during a rainy day. So now we wanted to go back on a sunnier day to compare to our wet weather visit.

During the day that we selected there were still some rainy periods, but overall it was nice weather.

Coffs Harbour Pet Porpoise Pool EntranceWe arrived at the marine park just after the opening time at 9am. We were then able to go and relax and walk around the park before the seal kisses and dolphin kisses just after 9.30am.

The two marine magic presentations occur daily at 10am and 1pm, with an extra show time at 4pm during NSW school holidays. Then approximately 30 minutes prior to each show, it is time for the seal and dolphin kiss for each visitor to the Pet Porpoise Pool. A photo is taken by a professional photographer of each visitor’s kiss, which they have the option to purchase after the show is completed.

Coffs Harbour Pet Porpoise Pool Friendly DolphinSo while Greg and I waited for the kiss we spent most of the time watching the dolphins in the main pool adjacent to the grand stand seating for the show. We were allowed to place our hands flat on the surface of the pool to encourage the dolphins to swim past close to us.

It was fun watching the dolphins swimming around near us and coming up for air right next to us. They are so inquisitive and friendly.

I live on the Gold Coast and have had multiple annual passes to Sea World. My family and I have been hundreds of times to Sea World over the past 35 years, but nothing compares to the interaction and closeness that we enjoyed at the Coffs Pet Porpoise Pool!

Coffs Pet Porpoise Pool Seal KissGreg and I highly recommend this marine attraction to all visitors to the Coffs Harbour area. The interaction that every visitor to the porpoise pool can enjoy is like nothing that we have ever found at Sea World or anywhere else.

We definitely will be back on our next trip to Coffs. The next time we will bring our daughter with us. She would absolutely love it!

In our next post we will return to the Big Banana and see how much fun the toboggans are. Greg and I each had 2 toboggan rides and really enjoyed them. Next time we have the opportunity to do tobogganing again we will definitely have as many rides as we can.

So until then, Remember to Enjoy Life and Enjoy Australian Holidays.

Leanne Annett <><

Skating Session Times are shown below.

Coffs Harbour Ice Skating Rink Welcome SignIn the last blog post we talked about how enjoyable and also educational the World of Bananas Experience was.

Well today we are going Skating!

Coffs Harbour Big Banana Ice Skating RinkWhen I was younger, I used to go ice-skating regularly. I loved it and was not too bad. But now with the busyness of life, I have not had a chance to go skating for many years. In fact, when I stop and think about it, it is probably more than 10 years since I skated.

Coffs Big Banana Ice Skating Session TimesThe Coffs Ice-skating rink operates daily with a varying number of sessions depending on the time of year. So in NSW school holidays there are more sessions and on the weekends there are also additional skating sessions.

Friday and Saturday nights are popular times for the young people and youth groups.

When we arrived at the rink, we went in and had our tickets stamped. Then grabbed our correctly sized skates and quickly put them on.

Greg and I were pleased to see that there were not a lot of people when we first went out onto the ice, as we were quite slow at getting around.

Since it has been so long since I skated, I was pleased to find out that they offer a metal skating frame for beginners, or in my case for those beginning again! The frame slides smoothly over the ice and is much like the concept of a walker for elderly people.

I actually found it a good way to regain my confidence so that I could skate without the frame.

Greg & Leanne Annett Ice Skating, Coffs Harbour Big Banana RinkAfter we had been skating for around 15 minutes, a group of high school students arrived with their teacher as part of their sports activity. It was nice watching the youth skate passed me. They reminded me of twenty years ago, when I used to skate comfortably and confidently.

Leanne Annett Ice Skating, Coffs Harbour Big Banana RinkGreg and I enjoyed our time skating. It was something that we do not usually have time or energy for. This made it even more special.

So if you are in the Coffs area then why not go to the Big Banana and find out the daily times that the skating rink will be open.

Skating Session Times:

Monday to Sunday:

During NSW School Terms

  • One Session Daily: 1:00pm to 2:30pm

NSW School Holidays: 2 Sessions

  • 10:30am to 12:00 Noon & 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Friday & Saturday Nights:

In Addition to the Sessions during the day, there is also an evening session.

  • 7pm to 9pm [Great for Youth-groups or Get-togethers]

Next time we will write a blog post about the Toboggans at the Big Banana. Even young children enjoy the toboggan rides down the hill as they sit in front of mum or dad. If you purchase a group of tickets then it works out cheaper and the tickets can be shared among family members or friends.

Until then, Remember to Enjoy Life and Enjoy a fun time at the Big Banana, Coffs Harbour.

Leanne Annett <><