A Walk-And-Go Cruise in Australia and New Zealand (1)

When I'm craving an unforgettable sea adventure, an Australia and New Zealand cruise is an excellent choice. It's home to stunning coastlines, spectacular mountains and one of the world's most beautiful cities, Sydney. December to February is summer in Australia. The weather is sunny and warm during this time. In late January 2023, from Minnesota, the world of ice and snow fairy tales in winter, to Australia and New Zealand, which are full of beautiful sunshine in summer, it is so attractive to take a walk-and-go cruise!

A goddess who just went to college at the age of 87 said a famous saying: "We don't stop playing because we are old, but we grow old because we stop playing." I very much agree. I also like the ideal life represented by the famous online sentence "Poetry and the Distance". My poem is a poem from the Tang Dynasty, "If you are happy in life, you must enjoy it to the fullest, don't let the golden cup be empty to the moon", and the distance is of course Australia and New Zealand half a world away.

I'll do it right away and check it out online. Soon found out that Norwegian has a 12-day Spirit cruise. Isn't this the last time I took it on a pre-pandemic Mediterranean and Middle East cruise? Great cruise! If you depart from Mingzhou on February 5, you will arrive in Sydney just in time for the departure on February 8. It was the end of January at that time, that's all, I was going to buy a boat ticket and air ticket the next day. Unexpectedly, when I bought the ticket, I found that the price of the ticket increased by 117% in one day. I thought to myself that the stock market has not risen so fast, and air tickets are already expensive, so how can I bear the price increase? Thinking about it later, looking at other cruises, Holland America Line's Noordam has an almost identical itinerary, 14 days. The ship sailed on February 11 and disembarked on February 25. The time was just right, and it was Noordam. After I bought the ticket, I checked it out. It turns out that the US passport requires a visa for Australia and New Zealand, which is very easy. These are two mobile apps. After downloading from the App store, I enter my personal information, take a photo, and receive the visa within a few minutes after paying the money.

After packing my luggage, I booked a hotel. I knew that Sydney’s public transportation system is very convenient, so I found the hotel Mercure Sydney near the Central Railway Station. I arrived in Sydney three days in advance, not only can I play first, but also I am not afraid that the delay of the plane will affect the departure of the cruise. Departed on February 6th, after a transit in Houston and a 22-hour flight, one day was lost when crossing the international date line, and it was early morning on February 8th when we arrived at Sydney Airport. Australia no longer checks for COVID, so customs clearance is simple and easy. After picking up the luggage, follow the Trains sign and soon come to the subway station.

I was told that US credit cards can be used to board the subway directly. It is extremely convenient to use, just press the credit card to enter the station, find the railway line of The central railway station, and you will arrive after a few stops. Press the credit card again to get out of the station, turn left at the gate of the train station, and you can see my hotel not far away. I arrived at the hotel at 9 am, too early to check in. After I left my luggage at the hotel, I walked to the Sydney China Town Hotel not far away and ordered Shanghai Xiaolongbao.

Image by KANGHEE HAN from Pixabay

Tipping is not mandatory in Australia, and generally not as widely accepted or practiced as it is in some other countries. However, tipping for good service is becoming more common in certain industries, such as restaurants and cafes. In these cases, a tip of 10-15% of the total bill is considered appropriate for exceptional service, although this is still not expected. Rounding to the nearest dollar is also common for convenience, but this is not considered a tip. In other businesses, such as hairdressing, taxi service and hospitality, tipping is also not required, but it is allowed if the service is exceptionally good. Tipping is not a big part of Australian culture in general, but if you think the service has been particularly good, leaving a tip as a token of appreciation is a sign of kindness.
After eating, walk towards the port and watch the street view of Sydney. The streets are full of people, healthy, beautiful and friendly, and prosperous. Soon I saw the Circular Quay elevated train station, facing the harbor. As soon as I arrived, I saw a lot of people going in at the opposite ferry terminal. It turned out to be a port cruise ferry. I was on board right away as soon as I pressed my credit card. It is unbelievable that the most famous Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House are right in front of you.

Image by falco from Pixabay

Image by Design n Print from Pixabay

I disembarked at Barangaroo. Barangaroo is a coastal area on the west side of Sydney Harbour, which was once a port used for shipping and industry. Over time, the area has been redeveloped into a mixed-use urban area, including high-end residences, offices, shopping malls, restaurants, parks, and a cultural center. I disembarked here. I bought a cup of ShareTea pearl milk tea and sipped it under the shade of the trees by the sea, watching the happy crowd coming and going by the sea.

The goal of the Barangaroo project is to create a sustainable urban community that promotes economic development, cultural exchange and environmental protection. The project redesigns the entire area with multiple buildings and public spaces, including the following main components:

Barangaroo Central: This area is a cultural hub, including multiple theatres, museums and cultural centers, and the new campus of the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

Barangaroo South: This area mainly consists of commercial buildings and high-end residences. One of the most famous buildings is the International Finance Center Sydney Tower, the second tallest building in Sydney with a height of 271 meters.

Barangaroo Reserve: This area is a public park covering about 6 hectares and is one of the largest parks in downtown Sydney. Its design is inspired by the traditional culture of Sydney's Aboriginal people, including native vegetation, rock and water features, and a 360-degree view of the skyline.

Barangaroo is a vibrant and lively area, with many well-decorated restaurants and a new and tidy cityscape. This attracts all kinds of people, from business people to culture lovers, from locals to tourists. Its future remains vibrant and will be a vital part of the Sydney metropolitan area.

I took the city loop train back to the hotel from the WYNYARD subway station here. Today is Chinese food day, I brought a Hainanese chicken rice back to the hotel for dinner. Mercure Sydney gave me a room on the top floor with a wide view, clean and bright. The first day in Sydney passed happily.


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