Exploring Sydney and Canberra

Another crazy idea come in mind. We were planning a road trip to explore Sydney and Canberra by road trip. We searched and found the information that it will take 12 hours driving from Gold Coast.

The three Joy, Rinie and I finally took the move. With the agreement that Joy would be the co-driver.

Indeed it was a nice drive. We just follow the map and keep moving from one place to another.

In te middle of driving, we were behind a trailler that climb very slowly. I quickly tried to overtake the trailer and the driver was very angry and scolded us.

I kept driving until a police car suddenly showed up from nowhere. Another experienced for driving in Australia. Never ever tried to overtake the trailer on the road coz the police will stop you.

We were fine and continue the trip straight away coz I have the translation license and we told the police that we were in hurry to find a toilet and the trailer was so slow. Another tips for driving in Australia is you don’t have to have an international license, enough with the translation for your country license from the appointed translator of Australian Police.

When you drive in Australia, please make sure that you follow the signs. Do not exceed the speed limit otherwise you’ll receive a love letter from the police by attaching some photos of different sides of your speed car.

Note the animal that crosses the highway, do not stop when seeing animal hurt on the road, unless you have other witnesses, because wild animal are very guarded in Australia or you can get the sanctioned.


Death Kangaroo on highway

Aihhh, the trip didn’t run as planned. Joy had no confident for driving so I have to drive my self.

But we arrived safe in Sydney. Although I was very tired and wishing to sleep all day but it will not worthed after the long drive.

Than, I decided to follow others for city tour. Luckily, Sydney’s road is narrow and hectic so I left my car aside and use busses or train instead.

We went to Sydney Opera House and taking Ferry passing the famous Sydney bridge to the. While waiting for the ferry, we were entertained with an Aboriginal man blowing didjeridu, a simple wooden tube blown with the lips like a trumpet, which gains its sonic flexibility from controllable reasonances of the player’s vocal tract.


Sydney Opera House

From varians sources explains that didjeridu originated in Arnhem Land on the northern coastline of Central Australia, and has some similarity to bamboo trumpets and even bronze horns developed in other cultures, though it pre-dates most of these by many millenia.


An Aboriginal guy blown didjeridu at Sydney Harbour

The characteristic feature is that the didjeridu, which is a slightly flaring wooden tube about 1.5 metres in length, is simply hollowed out by natural termites (“white ants”) from the trunk of one of the small trees of the region. After cutting down, the instrument is cleaned out with a stick, the outside refined by scraping and then painted with traditional designs, and the blowing end smoothed by adding a rim of beeswax.

After a while, we enter the parking ferry and crossing under the Sydney bridge to the harbourside of Darling Harbour.  And sunddenly a taxi boat crossing the line in front of Opera House. Sydney offers varians transportation and another first time experience to see a taxi boat 🙂


Sydney taxi boat in front of Opera House

We also went to Queen Victoria Building, Town Hall, St Andrew’s Cathedral, Chinesse Friendship Garden with the Koi Pool also goes to the Powerhouse Museum and we ended up at China for Lunch.


Queen Victoria Building


Caption in front of ABC News Building Australian Television Channel

I went home for early rest coz the next day we are going to explore Canberra. Consequently I missed the moment of visiting Manly and Bondi Beaches 😦

In the wake of my long rest, I had full energy to drive to Canberra. The drive to Canberra is easy and scenic, there are plenty of places along the way to rest, refuel and revice. It takes 3.5 hours drive from Sydney to Canberra.


Sydney Canberra Highway

Along the way to Canberra, we were passing the old Hume Highway through picturesque Mittagong, Bowral, Moss Vale and Sutton Forest.

Entering the Capital City Of Australia, we went to the Tourism Office to get some map and brochures. Than we continue to see the Australian War Memorial, one of the world’s great museums.


Canberra Australia War Memorial

It is also the premier archive and centre for research into the history of Australian involvement in War. The Memorial commemorates the service and sacrifice of all Australian men and women in wartime.

Across the museum we could have a look od the Parliement building beyond the Anzac Parade. Anzac parade is the Australian National Capital’s major commemorative way. Memorials dedicated to Australian and New Zealand service people who’ve fought and died in war line the length of the parade.


Screenshoot from google, up view of Australia War Memorial in line with Anzac Parade to the Australia Parliament Building

We also went to the Parliement House and Camberra Museum Art and Gallery.


Australia Parliament Building which has public access to watch closer from the balcony


Canberra Art Musemun and Gallery

As well as to the Indonesian Embassy



Take your own trip and make a journal of it. You will value the moment you spent with friends and the places you visit.

Enjoy it! Never get too busy making a living so you forget to make a life….

Get your own unique experiences… Chiaooooo


Ps. Collecting resources of text and photos

Weekend in Melbourne

“Let’s just buy the ticket Vi, very cheap,” said Rinie.

Although we didn’t know whether we could use the ticket or not, both Rinie and I bought the return ticket to Melbourne.

That’s happened not just once when we want to travel with limited budget. Especially as a student, they even offer us some backpacker program for cheap travelling.

Close to the time, I contacted my friend whom living in Melbourne wondering if we could get a space in their place during our visit. This often happened to  reduce a spending on accomodation hehehehe.

When they agreed, we finally decided to take the journey. Both Rinie and I went to Melbourne by flight and continue taking the train from Melbourne airport to the city. Finally I met my fb friend.


Welcome to Melbourne

It was windy and we took the bus for city sightseeing. We stopped at the Victoria’s market and it is recomended for exploring.


Melbourne City Sightseeing


Second day, we went to rent rent a car and take a trip to see the snow at Mount Buller. An easy three hour drive from Melbourne, Mt Buller is the most accessible major snow resort in Australia and a premier ski destination for snow enthusiasts from across the nation and around the world.


I touch the snow ice at Mt. Buller, Victoria, Australia

It felt great, to see the real white snow and touch the ice for the first time. We didn’t have much time for skiing but still, we were playing on the ground. Besides we were told to leave the mountain before the snow fall because our car didn’t equipped with the tire chain and it will be slippery with the snow on the road.


Snow play area for beginners

On the way back, we took a small trip to Souvereign Hill and former goldminee Ballarat. Sovereign Hill is just like stepping back in time to gold rush Ballarat during the 1850s. From the hustle and bustle of Main Street where costumed ladies and gents parade their new-found wealth, to the excitement of the Red Hill Gully Diggings where visitors pan for real gold and it’s ‘finders keepers’!


Visiting the gold mining Ballarat

Visitors can see a $150,000 gold pour, ride in a horse-drawn carriage and watch street performers, including the Redcoat Soldiers who march and drill before firing their muskets. Along Main Street, there are shops selling 1850s-style goods, hotels and schools to visit, and a theatre with goldfields entertainment.

For the adventurous, there are underground mine tours with an inclined tramway ride. And those with a special interest in 19th century trades can chat with our skilled craftsmen at work in the blacksmith’s forge, the candle works, the wheelwright’s plant, the coachbuilder’s and the confectionery factory Sovereign Hill entry also includes entry to the Gold Museum which displays a beautiful exhibition of gold and Ballarat history.

It’s almost dark when we left Ballarat. It’s a valuable tour for me, gave me some idea that although the nickel mining company closed in Sorowako one day, it will not bring the death city in, if we could turn the factory into the tourism purposes.

In Ballarat, even the community services attracted tourists for taking a pictures with the gown, with the cooking equipment, even with the mining uniform.

A short visit but means a lot to me.


Kaulah Jiwaku

Mungkin selama ini
Aku hanya nyanyian bagimu
Senandungmu riang kala kau bahagia
Senandungmu syahdu kala kau tergugah
Senandungmu merdu kala kau bersahaja
Bahkan terkadang
Senandungmu anjriiiiitttttt merusak gendang telinga
Dengan segala sumpah serapah

Tapi sekarang aku bukan hanya milikmu
Setelah kau putuskan untuk memberi label padaku
Pun aku tak peduli lagi
Meski kau sesak dengan air mata

Nyanyianmu telah hilang
Senada dengan denting dawai di malam hari
Seirama dengan debur imbak di pasir putih
Bahkan segemerisik air yang jatuh ke dasar kolam

Rantingmu telah patah
Kini kau hanya bisa terpaku
Nyanyianmu telah sumbang
Kemilau itu telah meradang dan menyatu pada diriku
Kini aku bebas menapaki sayapku

Tapi kau tahu…
Ku menantimu di penghujung malam
Karena rinduku dan hatiku hanya untukmu…
Kasihku, belahan jiwaku…
Panggil aku kembali dan sebut namaku abadi
Karena aku akan selamanya menjadi nyanyianmu


Sent from Samsung Mobile

New Life Started from Gold Coast

I left my country, Indonesia by mid night from Denpasar international airport. Transit at Melbourne airport and changed flight to Gold Coast. Around 9 am, my flight arrived


Australian Immigration stamp on arrival

at Coolangatta Airport, New South Wales, Australia. ‘Bismillahirrahmanirrahim, In the name of Allah SWT, my life will starts here and I’ll be home with dignity, Insha Allah,’ the words of mine.

When we were about landing at Coolangatta airport, I have the idea that I’m about landing at Sorowako airport, because before it landed, the flight made the same turning above the water during the preparation for landing. The different is that Sorowako has the lake and Gold Coast has the sea.


Gold Coast Airport formerly named Coolangata Airport

I didn’t feel too much strange since the airport is small and easy to access. I took my luggage and noticed a standing man with holding my name on the paper. I approached him and found out that he was the driver from university who will drop me to my homestay parents. We were waiting for another Korean’s friend which is also going to the same university as mine.

I came to Gold Coast for study at Griffith University majoring Master in Business Event Management. Basically, the reasons I took this course based on my main responsibilities working as a Public Affairs Officer at Nickel Mining Company, PT. INCO Tbk back in my hometown, Sorowako, South Sulawesi, Indonesia.


Giving an explanation to the guests

I used to do guest handlings as well as organizing various company events along with the administrations of each events.


Break after completing Sunda Market event in Sorowako

Although some people said I was stupid to leave the company, however, I saw it in a different way. I realize that being accepted as an employee of an international company will brought proud in our society, but frankly I see a brighter future by taking the chance to further my study abroad as well as having the experience to live in a different cultural life. I am more excited to meet the difference, learning new things in life, curious for the new achievement in life, not looking for a settlement life yet.

I believe, successes is about achievement. We must think out of the box to see our own limit. We must take one step beyond to measures our competence. We must digged dipper in our heart to see our potentiality. We already have the power in life through physical and mental spiritual competence and it depends us to using it or not.

I found many people uses their arrogances to limit their potency. I could stay still in my hometown, working as an employee for another two years, but what will I be end up next? Will I get promoted, will I do the same things as today, or will I moved to a different section, hopefully not loosing the job for sure.

So I decided to use another two years of my youth, to see a different part of the world, to witnesses the power of how the Al Mighty rules the world, to find the unexplored side of my life, and definitely to enjoy my youth 😀

I also believe, life is about balance and my life in Sorowako was unbalanced. I lived surounds by the black clouds. Loosing someone you trully love, could effects your whole life, so I need to move on. I need to changed! And I need the revolution inside me.

Oalah… here I am, taking a deep breath, shaking the new life starting from Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.


Welcome to Gold Coast billboard

It takes about an hour to reach my homestay house, a townhouse secured by gated complex at Arundel Drive. I suddenly falling in love with this complex. It has a swimming pool and tennis court.


Swimming pool at Arundel Complex

Judith Bell, my homestay mother waited for me, she showed me a little white room that she prepared for me and around the house. She also took me for a drive and showed me where to take and get off from a bus to uni, home, mosque and harbour town shopping centre.


Harbour Town Fruit Barn

We also organized the time schedule as I started to learn that she is an organized woman, based on her job as a personal assistance. She works in details and it fits me. She even organize my weekly meals, such as healthy food during the week, Asian food for Thursday, junk food for Friday and free meals during weekend.

Why homestay in my age? Why not stay at Uni Dormitory or an apartment. I had that question from few friends. It simple. I’m new to the environment. I know no one before I came to Gold Coast. I came with La haula wala kuwwata illa billah – I submit my life and death to the Al-Mighty.

Stay with a homestay family means being accepted in a new family to learn the environment, to be introducing to family and friends, to be introducing to the new habit and culture which is sometimes tricky in life. Because a homestay program offering parents reaponsibilities during the new student adaptation phase.

Off course, it is easier and its more free to stay at the uni dorm or apartment but for me, a lot more easier to learn about Australia from the Australian family. How they organized things, how they get involved in the society, how they think, act and do, as well as how they daily life activities.

I became an observer for the first week. I let Judith did most, drove me to uni, dove me to mosque, drove me to  harbourtown, drove me to Australia Fair, Southport and surrounds until I get my student card and took the bus everywhere.

After 6 weeks, I moved from Judith’s house and stayed with aunty Nadira at Olsen Avenue. Nothing much different from my previous house only this house is closer to the mosque and Harbourtown where I work.


Aunty Nadira and I after Shalah Eid’

I started to make friends in the class. I attended an international class with mostly Asian student, such as from Japan, Korean and China. We also have friends from Taiwan, Thailand, Philipine, Brazil, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE.


New Friends, New Life

Aftet finishing 10 weeks English Class at Griffith English Language School (GELI) at Australia Fair, Southporth, I took an exams and accepted as a bridging course student, Bachelor in Business. I should took the bridging course in bachelor business because I need the base to enter the master degree in Business since my previous bachelor in Communication, social and political science.


Ice Breaker


Alhamdulillah, I could passed all the exams and further my study to the next level until I got the degree.


Sulvi on Graduation Ceremony after completing Master in Event Management at Griffith University, QLD, Australia





Off course it was not easy to get to the end. Especially student like me, who came to Australia based on faith. No perfect English, No schoolarship, no wealthy family to support, nothing to depend on to. I should fight for my self. Besides completing my degree, I should work for financing my self.



Harbour town co-worker

Luckily I met lots of kind hearted friend whom willing to accepted me the way I was and helped me get through all the difficulties. To pay all the bills, I had to work in two different jobs; a store attendant and a housekeeper. I was not easy but I had to pay my study and my life which was not cheap and there is no shame on that.


Sophia and I were holding an Australian flag during the celebration of Australian Day



I found it different in my country. The working habits of Australia is more than in Indonesia. People threated sequently. You get paid for what you did. Though some of my friends working during the week to get some party funds for the weekend, but still, they did the work to earn the money.



New friends I met at Gold Coast Mosque

Its also valuable to get accepted in the environment. No matter where we go, we will always meet someone new. In Gold Coast, I also get along with some Moslem friends. Mostly we met at the Gold Coast Mosque. I even met some Indonesian friends through the mosque, since there are not many Indonesian living in Gold Coast. Most Indonesian lives in the city such as Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.


Eid Celebration at Gold Coast Mosque

Certainly, my life in Australia was not only about study and work, but also travelling, party and having fun as well as having more experinced by voluntering an event such as International Gold Coast Marathon, Gold Coast Triathlon, Gold Coast Restaurant and Catering Gathering, also attending performances and welcoming honour guests.


Volunteering at Gold Coast Restaurant and Catering Gathering


Volunteering at International Gold Coast Marathon


Sulvi, Rini, Nare (left-right) attending Hanidi’s wedding in Brisbane


KKSS welcoming Governor South Sulawesi at Griffith University, Nathan Campus, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


Guests visit from Sorowako at Wildlife Currumbin Sanctuary Gold Coast


Volunteering at Gold Coast Triathlon






















You may means no one for someone else but you are your self and you decided what you wanna be, when and where you wanna go, with whom, and how you wanna be. It’s your choice ‘coz it’s your life!

Just remember, be accepted and you’ll enjoy it more than expected! 😀