Remembering Australia (part 1/?)

I’m finally getting around to organizing the photos from my trips these past few years in preparation for finally getting them printed in their respective photo books. The process is both time-consuming and rewarding. The one I’m working on now is for a trip to Australia in 2010, where my friend and co-worker Rima and I attended a conference in Townsville, went on a post-conference field trip to Cairns, then flew back to Sydney for some R&R. It wasn’t my first time in Australia (visited Sydney and the Gold Coast in 2005) but it was my first trip abroad with a friend instead of family.

Our itinerary was pretty packed:

Day 01 – Manila-Singapore, layover in Singapore, leave Singapore in the evening
Day 02 – arrive in Sydney in the morning, transfer to Townsville, conference meet-and-greet
Day 03 – conference proper, dinner at The Cultural Centre
Day 04 – off-site session (I got to snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef!), dinner at the hotel banquet hall
Day 05 – conference proper, dinner at the the Billabong Sanctuary
Day 06 – conference proper, farewell dinner
Day 07 – post-conference trip to the Cardwell Bush Telegraph Heritage Centre and the Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walkway on our way up to Cairns
Day 08 – snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef with Quicksilver Cruises
Day 09 – Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park
Day 10 – fly to Sydney, visit the Sydney Aquarium
Day 11 – the Sydney Opera House (of course!), the Sydney Fish Market, and The Rocks
Day 12 – Wild Life Sydney (it was still Sydney Wildlife World when we visited), Sydney Tower, Manly, and Darling Harbour
Day 13 – fly back to Manila via Singapore. Awww 🙁

Day 01: Singapore

Rima gave me free reign over our entire itinerary (MWAHAHAH!) so I chose the Singapore Airlines flight with an 8-hour layover in Singapore before proceeding to Sydney. Why the heck would anyone choose to have a long layover? Because Changi Airport is freaking awesome, that’s why 😛

  • They offer free city tours to folks with layovers of 5 hours or more (my main reason for wanting the long stay).
  • They have a bajilion duty free shops and restaurants.
  • They have shower areas! And free Wi-Fi! And free computer stations! (I got to shower and change before the Singapore-Sydney leg.)
  • They have a butterfly garden, movie theaters, and super comfy couches. And a giant slide. Did I mention the giant slide?


Day 02 – Townsville!