Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Best of 2014 Near-Normal Travels

We’ve had lots of adventures this year and it is fun to remember the best ones. Here are our top picks (four carrots or better) for lodging, food and activities with links to the particular blogs entries from which they were chosen. Because this is the first year of our blog, we spent some time trying to standardize our entries; that's why some reviews are difficult to find. From this blog, you can easily go to the original posts. The Near-Normal Travelers hope you find this information interesting and entertaining. Happy New Year and happy travels!


Where we stayed…


Five Carrots

Moor of Rannoch Hotel, Rannoch Station, Scotland PH17 2QA (April 15, 2014; we should have stayed a week) – The two people running the place, Steph and Scot, are great. Both are personable, helpful, and accommodating. They are sincerely concerned about their
King room
guests and make every effort to keep them well fed, entertained, and comfortable. We had a lovely room, with a great view of the moors and of the deer that roam there. We both loved the instant hot water in the en suite bathroom, but DM wanted a shower curtain around the tub. A hair dryer was available. The food was excellent! They provided an inspired menu for dinner (optional) and for breakfast. Since I have food allergies, Steph made sure that I had several selections and what I ate was outstanding. Since they are located at the end of the railroad and at the end of the paved road there was plenty of free parking; however, they do have a private area for their guests. This place is remote (only 6 people live there permanently) and you won’t have internet, TV or cell phone and they tell you that on their website. Go to this place and experience the moors. You can get there by driving, walking (if you’re sturdy), or taking the train. We are recommending this place to everyone we know. When we are back in Great Britain we will make a special trip to stay here, again. The Moor of Rannoch Hotel is well worth the cost to stay there. For a complete description of the area, see Wowzers.

Four and one-half Carrots

Daviot Guest House, Ayr, Scotland KA7 1DU (April 14, 2014) – This guest house is all around excellent. Linda and Silvio are great hosts and we would go back in a flash. The
Twin room
room was very comfortable with great beds with a wonderfully large bathroom (private but down the hall and with a hairdryer) and a fresh bath robe to wear. The internet was blazing fast and free. There was lots of parking on the street in front of the guest house. Breakfast was excellent, served formally at a long family-style table. Along with brown and white toast and the hot breakfast we ordered from the menu, there were ample ‘cold’ breakfast offerings (juices, milk, cereals, fruit, yogurt). We had great conversations with both Linda and Silvio about Ayr and about our family backgrounds. This was a great place and an excellent value. For a complete description of the area, see Of patron saints, Miss Potter, and lawn mowers.


Rottnest Lodge is housed in the old prison. Inside everything has been modernized and decorated to welcome guests. There is a nice sized seating area near the well-stocked bar, as well as tables and chairs in the hotel courtyard. Trees and umbrellas provide shade, so
Twin room
this is a great place to take a break from hiking around the island. The room we stayed in was large with comfortable beds and windows looking out over one of the trails. The bathroom was nearly perfect; the exception was that the shower tended to send water out onto the floor in the rest of the bathroom. The desk clerks were helpful and polite. Your bags are brought from the ferry and delivered to your room, so there is no bother about hauling them up the hill. The bags will also be picked up and returned to the ferry, but this must be done early in the morning. If you have carry-on bags, there is a secure storage area available at no charge. For a complete description of the area, see Qute Quokkas and Rottnest Island Lodging, Food and Activities Review.

Four Carrots

Edinburgh House, Edinburgh, Scotland EH7 4LX (April 19 – 21, 2014) – This quirky B&B
Queen and double beds in King room
was fun to stay in because of the great owner/hostess, her exceptionally kind assistant, her classy dad and Lucy, her cute cat. Because of Edinburgh traffic laws, parking was an issue. We had to either park down a very small street about a block away from the B&B or put money in a parking meter between 8:30AM and 5:30PM. The B&B is in a good location, quite walkable from the major attractions in the city. The room was a nice size, with the glass shower stall completely separate from the bathroom; there was a heavy duty hairdryer. Breakfast was great. This was the only place that we had fresh fruit other than grapefruit and oranges. The Scottish porridge was exceptionally good. On the morning when she had a full house, Mirella’s dad cooked breakfast and did a superb job. It was great fun visiting with him and finding out about how the B&B was run. It was also nice to have Easter eggs ‘hidden’ under our inverted coffee cups on Easter morning. The internet was quite good and the method for getting online was posted in several areas so you didn’t have to hunt for it. This was a good value for the cost. For a complete description of the area, see Playing Scottish Chess, Odds and Ends, and Making history and movies.


Abbey House Bed and Breakfast, Penrith, England CA11 8HR (April 13, 2014) – This B&B is exceptionally well decorated; our bedroom had a beautiful Poppy décor. This was a
Twin room
good room, comfortable and clean with an en suite bathroom and hair dryer. The owners were pleasant and they had cute, polite children who were not afraid to greet everyone who arrived. Although we arrived while they were giving the children their supper, the owners offered to help us unload our bags, showed us to our room and made sure we were comfortable. The free WiFi service was good. Parking is free and on the street in front of the establishment. We were given a breakfast menu to choose from and dined in a pretty, sunny room at small tables near another couple who was from Scotland. The food was good and plentiful with white and brown toast as an appetizer; there was a ‘cold’ breakfast (juices, milk, cereals, fruit, yogurt) available along with the hot foods we ordered. This was an excellent value for the amount we paid. For a complete description of the area, see Magical Places.


Bailey’s Motel, 150 Bennett Street, 6004 Perth, +61 8 9220 9555 is in a great location for
Double and twin beds room
walking to several sites or for driving around Perth. The location is in a neighborhood that serves young professionals, so there are some wonderful restaurants within walking distance, as well as a grocery store. The room was large with an alcove type kitchen and eating area. The bathroom was okay, but neither heated nor cooled. WiFi was free and in the room IF you had a reservation through Booking.com. However, my WiFi was cut off at exactly the same time it had first been activated on the day before we checked out; I found that very frustrating. There was a charge to have it re-activated for another six hours. For a complete description of the area, see Hopping to Perth and Perth Lodging, Food, and Activities Review.


The Mariners’ Court Hotel, 44-50 McElhone Street, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011 is a wonderful place to stay. The people running the place are truly concerned about their guests and were very helpful in getting us breakfast (free) upon our arrival, taking care of our bags
Twin room
while I went to buy clothes, and recommending easily walkable places to visit that wouldn’t wear us out since we’d just gotten off of the plane. The hotel was once housing for naval cadets and some of the furnishings show this military décor. Our room was very comfortable with a great little balcony overlooking a church and surrounded by plants. The internet was free and blazing fast. The shower was good, with plenty of hot water; there was also a rubbish bin in the bathroom as well as in the bedroom. Breakfasts, which were included in our room fee, were excellent; scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, beans and sautéed mushrooms were the hot offerings. There was also a plentiful supply of breads for toasting, fresh fruit, and cereals. The coffee was great! From the hotel we could easily walk to most of the places we wanted to visit and it was but a short stroll to catch public transportation. For a complete description of the area, see Singing in Sydney and Sydney Reviews.



King room
The Travelodge Airport, Hobart, 1 Holyman Avenue, Cambridge Tasmania 7170, +61 3 6248 3555 has a great group of people who are super helpful. I emailed them with a concern and they responded immediately; they even told us how to get to the hotel on a free shuttle. The room was great with free, high-speed WiFi. Breakfast was passable; basically it was cereal, toast, or muffins with coffee and juice. The next morning one of the desk clerks drove us to the car rental office at no charge.  For a complete description of the area, see Raining with a Chance of Sheep and Tasmania Lodging, Food and Activities Reviews.4 

The West Coaster Motel, Batchelor Street, Queenstown 7467, +61 3 6471 1033 provided a great room, super internet (cheap, but free if you book online), and a guest laundry. There is
Twin room
also a nice restaurant and a bar. We wondered why we were asked to make reservations for dinner immediately; then the tour bus arrived as did a lot of other travelers. Evidently this is a popular place. For a complete description of the area, see Raining with a Chance of Sheep and Tasmania Lodging, Food and Activities Reviews.







Grange on Farrelly Margaret River Motel (18 Farrelly Street, Margaret River 62825, +61 8 9757 3177) was a funky, older place set up in duplex cabins around a central garden area.
Double and Twin room
The birds (and there are a lot of them) are not any more cooperative than any others we've tried to photograph. Although the garden isn’t ready for close inspection, I did spot a bunny in the underbrush. We had a huge room (Superior Twin) with, hooray, two trash cans, free internet, and a coffee maker; the beds were good, too. There's a 'balcony' sort of arrangement between the two rooms with tables and chairs; this overlooks the garden. For a complete description of the area, see Rolling on the River and Margaret River Lodging, Food, and Activities Review.



What we ate…
 
Five Carrots
Moor of Rannoch Hotel Restaurant was simply amazing. Steph, the chef, checks with hotel guests prior to their arrival to make sure that menus are adapted to avoid food
Breakfast cooked or order
allergies while showcasing fresh, local ingredients. Dinner and breakfast rivaled the best meals I have ever eaten. The dinner menu changes every day so that there is always something new to try. Steph and Scot provide excellent service in an absolutely unique atmosphere.





Four and one-half Carrots

Joe’s Fish Shack, 42 Mews Road, Fremantle 6160, +61 8 9336 7161 is fish restaurant in Fremantle in which we ate 'something light'. Dave had a gallon of fish chowder that he has
L: Shrimp; R: Chowder
not stopped extolling the virtues of and I had a skewer of very tasty shrimp with about a pound of coleslaw on the side. The shrimp were actually tender and moist despite the fact that they were cooked on a barbecue grill. For a complete description of the area, see Hopping to Perth and Perth Lodging, Food, and Activities Review.








Aquarium Seafood Chinese Restaurant, 202 Great Eastern Highway, Ascot (Perth) 6104,
Seafood and fruit plates
+61 8 9478 1868; I had the almond and cashew seafood and Dave had seafood chow mien with crispy noodles. Both were loaded with fresh, tender shrimp, scallops, calamari, muscles, and fish sautéed in a light sauce with lots of vegetables. The dishes were amazing and the service was very good. The waiters were available at a glance from either of us, willing to refill glasses, take plates, and bring anything we required. The restaurant is well decorated with thought given to the way the décor and menu design complement each other. My only complaint was that I couldn’t read the menu in the low light, particularly because it is on silver paper with colored print. For a complete description of the area, see Hopping to Perth and Perth Lodging, Food, and Activities Review.

Man O’Ross Hotel Restaurant, 35 Church Street, Ross, 7209, +61 3 6381 5445 was excellent. Dave had an Angus burger which he said was very good and the chips were
Burger and scallops
delightfully crunchy. The lettuce, tomato, beetroot, and onion were crisp and tasty. The ketchup could have been homemade with its wonderful sweet-hot flavor. I had scallops, evidently one of the typical dishes for the area. They were ‘crumbled’ (lightly breaded) and fried and they were fabulous! The cook actually knows what he/she is doing with shellfish. The scallops weren’t overcooked – fresh, tender, wonderful. The tartar sauce was homemade, a bit sweet with a touch of horseradish. Vegetables in the slaw were fresh; it was apparent that this was homemade, as well. My food was so good I didn’t pay any attention to what Dave was eating, nor did I try to steal any of his lunch. For a complete description of the area, see Raining with a Chance of Sheep and Tasmania Lodging, Food and Activities Reviews.

The food at the Bough House Restaurant was the best we had at Ayres Rock Resort and
Kangaroo steak
comparable to the best we’ve had anywhere. Dave ordered emu and kangaroo fettuccini with a tomato sauce base. It was well prepared and had a good flavor; no one ingredient overwhelmed any other. Mine, the kangaroo steak with a red wine reduction sauce, carrots, broccoli and potato, was outstanding. If I close my eyes I can still taste the tangy sauce. A dessert bar was included with dinner and featured the usual cheesecake squares along with fresh fruit and some more exotic offerings that presented nuts and wattle in interesting confections. While they had an extensive wine list highlighting Australian wines (which I usually order), I chose pear cider. I've decided pear cider is as good choice as wine ~ sometimes better when the weather is exceptionally hot. Service was excellent although our waitress was just learning food service skills. For a complete description of the area, see All around the Rock and Ayers Rock Resort Review.

Andrew Fish, who checked us into our hotel, is also the chef and he's really ‘good at food’. The steaks at The 1885 Restaurant (18 Farrelly Street, Margaret River 62825, +61 8 9757
Dessert and steak
3177) were reasonably priced, well-marbled and flavorful with mixed, fresh vegetables that had been gently steamed and real mashed potatoes. Our chef chatted with us about what we wanted, the prepared a wonderful meal. We ate ourselves silly then had dessert ~ basically vanilla ice cream set on a bed of dark chocolate pieces with a raspberry sauce sort of drizzled around the plate. The setting and the food were very nice and a great way to begin our visit in Margaret River. For a complete description of the area, see Rolling on the River and Margaret River Lodging, Food, and Activities Review. 


Four Carrots

After a day of playing on beaches, following dirt roads and climbing trees, we had an early
Hot dog and a burger
dinner at the Settlers Tavern (114 Bussell Highway, Margaret River 6285, +61 8 9757 2398). Andrew Fish, chef at our hotel, previously worked here and recommended the food. I had one of the best hot dogs I'd ever had ~ pork sausage on a fresh made bun that was a lot like a small French loaf with ‘American mustard’ and barbecue sauce. Dave had a burger that he said was pretty good. Although we ordered and paid at the bar, servers came around to bring condiments and to check on our enjoyment of the food. For a complete description of the area, see Rolling on the River and Margaret River Lodging, Food, and Activities Review.

We had dinner at Royal Siam Thai Restaurant, 33/82, Royal Street, East Perth 6004, +61 8 9218 8838, that smelled a bit like armpits when we first walked in but served surprisingly
Noodles and curry
good food. The Pad Thai was lovely, although not as good as Sea Siam’s (Keller, Texas). Dave liked his green curry; it had a bit of a sweet taste. Luckily he did tell them to make it light on the spice; it made my eyes water when I tasted it. For a complete description of the area, see Hopping to Perth and Perth Lodging, Food, and Activities Review.






At the Viet Royal, 81 Royal Street, East Perth 6004, +61 8 9211 2388 Dave had a version of sweet/sour chicken that he said was very nicely prepared. I had a beef dish that sounded
Plates of Asian food
tasty but mild; was I wrong! It had beef, mint leaves, basil, young corn, and bamboo shoots in a sauce that was blazing with red pepper flakes. There was also some roki bread ~ looks like crepes that have been pan fried. Once my eyeballs quit sweating I decided that the food was all really good. Service was friendly and efficient. For a complete description of the area, see Hopping to Perth and Perth Lodging, Food, and Activities Review.




Cicerello’s, 44 Mews Road, Fremantle 6160, +61 8 9335 1911 is an old-time fish market turned restaurant. The noise level is deafening because of the wooden floors, ceilings and walls and the metal tables and chairs. There were also about a bazillion people eating,
Restaurant tanks and fish
although the line in which we stood to order our meal moved really quickly, on this particular Saturday at lunch. I suspect that it is always crowded. We both had fish and chips, but mine was barramundi and Dave’s was yellow-tail fish (not tuna). The fish and the fries were crispy and hot, needing no additional seasoning. We did stop, before we left, to look in the enormous fish tanks that divide the main seating area from the food lines. There were a number of saltwater fish these well maintained tanks; there are also critters, including an octopus with the reputation of oozing its way into other tanks for a midnight snack of small fish. For a complete description of the area, see Hopping to Perth and Perth Lodging, Food, and Activities Review.




Café Bellavista Restaurant & Pizzeria, Bailey’s Motel, 150 Bennett Street, East Perth
Top: Breakfast
Bottom: Dinner
6004, +61 8 9220 9560 is associated with the hotel and serves meals all day. The breakfast was substantial and very tasty. Dave had a stack of pancakes with fresh fruit and chocolate. I had eggs Benedict that was delightful; eggs cooked to my specifications on a lovely piece of toasted panni with prosciutto. Dinner was also exceptional. The tortellini was made in-house, the ziti was cooked perfectly and the sauces were adapted to our dietary requirements. The waiters and waitresses were attentive and very fast. Our orders were taken at our table, but we went to the bar to pay. For a complete description of the area, see Hopping to Perth and Perth Lodging, Food, and Activities Review.

Antico Caffe, 3/81 Royal Street, East Perth 6004, +61 8 9221 8222 is another great Italian restaurant within three blocks of Bailey’s Motel. Dave and I shared garlic bread and chicken
Wine, chicken and dessert
breasts stuffed with shrimp in a mushroom sauce. For dessert we had a poached pear ~ poached in wine and cinnamon. It was oh so good! The waiter was from Naples and had been in Australia seven years; he's starting his own restaurant in January with an all Italian staff. One of the waitresses and I had a conversation in Italian ~ she said something, I said something and perhaps we communicated. In any case it was good fun. For a complete description of the area, see Hopping to Perth and Perth Lodging, Food, and Activities Review.


Dinner was very good and the restaurant in Rottnest Lodge is lovely. The seared scallops were wonderful; putting them on a piece of sausage and drizzling a sweet and savory sauce
Dinner and breakfast plates
over them was inspired. The only problem with this was that the sausages were like hockey pucks; a bad contrast to the delectable scallops. Dave had seafood risotto which was very well prepared. Whoever is cooking the seafood knows what he/she is doing; even that in the risotto was not overcooked. My main dish was mushrooms over asparagus which was fairly well prepared. The vegetables were well cooked with a hint of sweet. Unfortunately they were on some sort of chili sauce that was much too hot for the delicate flavors of the veggies. Breakfast, which comes with your room, was very good. The eggs, meats and fruits were fresh and well prepared. Of course, coffee, tea and fruit juices accompany breakfast.
For a complete description of the area, see Qute Quokkas and Rottnest Island Lodging, Food and Activities Review.

Aristo’s is right on Thompson Bay, so you have a good view of the boats coming in and
Aristo's
out, as well as of the tourists and shore birds. Service was relatively quick and polite. Dave and I shared a fish sandwich that was delicious. The bread was homemade and the fish was fresh. For a complete description of the area, see Qute Quokkas and Rottnest Island Lodging, Food and Activities Review.








Olivo Harborside on Darling Harbor was a great place for a refreshing adult beverage. The
Cider and beer
waitress was most pleasant and efficient. Our drinks were cold and her recommendations were right on target. She also did not rush us away when we’d finished and were simply people watching and planning our next excursion. For a complete description of the area, see Singing in Sydney and Sydney Reviews.








The best bargain going is the Chinese Friendship Garden. You can have a very nice lunch (sandwich or quiche + drink + dessert) and your entry fee for $16AU. The entry alone was
Sandwich and quiche
$6AU, so that made lunch $10AU which is really good here! To top it off, the food was really good. We needed the hot tea, as well as the warm quiche and sandwich. For a complete description of the area, see Singing in Sydney and Sydney Reviews.










Our favorite place to eat in Sydney was the Frisco Hotel Restaurant, 46 Dowling Street,
Seafood dinner
Woolloomooloo NSW 2011. On the main floor is a pub, but upstairs is a really great restaurant. For just about what we paid for lunch at the zoo we had a Frisco Seafood Platter for Two ~ four grilled shrimp, four fried calamari rings, three grilled calamari steaks, and two huge beer-battered fish filets. The cook knows how to prepare seafood! We went back nightly for local beer (a different type each night), Grilled Barramundi Burger, Big ‘Frisco’ Burger, and Antipasto Platter. For a complete description of the area, see Singing in Sydney and Sydney Reviews.

Julie and Patrick’s, 2 Alexander Terrace, Stanley 7331, +61 3 6458 1103 had been a finalist in the Best of the Beach food competition. If they didn’t win, I really want to eat at the
Seafood lunch
restaurant that did! Dave had prawns in garlic cream sauce and I had crayfish (rock lobster) in a ‘mild curry sauce’. Both were fantastic. Thankfully, we were given spoons so that we could scoop up all of the delicious sauces. Service was friendly and prompt. The waitress was happy to visit with customers while paying careful attention to everyone’s needs. Had we been in the area longer we would have been back to try other items on the menu. For a complete description of the area, see Raining with a Chance of Sheep and Tasmania Lodging, Food and Activities Reviews.

Dinner at Sails in the Desert can be in the formal dining room, and is much like breakfast in
Cheese plate and burger
that there is a cook to prepare certain foods while other items are chosen from a buffet. We wanted to sit down and be served, so we ate at the Walpa Lobby Bar. I had a great cheese plate with chunks of bleu, cheddar and brie cheese. The nuts and sweet wattle jelly complimented the cheese quite well.  Dave had a hamburger that was pretty substantial. The beef had no hard pieces of gristle and the vegetables (lettuce, tomato, beet root, onion) on the bun were fresh. The chips (French fries) were hot and crisp. Home fries (chunks of potatoes) were also crisp and served with sour cream and hot, sweet chili jelly. Here, as well as most other restaurants, you have to ask for ketchup. We also had to ask for our water glasses to be refilled. For a complete description of the area, see All around the Rock and Ayers Rock Resort Review.

Each day we had breakfast in the Ilkari Restaurant. I opted to include breakfast with the hotel room charge rather than wandering around looking for something to eat prior to having
Eggs Benedict
coffee. The Ilkari Restaurant has cooks preparing eggs, pancakes, French toast and omelets on demand. The rest of the buffet, with fresh bread, fruit, cereals, sushi, salad, cheese, nuts, dried fruit and prepared meats was pretty good, too. David wasn’t enamored with the French pressed coffee, but there was an abundance of fruit juices and hot tea available. I thought it was odd that we continuously had to ask for refills of our water. For a complete description of the area, see All around the Rock and Ayers Rock Resort Review.









What we did…
 
Five Carrots
Saint Melangell is the patron saint of hares, rabbits, other small animals and the environment. At the end of a long, winding, one-lane road in Wales is Pennant Melangell, one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever been. For a complete description of the area, see Of patron saints, Miss Potter, and lawn mowers.

Sydney Opera House Tour but without our tour guide Alex I’d only give it 4 ½ carrots. This is well worth the price of the tour. For a complete description of the area, see Singing in Sydney and Sydney Reviews.

Four and one-half Carrots

Caversham Wildlife Park is a great place to actually interact with Australian animals. For a complete description of the area, see Hopping to Perth and Perth Lodging, Food, and Activities Review.

For me, the most magical locale near London was in Leavesden. For 10 years the cast and crew of the Harry Potter movies literally lived at Warner Brothers Studio. It’s worth the price to go on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter. For a complete description of the area, see Magical Places.

Montezuma Falls, near Rosebery, is the tallest waterfall in Tasmania. For a complete description of the area, see Raining with a Chance of Sheep and Tasmania Lodging, Food and Activities Reviews.

Old Bodleian Library is extraordinary. The quadrangle in front of the library is enclosed and is a lovely area to take photos of typical Oxford architecture. The librarians and readers have access to books published since the 1400s. For a complete description of the area, see Making history and movies.

Tasmanian Arboretum, near Devonport is a showplace for plants but you’ll also see a fair number of native animals. For a complete description of the area, see Raining with a Chance of Sheep and Tasmania Lodging, Food and Activities Reviews.

The Nut, a volcanic neck in Stanley, Tasmania is a great place to go for a hike and observe nature. For a complete description of the area, see Raining with a Chance of Sheep and Tasmania Lodging, Food and Activities Reviews.

Without a doubt Rosslyn Chapel was the most interesting and beautiful of all of the religious sites we visited. For a complete description of the area, see Wowzers.

Four Carrots

Australian National Maritime Museum allows visitors to walk onto a three-masted ship, a destroyer, and a submarine. For a complete description of the area, see Singing in Sydney and Sydney Reviews.

Aviation Heritage Museum is run by volunteers for the purpose of maintaining and displaying aircraft. For a complete description of the area, see Hopping to Perth and Perth Lodging, Food, and Activities Review.

Chinese Garden of Friendship is a lovely area near China Town within Sydney. For a complete description of the area, see Singing in Sydney and Sydney Reviews.

Female Factory in Ross provides historic information about convicts and the prison system. For a complete description of the area, see Raining with a Chance of Sheep and Tasmania Lodging, Food and Activities Reviews.

Hill Top Farm was Miss Potter’s place of refuge from her parents and city life. As she became wealthy from her writing, she was able to buy up more and more farms saving them from becoming fallow. For a complete description of the area, see Of patron saints, Miss Potter, and lawn mowers.

King's Park and Botanic Gardens, DNA tower and Firefighter’s Memorial are situated for beautiful views of the city. For a complete description of the area, see Hopping to Perth and Perth Lodging, Food, and Activities Review.

Like the moors, the Isle of Skye was ruggedly beautiful. Animals and people who live there have to be hearty. For a complete description of the area, see Wowzers.

National Botanic Gardens of Tasmania in Hobart is an historic gardens including an Antarctic plant exhibit. For a complete description of the area, see Raining with a Chance of Sheep and Tasmania Lodging, Food and Activities Reviews.

Perth Mint was established as a site for prospectors to bring their precious metal ore. For a complete description of the area, see Hopping to Perth and Perth Lodging, Food, and Activities Review.

Ross Bridge in Ross was built by convict labor.  For a complete description of the area, see Raining with a Chance of Sheep and Tasmania Lodging, Food and Activities Reviews.

Sheffield Murals in Sheffield is the history of the area taught through folk art. For a complete description of the area, see Raining with a Chance of Sheep and Tasmania Lodging, Food and Activities Reviews.

Tahune AirWalk near Geeveston allows you to hike through the tops of trees. For a complete description of the area, see Raining with a Chance of Sheep and Tasmania Lodging, Food and Activities Reviews.

Taronga Zoo is in one of the most beautiful settings in Sydney. The animal enclosures are nicely executed, making sure that the animals are quite comfortable. The food is really expensive for what you actually get. For a complete description of the area, see Singing in Sydney and Sydney Reviews.

The Cathedral of St Andrew must have been jaw-dropping when it was intact. As a ruin, it is overwhelming. For a complete description of the area, see Making history and movies.

The free tour to see the quokkas was great fun; our docent took time to tell us about plants and other wildlife, also. There are a variety of free, volunteer-led tours; take as many as your interest/time allows. For a complete description of the area, see Qute Quokkas and Rottnest Island Lodging, Food and Activities Review.

The Skye Museum of Island Life is a great example of early Scottish homes. For a complete description of the area, see Playing Scottish Chess.

The St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art has an unexpectedly broad representation of world religions.  For a complete description of the area, see Making history and movies.

The Tasmanian Wool Centre in Ross provides a history of the wool industry. For a complete description of the area, see Raining with a Chance of Sheep and Tasmania Lodging, Food and Activities Reviews.

Western Australian Museum includes thought-provoking exhibitions of Aboriginal culture. For a complete description of the area, see Hopping to Perth and Perth Lodging, Food, and Activities Review.

Western Australian Museum Shipwreck Galleries has very interesting displays of artifacts from ships wrecked off Australia’s coasts. For a complete description of the area, see Hopping to Perth and Perth Lodging, Food, and Activities Review.

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