2016 Photo Highlights: 4 Continents, 9 Countries, Lots of Transition

Mandala Suci Wenara Wana Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

In February, when both our girls said goodbye we wondered what our empty nest would be like. After 18 years of living, learning and travelling together as a homeschool family of four, would hubby and I have anything to talk about once the girls left? The answer is yes. We rose to the occasion, to […]

Grampians to Melbourne: Kangaroos, Skinks, Waterfalls and More

Bobtail Skink seen in the Grampians, Victoria, Australia

Waterfalls and wildlife, our days in the Grampians region were filled with natural beauty. Inland from Victoria’s southern Australian coast, Grampian National Park is a perfect base for exploration. Best shared in photos: Practical Information: The Grampians National Park is located in Victoria and is comprised of rugged sandstone mountain ranges and forests. We barely […]

J-Ward: Inside a Lunatic Asylum for the Criminally Insane

Main gate of J-Ward a lunatic asylum for the criminally insane i

I could feel a chill run down my spine as I walked through the corridors of J-Ward, a former gaol (jail), later transformed to a lunatic asylum for the criminally insane. Nestled in the small town of Ararat in Victoria Australia, J-Ward closed in 1991, and many former employees and patients still live nearby. Our guide was […]

A Convent Turned Luxury Hotel: Explore Australia’s Great Ocean Road (Part 3)

St Patrick's Luxury Botique Hotel in Korit, Australia

Looking up at the words  “Convent of St. Patrick” in the stained glass over the entry door, I had to wonder what I was doing here. In truth, my confusion began as we turned onto the drive and I looked up at the classic architecture while hubby announced, “this is where we are staying tonight.” […]

Discovering Street Art in Perth, Australia

Street art in Perth, Western Australia

It is the enormity of the street art in Perth that turned my head. Massive works of art appear on seemingly random buildings, mostly in laneways and alleyways. Unlike Melbourne street art that filled up every inch of the laneways it covered, the street art in Perth seems to focus on one image at a […]

Inside the Sydney Opera House: Touring an Australian Icon

Sydney Opera House

I love the look of the Sydney Opera House on a bright day, the white tile glistening against the blue background. This was our third trip to Sydney, and the first time we went inside the iconic Sydney Opera House. It wasn’t to see a show, although we were quite tempted to see My Fair […]

Cruising on the Swan River to Artistic Fremantle, Australia

Black swans are the namesake of the Swan River in Perth, Western Australia

Black swans dot the banks and give the Swan River her name according to the commentary on board the hour-long Captain Cook cruise from Perth to Fremantle in Western Australia (WA). It was a late spring day with a light breeze. The river sailing was smooth and the commentary identified key sights like the Royal […]

A Cow Parade and Other Interesting Sites in Perth Australia

Cow Parade in Perth, Western Australia

Perth was our port of disembarkation on our recent Royal Caribbean cruise, allowing us several days before we flew home. Our first time in Western Australia and of course we already want to return for a much more elaborate exploration of the region. We did have time for a city tour, a river cruise to Fremantle, a […]

Photos of Kings Park and Botanic Gardens in Perth Australia

Boab Tree in Kings Park and Botanic Gardens in Perth Australia

Western Australia (WA) is quite different from the cities in the east we travelled to on our loop over the top of Australia (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Caines, and Darwin). WA is home to half of Australia’s plant species, and most are endemic to the region. Located in Kings Park, the Western Australia Botanic Gardens is a […]

Highlights of a Day in Geraldton, Australia

HMAS Sydney II Mermoial in Geraldton, Australia

I wasn’t sure why the ship chose Geraldton as a port of call outside of wildflower season, but it turned out to be an enjoyable day in a charming Western Australia town. With only a few major sites to visit, it was easy to hit the highlights in a day on our own, even if we […]

Docking in Port Hedland Australia? What to do in this Mining Town

Iron Ore boulder on display in town in Port Hedlands, Australia

I’ll admit, I wasn’t too enthusiastic about visiting Port Hedland, a small city in Western Australia known for iron ore mining. However, it turned out to be fascinating. Here, we opted to take an excursion offered by Royal Caribbean, and we went on an iron ore tour. All tours at BHP Billiton are via bus, and there […]

Celebrating my Birthday in Cairns, Australia

Millaa Millaa Falls outdside of Cairns, Australia

Cairns Australia, on my birthday. It was perfect. The Radiance of the Sea dropped anchor in Yorkey’s Knob, just north of Cairns. There are so many opportunities here. The ship offered options of rainforest tours, trains, markets and of course, the Great Barrier Reef. We made a better choice and spent the day with good […]

Brisbane as a Cruise Port: Sailing with Royal Caribbean

The shrine of rememberance is one of many memorials in ANZAC squ

Brisbane is Australia’s coolest city, or is it? I am not sure how any city that holds the world record for going to bed and waking up earliest can call itself “cool.” Either way, it is a city with quite a lot to offer, and it was our first cruise port off of the Radiance […]

Sailing out of Sydney Harbour on the Radiance of the Seas

Sunset as we are sailing out of Sydney Harbour, Australia

Docked in Sydney harbour with the famous Opera House as a backdrop, Royal Caribbean’s cruise ship Radiance of the Seas sat waiting for a new load of passengers. Along with 2000 others, we stepped aboard, ready to begin an exciting adventure sailing over the top of Australia including a brief stop in Bali, Indonesia. Our cabin […]

More Photos from the Great Ocean Road: Explore Australia (Part 2)

The Grotto along the Great Ocean Road in Australia

If my photos from the Great Ocean Road earlier in the week didn’t inspire you to hop on a flight to Australia, maybe the next portion of our journey will. Those were from Torque to Apollo Bay. These are from Apollo Bay to Point Fairy. It was my favourite portion of the Great Ocean Road. […]

Driving the Great Ocean Road: Explore Australia (Part 1)

View from Split Point Lighthouse on the Great Ocean Road, Victoria Australia

Leaving Melbourne Australia, we headed South towards Torquay and the start of the Great Ocean Road. Like our recent road trip in Oregon (USA) we drove slowly, stopping frequently, hiking, looking, photographing, and just taking it all in. Here are a few of the highlights as we drove from Torquay West towards Apollo Bay: Practical Information:  […]

Melbourne Street Art: Explore Australia

Street Art on Rutledge Lane off of Hosier Lane  in Melbourne Australia

Hubby and I spent last weekend in Melbourne Australia drinking coffee in laneway cafes, walking the neighbourhoods, and exploring Melbourne street art. Australia’s second largest city is internationally known for its colourful and eclectic street art found on “approved outdoor locations” throughout the city. Here are a few of the 100+ photos I shot: This […]

Top Travel Bloggers Explore New Zealand and Australia Street Art

Union Lane Melbourne Australia photo by beer-and-croissants

Street art crosses cultures, language, and continental barriers. I love all of it, although I tend to gravitate towards the brighter, happier images. Today I share a collection of interesting New Zealand and Australia street art. It is part of a travel blogger collaborative series highlighting street art from around the world. Enjoy this collection . . […]

Albom Adventures 2015 Photos: A Year In Review

Auckland Skyline as seen from the ferry coming into the city.

Looking back through our 2015 photos, I can see this was the year we fell deeper in love with New Zealand, our adopted country. Our overseas travel was limited as I was unwell for much of the year (I am cleared now). Plus both of the girls had good reason to stay around. Melissa focused on her […]

Sarah’s Sunday Snapshots #36 – Sydney Textures

An extreme close-up of one of the artworks in Hyde Park, Sydney, Australia. Copyright Sarah E. Albom 2015; for more photos of Sydney, visit the blog

Last weekend we decided to hop the ditch and take a weekend over in Sydney, Australia. One of the first things we did was to buy a few new camera lenses, and I had plenty of fun over the weekend trying out my new wide-angle lens (Canon 24mm) on some of the Sydney textures we saw. […]

Photos of Sydney Australia Testing Limits: Olympus 14-150mm

Royal Botanic Gardens of Sydney Australia

Today I am taking you on a photo tour of the little things that made our weekend in Sydney Australia so special. It was a quick trip. Our first stop was the camera store where I got a new Olympus 14-150mm lens. I switched to the mirror-less micro four-thirds technology over a year ago, and […]

Photos: Support for France seen in Sydney Australia

Sydney lights up the Opera House in Support of France

A moment of silence for the atrocities in Paris over the weekend, as seen in Sydney, Australia.   There are no words. This post is also linked to BeThere2Day for Wordless Wednesday on Tuesday, Our World Tuesdays, Wednesdays Around the World at Photographing New Zealand, and Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer.

Australia’s First Convict Settlement: the Rocks in Sydney

The Australian Hotel is owned by Richard Branson, and serves emu and kangaroo pizza

Finally given the all clear to fly again, we opted for a 3 hour “test” flight, enjoying a rainy weekend in Sydney Australia. Last night we ignored the weather, and joined in to a free walking tour at the Rocks, Australia’s first European settlement. More accurately it was a tour of the country’s convict history […]

A Daring Adventure ~ Weekend Travel Inspiration

daring adventure

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~ Helen Keller If these are the only two choices, I choose daring adventure. I think it’s the interpretation that makes the difference.  When we travel to exotic islands like Samoa, or to Middle Eastern countries like Oman, or when we allow are children to head off […]

Cape Byron Headland Reserve, NSW, Australia

Cape Byron Headland Reserve, Byron Bay, Australia

We hiked in the Cape Byron Headland Reserve about five years ago, just before I began blogging. Today I am consolidating my photos onto one back-up disk (to keep off-site) and I came across this beautiful spot that I had nearly forgotten about in New South Wales, Australia. In 2010 we spent 6 weeks in […]