Sunday, July 20, 2008

1000 Steps (MEL)

Welcome Gate

The 1000 Steps (Kokoda Track Memorial Walk) is a walk through dense cool temperature rainforest that's not to be missed. It was created to memorialize the original Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea which is most famous as the location of the World War II battle between Japanese and Australian forces in 1942.

Historical Overview

As if by design, the hike starts up on a gently rising trail allowing you time to get your hiking legs in gear.

Gentle warmup

Out of nowhere, you are then faced with the steps. They can be a little slippery when wet.

Here come the steps

When the say 1000 steps, they mean it (800+ I lose count after a while). There are a few benches to rest along the way, so keep going!

Are we there yet?

The numerous plaques along the way prove educational, and allow you to sneak in a breather whilst pretending to read cross-eyed and doubled-over.

Informational plaques

The 1000 steps is a great place to bird watch. Listening to the calls and trying to spot the birds help me forget my lungs are about to burst. The Superb Lyrebird is the most famous bird in the area - it figures that the one time I've managed to spot one just metres off the steps, is the one time that the batteries in the camera were flat. I apologize for the picture quality below, the camera needs a better photographer...

Great birdwatching

The giant playground at the start of the trail is a great place to let the kids run off a little more steam.

Giant playground

Currently closed for work, it should re-open sometime in August 2008. Visit Parks Victoria's page for more information. The park is very popular, even on weekdays be prepared to drive up to a full car park. After the walk, it's a short drive up to Olinda to reward yourself with some tea and scones.

Friday, July 4, 2008

K-mart Toy Sale

If you don't know about the K-mart toy sale, starting 03/07, which planet are you from? K-mart open its doors at 12:01am to all those crazy, bargain-hunting moms. As for me, I was not that insane to line up at 12:00am just to save a few dollars. However, I did drive to K-mart first thing in the morning with my 2 boys to pick up a few items. My son was looking at the online catalog the day before to pick out his toys, mainly Lego and Lego and more Lego.

When I arrived at the store, there was quite a few people with shopping carts. wasn't as bad as I expected. We walked through the aisles lined with toys up to the ceiling. I was careful not to bump into any would have been an ugly sight with the boxes of toys falling on us. Of course Andrew wanted something exorbitant in price but we managed to do some compromising and came to an agreement as to which Lego to purchase. The boys were really good about what to buy considering the temptation of toys galore on the floor.

Just an hour in the store, I was ready to head home. The store was crowding up. There were moms with carts full of toys to the brim. Wherever we turned a corner, we came up to more moms, carts, and kids. I didn't know everything was free in the store! :) It was funny to hear a child exclaimed to his mom "Mom this is ONLY $80" and the Mom replied "Do you have $80?"

Big W is also having its Toy Sale this week. Target will be starting their toy sale soon. I must say I'm impressed with Melbourne's toy sale because one can really get some good bargains. This is my first time experiencing a big toy sale in Melbourne and it won't be my last!

To check out K-mart's online catalog, go to Kmart's website.