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Christmas in Sydney

Patrick's Friendly Tours - Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Have you ever experienced Christmas in Summer? If you are the lucky one to visit Sydney during Christmas season, why not  go city sightseeing with tthe theme.

Sydney's favourite Christmas trees are;
@ Martin Place, 20m tall! Beautifully decorated with hundreds of LED lights. Touch Pad Kiosk allows you to interact and control coulour settings of the tree decorations. You also can send your own christmas messages up its branches by texting from your mobile! 

@ Queen Victoria Building, 24m tall (Ground floor to 2nd floor), covered with 60,000 lights and 144,000 Swarovski Christal ornaments. Start form the trunk at the ground floor level, then climb all the way up to see the star on the top of the tree! (Do not forget to admire the historical architecture of Queen Victoria Building itself and its artefacts, including Queen Elizabeth the II's letter to the citizens of Sydney as well as the clocks.)

Tall outdoor tree decorations can be found in other locations such as Hyde Park North or Governors House.

@ Pitt Street Mall, in front of Westfield, a NEW Christmas Sleigh appears made entirely with LEGO blocks, using over 10,000 pieces of them!! There are many shining Christmas trees floating in the air all the way through Pitt Street Mall after dark, as part of "Christmas Light Forest" installation, together with digital projections on the buildings.

@ Darling Harbour, a modern tree decorated with lots of lights can be found at the Convention Centre Courtyard. There is a NEW Floating Christmas Tree suspended in the air @ Palm Grove as well! Carols is on everynight at various locations around Darling Harbour, Palm Cove & Cockle Bay throughout December. For the event detail, please refer to the other post titled "Sydney's Christmas in Summer!"

And we should not forget David Jones's window decorations on Elizabeth Street! Each of the six windows on the Elizabeth Street Store are filled with different carols with puppets singing, sharing warm wonderful christmas spirit with all the viewers young and old. (Window display will be on up to the 25 december.) Also do not miss the Magic Cave on the 6th floor in Elizabeth Street Store, to see Santa and the elves working hard preparing the presents for the children. (Open everyday till 24 December). It is a great place to find Chrissy Souvenir as well.

Walking around the City you will find lots of Christmas decorations in a very Australian style, in shops and restaurants. If you visit the suburbs, you can find some magnificently dressed up homes with wonderful luminous decorations brighting up the streets. You might also meet Santa Clause riding his surf board in his summer gear!

It is a great season to go sightseeing!
   

(From L to R) David Jones' window decorations. / It could be the tallest indoor Christmas tree. @QVB / The top of the Christmas tree in QVB. 

Roses in bloom! in Hunter Valley

Patrick's Friendly Tours - Saturday, November 05, 2016

Hunter Valley is famous for its wine. Grape vines are growing rapidly in a strong sumer sun at local vineyards, but look around! Beautiful rose bushes are very eye catching too!

Some of our clients in the past have asked us if growing roses is also famous in the region. Well, not as a commercial business but they do act as a health barometer for grapes. Roses are very sensitive plants towards to any slight change of  conditions caused by soil & nutorition balance, weather and humidity, disease, and pests. So having roses nearby and observe them, is a common thing to do in vineyards in order to grow fine grapes.   

At one of the wineries we visit on our tour, they also plant roses to observe the condition as well as for name plates to indicate the varieties of grapes. (e.g. red roses for shiraz vines, pink for cabernet, yellow for semillon, white for chardonnay.   

Year 2016 bottles are appearing already in Hunter Valley. Come and join us in our Hunter Valley Winery tour which is full of variety of local wines and produce, as well as amazing sceneries of vineyards with roses.
Just delicious in taste and delighful for your eyes!  


  

(Image right) The Broken Back Mountains Range at the back.

Jacarandas in bloom!

Patrick's Friendly Tours - Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Jacarandas have arrived!

Jacaranda is a flowering plant in the family Bignoniaceae, native to tropical and subtropical regions of South America. It is renowned as one of three major flowering trees together with Royal poinciana (Delonix regia) and Flame Tree (a.k.a. African Tulip / Spathodea campanulata).  Our clients from Brazil told us that it is the national flower/tree in their country. (To one of our staff who is from Japan, the tree shape and blossoms reminds her of the Japanese cherry blossoms back home.)

The Jacaranda was introduced to Australia, New Zealand, India, Fiji, and Africa.Here in Sydney, it stars blooming in late October to early November, and gorgeous blossoms can be enjoyed here and there during November to early December.

During November, we include a few secret spots covered with Jacaranda blossoms in our city sights tours. Come and join us to spot beautiful Jacarandas in Sydney!

Please visit our "Gallery" page for more Jacaranda photos. 

       

Images of Jacaranda (L to R): The tree grows up to 30m. / Individual flower looks similar to bell flowers. / Amazing contrast, together with the Illawarra Flame Tree.