Thursday, 24 May 2012

Wanaka - Glenorchy- Te Anau (Day 3)

Today we would be heading to Te Anau. Our prime purpose was to see the much talked about Milford Sounds. We were going to stay in Te Anau for 2 nights so we brought with us some of our rations like rice, canned food and the most important of all- rice cooker. We also planned for a picnic in Glenorchy.

It was going to be another long, hectic but exciting day for all of us. We had a lot to cover - Cardona, Lake County, Wilson Bay, Glenorchy and any place along the way that might capture our attention, we might stop for some picture taking. 

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Christchurch - Wanaka (Day 2)

Filled with excitement, we headed to Christchurch ("CHC") airport. We chose not to drive from CHC to Wanaka as it would be too tiring having to drive for the entire trip, so we decided to take Jetstar to take us to Queenstown airport, the nearest airport to Wanaka. Queenstown is about an hour drive to Wanaka. The plan was: take the morning flight from CHC airport to Queenstown then drive to Wanaka, where the resort is located. Along the way we would make a few stops and enjoy New Zealand. The decision proved the wisest decision ever as we got to see the breathtaking view of the mountains and terrains especially when the aeroplane was flying low before it landed.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

New Zealand Self Drive Trip, KL-Christchurch Day 1

We were planning our vacation in Tokyo for this year but since we did not manage to get the hotel that suited our budget, we decided to go on a road trip in South Island New Zealand when RCI proposed an excellent place for us. To be honest, New Zealand is not in my wishlist because I thought that there was nothing much to see except the natural beauties.

Yes, I am an avid nature lover but to travel thousands of miles away spending thousands of our hard earned money just to see the same thing the entire vacation, does it worth the money spent? One thing good about going to New Zealand,  I thought, I did not have to worry about shopping as I did not want to splash on shopping.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Budget for Melbourne & Sydney Trip

Estimated budget for this trip is about RM8855 (AUD1 = RM3.3). Figures have been round up for ease of computation.

Flight ticket

->KL- Sydney              


RM  500

->Sydney -KL              

Car rental for 2 days (inc. insurance, GPS and car seat)


Cab & public transport           
Food AUD50 per day                            


Hotel AUD105 per night   Total               


Sydney, Australia (Day 4)

Today was our last day in Sydney. Our flight was in the afternoon, and we would not leave until 12.30. We took this chance to walk through Chinese Garden to Walsh Bay Sculpture Walk and further up and back to our hotel via the China Town.

Our breakfast- smoked salmon sandwich. We made our own breakfast and it was yummy.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Sydney, Australia (Day 2)

Today would be a very busy day for us. 

We were going to Bondi Beach, take a cruise to Manly Island, then to Blue Mountain (to see 3 Sisters) and then back to take another cruise later the evening to Luna Park. We planned our trip very early, as early as 7 am we were ready to take a bus to Bondi Beach.

Sydney, Australia (Day 1)

We took a cab to the airport to catch a flight to Sydney. We paid about AUD22 for the cab. The taxi driver was really friendly and helpful that he advised us to get a trolley that was left idle by airport passengers outside the airport instead of getting it inside because one has to pay AUD4 for a trolley. We were lucky, and we saved AUD4 today!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Sydney, Australia (Day 3)

After we finished with souvenir shopping at the Paddy's Market this morning, we left our shopping bags a the hotel and went out to Darling Harbour again. But first, we made our way to the Fish Market for breakfast. 

I had no idea how interesting this market is until I got here. 

Friday, 11 May 2012

Melbourne, Australia (Day 3 & 4)

After breakfast with ready-to-eat Brahim's Beriani that we brought from Malaysia, we checked out of the hotel. This was the last pack left- it is really tasty, convenient and cost-saving as well.

Located just 14 km from Melboune CBD it did not take us long to arrive at the city. Initially we planned to pay a visit at one of the farmers market but since we arrived a bit late (we checked out from hotel later than planned), we decisded to scapped the plan. Driving in Melbourne city would be bit challenging if you are not a good driver, or good at reading signboard :). Over here, if you were going right, you can't straight away take a right turn. You need to go left a bit and then when traffic is clear then you can turn right. We were confused a bit at the beginning and the cars behind us already honked at us the first time we drove in the city.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Melbourne, Australia (Day 2)

I was woken up by my dear husband for Fajr prayer and to prepare ourself for the next trip. We needed to leave early this morning so as to maximise our time. After a simple breakfast- maggi that we brought from Malaysia we packed our things and checked out from the motel.

Port Campbell is a very small and quite town.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Melbourne, Australia (Day 1)

This trip was impromptu.

Actually we were just planning a trip to an island in our very own shores due to budget constraint.  But then since we have some MAS Enrich points we thought that we should take advantage of it. We decided that it should be Australia. But where in Australia? Indecisive between Sydney Opera House and Great Ocean Road, we finally decided that we should see both places.

Our plan was like this : Take a flight from Kuala Lumpur ("KL") to Melbourne for a self drive through the Great Ocean Road. Do some shopping at Essendon Factory Outlet in Melbourne. From Melbourne we take another flight to Sydney and then back to KL.

Want to Travel But Money is an Issue?

Some people travel because they just love to see the worlds. And some people travel because they have to for work reason. Some people would like to travel but they think they could not because of budget constraint. Yes, agree with you. The moment you leave your house, you have to spend more money on transport, food, accomodation and even souvenirs. Some people like it luxury when they are on holiday and some people like it practical. Either way, it is your choice. Travelling or taking holidays are not cheap but you can do it cheaper way the way I do it. When I say travel, I meant both local and overseas travel.

I remember, I have always wanted to go somewhere and I have a lists of places that I would love to see with my very own eyes. Eversince I graduated and started working, I made sure I allocate a certain amount of money for travelling but I had never done any travelling until I got married. Reason being, I had no travel companion and I thought it was boring and scary to travel alone.

Unlike now, travelling 10, 12 years ago were not cheap. You did not have airlines fighting to reduce air tickets to attract customers. I wish we had this back then. Anyway, if you really think that money is an issue, and you still want to travel, perhaps these tips will help you :

1) Set up a travelling fund. I have a few types of funds : saving, rainy days funds and travelling funds.

2)Save everyday- for instance, you save RM1 per day by cutting down on everyday spending like milk shake, making your own morning coffee or cook your own meals. You will end up with RM365 at the end of the month. If you have a baby, try to fully breastfeed your baby until he or she is 2 years old because formula milk is really expensive.

3)Get a credit card with attractive treat points like Maybank, CIMB, HSBC just to name a few. To me, credit card allows me to extend my limited financial flexibility and is useful during an emergency. Especially if you travel abroad, I encourage you to bring a credit card along for emergency and/or shopping. Some people cannot handle credit card wisely but if you want to get the most out of a credit card, you need to learn to use it to your advantage. For instance, I use credit card when I shop as it keeps track of my spending (at least big spending like grocerie, skincare, petrol, clothes). Then I can redeem the points for something else. What I always did were redeem the treat points with kitchen utensils like getting a Tefal pan or flask or against groceries voucher (I always do it at Mydin).

4) Set aside at least 30% from your bonus (if any) to your Travelling Fund.

5) Set aside a portion of your allowance such as overtime or shift allowance to Travelling Fund.

6) Cut down unnecessary spending like going for movies, hanging out at coffe shops or eat out. If you feel bored during the weekend, go for a walk at the park, cycle, do some reading or borrow a VCD instead. Try to find activities that you do not have to spend more money. Any savings from this activities, channel it to your Travelling Fund.

7) Ask any of your family members or friends who signs up for a holiday club to let you use the place at a certain rate ( normally cheaper like what I did to my Gold Coast apartment and Palace of the Golden Horses) or you could join them for holiday if your family is small enough.

8)  Always look for cheap travel deal or hotel deal.

9) Travel in a group or in a bigger number would save you on certain costs like what I did when 4 of us travel to Europe in 2010. We saved on train ticket when we bought it for 4 pax instead of 2. For hotel, instead of taking 2 rooms, you could choose one bigger room that could accomodate 4 people or an apartment which is normally cheaper.

10) Travel during low peak period. Travelling during school holiday or summer are normally more expensive than travelling during winer or during monsoon seasons.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Santana Resort, Gold Coast for Rent

I used to rent out my apartment in Gold Coast to close friends and I am now opening it to others. If you would like to stay at my apartment, do not hesitate to contact me. You can find details of the apartment below :-

Name: Santana Resort Gold Coast
Type : one-bedroom apartment (1 bed and 1 sofa-bed)
Occupancy : max 4 pax
Location : Surfer's Paradise
Nearby Places of Interest:
Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Jupiters Casino, Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise Beach, Broadbeach Mall and 3 worlds (Movie, Dream & Sea). There are also unlimited golf courses for golfers.

Unit Amenities:
kitchen, refrigerator, microwave,  dishwasher, clothes drier and hair dryer 
Resort Amenities: outdoor pool and a bath tub.

Check in : 12 p.m
Check out : 2 p.m (late check out charge applies)
Min stay : 3 nights
Max stay : 7 nights

Easy access to the Gold Coast airport, Surfer's Paradise town centre and places of interest such as movie world, dream world, surfer's paradise, currumbin sanctuary etc (24-hour bus service, with waiting time of less than 10 minutes).

The nearest bus stop is 5 minutes from the apartment.
10 minutes drive by car or bus to the Surfer's Paradise town centre.

Notes :
Advance notice of minimum 16 days required for booking.
Accomodation does not include breakfast.
Places are limited and based on first come first serve basis.

Pictures are courtesy of a friend who stayed at the resort last year.

Rates : pls enquire below.

for enquiry :
email :

Some pictures, contributed by friends who have stayed at the apartment. 

Map of Santana Resort Location

Bus Stop from Gold Coast Airport

Santana Beach.  About 10 minutes walk from the apartment.

Kitchen. Fridge, microwave, toaster, oven and knives are provided. 

Another picture of the kitchen from another unit. This is an actual picture. Sorry, a bit of a mess here :)

Bathroom- washing machine and drier provided (not in picture)

Bedroom. The apartment is meant for a maximum no of 4 pax, sofa bed is provided in the living room (not in picture).