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[Sydney, New South Wales Escapade with HTC EVO 3D] – Quad Biking, Sandboarding and 4WD Ride

[Sydney, New South Wales Escapade with HTC EVO 3D] – Quad Biking, Sandboarding and 4WD Ride

My Sydney escapade with HTC EVO 3D, hosted by Destination New South Wales, begun on a Monday night, on board an SIA Airbus A380 plane, the largest passenger airliner in the world.

Together with me on this trip were photographer and entrepreneur, Willy Foo and travel blogger, Eunice Khong from Travelerfolio. You can follow all our postings via the official HTC Escapade website.

This was the first time I flew in an A380 and the experience was great, as of all my SQ flight experiences so far. One would expect boarding time to be substantially slower for a double-decked plane carrying so many passengers, but the efficiency of the SQ staff, with detailed boarding instructions and queues separation ensured everyone boarded quickly and smoothly like any other plane ride.

My flight meal

My flight meal

I departed from Singapore at slightly pass midnight, Singapore time and arrived in Sydney at around noon, Sydney time. The direct flight from Singapore to Sydney took approximately 8 hours. Sydney time is two hours ahead of Singapore. For this trip, we encountered daylight saving which increased the time difference to 3 hours.

This meant that I was sufficiently jet-lagged and sleep deprived when I arrived in Sydney after a night flight. While it was noon in Sydney, it would only have been 8am in the morning in Singapore.

Our host from Destination New South Wales, a friendly lady named Duglass, met us at the airport as soon as we came out of the arrival hall. Duglass promptly assisted us with the purchase of a local SIM card for calls, SMSes and of course, 3G Internet access, vital for us to tweet, facebook and post other updates of our trip instantaneously.

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We then collected a rental car and drove off to Port Stephens, a large natural harbour located about 160 km north-east of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia. It is a popular tourism destination for both local and international tourists, with a strong focus on aquatic activities such as whale and dolphin watching, recreational boating.

Duglass giving an introduction to Port Stephens in the car:

[youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpRlfWZl2ow”]

The port was named by Captain Cook when he passed on 11 May 1770, honouring Sir Philip Stephens, a personal friend of Cook who had recommended him for the command of his voyage.

We started our exploration of Port Stephens on land, with the awesome dudes from Sand Dunes Adventure. Andrew, the boss of the company came along on the trips too. It was a privilege to have Andrew with us as he is a local in Port Stephens and was able to share with us, the aboriginal heritage and history of the region as well as current conservation efforts.

Sand Dune Adventures rock! Do check out their websites to check out the tours they offer

Sand Dune Adventures rock! Do check out their websites to check out the tours they offer

To wake the three of us up from our sleepy spells, the first activity we embarked on was 4WD quad biking on sand dunes. This was the first quad biking experience for Willy and I. Well-traveled Eunice has done it before in another country.

Hair nets are uncool... hence we put on our helmets quickly after putting on the hair nets

Hair nets are uncool… hence we put on our helmets quickly after putting on the hair nets

Boss Andrew giving us a quick tutorial on riding the quad bike

Boss Andrew giving us a quick tutorial on riding the quad bike

Eunice and I, all set to go

Eunice and I, all set to go

The cynic in me was wondering what could be so fun about driving round and round in the sand in a vehicle that seems to be a cross between a motorbike and a car. After riding in the sand dunes for around 15 minutes, I began to relax more and enjoyed myself thoroughly.

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You see, there’s no road marker or sign posts in the sand dunes. This mean you can scoot around with much freedom, unavailable on public roads. The views were also exhilarating and the sand throws much surprises when you are navigating your quad bike around. It takes some skills and efforts, which is why we had guides from Sand Dunes Adventure with us.

Starting out slow

Starting out slow

Freedom!

Freedom!

I was mostly enjoying the scenery as we rode on the quad bikes

I was mostly enjoying the scenery as we rode on the quad bikes

This picture nicely sums up my quad biking experience

This picture nicely sums up the beauty of my quad biking experience

As we got more familiar, we were taught how to charge full throttle up steep dunes

As we got more familiar, we were taught how to charge full throttle up steep dunes

Traveling up and down dune after dune

Traveling up and down dune after dune

We also had a go at sandboarding after we got tired of riding the quad bikes. I fell on my way down and ate some sand on my first try, but all was good. When I came back to Singapore, my jacket and jeans still have some sand from Port Stephens in them,  as trip “souvenirs”. It was a fantastic experience and all three of us would not have mind doing it again and again if not for the long way back up the steep dunes.

Time for sandboarding!

Time for sandboarding!

Me with my sandboard

Me with my sandboard

A little push from Andrew to tip me down

A little push from Andrew to tip me down

Down I go!

Down I go!

Look at how far down I went!

Look at how far down I went!

Willy and Eunice are up next

Willy and Eunice are up next

Free Willy!

Free Willy!

Willy’s video recording of his own sandboarding experience, crashing on the way down:

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[youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uel6sGVs0M”]

Eunice crashed too:

[youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_b8fZXq9LI”]
We all had fun on the quad bikes

We all had fun on the quad bikes

Group shot with the awesome guys from Sand Dunes Adventure

Group shot with the awesome guys from Sand Dunes Adventure

We rounded up our activities with Sand Dunes Adventure with a 4WD car ride with Andrew to MV Sygna, a 53,000 tonne Norwegian bulk carrier shipwrecked on Stockton Beach in Port Stephens during a major storm on 26 May 1974. The wreck has since became an icon and landmark for the local area.

The 4WD car which we rode in with Andrew

The 4WD car which we rode in with Andrew

Friendly Andrew sharing with us on the area's heritage and history. He even sang the Kookaburra song for us in aboriginal language.

Friendly Andrew sharing with us on the area’s heritage and history as he drove us around. He even sang the Kookaburra song for us in aboriginal language.

Willy taking a picture of MV Sygna with his HTC EVO as we drew closer

Willy taking a picture of MV Sygna with his HTC EVO as we drew closer

MY Sygna from afar

MY Sygna from afar

The front half of MV Sygna

The front half of MV Sygna

Tyre marks

Tyre marks

At some angles, MV Sygna looks really peculiar in its surrounding

At some angles, MV Sygna looks really peculiar in its surrounding

Andrew also showed us how to collect ground water by digging a hole in the sand near a water hole. Willy gamely took a sip and recorded a video.

Willy drinking some ground water - Andrew taught us to scoop from the bottom to avoid the murky top

Willy drinking some ground water; Andrew taught us to scoop from the bottom to avoid the murky top

Video of Willy drinking ground water:

[youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVN5J1eklsA”]
Eunice posing for Willy

Eunice posing for Willy

Most interestingly, he showed us some aboriginal shell Middens – old dumps for domestic wastes which may consist of animal bones, botanical material, shells and other artifacts and ecofacts associated with past human occupation.

Shell Middens

Shell Middens

An animal bone

An animal bone

Me, by a large Midden

Me, by a large Midden

I found an expanded bullet shell

I found an expanded bullet shell

Our long shadows cast on the midden

Our long shadows cast on the midden

We thanked Andrew for his hospitality in driving us around

We thanked Andrew for his hospitality in driving us around

Sunset

Sunset

From another view

From another view

The sky keeps changing colour. Beautiful.

The sky keeps changing colour. Beautiful.

A nice tree silhouette

A nice tree silhouette

He taught us how to respect the land, not to step on the middens as they be burial sites and also to clear up any waste that we bring along, so as not to contaminate nature. These are simple, common sense rules, but it’s sad that not all visitors think this way.

We spotted wild kangaroos on our way back from the beach. One even had a small one inside its pouch.

Kangeroo 1

Kangeroo 1

Kangeroo 2 has a baby in the pouch

Kangeroo 2 has a baby in the pouch

After parting from Andrew and his crew, we drove to our hotel to have dinner and do our check-ins.

Oaks Pacific Blue resort reception

Oaks Pacific Blue resort reception

Inside the resort restaurant

Inside the resort restaurant

Seafood appertiser to go round the table

Seafood appertiser to go round the table

Fried calamari to share

Fried calamari to share

Tomato Bruschetta

Tomato Bruschetta

I ordered Surf and Turf

I ordered Surf and Turf

Duglass' dish, a fish main

Duglass’ dish, a fish main

Eunice's dinner

Eunice’s dinner

My cosy hotel room where I tucked in for the night

My cosy hotel room where I tucked in for the night

We were hosted at a nice beach resort, Oaks Pacific Blue, but I was too tired to really go explore around. A pity. Nonetheless, I had a good night sleep, recuperating from the jet-lag the next day, ready for a full day of fun and adventures in New South Wales. 🙂

FYI: There’s a voting contest going on via the official HTC Escapade website. Vote for your favourite Sydney photos taken by me and stand a chance to win a HTC EVO 3D smart phone for yourself! Triple your chance by voting for a photo each from Willy, Eunice and I!

Useful Links:

HTC Escapade featuring Willy Foo, Eunice Khong and Alvinology

Singapore Airlines

Sand Dunes Adventure

Oaks Pacific Blue Resort

Destination New South Wales

HTC EVO 3D

About The Author

alvinology

Alvin is a marketer by day and blogger by night. He is a 100% geek who spends too much time surfing the web.

1 Comment

  1. kids quad bikes

    Hi There Alvinology,
    Speaking of which, The greater part of what we have come to know about Barry and the Vale of Glamorgan in which it is to be found, has been gathered from the observation of aged homes in the spot. Even so, several of these are in a fairly negative state and have been for a awfully extensive time. There are also famous tales like the an individual about Joseph of Arimathea, who traded tin across the channel in Glastonbury and was an individual of the for starters missionaries to the country.
    Nice One!

    Reply

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