Australia 2013
Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania
September 14-21, 2013


September 14th
I went to Australia September 2013 to check out gardens and other places of interest for a possible tour. Needless to say I was totally stunned with beauty of the cities I visited - Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Tasmania.

It was a jam packed trip made so much easier by all the parties involved working together to put a great trip together full of beauty, history, great food and people I will not soon forget. My ground handlers were simply super and plan on seeing a tour here soon!

I arrived into Sydney at about 6 a.m. was met by my guide and off we went to visit our first experience.

Arrive at Sydney Flower Markets to explore Australia's largest flower market for fresh cut flowers. The diverse group of growers at the Sydney Flower Market primarily supply florists in the Sydney area, regional NSW and the ACT, but the market is also open to the general public. It is estimated that the Sydney Flower Market has an annual turnover in excess of $150 million and accounts for approximately 75% of the wholesale cut flower trade in NSW. Potted plants and florist supplies such as ribbon, wrap, foam and other sundries are also sold. The Sydney Flower Market has been a part of Sydney's market tradition since the First Fleet. The first market was set up on a site that now houses the Maritime Gallery, before moving to The Rocks and then to a more permanent site at the Queen Victoria Building in George St, Sydney. As Sydney expanded, the markets relocated to Haymarket. This proved to be too small for the needs of the exploding Sydney Metropolitan area, so the NSW Government commissioned construction at Sydney Markets 2129 where the Sydney Flower Market is currently located. Today, approximately 170 traders hold stands in the hustle and bustle of the modern day Sydney Flower Market at Sydney Markets 2129. NSW is very fortunate as it has a wide range of climates within the state, meaning that a wide variety of flowers can be locally grown, with the main flower growing areas being on the Central Coast, around Horsley Park and Leppington, and in the Hills area at Dural and Glenorie. All these areas are within 2-3 hours travel of the Sydney Markets and fresh cut flowers are brought in from these farms each day. All traders in the Sydney Flower Market must be flower growers, however many traders also act as wholesalers or agents for other growers throughout Australia. Some flowers are also imported, particularly when local supplies are low. All traders are shareholders of Sydney Markets Limited. Due to the use of a central market, Sydney can enjoy some of the lowest prices of fresh flowers in the developed world.

After this I was taken to my hotel, the Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour to check in and rest before meeting my guide again to go to the Royal Botanic Gardens for lunch before a tour of the gardens.

Situated in the heart of the Royal Botanic Garden, the Botanic Gardens Restaurant is a stunning venue surrounded by tropical rainforest boasting wide verandahs with glimpses of Sydney Harbour.

Royal Botanic Gardens, an oasis of 30 hectares in the heart of the city.
Wrapped around Farm Cove at the edge of Sydney Harbour, the Gardens occupy one of Sydney's most spectacular positions. Established in 1816, it is the oldest scientific institution in the country and is home to an outstanding collection of plants from Australia and overseas. From the provocative rare and threatened plants of the world to the romantic rose garden, the themed garden areas show the diverse beauty of nature. Special features include: Cadi Jam Ora - First Encounters is a garden display that remembers and acknowledges the Cadigal - the original inhabitants of Sydney's city centre - and their relationship with this land.

Dinner this evening was at the beautiful Waterfront Restaurant

Right in the historic heart of the world's most beautiful harbour, Waterfront restaurant offers unparalleled views of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.


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