Traveling with Fruit in Australia and New Zealand

My husband and I travel with only carry on luggage. We rarely purchase any liquids because we want to avoid checking our bag.  We don’t like to check bags because our trips are short and sweet and checking a bag usually adds another 30-60 minutes for check-ins and baggage collections.

While touring Australia, we heard about the honey and thought about bringing some back as a souvenir.  The honey was as good as everyone said and we literally scraped the edges to get every last drop.  The bananas were pretty awesome too.  Would you believe that traveling from Sydney to Cairns, we had our fruit confiscated at the airport.  I know that from country to country this can happen, but I never imagined that within the same country the agriculture restrictions would be so serious.  Apparently, Queensland has the best bananas in the country.  Also, good for you to know, is that Australia does not import bananas due to the plant pest and disease threats that would give way to their local farmers.  I suppose there is fear that even New South Wales grown bananas could carry pests that would harm the banana farms in the North (Queensland).  History tells us that Chinese migrants introduced the first banana to Australia back in the 1800s. Today, the tropical regions of Queensland produce most of Australia’s bananas.

So going back to the honey that we scraped out of the jar…

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Likely the best honey, Tasmanian Leatherwood, we have ever tasted.

We were so glad that we didn’t buy more as even honey was confiscated from state to state.

After Queensland, we flew to New Zealand and upon entry immigration and agriculture must confiscate fruits and honey.  I watched one family lose all their honey that they had in their carry ons.  I was so sad for them.  There is one trick that will likely work out for you if you have go from state to state with honey.  Buy the honey at the Duty Free Shop in the airport, but if you are going to another state after that and you still have that honey, it will be taken from you.  Only get the honey at the duty free shop if your final destination is outside of these regions.  So going from Melbourne straight to Vancouver, should work out for you.

 

Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes

Melbourne is full of character and you won’t run out of things to do, especially if you love quirky sites and culture.  You can spend several days discovering interesting neighborhoods.  Brighton is an affluent area about 11 km outside of the central business district.  We took a stroll along Brighton Beach specifically because we wanted to see the beach bathing boxes.  We went very late in the afternoon and it felt like a bit of a ghost town because we expected there to be so many people. I even thought there would be vendors selling things out of these quirky colorful home like boxes.  I was completely wrong.  I have heard that in the early part of the day it does get super busy.

This side of the beach didn’t seem like a place for lounging and more of a site seeing art installation that is excellent for postcard pictures.  Apparently, these bathing boxes date back as far as 1862, when bathing in the daytime in the open was restricted.  The beach was even divided for males and females.

These sort of bathing boxes were usually used as shelter from wind and for changing in and out of swimwear.  Similar bath boxes or bath huts also exist in France, England, Italy and South Africa and have been used for vacationing as well.

I’d love to hear your stories with bathing boxes across the world.

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You will likely have to walk through this path, depending on where you start at the Beach.

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Lebanese Food in Melbourne

We were craving Middle Eastern Food so we decided to check out Tiba’s Restaurant after hearing people rave about the quality of their food.  Tiba’s is located in Brunswick, the multicultural area of Melbourne with many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean retail shops and restaurants.

Right when we entered we were given the option for take away or dining in.  The grill behind the cash had me salivating for everything from chicken to kebabs to quail. We took a quick look at the menu and got seated quickly at a table.  The food was excellent and well priced.  They do have a variety of options for vegetarians as well.

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One chicken kebab and one shish kebab with rice, hummus and tabouli.

See Penguins for Free

If you are looking for a place to see penguins in Melbourne and you don’t have time to head out to Phillip Island, I highly recommend visiting St.Kilda beach in the evening.  Just as the sun was setting, the penguins were swimming back to the pier after their day of fishing.  Fortunately, these penguins come out every night in Melbourne, so you should be able to see them no matter what time of year you are there.

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You’ll see this sign as you approach the pier along with more signage to give you more history on St.Kilda beach.
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Everyone waiting patiently for the penguins to swim back to their home along the pier.
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Beautiful view as we watch the sun set.
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After the sunsets, the penguins run across from one breakwater to the next.  The Environmental staff along the pier enforce that visitor keep their camera flash off as it is harmful for the penguins.  For the safety of the penguins moving along their territory, the staff will shine a red light that will not frighten the penguins and also help us humans get out of their way.

 

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