The Chinese Garden of Friendship is nestled at the south end of Darling harbour and a short walk from Chinatown. Entering the gardens is like walking backwards in time into the quiet solitude of ancient Chinese architecture and it's relationship with nature. The garden combines the elements of water, plants, stone and architecture.
Running water, towering willow trees, cool lagoons with lotus plants and large colorful fish all make this an idyllic spot to read a book or recharge your batteries. It really is something special. The gardens occupy several acres combining waterfalls, lakes, pavilions, sculpture and animals; the fish and the ibis.
The key features to look out for are the Courtyard of Welcoming Fragrance, Dragon Wall, Water Pavilion of Lotus Fragrance, Twin Pavilion, Gurr, Rock Forest, and the Penjing.
To enjoy the quiet serenity and overlook the gardens take time for a jasmine tea in the traditional Chinese Teahouse. Share crumbs from your plate with the confident sparrows that will almost feed from your hand.
There are no kangaroos in Austria. We're talking about Australia, the world's smallest continent. That being cleared up, let's dive right in! Australia is a sovereign state under the Commonwealth of Nations, which is in turn overseen by Queen Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth. The continent was first sighted and charted by the Dutch in 1606. Captain James Cook of Britain came along in the next century to claim it for Britain and name it "New South Wales." Shortly thereafter it was declared to be a penal colony full of nothing but criminals and convicts, giving it the crap reputation you may have heard at your last cocktail party. This rumor ignores 40,000 years of pre-European human history, especially the Aboriginal concept of Dreamtime, an interesting explanation of physical and spiritual reality. The two biggest cities in Australia are Sydney and Melbourne. Sydney is more for business, Melbourne for arts. But that's painting in very broad strokes. Take a whirl around the panoramas to see for yourself! Text by Steve Smith.