Sydney scuba

Our minibus barrels beyond Maroubra towards Botany Bay with our instructor, former Royal Australian Navy ship diver Robert Ridge, behind the wheel. In the back are two English lads, flashing enough gold and tattoos to rival the markings of a tropical fish. As we near Bare Island, they chat to us about the mother country and the meaning of the word “pukka”.

Dubbed “bare” by Captain Cook, the island was once used as a garrison. More recently, it served as a set for Mission:Impossible II. Ridge says this place is one of Sydney’s top five dive sites. Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald [onlined at TravelRoads]..

Sydney balloon cruise

‘You’re going looney?” my mother asks when I announce I’m going ballooning. Probably because ballooning is such an offbeat pastime; everyone else I tell initially mishears or double-takes before responding with envy. Clearly, we are suckers for the idea of gracing the sky in a luminous vehicle redolent of a calmer, cleaner age.
To achieve that vision, you need to fly at dawn when the air is usually still. In case of rain, I must ring my flight operator at 3am for an update – to stay awake, as with a long-haul flight, I sit in a nightclub, only to learn that my trip is cancelled. The next day I rebook and undergo another extended night out, thinking I must be crazy. Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald [onlined at Travelroads]…

Fifteen-dollar baby

The searing sun refuses to duck under the treetops. I have already broken a sweat after jogging a short way from the meeting point at Bulldog Gym across a zebra crossing and onto the path that loops around the former cemetery known as Pioneer Memorial Park.

Still, it feels great to be in the open after being stuck indoors doing nothing more active than stroking a touch pad. In each hand I am carrying a furry, green two-kilogram barbell – the combined weight helps get my heart rate up as I chase the burly figure leading the pack. The group is made up of an equal number of men and women. We run the gamut from teens to fortysomethings.

So far not a punch has been thrown but the aerobic side of this “cardio-boxing” session is still pushing me. As I soon find out, the session is less about boxing and more about the cardio side of things. Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald…

Rapid Fire — Sydney whitewater rafting

We get ready for action as we’re sucked upwards by a conveyor belt through driving rain. Near the summit, the roar of the rapids intensifies and a hush descends on all but the rowdiest members of our crew. Paddles raised, we wait to be launched onto Penrith’s austere 320-metre whitewater course, which is set against the foggy backdrop of the Blue Mountains and designed to test even the world’s best rafters.

Earlier, en route from the station, the taxi driver asks: “Are you mad?” As we pull up to the entrance of Penrith Whitewater Stadium, he pronounces that my activity must have been cancelled. When I spot a canoeist, the driver says: “It must be somebody else from the mental asylum. I feel sorry for you.” Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald…

Welcome to dot.Sydney

A domain name that coincides with your brand name is crucial. It means that clients and prospects can remember and type it into their browser address bars more easily.

The issue is how much tell-tale detail to supply. Would you want your domain name to end with ‘dot.Sydney’, ’dot.Melbourne’ or whatever your nearest city might be? The tweak might soon be possible.

NSW Premier Nathan Rees backs registering ”top-level” geographic internet domain names such as “dot.Sydney”. Read more at The Age…


August 18, 2009