Autumn Mooney is a photographer/photo editor & travel writer based in Sydney, Australia. Having worked in glossy magazines in Sydney, London, Dubai and Singapore, the charm of wanderlust continues with reviewsinternational.com
Can you imagine a theme park of trampolines? It exists! Sydney boasts a venue called Skyzone, where rows of trampolines lay side by side for you to bounce between, like a big kid. The best part? These trampolines are aimed at adults for health and fitness as well as an active day out. The venue is rather large, and rather fun. You can shoot hoops in a super high basketball ring, play dodgeball, or take a fitness class called tight buns. Or you can jump high into the air from a trampoline and land softly into a sea of foam squares. This is something you always wanted to do. And you didn't even know it existed! Be warned, you may find yourself with The Pet Shop Boys Absolutely Fabulous song stuch in your head and subconcously quoting Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous ''Buns so tight he was bouncing off the walls' from the song - as you leave the fitness class - because you just bounced off the walls with your tight buns!
Where: Alexandria, Sydney What to wear: Exercise gear Expenses: Special grip socks, included in the price. Cost: $18/hour. BOOK NOW
Australia's annual Taste of Manly - food, wine and sustainability festival in Winter is well worth a visit if you're hungry, thirsty and like the beach. At this outdoor gathering of local restaurateurs, you can sample various food and wine from stalls set up along Manly's famous main beach, and then ponder over to the adjacent beachside craft markets. Visit local farmers showing healthy produce, hold chicks or see the bright pink silky bantams, talk to local chefs, and taste wines from nearby regions like the Hunter Valley. Three stages set up at each end of the festival have live music with hay bales or outdoor table seating, and cooking shows are scheduled throughout the day. The festival is free, annual, goes over a two day weekend, and usually held in the first week of Winter.
Check the manly council website to find out when the next festival is scheduled:
Sydney boasts a fabulously scenic zoo with animals from around the world living on grounds sitting majestically opposite the Sydney Harbour Bridge skyline.
A trip to the zoo is a definitely a great day out in Sydney. You'll walk through the entrance and see giraffes posing against this amazing skyline – a sight made infamous thanks to instagram, and because these giraffes sure know how to pose. You'll then stroll through the park observing animals in re-created living environments.
A great idea is to jump on the aerial pods on arrival, which take approx ten minutes to move over the park. You’ll get an idea of the entire zoo space, take iPhone snapshots of elephants from the air, and perhaps a selfie of yourself in the pod with that spectacular horizon in the background.
You can plan your day to the Zoo’s busy schedule of animal talks. Perhaps a seal show, or the koala encounter, and then inbetween shows visit your favourite animals. The Australian native black cockatoos with fancy yellow tips are a beautiful sight, and the gorillas are intriguing to watch with such adorable human expressions. Perhaps you'll choose to stroll past the playful seals 'barking' and splashing about in outdoor pools. The seals then dive below the surface into what is the underground viewing pool, if you wander underground to watch them swimming it is a very peaceful moment. Or maybe you'll want to visit the stylish looking zebras in the African Safari section, next to the mountain rams sunning themselves on rocky outdoor slopes.
If you’re more of a reptile person than a cuddly koala fan, head to the reptile centre. Through the safety of glass walls, see the most colourful reptiles living in their own little worlds. Some are ridiculously cute, and some are slithery and … well, snakes. If you are a snake fan you’re in for a real treat – every kind; giant sized pythons, underwater sea snakes, bright green tree snakes, and more. Watch them sleep, slither, and eat.
A trip to the zoo is a full day's activity. If you don't bring your own lunch, the cafe's and eateries are modern, moderately priced, and a nice environment to sit in. Be prepared to fall in love with a milion stuffed animals in the gift stores. There's plenty of paid parking, or nearby residency street parking. And expect to be spending the day with lots of children, the zoo is obviously a popular day trip!
With one eye on current trends and one on the viewfinder, Autumn's passion for travel and photography has taken her all over the world. As an international photographer and travel writer with a history in photo editing for celebrity and lifestyle magazines in Sydney, London, Dubai and Singapore, Autumn is as happy snapping celebs on the red carpet as she is writing about festivals from the top of Sydney's harbour bridge. Autumn is currently the photo editor on marie claire magazine in Sydney, and enjoys reviewing outside of this.