Great views, beautiful sunshine and some Christmas cheer!
This past weekend we were treated to some gorgeous weather, and Cindy and I made the best of it by attending the grand reopening of the Arthurs Seat chair lift – now called The Eagle.
The chair lift was once a huge tourist attraction, but after years of accidents and injuries, the whole thing was shut down. However, the area is so beautiful and the lift really was a wonderful ride, so the decision was made to bring it into the 21st century (including 21st century safety standards!). I hadn't been on the lift since I was a child so I was looking forward to checking it out in all its glory at the grand reopening.
We arrived and parked in the car park (although if you're going to visit on a gorgeous day on the holidays or weekend, then keep in mind that parking is very limited), before heading in to buy our tickets.
Tickets can be bought at the door, and an adult return trip costs $24. You can purchase a one-way ticket which will drop you off at the top of the mountain, and then you can either walk back down using the walking tracks, or else have someone meet you at the car park and drive back down. We chose return tickets as the view is just too good to waste with a car ride or walking.
We started from the bottom, where we waited for the gondolas to arrive, then the doors opened and we stepped inside as it travelled slowly around. There were quite a lot of people so we had to wait in line for a short time.
The gondolas move slowly and smoothly so it's very easy to step into them. Each gondola seats about 4-6 people comfortably, so if you're in a large group make sure you divide yourselves up before the gondolas arrive.
Then it was onwards and upwards. The gondolas are open to the elements so you can feel the breeze and the sunshine, but keep in mind this also means that dropping phones or cameras while trying to take photos is a distinct possibility, so be careful!
The view was incredible and it took me straight back to when I was a child riding the old version of the chair lift (which was much scarier than it is now). In fact the old lift had so many accidents where people were injured that it was completely shut down. Eventually they decided to refurbish the entire thing, and thus the Arthurs Seat Eagle was born.
When we arrived at the top we disembarked so that we could do a little sightseeing around the summit of Arthurs Seat. There's a car park and cafe, as well as few walking tracks and some really fantastic lookout areas.
There were a couple of lookouts to see from, the fist being right where we got off the gondola ride and gave us an incredible view down the ride to the beach (which you can see behind me in the photo below).
Next we went on a short walk to the lookout that is on the side of the road that travels up the mountain to the summit. There’s a path that cuts through the bushland and brings you out right at the lookout. It's another fantastic view and we also had some fun taking photos here as well.
Finally, it was time to jump back on the gondolas to travel back down the mountain, and the view was magnificent. The water is crystal clear and so incredibly blue. The sky meets the sea and it paints a stunning picture.
To finish off our day, we decided that we would head on over to the Knox City Carols by Candlelight event at Wally Tew Reserve.
We found a perfect spot off to the side of the oval to set up our picnic dinner and settle in for the evening festivities. We'd stopped off at the supermarket to stock up on goodies such as deli meats, cheese, chips and dips (all favourites of ours) as well as plastic cutlery and crockery. There were HEAPS of people in attendance but everyone was well behaved and had a great time.
Once the sun went down the lights came on and it was a wonderful night. The carols played from 8pm – 10pm with a number of acts performing, including the superb Australian Navy Band and Harrison Craig (contestant from The Voice).
All in all it was a wonderful day with great weather, good company and lots of fun.
Until next time,