Our Trip to Sydney, Australia
We flew into Sydney late in the evening. Our flight from Manila was delayed over an hour waiting for takeoff. John had arranged for transportation from the airport to our hotel in downtown Sydney, but because our flight was late, we missed the ride.
Once we figured that out, we tried to leave the terminal to find a taxi…but the doors were all locked up. It turns out there is a curfew in Sydney and the airport closes down.
We finally found a way out of the building through a back door and found one lone taxi. Whew…we were sweating bullets. John had planned to get a WiFi sim card when we got to Sydney, not realizing everything would be closed.
5 Days in Australia
We stayed in Sydney November 30th to December 4th. We spent the first and last day just walking around the city and seeing the sights. We took several tours on the other days. What a beautiful city of bays and waterways. We walked to Darling Harbor several times, a popular stop for many Bay Cruises with restaurants and shops.
The Opera House is located at Circular Quay, where some cruise ships also dock. This is where we joined our Cruise Ship on Saturday. Circular Quay is also a stop for many Bay Cruises.
On December 1st, we took a 9-hour Blue Mountain Tour. This included stops in Leura, The Blue Mountains, Wentworth Falls, Featherdale Wildlife and ended with a River Cruise from Olympic Park back to Sydney. This was a long but fun day. It was over 100 degrees in Sydney that day (the hottest while we were there), so was a perfect day to go to the mountains and ride in an air conditioned bus.
December 1st we took a 9-hour Blue Mountain Tour. We stopped in Leura for a snack on our way. Leura, Australia is a really cute town with a population of about 4300. We stopped at the Loaves and the Dishes for a snack and had time to walk around and take pictures.
At the Blue Mountains, we took a Skyway. At 270 meters (about 886 feet), it is the highest cable car in Australia. We saw beautiful waterfalls and rock formations, including the 3 sisters.
Next we took the Scenic World Cableway and descended 545 meters (about 1790 feet) into the Jamison Valley. We walked through an old mining area.
We then took the Scenic Railway back up to the top. This railway had a 52 degree incline, the steepest passenger train in the world. That was some ride!
We then drove to the Conservation Hut Cafe, located at the Valley of the Waters, Wentworth Falls and had lunch. We had time to take pictures and enjoy the beautiful views.
Featherdale Wildlife Park
After lunch we stopped at the Featherdale Wildlife Park. We were now out of the mountains and the temperature was over 100 degrees, so many of the animals were not out. We did get to see kangaroos and koalas and many other animals. Visitors can get up close and hand-feed kangaroos and wallabies in Featherdale’s kangaroo walk-through enclosure. We didn’t do any feeding, but did walk through.
Back to the City
The bus dropped us off at Olympic Park where we took a boat trip back to Sydney down the Parramata fresh water river that eventually flows into the ocean waters in the bay. It was a nice way to see the view and travel back to the city on such a hot day.
On Wednesday, the 2nd, we took a bus tour of Sydney. When we arrived at the designated meeting area, there was a double decker bus, a driver and a tour guide. We were the only guests for that tour, so we got a wonderful personalized tour. They changed their route so we could see things that we were more interested in. It turned out to be a fun and informative tour of Sydney. I really loved the city. There was a lot of beautiful older and modern architecture mixed.
On Thursday, the 3rd, we spent most of the day on the Hop On Hp Off Tour Boat. We didn’t do too many Hop Offs, but enjoyed the day on the water and seeing the views of the city from the bay.
For lunch, we Hopped Off at Manly, Australia. Manly, is a cute community with beautiful beaches. We had lunch at the 4 pines where John ordered their specialty beer sampler. The food was good and then spent the rest of the time touring the town.
From the Water
Pics in Manly
Sydney Opera House
On Friday the 4th, we walked around Sydney and strolled through Hide Park and the Botanical gardens. We took the back way to the Opera House and Circular Quay.
The Opera House was to take 3 years and 7 months to build, but ended up taking 16 years and 102 million dollars. The architect, Jørn Utzon, was replaced with another company due to the overruns. Consequently the inside was designed by other architects. In the 1990’s they realized how valuable the building was and asked Jørn to come back to assist with remodeling the interior. Although he declined coming back earlier, he later agreed and he and his son assisted in the interior remodel the last 10 years of his life. Jørn died in 2008.