From Cairns, we caught a pre-dawn flight to Sydney for our last day and night in Australia. There’s much to see and do in Sydney besides the world-famous icons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Still, those two constructions are beautiful to behold in person. So, we visited them.
Our first walkabout, though, was over to the Sydney Tower for a look out over the city. The tower was only a few blocks from our hotel room, and it was too early to check in. For the Aus$26 entry fee (A$18 online), you get a 3D experience before racing up the elevator to a height of 250 metres (820 feet). There are interactive touchscreens for information about the city and what you can see. We really do like being way up high, which I guess is why we usually pay to view major cities from up there.
After a short rest at our hotel room, we rode the bus over to the harbour for a view of the Opera House. Instead of simply walking over to it (where you get to see details but not the overall appearance), we took the ferry across the harbour for a cheap (Aus$5.80 one-way) version of a “harbour cruise.” During the ride across, we rode on the rear deck, out in the open, and for our return ride, we rode on the front deck, despite the cold and rain. It was exhilarating.
The ferry we chose took us to the Taronga Zoo. This ferry goes right past the Opera House, for closeup views of it, and then across the way to the zoo. The zoo was actually closing as we arrived, so there wasn’t much to see there. We decided to wait an hour so that we could return after dark. So we watched the sun set from over there and then rode the ferry back in the dark, seeing the beautiful lights of Sydney.
After our return to the Sydney side of the harbour, we headed over to the pubs to find some dinner. We ate at the Fortune of War, Sydney’s oldest pub. Andrew ordered the Grilled Salmon (A$21), and I had the Chicken Parmigiana (A$19). Both meals were delicious.
After dinner, we walked toward the Sydney Harbour Bridge to see if we could walk out onto it. We got up onto the bridge, but the walkway was blocked off. There are, evidently, ways to get out there, but we couldn’t find one that evening. I’d have gladly paid for the opportunity, but we couldn’t find any. So we walked back over to where the bus would take us back to our hotel.
The next morning before our flight back home to New Zealand, we took a bus over to Hyde Park. We wanted to see the inside of Saint Mary’s Cathedral, but a wedding was being held inside and no one else was allowed in. We continued our walk up the length of the park to Sydney’s Anzac Memorial. This is a special place of contemplation, and there are many exhibits in the lower level.
We then caught a bus back to our hotel, packed up, and headed to the airport and our flight back home to New Zealand. Our Australia trip was wonderful, and we have many great memories of places and people. During the past few days of typing these blog entries, Andrew and I have have enjoyed reliving parts of our two and a half week tour of Australia.