|The view from Mrs. Macquaries Chair|
Autumn in Oz is just wonderful. It took us a few days to get used to the very cold weather but we managed and loved it.
First stop ---- SYDNEY
Day 1: After check-in, and armed with a map, we did our own "walking tour".
First stop was Darling Harbour. Sydney's major destination for leisure and entertainment with so many bars, restaurants, cafes, cinemas, museums and parks. I can stay here for days trying to check out its nooks and crannies.
Next is SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium in Darling Harbour. 14 newly-themed zones that includes Dugong Island, the Shark Walk and the amazing new tunnel walk-through, Shark Valley.
Then we walked back to Sydney Tower to marvel at the beauty of Sydney as far as the eyes can see. The East's version of The Space Needle.
|Yup! the highest Mailbox in this hemisphere|
|The view from the tower|
And of course, we had to see the Sydney Opera House. THE venue for performing arts in Sydney, it's unique design has become Australia's icon. We toured the insides of the Sydney Opera House and learned about it's colorful and interesting history.
|Sydney Opera House|
- Spectacular Darling Harbour
- Sydney Entertainment Centre
- Sydney Aquarium and the Monorail
- Sydney Opera House
- The Rock's - Sydney's birthplace
- Conservatorium of Music
- Parliament House
- Hyde Park
- St James Cathedral
- St Mary's Cathedral
- Art Gallery and the Domain
- Visit Mrs Macquaries Chair - superb views of the harbour and city skyline
- Royal Australian Naval Base at Garden Island
- Kings Cross - Sydney's 'hot spot'
- Exclusive Double Bay and Vaucluse
- The Gap - stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the Heads
- Visit Bondi Beach - Australia's most famous surf beach
- Historic and trendy Paddington
- Sydney Tower
- Sydney Town Hall
|Grand Sydney Tour|
- Stunning views over Sydney Cove and Circular Quay
- Sydney Opera House
- Cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge
- Milson's Point - panoramic views of the bridge and skyline
- Cross the Spit Bridge
- Magnificent views from Seaforth Lookout over Middle Head and Pearl Bay marinas
- Arabanoo Lookout - a superb panorama of the rugged Headlands and Manly
- Tour through the northern beaches of Freshwater Bay and Curl Curl
- Stop at the seaside resort of Manly, noted for its famous surf beach and Norfolk pines
After the full-packed day and to complete our Sydney Opera House experience, we capped it by watching Australian Ballet's "Coppelia" at the Sydney Opera House and meeting some of the ballerinas after the show.
|Coppelia @ Sydney Opera House|
No tours. Just DIY sightseeing and shopping for us.
Walked the length of George St. from the Sydney Town Hall on our way to the Queen Victoria Building (QVB)--- a 19th-century building, now a shopping complex with high-end brands as tenants.
The building, aside from it housing the most expensive brands, is known for its inner center glass dome, its glorious glass-stained windows and two large mechanical clocks: The Royal Clock shows scenes of English royalty, and the Great Australian Clock, with 33 scenes from Australian history.
|The 19th-century Queen Victoria Building|
|A relaxing vibe inside|
|The colorful glass center dome|
|One of its beautiful glass-stained windows|
|The mechanical Great Australian Clock|
Crossed the street to Bloch Store -- a haven for ballet students and dancers. After purchasing some necessary stuff, we walked to Darling Harbour to take the Harbour Cruise to Taronga Zoo.
The cruise gave us a very good view of Cockle Bay, Walsh Bay, Circular Quay, Farm Cove, Wooloomoloo Bay, passing through Clark Island, Shark Island, Vauclause Bay--the most affluent suburb in Sydney and with its many yachts, Watsons Bay with its famous Doyles Restaurant that serves what they said is the best Fish & Chips in town, and Manly Harbour.
|Harbour Cruise sights|
|A very nice view from here isn't it?|
|The iconic face of Luna Park|
|shops just below the Sydney Harbour bridge|
|@the walkway of Sydney Harbour Bridge|
|Darling Harbour @night|
Day 4: Blue Mountains and its environs
A drive through the Great Eastern Highway (the longest road to the mountains). First stop was along the Napean River for tea. A very relaxing place to enjoy your morning tea. How very English is that!
We then proceeded to Wentworth Falls passing through an Aboriginal site. When it is flowing, it is the most scenic waterfalls in the Blue Mountains. It was not barely there when we visited because Australia has had 5 years of no rain, they say.
We then proceeded to Leura Village for Lunch. A quaint small town near the Blue Mountains. Steep with old world appeal and vibe.
|A very nice place to seat, yes?|
|Autumn colors in Leura Village|
The view of the Blue Mountains from the lookout. Beautiful! Part of the Greater Blue Mountains area and a world heritage site, it consists of 7 national parks and a conservation reserve. It got its name from the characteristic blue haze over the mountains.
|Beautiful view of the Blue mountains|
|@ the Blue Mountains lookout|
We rode the scenic skyway in order to catch a glimpse of the legendary 3 Sisters -- a rock formation in the Blue Mountains that was formed by erosion but has an Aboriginal story behind it.
The commonly told legend of the Three Sisters is that three sisters (Meehni', 'Wimlah' and Gunnedoo') lived in the Jamison Valley as members of the Katoomba tribe. They fell in love with three men from a neighbouring tribe (the Nepean tribe), but marriage was forbidden by tribal law. The brothers were not happy to accept this law and so decided to use force to capture the three sisters. A major tribal battle ensued, and the sisters were turned to stone by an elder to protect them, but he was killed in the fighting and no one else could turn them back. This legend is claimed to be an Indigenous Australian Dreamtime legend. - Wikipedia
After seeing the 3 sisters, we toured the rainforest of the Blue Mountains and Euroka Park-- a popular picnic area and camping site, before taking the ferry back to Circular Quay.
|Food food food|
Check-out my other posts on Australia:
Day 2 in Melbourne - Going for Gold!
Day 1 in Melbourne - Of wombats, koalas and penguins
The Majestic 12 Apostles of Victoria, Australia
Through the New South Wales countryside