Monday, March 27, 2017

Sunny Sydney (in parts)

Sydney, for the purpose of trying to cover a fair bit, was split up into two distinct bits on our trip. The sight -seeing bit and and beach bum bit. (This seems to be a recurring theme in this trip of ours. covering the same place in parts. We find it seems to work better, especially if you plan on driving or seeing multiple cities in a trip)
You know you're in Oz when...
For the first part we were staying at the YHA Rocks - its an award winning hotel with a stunning view of the Sydney Harbour.
wine tasting at the rooftop of the YHA
The hostel is built on top of the 'Big Dig Site'. Its the area of a large Urban archaeological dig, of settlements from around the late 18th Century. Fascinated Pickwick no end.
rooms overlooking the dig

what a fantastic way to combine the old with the new
Apart from the unique site, we could just walk across to Circular quay and the Sydney Harbour bridge.
see those tiny blue dots? Not so much dots as people. Climbing. 

Child 2 clearly in agreement with the posters

stairs to the top
I must confess, I went a bit mad clicking the Opera House from the Bridge, The bridge from the Opera House and both of them from the boat.

We happened to be there on Memorial Day
We skipped the walk over the bridge, however, seeing as we had one very tiny, angry little adventurer who would be furious at being left out. Again.
Circular Quay is the quieter, more serene cousin of Darling Quay. It somehow gives you more time to relax and soak in the atmosphere.
This strange Aussie White Ibis that decided to follow us in McDonalds
The birds along with happy and grumpy.
We decided to buy tickets for the Merlin Attractions, which is a great buy, especially if you have children. Sea-Life, Animal Kingdom and Madam Tussaud's are, in fact right next to each other in Darling Quay.
The Saw fish. Not to be confused with the saw shark

moon jellyfish

or, 'you've had too many 'shrooms' 
My favourite of the three was Sea -Life, especially the underwater tunnels, where we could spot the Sharks, Rays and Dugongs swimming above us.
the underwater tunnels

 Madam Tussaud's here is also far more interactive than the one in London (maybe because its also smaller?) making it totally fun for the kids (the rock and roll section in particular).
the awesome threesome

child 1 not only beats daddy, but records the 3rd fastest time! 

child 2 fulfilling her fantasy of being a rock star
 As for the Animal Kingdom, the Koalas aren't to be missed for anything, but it also showcased a lot of other indigenous Australian species.
cuddly Koalas

and gorgeous butterflies
The Tasmanian Devils (who, despite their fierce reputations we caught napping),
catching a few zs
the inland Taipans (to whom we attempted to speak in parseltongue)
possibly wondering just how thick  that glass is
or even the Quolls.
We made it to the top of the Sydney Sky tower - which, granted wasn't as tall as the Top of the Rock, but made up for with startlingly clear weather, as far as the eye could see.
The harbour

this postbox atop the sky tower. 
We also decided to visit the Taronga Zoo (of the Steve Irwin fame) and Manly Sea Life. Yes, it might look like an overdose of wildlife, but really, it didn't seem that much to us, or the kids.
look at that yellow wattle!

one of the largest birds at the bird show- the Condor

that's Rollo. I think. 

the birdshow - a favourite for the children

The colourful fruit dove

and the wood pigeon

And I can't get over how camouflaged this little guy is...

The peacock still beats them hollow when it comes to strutting his stuff.

a happy little wallaby

oh, yeah! :)
The trip to Manly is just a short ferry ride away, like Taronga. I'd strongly advise you not to fall for the 'combined ferry and attractions ticket' like we did. State run ferries are quite frequent and can be used to travel to all these places at far cheaper prices. When at Manly, its also a good idea to spend a few hours relaxing at the beach - just swimming , or kayaking or surfing if you're the more active sorts.
Be sure to catch the shark show at Sealife Manly if you can. Fascinating show. 
The fascination with all creatures big and small should always be encouraged, I believe and that can only come when our children learn to fall in love with every living thing on God's good earth. (although I still have a few reservations on mosquitoes and roaches.)
All in all, Sydney had a lot to offer for everyone, no matter what sort of holiday you might be seeking. And guess what - we we're not even done yet!

No comments: