I spent the last four days of my trip in Sydney, trying to see the sights with minimal walking. It’s a large, noisy place, but fortunately I was only a couple blocks from the Central train station, staying in a nice apartment in Surry Hills.
10 April, 2015 – Opera House
I left Cairns very early and took a plane to Sydney, arriving fairly early in the morning. After coffee with my airbnb host, I took the train to Circular Quay (“Circular Key”) and went on a tour of the Opera House. The history of it’s construction is fascinating.
11 April – Hop On Hop Off Bus
I spent the day riding around on the top of a double decker bus, getting off at a few locations: “The Rocks” for views of the harbor and a stroll through the Saturday market, Paddington to visit the Photography Centre, Bondi Beach for a picnic lunch watching the surfers, and the Australia Museum which had a great “Nature Photographer of the Year” exhibit.
12 April – Blue Mountains
I spent a delightful day with Mandy and Jarred, who I met last year in the Ecuadorian jungle. They picked me up at the Wharoonga train station, about 45 minutes north of Sydney, and we went for a drive in the Blue Mountains. Since I can’t hike, we stopped at several viewpoints and took short strolls. I was impressed with their knowledge of local fauna and appreciated seeing a variety of forests. If I get back to Australia, a canyon hike in the Blueys will be on my list. Thank you both for a great day.
13 April – Zoo
After a short ferry ride to the Taronga Zoo, I rode the cable car to the top and slowly made my way down through the Australian section. I enjoyed seeing local animals up close and support the focus on conservation, but I was dismayed to see some parents allowing their children to harass animals and elephants should definitely not be kept in zoos. My favorite part was the Koala Encounter. I paid extra to get close to a couple koalas and lucked out because one was awake and moving about. (They sleep as much as cats, about 16 hours a day).
14 April – Home Again
I arrived before I departed, thanks to the international date line, recovering the day I lost on my way to New Zealand. I was sleepy all day, then slept for ten hours, nearly resetting my biological clock.