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Published: April 27th 2016
SYDNEY 1st March - 9th March
Arriving early morning into Circular Quay, always a special sight, the sun over the Opera House and the first view of the Harbour Bridge. Disembarkation was easy, however waiting for the transfer was not. No transport waiting for us, bookings all messed up and eventually tracked down the company responsible. It was only about 800 yards to the Mantra where we were staying so no big deal but it was hot waiting and seeing everybody else disappearing was a bit traumatic.
This is our fifth visit, so what to do. The answer is loads, from museums to beaches to gardens.
The apartment was ready early so off shopping only for essentials. Who do we bump into in George Street but friends we have made on Arcadia, Hilary and Phil. They are staying for a couple of days before heading to Singapore and then home to Cornwall.
What can you say about Sydney, it has been named as the worlds favourite tourist destination after Paris, Florence and San Francisco. The natural harbour along with 115 museums, Sydney Opera House, 75 theatres, 74 cinemas, 49 galleries and over 2000 parks and gardens
makes it a consummate tourist destination.No wonder Sydneysiders believe they live in one of the most lovely cities in the world.
Circular Quay is the hub of the water transport system, from here you can catch ferries out to suburbs including Manly and Watsons Bay. Watsons Bay is famous for Doyle's Restaurant.
Over the 8 days we were in Sydney we did not have to think or say "What shall we do today" or "What shall we do next".
The Botanic gardens can take most of the day to walk round, taking the path around Farm Cove to Mrs Macquaries Chair. The day we walked they were setting up a floating stage to perform an opera later in the month on the water. These gardens go around to Woolloomooloo Bay and incorporate Government House, the Conservatorium of Music and over 20 hectares of native and exotic trees. There are numerous places to take refreshment or just to sit and watch the world go by. Government House is surrounded by one of the oldest gardens in the country. Interestingly the fruit bats have finally been dispersed from the gardens, they were causing untold damage
when we visited here last in 2014.
Darling harbour is undergoing quite a lot of construction work but is still a thriving shopping area. With it's range of attractions including the Chinese Garden of Friendship, the Aquarium and the National Maritime Museum makes it another good day out. We took the ferry round and then spent a half day looking around the Chinese Garden a place of tranquillity in the hustle and bustle of the city.
A morning was spent in the Museum of Contemporary Art, the gallery features a good collection of contemporary international and Australian art as well as traditional Aboriginal works. Grayson Perry had an exhibition on while we were here.
Interspersed with all this culture we managed to stop either at lunchtime or evening to sample the various restaurants and bars that surround Circular Quay and the Rocks.
Ah yes, The Rocks where it all began with the convicts now a shopping heaven again with plenty of restaurants and watering holes. One of the highlights was a visit to the Opera House on Saturday night to see The Pearl Fishers - we are not
opera goers but to walk out after being entertained down the steps from the house is a quite surreal experience. To see Sydney in the evening, with everybody enjoying themselves around the quayside on warm (their Autumn) evenings is a joy.
And for the first time in all our visits - it didn't rain.
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