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Published: March 27th 2013
This is our last update about Australia. Once we left Rick and Leeanne's house, we flew to Sydney for a few days as our flight to Bangkok left from there. We thought we would elplore some of this famus city whilst we had the oppurtunity.
When we arrived we put on our walking shoes and took to the streets to explore. We left our hostel in King's Cross and headed for the harbour area. We weaved in and out of some houses, made it to Elizabeth Quay, only to discover that we couldn't get to the main waterfront attractions. So we re-traced our steps and found the beautiful Botanical Gardens. These are a set of large gardens that are free to walk in and go from formal flower gardens, to tropical fern gardens and then large explanses of grass for people to have picnic's or play games on. They stretch right down to the harbour and have a really lovely, relaxed feel. We spent some time reading our books in the shade of the trees as it was too hot to be out in direct sunlight.
From here we explored the famous Sydney Opera House. Although we
didn't go inside, we walked around the outside of the building and peeked our head through the windows. It was great to see such a famous building in real life. It was as big as I expected it to be but the outside is covered in lots of square tiles that reflect the light and make it more interesting to look at.
After visiting the Opera House, we headed to the Rocks. This is the oldest section of the harbour and is where the first boat docked when people were exploring Australia. It is also where Sydney Harbour Bridge is. This is the largest bridge in the world. It was built between 1923-1932, which means it took 9 years to build! There were over 60 men working everyday of those 9 years to build it and the highest point of the arch is 134 meters tall. My Brother and Sister-in-law paid for me to climb the bridge as a special treat, so I was very lucky and got to see the incredibe view from the top. We were able to see for 80km in all directions, which is a very long way.
After visitng the Harbour Bridge, we
walked to another area of the harbour called Darling Harbour. It is here that we got to watch an amazing fireworks display over the water. The organisers set up 3 platforms in the water and had lots of different rockets and sprinkers that showered lover the whole harbour. It was beautiful! An old steam ship sounded it's horn at the begining and end of the display which added to the excitment of being stood on Sydney Harbour watching the fireworks.
Whilst we were around the Darling Harbour area, we also found a Thai festival, whe they had music, dancing, cooking demonstrations and lots of yummy food outlets. It was a lovely place just to sit down, eat new food and enjoy the atmosphere.
From here we headed to a Chinese Garden which has been build right in the middle of Sydney. The gentleman who designed and built it, has included waterfalls, lakes, pragodas, sculptured stones and lots of different plants. It is a lovely area, it is so quiets you don't even feel like you are a city!
During our time in Sydney, we also managed to have a little trip to 'The Blue Mountains'. This is
a range of mountains about 2 hours away by train. THe mountains get their name from the type of tree that grows a lot here, it is called Eculyptus and this tree has a resin that gives off a bluey haze. It means when you look at the mountains, they look a little blury with blue over them. They are very peaceful and we spent a day walking in them. As soon as we arrived we headed straight for the 'Three Sisters'. These are a popualar viewpoint as there are 3 huge statues of limestone sticking out the ground. THis was a very busy area so we decided to descend the Giant's Staircase, a set of 1000 steps that lead you to the rainforest floor. We walked for a few hours and came across waterfalls and some birds. Our favourite by far though was a family of 3 Lyre Birds. These birds are normally quite shy so we were really lucky to see a Mum, Dad and juvenile all together! The reason they are so exciting to see though, is because they mimick the sounds they hear in the rainforest. Normally a bird has a specfic call or song, so
a Robin will only make the sound of a Robin, but Lyre birds don't have their own sound, they borrow everyone elses! This means they make some really strange noises, in fact some of them made me laugh because they sounded so unusal.
We have had a lovely time in Australia staying with family. We have not been here as long as we originally planned, mainly becuase it is so expensive to live here, so we have not seen as much as we first hoped. This said, there are times when I forgot I was in Australia! It is very similar to England in many ways, the cars drive on the same side of the road, people mainly speak English, the food is very similar, the main difference is it is so much hotter. Whilst all these things are lovely, we are really looking forward to getting to Sotuh East Asia so that we to get to experience something new again. New foods, sights, smells and the chance to learna bout a new culture. Exciting.
I will write again from Bangkok.
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