Blogs from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, Oceania

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Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney February 26th 2021

26th February - Hidden secrets 40 miles from Sydney Another early morning virtual trip but this was one I didn’t want to miss, a hike through the wilderness with our virtual guide Matt. As a child he would roam the area overlooking Barranco Valley, but did not say the exact location as he didn’t want it to become known and the area be ruined with visitors. He acknowledged the indigenous people who for years had lived in the area. We saw all type of flora and fauna, mostly gum trees and banksia. Termites, spiders, lizards, mosquitoes all added to the atmosphere but I was glad I was sitting in the armchair viewing on screen. Our guide had a particular passion for Grass Trees - Many species have an amazing ability to survive fire. A fire may ... read more

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney December 20th 2020

Fires like the Apocalypse threatened my Aussie backyard from August 2019 to February 2020...the East Coast on fire like never before. Over 18 million hectares were burnt in the Australian bushfire season 2019–2020...all states affected. As of mid-January 2020 according to media reports, 5,900 buildings were destroyed including over 2,800 homes. In addition to 33 human fatalities including 9 firefighters, conservative estimates, based on NSW and Victoria only, project losses of over one billion mammals, birds and reptiles combined. This excludes insects, the loss of which has been reported to be in the hundreds of billions...flora & fauna habitat scorched, killed and laid bare. The Bureau of Meteorology noted in its January 2020 Statement that, ‘The extensive and long-lived fires appear to be the largest in scale in the modern record in New South Wales, while ... read more
As Oz burns
While our backs were turned
Better to mask than be sorry

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney March 6th 2020

Left Travelodge Airport Accomodation ....Sorted Rental Car at Apex Car Rentals drove south out of Sydney around 10 am wasn't long and we started along the coast driving around the Sea Cliff Bridge we had a quick look around Clifton and onto Wollongong a university town and seaside harbour .... had coffee at the harbour and look around the lighthouse. Drove onto Warrawong and had a look around the mall there and travelled on through to Kiama another quaint seaside town where we found accomodation at Sebel Mercure on the waterfront it is Jazz Blues weekend and the place was buzzing settled in and then headed out to get some bits and pieces from Woolworths stopped in town for Chinese dinner and had King Prawns !!!!... read more
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Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » CBD March 4th 2020

We left this day for our return home. Last night we availed ourselves of a last opportunity to go to the Sydney Opera House and see La Bohème. Never a bad way to end a visit. We spent that day are-visiting Doyle's on the Beach for a last lunch of wonderful Australia and New Zealand seafood. WE embarked on our return with some trepidation. By that time the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic was getting into pretty serious action. The day after we left NZ they shut down incoming and outgoing flights. Australia was getting more serious than they already had been. There were beginning to be the first reports of cases of people who flew through LAX. Nonetheless, our options were limited, fo fly out we did for the somewhat shorter trip back than the outgoing trip (tailwinds ... read more

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » Darling Harbour February 19th 2020

Day 7 Tuesday 18th February, 2020 We arrived at the airport in good time and were thankfully directed to an assisted check in desk, so we didn't have to wrestle with the automatic check in (think my sticks were the clue for the staff around!). Our bags were within weight (phew!) and our wheelchairs duly arrived to take us through to the departure gate. All very low key on an internal flight it seems, they didn't even want the liquids out of the hand luggage. We had a bit a of a wait as we were really early but happy to be there and hang around. It was raining as we left Melbourne and the clouds were a bit bumpy but we arrived an hour and a half later to blue skies in Sydney. The assistance ... read more
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Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » Sydney Harbour February 14th 2020

After Cairns, it was back to Sydney. The flight from Cairns left us with half a day, so we decided to explore The Rocks. The Rocks is the area of Sydney that was originally inhabited by aboriginals then by convicts, and for many decades it was a favorite haunt of criminals, prostitutes, and sailors. It is named for the sandstone on which the buildings are built. More recently, it has undergone partial gentrification, and has tourist shops and eating places, as well as two pubs that each claim to be the oldest in Sydney. We chose the Lord Nelson for a wee pint, and then for dinner upstairs, which was surprisingly significantly more upscale. The Sydney Observatory is located here, but we did not have time to visit. This area was once being primed to be ... read more
Lord Nelson Pub
Sydney Harbor Bridge
Opera House

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » Darling Harbour January 30th 2020

After an abbreviated day the day of arrival in Sydney, we were ready to tackle a somewhat more ambitious agenda, although admittedly with some reservation of energy for attendance at the opera in the Sydney Opera House this evening. Opera is not particularly strenuous, nor was the journey to the SOH, but we were mindful of the fact that our home town is 8 hours ahead of us (actually, technically 16 hours behind us), and that would make staying alert until later at night somewhat more problematic. Just a short walk across a peninsula from Circular Quay is Darling Harbour, but with poor train connections and a need for exercise, we walked there in about 30 minutes from our hotel. One the city side is the Sydney Aquarium, and across a pedestrian bridge over the harbor ... read more
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Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney October 21st 2019

It was sad saying farewell to Chris, Natalie and Mikey before they left for school at about 8.15. Our family is so scattered around the world, so these times together have made our holiday really special. We packed our cases, tidyed up and finished writing our diary/blog. Wendy was working from home so was there to wish us farewell when our taxi arrived. We used an Uber taxi to get us to the airport, in good time, for our Quantas flight at 16.50. We are much better at working out how to use the high tec self service units and bag check. We had time for a tasty lunch before boarding out Airbus 380, a huge double decker aircraft. There is a staircase Nancy! We stopped over in Singapore for about an hour and a half. ... read more
Airbus 380 at Sydney airport
Selfie at Departures
Last look at this lovely city

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney October 19th 2019

18 - 19th October Family days and relaxing at St Ives We needed to take some time out to relax and get our minds around all we have seen in Sydney and the Blue Mountains, so Friday was spent doing things around the home and catching up on the blog until the family returned from work/ school. Saturday was cricket day for Mikey and Natalie. We missed going to see Mikey play as it was earlier and in a different place from Natalie's mtch. They both did really well for their first cricket games with Natalie taking a catch and bowling well to take a wicket on a catch. Unfortunately she and her friend Jamie were seconded to the other team as they were short. We dined at home, outside by the pool, although too chilly ... read more
Winks in the spacious, modern kitchen and living area
Living area looking towards the kitchen
Getting ready for cricket with Natalie

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney October 17th 2019

We went to Chris, Natalie and Mikey's school this morning leaving the house at 7.10, so the Natalie was in time to try for a place in the Soft Ball team. We heard later that she had been selected. We popped home for a quick breakfast before setting off for the Blue Mountains. It took about 2 hours, through the busy traffic, for Graeme to drive us to Katoomba. We started our tour of the Blue Mountains at Echo Point with magnificent views over the extensive forests, stretching into the far distance. The iconic Three Sisters were lit by the sun. We took the 30 minute scenic walk to Katoomba Cascades and Falls, which included quite a number of steps up and down! But we were rewarded with spectacular views. Graeme kindly walked back to collect ... read more
View from Echo Point
An Echidna in the path
Katoomba Cascades




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