We arrived in Sydney mid afternoon after a short flight and got checked into a hotel. The pictures online were certainly a lot better than the real thing but it was clean and tidy so that was the main thing. After a short break we headed out to the Sydney Tower which is the tallest building in Sydney so you get a good view of the city. We could see for miles and it was pretty cool to be somewhere of complete contrast to where we'd stayed so far. We then got suited up into some sexy jumpsuits and attached to a harness where we did the skywalk.
This entails walking out on a glass platform on the very top of the building for better views and a guided tour of the sights. We bought a couple of photos of us on the top of which one is a contender for the most comedy photo of the holiday. We then headed down to Darling Harbour for dinner and chose a restaurant on an old steam boat. I had been looking forward to Sydney for the seafood so I ordered a seafood platter for one and oh my god I've never seen so much food. There were 6 oysters, 3 pieces of barramundi, loads of calamari, 6 giant prawns, half a lobster and half a crab.
I've never had oysters before and really fancied trying them and wondered if they really had the aphrodisiac properties they claimed to have. Oh my god it truly was one of the worse things I have ever tasted in my life. Seriously I don't know where it got its reputation from but it is really really vile. I made Al try one and decided this would be worth videoing - needless to say this definitely makes the top 5 comedy moments of the trip. To start with you can tell he's not very happy with the taste but as he keeps chewing it just gets worse and ends up with swearing and some of the funniest facial expressions ever. Al on the other hand opted for the kangaroo fillet steak which was yummy.
Day 2 and we were booked in for Taronga Zoo, we boarded the ferry and had a pleasant trip over with commentary about the Sydney sites along the way. This was the first time we'd seen the Bridge and the Opera house and we got some great pics.
The zoo was full of the usual animals and some new ones I've never heard of before, native aussie creatures related to the kangaroo. We saw a great bird show and the elephant playtime was just sooo cute!
This night we headed to the sushi bar which had a proper sushi train which was really fun and very tasty.
Day 3 we had an early start for our trip to the blue mountains. We started with breakfast in the wildlife park which was nice as the park was closed to everyone else apart from our tour and maybe one other. The koalas came to see us while we were eating then we got to feed the kangaroos. Unfortunately the weather wasn't great and there was a lot of fog and mist which meant we couldn't see that much but in parts it did clear and we got some incredible views.
We went to see the famous 3 sisters rocks but I can't say I could see them in the rain. We did go on the world's steepest railway though which was fun especially as there were a couple of camp american guys we had met who were really scared about it but were also really funny. On the way back we stopped off at one of the national parks where we saw wild kangaroos really close up and these ones were a lot more friendly than the ones in Adelaide and they really didn't seem bothered by us being so close.
I did however get attacked by a duck on the way back to the coach. There was Mum, Dad, and 4 tiny ducklings which were really cute and I got rather close for a good look at the babies when one of the big ducks flew at my head and started attacking me. Trying not to completely freak out I started running away and soon I'd obviously got far enough from the babies for it to leave me alone! That night we went to a lovely french restaurant however unlike France their idea of a medium steak was hardly any pink which was a little disappointing.
Day 4 we bought ourselves a one day pass to get into the Sydney attractions so we had a lot to fit in. We started with a morning walk around the Chinese garden which was pleasant.
It is apparently the largest Chinese garden outside of China and had lovely waterfalls and bonsai trees.
Next we took a quick visit to the powerhouse museum which is sort of a science museum but with fashion and history too and saw some fairly interesting things. Next we were booked onto the Sydney Jet boat ride.
This is one of those thrill rides where the boat spins round and the aim is to get wet. That was great fun although another jet had broken down and halfway through and we had to tow it back which messed up our schedule for the rest of the day so we missed the Sydney bridge pylon walk but we had been over it the previous day on the way to the mountains at least. After a spot of lunch we boarded a coffee cruise around the harbour where we got commentary of the sites and it was also nice to be able to relax for a while. We then headed over to the opera house for the tour. It was pretty amazing inside and what I hadn't realised is they do more than opera and ballet so we tried to book in for the following night to see one of the comedy shows but sadly they didn't have any seats together left so we had to miss out. Finally we headed over to the aquarium which started off rather dull (after seeing the real thing on the reef the tanks didn't quite match up) but then we headed down into the shark tunnels which was awesome. To the sides, above and below you can see through into the huge tank and we saw giant rays, massive turtles and even bigger sharks.
By this point it was really late so we headed back to the sushi bar for a quick bite to eat then headed back to the hotel.
Our last day in Sydney and we had planned to head down to Bondi beach for a surf lesson but on checking the weather that morning it was overcast and raining so we decided to do a spot of shopping and see if the weather would clear up in the afternoon. Sadly the weather only got worse so we carried on shopping which turned out rather nice and we found the Queen Victoria Building which really reminded us of England. It was very quaint and was all decorated for christmas which was lovely. They also had the largest indoor (and potentially bigger than any outdoor) tree I had ever seen decorated with over 15000 swarovski crystals.
It was here that Al bought me a lovely opal necklace which is the famous stone in Australia so Al really wanted to get me one. After a busy day shopping we were rather exhausted so went back to the hotel to freshen up before having our last meal out.
We decided to head down to Circular Quay which overlooks the opera house and the bridge and this was the view I had been waiting for. In the day the 2 iconic structures look impressive but in the nighttime and all lit up they looked amazing.
We had a lovely meal on the harbourside then decided to have a cheeky cocktail in the ice bar. We had to have boots, gloves and coats on for our 30 minute drink in the bar made entirely out of ice. The sculptures were amazing and it was really fun to do.
The temperature inside the bar was -12c so quite a contrast to the outside even late at night.
So our Australian adventure has come to an end and it's quite sad to be leaving. It seems so long along that we were swimming up to the cocktail bar on Hamilton Island or sweating our bits off in the Daintree but we'll certainly be coming back here one day when we've paid off all our debts and saved up enough time off! But at least its not hometime just yet as we have our Vegas adventure still to come.