If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you might not be surprised to hear that when we landed in Australia, we had no firm plans for traveling this large continent. We’ve been so busy traveling New Zealand that we’ve only scratched the surface of reading about Australia. Besides, we like to make plans up as we go along. Our guide book indicated we could buy a rail pass to travel across most of Australia, but it turns out that particular rail pass is no longer offered. Our fallback plan might be to rent a car again like we did in New Zealand. The problem is that Australia is MUCH larger than New Zealand. While New Zealand is about the same size as Colorado, Australia is about the same size as the lower 48 states! We have no desire to do that much driving. So at this point we’re thinking we’ll probably skip the western two-thirds of Australia altogether. We think the east coast of Australia will have plenty to see for this trip.
Speaking of sights to be seen, we saw a little bit of Sydney this weekend with Lisa and Mark. They live in a very cute neighborhood on the north side of Sydney Harbor called Mosman. They have several beaches nearby and since it was a warm sunny day yesterday we checked out the popular Balmoral Beach. The water was a little cool, but it felt good considering how warm of a day it was. Before sunset we walked to a nearby viewpoint where we could see the sun going down with the Sydney Harbor Bridge in the foreground. It was a nice relaxing day.
Today we decided to go into the city to see some of the tourist highlights, and thankfully we had Lisa and Mark along as tour guides. We started by taking a ferry across the Sydney harbor. I really enjoyed how the meandering coastline of the harbor is lined with trees and houses. It makes for a very lovely collection of waterfront neighborhoods. Our ferry landed right next to the Sydney Opera House, so of course we took some photos and had a closer look. We were surprised to see that the Opera House is covered in ceramic tiles arranged in geometric patterns. I always assumed it was covered in large metal panels or something.
Moving on we walked through the botanic gardens and then caught a train to the Bronte neighborhood. After a yummy lunch we walked along the coastline to the iconic Bondi Beach. This beach is the epitome of Sydney beach life and even though it was a little crowded we had a nice swim in the lovely clear blue water. Heading home we again took a ferry across the scenic harbor. I’ve visited quite a few waterfront cities and I think Sydney with its harbor is the most scenic so far.