We are now Down Under….let me take you through some of our experiences in Australia…starting with Sydney.
Sydney is the capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia.Located on the east coast,it had been inhabited for almost 30000 years by the indigenous people and remnants of their art work and engravings are seen throughout the region. They called themselves the “Eora people” meaning from this place.
After World War II Sydney experienced mass migration and grew to be one of the most multicultural cities in the world.
Well; unlike most of our trips, the arrival at Sydney entailed some uncertainties contributed to by nature!! Our Singapore airlines flight from Bangalore to Singapore was indefinitely delayed due to incessant rain and squally weather at Bangalore…leaving us waiting at the airport for a few hours. In the bargain, we missed our connecting flight from Singapore to Sydney. Finally we boarded to Singapore and landed there. I must mention here the amazing coordination by the ground staff at Singapore. We were re booked for the next available flight to Sydney and guided through our boarding process very smoothly .
We had an amazing flight from here on. The flight from Singapore to Sydney was exceptionally good. Literally pampered with food and goodies and great onboard entertainment.So after that initial hiccup, we were on course for a trip to OZ.
Landed late evening at Sydney and took a coach to our Hotel Holiday Inn at Potts Point. The view from our hotel room was amazing with the Harbour Bridge and the cruising ships.
View from hotel…The Opera House and Harbour Bridge with a cruise liner
Next morning we did a tour of Sydney city….
Our first halt was at The Opera House...the iconic landmark of Sydney which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a multi venue performing arts centre located alongside the Sydney harbour. This gracefully designed building shaped like shells or billowing sails is widely regarded as one of the most distinctive buildings in the world…..a masterpiece of 20th century architecture. Formally opened in 1973, it is one of the most visited sites in Australia.
Its exterior looks marvelous with the unique design. The interior is equally complex with theaters, studios, exhibition rooms, concert halls and a cinema. In fact there are guided tours to take one through the various sections of this unique structure.
Outside the building , all along the waterfront there are chairs laid out for people to relax and enjoy the views. Restaurants and beer parlors with canopies dot the outside.
Enough avenues for spending a day leisurely sipping your favorite drinks and watching the ships sail by…..
The Sydney Opera House…
Interior of the Opera House
From the Opera House, one can also see another iconic structure of Sydney…the Harbour Bridge across the waters.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Harbour Bridge was built in 1932 and is the world’s largest steel arch bridge. Supported by massive double piers at each end, it has been nicknamed the “Coathanger”.
Bridge Climb is an important activity here. There are guided tours that take you to the 135 meter high summit of this bridge from where there are great views of the harbour and the city. A museum helps one understand the history and details of its construction.
The Royal Botanical Garden was our next destination….it is a small walk from the Opera House. There are 30 hectares of themed gardens with towering trees, palm groves, orchids, ferns, herbs and oriental gardens. A rose garden and a glass house also form part of this garden. Particular attention has been paid to retain the native Australian trees.
This garden is also a popular wedding destination and we happened to see one such event.
The First Encounters garden is unique here. It tells the story of the Gadigal people, the land’s traditional custodians.
The Glass House at the Garden
General views of the garden
A wedding decoration at the garden
At one end of the garden is the Domain , an area used for public performances and events. Located here is Mrs Macquaire’s chair…an exposed sandstone rock cut in the shape of a bench .This rock was carved by convicts for Elizabeth Macquaire, the wife of the Governor. It is now called Macquiare’s Point.
This point is a popular photo destination as you can get good pictures of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.
Mrs Macquiare’s Chair
The Opera House and Bridge from Macquiare’s point
The Finger wharf at Woolloomoolloo
This is a heritage site which was originally a wharf and passenger terminal and now converted into a marina.It is the longest timbered piled wharf in the world. It was used as a wharf primarily for wool export.
Now converted into a marina, there were plenty of high end yachts anchored there. The interior of the old terminal is now converted into a boutique hotel and has restaurants and other public utilities.
The Finger wharf at Woolloomoollo
Purported to be the red light district of Sydney, this area is dotted by hep bars, night clubs and restaurants. The famous Coca Cola bill board is a land mark here…claimed to be the largest in the Southern Hemisphere!!
The tallest building in Sydney, this tower is 309 metres high. Located in the busy Central Business district, it is a popular destination for tourists. One can zoom up to the top in express lifts to the observation deck and a glass floor sky walk here . A revolving restaurant adds to its popularity.
The Sydney Tower
The Chinese Garden of Friendship
Popularly called Chinese garden, this garden is modeled like the gardens of the Ming Dynasty and offers an insight into Chinese traditions and culture.
Bonsai at the Chinese Garden
There are multiple beaches in the city, ranging in size from a few metres to several kilometres, located along the city’s Pacific Ocean coastline and its harbours, bays and rivers. The Pacific Ocean delivers non-stop surf and surfing is a famous activity in most of these beaches. Manly, Bondi and Coogee are some of the more popular beaches.
The sweeping white-sand crescent of Bondi is one of Australia’s most iconic beaches. . We visited Bondi Beach with our local friends who also took us around some of the other popular beaches. Coogee and Manly were some of the other beaches we visited.
Bondi is a famous destination for surfing
Some pictures from Bondi Beach..
Another landmark we visited was The Sydney Cricket Ground. It is a sports stadium used for cricket and other sports. Some pictures….
The Sydney Cricket Ground
After a nice roundup of the city, we had a sumptuous dinner at an Indian Restaurant in Sydney before heading back to our hotel
Nice memories of Sydney….
Next day we had a trip booked to the Blue Mountains near Sydney….
See you next week at the Blue Mountains…
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