Sydney was our last stop as part of the ships itinerary. It was the base for our exploration of the outback and Cairns prior to leaving for home! We kept our excess baggage at the hotel so we would not have to lug it around the outback.
Built around the shores of one of the world's most beautiful harbors, Sydney is the capital of New South Wales and is the oldest and largest city in Australia. From its beginnings as a settlement for British convicts over 200 years ago, Sydney has grown and developed into a dynamic, cosmopolitan city of over 3 million people, and is one of the world's top tourist destinations.
When we arrived, a chauffer picked us up for a two hour tour of the city and then off to a Sea Plane for a 30 minutes ride to a Rose Bay harbor for a light lunch....
We taxied right up to the warf, tied up, and went over for a light lunch before for flying back to the harbor. Taking off and landing in Sydney Harbor was amazing.
We were introduced to the Kookaburra bird... friendly little guy who would eat anything.
From there we went to the Regent Hotel and stayed until the land tour began!
Sydney Tower is the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere. Standing at nearly 305 m (1,000 ft) it offers stunning 360-degree views, and on clear days, you can see almost 85 km (53 miles) away.
Sydney Tower is a landmark in its own right, and can be seen from almost anywhere in the city, and even far beyond. Sydney Tower consists of Centrepoint Shopping Centre at the base of the tower, 2 revolving restaurants, a coffee shop, and an observation deck in the turret.
Birds eye view
A. The enormous water tank holds 162,000 liters (42,796 gallons) of water and acts as a stabilizer on very windy days.
B. The observation level provides stunning 360-degree views of Sydney Harbor and beyond.
C. Located on level 3, the Sky Lounge coffee shop and bar offers inexpensive sandwiches, salads, desserts and drinks.
D. If you are looking for a little more style than what the Sky Lounge has to offer but don't want to pay the price of the International Restaurant, the Buffet Revolving Restaurant on level 2 is the place to go.
E. The International Revolving Restaurant offers fine dining at its best. Here you can choose from a fixed price menu that includes 3 courses or from the regular menu that included appetizers , salads, main courses, and desserts. Reservations are essential.
F. The shaft was designed to withstand earthquakes and wind speeds that are expected only once in 500 years. Inside the shaft are two separate, fireproof emergency escape routes.
The Wild Colonial Boy , very popular song that appeals to our wild Irish streak and based on the exploits of a certain Mr. Jack Doolan.
The view of the harbor is dominated by the magnificent Opera House and Harbor Bridge, and the harbor waters are filled with ferries and boats of all shapes and sizes.
The extensive bus, train and ferry service make getting around the city and the suburbs easy. There are many attractions and sites to see in Sydney, from museums to wildlife parks and everything in between.
The Harbor Bridge was officially opened on 19 March 1932. The total cost of the Bridge was approximately 6.25 million Australian pounds, and was eventually paid off in 1988.
The initial toll for a car was 6 pence and a horse and rider was 3 pence. Today the toll costs $2.00. The toll is now used for bridge maintenance and to pay for the Sydney Harbor Tunnel. The annual maintenance costs are approximately A$5 million. Over 150,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day.
The bridge was built by 1,400 workers, 16 of whom were killed in accidents during construction. Painting the bridge has become an endless task. Approximately 80,000 liters (21,000 gallons) of paint are required for each coat, enough to cover an area equivalent to 60 soccer fields.
Before Paul Hogan (from the movie 'Crocodile Dundee') became famous, he worked on the Sydney Harbor Bridge as a painter.
The Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, Australia, are the largest of three major botanical gardens open to the public in Sydney, along with the Mount Annan Botanic Garden and the Mount Tomah Botanic Garden. The park, managed by the same trust as The Domain adjoining it, is free to access and open every day of the year.
Bondi Beach (pronounced "BOND-eye" with a long i, or /'bɒndaɪ/) is a popular beach and the name of the surrounding suburb in Sydney, Australia. Bondi Beach is located 7 kilometres east of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of Waverley Council, in the Eastern Suburbs. Bondi, North Bondi and Bondi Junction are separate neighboring suburbs.
We will make one more visit to Sydney for the last leg ouradventure, Sydney to Los Angeles.