Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sensational Sydney...................

G'day mates!  As it's Australia Day, I'm sending greetings to all the lovely new Aussie friends I made whilst on board the Orion expedition ship, and in terrific Tasmania, sensational Sydney, and brilliant Brisbane.

 Above was the view from our hotel room on Circular Key overlooking Sydney Harbour Bridge and the vibrant waterside restaurant area called The Rocks.

Views from the Concierge Lounge windows were of the iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour.

Here we go, another day sightseeing from the top of the bus - this time an open top 'Hop On-Hop Off', and although very humid and hotter than h--- out there, we wanted good clear pics!  
Loved the mix of beautiful historic buildings, such as the domed Queen Victoria Building, now somewhat dwarfed by modern skyscrapers.......... favorite billboard image with the great actress Kate Winslet.....

........more architecture spanning years of building a great city........

....Paula snapping the lacy wrought iron balconies....

.....tall bronze Queen Victoria Monument in Queen's Square is a copy of the colossal one in Windsor, England. Her Majesty is holding the Sovereign's Orb and Royal Sceptre.

Very unusual large birds hang about the city buildings, alongside the seagulls. These are the Australian White Ibis - definitely not the usual pigeons one sees in cities. They have become a bit of a nuisance, especially when stealing from lunchtime picnickers in local parks - apparently they're partial to pastrami on rye sandwiches!

Despite enjoying city sights, nothing beats leaving the heat and getting on the water.......

....hopped off the hot bus and headed for the wharf, choosing the calm round trip ferry ride across the harbour to Manly in the northern Sydney suburbs, noted for its great beaches.........

........great 360 views of Sydney, the surrounding homes, and boating life, and again........

 .........that amazing building known the world over, the fabulous Sydney Opera House.

Later in the evening, after dodging a few showers, we were thrilled to meet up with Paula's delightful friend Fiona, who took time to drive quite a distance into the city to meet us for dinner at a great restaurant named Pony in The Rocks district......

...........then took us on a walk around the Opera House, thanks Fiona, I loved it all and was amazed to learn about, and touch, the millions of Swedish tiles covering the shells in the chevron pattern. Great nighttime views of the harbour and bridge - although hard to get good images with so many lights in the dark.

Interior foyer of the opera house building.

Yes, Sydney is a fabulous city to visit.......definitely hope to return some day and spend more time......

........but soon we were flying away over Bondi Beach and heading north to spend several wonderful days in the Brisbane area.  
I'll soon share the wonders of the Australian Gold Coast and the rainforest....think surfing and kangaroos!!! 


  1. I have always wanted to go to Australia. Sydney looks like a wonderful city to explore.

  2. Was that George Washington booking a ticket on Cook Tours?

    Amazing ibis...very different from pigeons indeed.

    I enjoyed this glimpse of Sidney.

  3. I have now discovered my better side- it's the back of my head!!!!

  4. Oh, this is on my travel list. What wonderful images, Mary. Looks like a splendid city. ~ Sarah

  5. This is very high on my wish list of travel destinations! What a lovely time you must have had - and so nice to have someone you know for a tour guide for a bit of your stay.

  6. Girl! You are taking me back with this tour, we ate once at a restaurant called The Rocks not sure if it's there now, though.
    To my shame I fell asleep during a concert in the Opera House but loved our hotel in Kings Cross, and watching the exotic nightlife as we enjoyed dinner!

  7. Lovely pictures. I can feel the city's energy through them. But the Captain Cook-in-costume -- or was he really the good captain, come back to see what his descendants are up to?

  8. Glad you liked Sydney. Our son and family live at Bondi, but we live on a small island off the coast of South Australia called Kangaroo Island. No bustling cities here. More like the Southern Ocean islands you visited with lots of native animals and great scenery.

  9. I visited here yesterday and loved seeing Australia through your camera lens. My computer was being very slow, so now I am back to leave a comment. Oh how I would love to visit here.

  10. Definitely visiting Sydney one day. Got relations in NSW.

    Thanks for the tour Mary.

    Mr Sft and I love the first photo!

    Sft x

  11. Mary,
    What a beautiful home and country side Paulas'friends had.You told me how magnificent it was,my eyes got lost looking out at the mountains an to have such beatiful flowers,trees and animals must of made you feel like you were in heaven.Would love to go there one day''

  12. Lori's dad "visited" Sydney when he was in the Navy. He said it was a beautiful place, and your photos definitely show it!


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