A Travellerspoint blog

Day 14

Syndey Opera House and University of Sydney

Our morning started with a tour of the Sydney Opera House. It was beautiful inside. We learned that it was expected to take 3 years to build at 7 million dollars. However, it took 14 years to build and over $100 million. The original architect had a falling out with the government 7 years into the project and quit. However, he has recently been working with the Opera House on updates (he is 90 years old now). He actually has never seen the completed Opera House because he is unable to make the flight to Sydney from Europe due to his poor health.
IMG_7116.jpg
Sydney Opera House

IMG_7099.jpg
Colleen overlooking the bridge from the Opera House

IMG_7112.jpg
Sydney Opera House between the different halls

IMG_7107.jpg
Inside the Sydney Opera House

IMG_7109.jpg
View of the opposite hall from inside one of the opera house halls

Alan spoke today at the University of Sydney. We had lunch with 6 faculty and graduate students before his talk. I walked around campus. Alan made some good international connections.

IMG_7143.jpg
University of Sydney

IMG_7166.jpg
Alan at the University of Sydney

IMG_7172.jpg
Alan in front of the university quad building

Tonight we are going to the Sydney Opera house to see Bubble. This production combines dance and acrobats into a show. It is in one of the smaller theaters and should be a great time. Tomorrow our shuttle picks us up for the airport at 6:30am for our long flight back to the US. Thanks for reading our blog and catching up on our adventures down under.

IMG_7134.jpg
Overlooking the Opera House and Harbour Bridge

Posted by zillichs 23:28 Comments (0)

Day 13

Sydney

We left the Thistle Hill Bed and Breakfast after another picture of Chloe.
IMG_6993.jpg
Colleen and Chloe on the deck of the bed and breakfast

We drove to Sydney where we returned the car. City driving on the left hand side of the road with many one way streets was quite challenging but Alan did a great job…no scratches!
IMG_6994.jpg
Driving over the Sydney Harbor Bridge

This afternoon we walked to the Circular Quay and had lunch at Doyle’s. It had great food and the most outstanding view.
IMG_7013.jpg
Beautiful lunch spot

IMG_7020.jpg
Lunch spot...Opera House in the background

After lunch we walked to the lookout point in one of the towers of the Sydney Harbor Bridge. It was a beautiful day so the views were wonderful.
IMG_7034.jpg
Overlooking downtown Sydney

IMG_7047.jpg
Looking at the Sydney Harbor Bridge from one of the bridge towers

IMG_7051.jpg
Overlooking the Sydney Opera House

Tonight we went on a sunset harbor cruise. It was neat to see the city light up. Tomorrow we are going on a tour of the Opera House. Alan is also speaking at the University of Sydney. We have one more night in Australia and then fly home on Friday morning.

IMG_7074.jpg
Sydney Opera House at Sunset

IMG_7088.jpg
Alan and the Opera House during the sunset cruise

IMG_7091.jpg
Sydney at night

Posted by zillichs 05:08 Comments (0)

Day 12

Hunter Valley Wine Region

We flew from Cairns over the Great Barrier Reef on our way to Sydney. It was beautiful to see all the different reefs. We learned that the Great Barrier Reef is comprised of 3,000 different reefs.
IMG_6922.jpg
Great Barrier Reef from the air

When we landed in Sydney, it was rainy and cold…especially after leaving sunny and 80. We rented a car and drove to the Hunter Valley wine region (about 2 ½ hours from Sydney). As we arrived at the bed and breakfast, the resident kangaroo, Chloe, greeted us at the door.
IMG_6929.jpg
Chloe the Kangaroo greeting us at the door of our B&B

Chloe was found by the previous home owners as a joey in her dead mother’s pouch. She was raised by humans so is very docile and very dependent on the home owners. We continued to see Chloe as we came and went from the bed and breakfast.
IMG_6937.jpg
Alan In front of our bed and breakfast

During the day, we went to 5 different wineries. It was very slow as it is the winter in the middle of the week, so we were able to chat with the staff at each of the wineries. It was fun to hear their stories and learn more about Australia. For lunch we enjoyed a cheese and wine lunch after a cheese tasting…very fun. We ended our day at a great restaurant called Robert’s in a quaint cottage on a vineyard.

IMG_6960.jpg
Colleen at the Wyndham Winery

IMG_6962.jpg
Alan and the vines

IMG_6952.jpg
Hunter Valley Winery

IMG_6944.jpg
Wine tasting

IMG_6946.jpg
Cabernet vines in the Hunter Valley

Posted by zillichs 04:34 Comments (0)

Day 9-11

Port Douglas Beaches and Daintree Rainforest

After visiting the Great Barrier Reef, we stayed in Port Douglas, 5 houses down from the beach.
IMG_6898.jpg
This is where we stayed in Port Douglas... The Dream Catcher

On our first day there, we visited the Daintree Rainforest.

IMG_6816.jpg
In the Daintree Rainforest

IMG_6811.jpg
Megan and Colleen on the suspension bridge in the Rainforest

IMG_6854.jpg
Overlooking the ocean on our way to the Daintree Rainforest

IMG_6865.jpg
On the beach coming back from the rainforest

The Daintree rainforest was beautiful and very green. We hiked through the trees along a river. During the day, we went on a crocodile tour. We were very fortunate to see some action. We saw a female crocodile resting on the beach and a huge male crocodile named Fat Albert in the water. As Fat Albert went past the female, she hissed at him and lifted up her head. It was a sign of submission but it sure didn’t look that way. We followed Fat Albert as he crawled up on to the beach. He was huge! We were very happy to not be swimming in that river.

IMG_6835.jpg
Fat Albert on the beach

IMG_6826.jpg
Alan and Colleen on the Croc tour

IMG_6841.jpg
Fat Albert warning the other boats to not come too close

The next day we enjoyed the beautiful beaches of Port Douglas. You cannot see any of the accommodations from the beach so it looked so isolated and pristine.

IMG_6890.jpg
Mark and Alan on the beach in Port Douglas

We went to the Sunday market and drank sugar cane juice and found some jewelry for me. The market overlooked the beautiful coast line. It was definitely hard to leave this beautiful area of Australia.
IMG_6892.jpg
Beaches of Port Douglas

IMG_6867.jpg
Mark and Alan playing baseball on the beach

IMG_6886.jpg
Overlooking Port Douglas' beautiful beaches

Today we are heading to the Hunter Valley wine area about 2 hours outside of Sydney. Our trip ends with two days in Sydney. Hopefully we’ll have internet access to be able to share more pictures.

Posted by zillichs 19:46 Comments (0)

Day 6-8

Great Barrier Reef

We spent the night on the Great Barrier Reef on the Ocean Quest dive boat. Alan and I went scuba diving and Mark and Megan snorkeled.

IMG_6793.jpg
Our liveaboard dive boat

IMG_6755.jpg
Megan, Mark and Alan getting ready to snorkel

Alan and I did 5 dives including one night dive. We initially had a dive master dive with us but then felt comfortable to do our dives without one.
DSC_9120.jpg
Diving in the Great Barrier Reef

During the day dives we saw clownfish, string rays, lion fish, sea cucumbers, parrotfish and many more beautiful fish. The best part was knelling on the ocean floor as a big sea turtle swam over our heads. DSC_9121.jpg
Holding a Sea Cucumber

DSC_9127.jpg
Posing with "Nemo"

We also did a night dive. It was a little intimidating jumping into the black water when we saw sharks off the boat. At least they were the non-man eating kind of sharks but it still was scary. In the water, we saw the sharks circling over head. It was a very different and intense way to dive. IMG_6772.jpg
Getting ready for the night dive

During the trip, Alan and I both feel like we have become better divers. It was amazing.

IMG_6792.jpg
On the boat together

We had a great time sleeping overnight on the Great Barrier Reef. Next, off to the beach!

Posted by zillichs 19:37 Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 10) Page [1] 2 »