We arrived in Sydney, Australia January 25th. Our place to stay on the Parramatta River provided the perfect base camp to explore the city and we spent our first days in Australia discovering the Sydney Harbour, the famous Sydney Fish Market, the Central Business District (CBD), the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Sydney Opera House and much more.
Sooty also landed in this new country on the 25th of January. After picking her up from the Qantas Freight Terminal, we drove her to her new home where she was reunited with Mary’s friend. It took no time for Sooty to feel comfortable in her new home, claiming the best spot on the couch where she formed a content cat-bun and purred the afternoon away.
We coincidentally timed our arrival in Australia with the national celebration of Australia Day which takes place every year on January 26th. To get in the spirit of all things “Australian”, we went to the world famous Sydney Fish Market to buy fresh salmon and prawns for dinner. We also learned that “flake” is an Australian term synonymous to edible shark and is the most common type of fish served in Australian fish and chips shops. Later on, we joined in the nautical festivities as Mary’s friend took us on a personal boat tour down the bustling Parramatta River to the Sydney Harbour… in a tin boat. We caught our first glimpse of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House amidst multi million dollar yachts, sailboats of all sizes, fishermen boats and ferries zipping up and down the river.
The Sydney Ferries may cause a lot of erosion damage, but they really are a convenient way to get down town Sydney without the hassles of traffic. With a Ferry Wharf located 200 meters from where we stayed, we purchased a weekly public transport passes for $51 which allowed us to take ferries, buses and trains to explore Sydney (definitely a good investment as oppose to $5.60 per trip).
Our first day of exploration downtown Sydney began in Darling Harbour as we walked through the business district to the Domain where a free Opera concert (completed with an orchestra, choir and dancers) was taking place. After listening to a few songs, we checked out Finding Antarctica: Mapping the Last Continent, a free exhibit at the impressive State Library of New South Whales in celebration of 100 year of Australian expeditions to Antarctica. We continued our own “expedition” through the Royal Botanic Gardens to the Sydney Opera House and ended in Circular Keys where we caught a ferry back home.
We used our handy MyMulti transport passes for the rest of the week as we continued to explored Sydney. We went to the Sydney Olympic Park, Bondi Beach, Manly Beach, Palm Beach, Chinatown, the Chinese Garden of Friendship, the Rocks’ Markets, the Art Gallery of New South Whales and spent a few sunny afternoons at the Andrew (Boy) outdoor pool.