Sydney 2 ~ Beaches, a zoo with a view and strewth, it’s a new year
Given Australia’s reputation of weather extremes, what were we going to find? Would we be struggling in the seven fires of hell? Would we drown in thunderstorms? Nope, it was pretty similar to a Wellington summer. Even though one of us was operating at half-pace we managed lots of expeditions and celebrated the arrival of 2016 determined to see the mighty Sydney Harbour fireworks display. Unfortunately that part bombed a bit!
With three boys who love swimming, beach visits were never going to be in question – even if it meant being there at THE busiest time. One day we caught the ferry to Manly.
The walk through town to the beach was hell for Mike but we made it. Being in the water was blissful on a sunny day but the congestion of ‘swimming’ between the flags with so many people didn’t make for a wholly relaxing time.
Later the younger ones and I ditched Mike for a while to go for a walk at normal pace around to one of the other bays. The best part: water dragons! There are some fabulous coastal walkways around Sydney which in the circumstances we weren’t able to fully explore as planned – never mind, next time.
The next day we bussed out to Bondi. So interesting to people watch and see all sorts of bodies in all sorts of swimwear (or sometimes not).
The boys and I went for another walk sans Mike. Bonus: art murals. People were clearly everywhere but we coped just fine – the only time it felt like a zoo was queuing for the bus to go home so we made other plans.
New Years Eve in central Sydney requires forward planning. Due to the gradual transportation shutdown we made sure we were back at the apartment by early afternoon. The ferry home from Darling Harbour was a great chance to see crowds starting to amass in the many designated viewing spots.
One of the biggest spots was under the bridge pretty close to home, with enough space for 50,000. We had plenty of options open to us but with Mike’s back there’s no way we could have stayed in a spot like that for a few hours. There was also the consideration that these zones are alcohol-free!
So we flagged staking out a spot that would have assured us of fabulous views and instead took our chances with the standing room at the end of our street. Before then we made use of our tiny balcony to keep tabs on the neighbourhood.
I took the boys down for the kids’ display at 9pm and we all we trundled down for midnight. As you can see from the crappy phone pics, our risky approach didn’t pay off we couldn’t see a whole bunch!
On New Years Day we took the ferry over to Taronga Zoo. What a fantastic location.
The day before we left we finally got to catch up with three of Mike’s four cousins and their families, a short ferry hop away in Balmain. Great afternoon.
We were damn lucky with the weather as the rain’s arrival coincided with our departure and then didn’t let up for several days. Leaving day lunch at one the local eateries was enjoyed in a downpour under an umbrella. Mike’s back did spoil the trip for him – except for the bit where it excused him from cleaning the apartment – but despite that it was still a great week in a fantastic place. We’ll be back.