We arrived at our hotel on the 24th (nice place, clean and modern) to find it was right on the edge of the central city, and everything was just a walk away. So after a sleep we set out to explore Sydney, heading straight for central George Street, the heart of the shopping district and access to the harbours and parks.
It was raining! (and still is) What happened to the Australian weather! We managed to get around without getting too wet on our first day, but not without coats and brolleys – visiting the iconic Sydney harbour with the bridge that all Newcastle people will recognise, but we found to our surprise, that Australia refuses to acknowlegde that they nicked the blue prints from Newcastle, England! We visited the iconic Sydney Opera House, which really is fantastic but could do with a good hose down! We ended the day with a steak and a beer in a typical aussie pub and then headed back to the hotel to sleep like the dead.
On our second day we eventually gave in to the rain, it was torrential, and after dinner – in a really good Korean restaurant (a first for me) – we headed back to the hotel to watch TV and get hammered on another bottle of wine (just as a sleeping aid you understand).
On our last day in the city it was all out celebration, Australia Day! And to our relief the rain held off, the sun came out, and we spent the day walking miles around the harbours and bontanic gardens, to a chorus of cockatoos, which gets on your wick after a while – they don’t tweet they shreeek! but it was a huge novelty to us to have these white crested parrots flying around us.
We left the park to explore the trendy outer suburbs of The Rocks, and then as twilight fell, and the massive fruit bats were coming in to roost for the night, we headed for Darling Harbour and the firework display.
The place was heaving! So we joined the crowds to watch the tall ships sail into the harbour and the massive firework and pyrotechnic show. It was a good day to be in Sydney! Eventually hunger got the better of us and we left the crowds behind to find something to eat (in the Korean restaurant again!) and organise ourselves for leaving the city in the morning.