It was time to see things that had been recommended while we were on site, to look into museums that could deepen our knowledge, and to walk portions of the city that had not felt our feet. This was our last day in Sydney and last in Australia before flying home to the U.S.A. Continue reading Day 15: Veni, Vidi, Sydney!→
In each of our three Australia locations we spent one day “out.” For Melbourne that was the Great Ocean Road tour; for Port Douglas it was boating on the Great Barrier Reef; here in Sydney it was the Blue Mountains tour. We might have known this excursion wouldn’t be “Great” since that word wasn’t in the name this time. Continue reading Day 14: Rain, Rain, Go Away→
After a hotel breakfast, ferry tickets were purchased at Circular Quay (pronounced “key”) for our debut ride on the water. The most efficient way to sashay about the most popular sights is definitely to float on a boat. The “Sydney Ferries” are the public-owned crafts, like a bus line with very prompt schedules never affected by stop lights. There are also private ferry lines running on the major routes, and small water taxis near many of the docks for transportation on your schedule, direct to your destination.
I set the alarm for sunrise, and it rose splendidly! Scurrying to Sydney Harbor, there were ferries starting morning runs, joggers doing the same, and one madman taking over 100 photos. By the time the sun crested the peaks of the Opera House, my camera decided enough was enough at this hour, and the LCD viewer screen plaintively explained, “Battery Exhausted.” Continue reading Day 12: All ’round Sydney by car→
It’s fair to group two days as one, since the object was the same, though the vehicles were different. Day 9 is Easter Sunday, and that is lift-off for our helicopter tour OVER the Great Barrier Reef. Day 10, a big Aussie holiday as well for Easter Monday, is our day to get OUT onto the reef in a boat, something everyone seems to agree is a must do.
We also knew that Sunday morning is Market Day in Port Douglas, where we can see local crafts, artists, and collectors of all things Australian.
Just outside Cairns is an Aboriginal Cultural Center named Tjapukai. The Aborigine people, as you may know, are the original inhabitants of the continent. The white man pushed them aside when settling and expanding in this land (sound familiar?).
We are taking the opportunity to see a few young people descended from the Tjapukai nation of Aborigines demonstrate and discuss the life of their people. I’m going to give you the best guide to pronouncing their name that I can, but keep in mind that I’m having loads of trouble saying Cairns as CANS! I think you say Tjapukai as:
cha’ – pook – EYE – – with the accent on the last syllable but some emphasis as well on the first syllable
Off we go toward the Great Barrier Reef. Day 7 is primarily a travel day with an early pickup from the Melbourne hotel and an early afternoon arrival in Cairns. That’s pronounced CANS in Australia, just like tin “cans.” This city that I thought was 30,000 people is now told to me as having a population around 100,000. Either being true, that makes it the biggest city in north “Queensland,” our second of three Australian states that will be visited.
Cairns is a one-night layover convenient to the tour attraction we have booked for Day 8. It’s a major hub for the Reef and a seaside port.
City sights are stimulating, but today it’s time to hit the road. Not just any road, but one so respected it’s literally termed “The Great Ocean Road.” We didn’t need much encouragement to see ocean frontage, despite plenty of opportunities of that ilk at our later down-under destinations.