Tuesday, February 11
We boarded a Hop On Hop Off Boat this morning, down at Sydney’s Circular Quay. This is a very active place, with restaurants and bars, street entertainment and people watching.
Our first stop was the Sydney Zoo, where we spent about 4 hours. The zoo is set atop a hill which we accessed by cable car. We got some great views of the city. This zoo is home to over 4,000 animals, and we were able to see koalas, wombats, kangaroos, wallabies, platypus and a Tasmanian Devil. The Tasmanian Devil is endangered because of a contagious cancer. The zoo is breeding them with the intention of returning some to the wild. Rhinos are also endangered, and the zoo has put up statues of painted rhinos throughout the city. They will be auctioned off later this month to raise money for their preservation.
We returned to the quay after about 4 hours, and walked over to the Sydney Opera House, an impressive building. I didn’t realize that the outer walls are actually tiled, about 5″ square tiles. From a distance, it looks solid.
We spent a few hours at the Royal Botanic Gardens, a 75 acre garden in the heart of the city established almost 200 years ago. It’s about two blocks from our hotel. The park is heavily used, for walking, napping, exercise, relaxing. There are herb gardens, flowers, tropical displays, and walkways throughout.
Then, back to the Quay for a light dinner. Tomorrow, we’re off to Cairns.