Sydney was our first stop in Australia. It is the largest city in Australia, and is actually the largest in all of Oceania. It proved to be a very cosmopolitan city, and while we were in the Central Business District I could have been convinced I was standing in downtown New York City.
One great thing about Australia is that a number of museums and art galleries are free to the public. An example of this was the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
We only had an hour or so here before it was closing, but we got to see some awesome native art as well as several excellent works by Australian artists.
After the art gallery, we walked through the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. They have an awesome collection of tropical and sub-tropical plants and the views of the harbor and opera house were very nice.
While in Sydney we also visited Bondi Beach, one of the most famous beaches in the world. We were not disappointed. It is a great beach with calm surf close in, but some waves in certain areas. One nice thing about the beaches in Australia and New Zealand is that they have grass lawns at the back of the beach area, behind the sand. This is great if you want to sit at the beach but you aren’t going in the water, and don’t want to get all sandy.
We also met up with an old friend of Sarah’s who now lives in Sydney. He and his family were kind enough to spend a day with us and take us to the Australian Reptile Park, where we saw all kinds of native Australian animals. We were able to touch and visit with the ones that can’t kill you! In Australia the wildlife is more likely to be deadly than not, since snakes, spiders, jellyfish, sharks, bees, octopus, crocodiles, Reef Stonefish, Australian Paralysis Ticks and Bull Ants (and a few others) all can kill you. However, we did get to pet Kangaroos, Wombats and other native fauna. It was a lot of fun.
And they had a Platypussary!