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Day 34-35 Sydney Arrival and Singing in the Opera House!!

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Apologies for the lengthy delay between entries we have just got back from 3 days camping on Fraser Island. But you'll have to wait for that tale... For now Sydney!

We arrived into Sydney at 10am after our long coach ride that felt like a dream... Or should I say nightmare! The whole drive felt really post apocalyptic; barely anyone on the roads, driving through thick smoke and seeing flickering patches of light you thought were small towns until you realised they were fires! I'm really surprised the roads stayed open as there were parts of it whereby the fires were raging around 800metres from the road edge. The road we were driving on! The air was thick, causing people on the bus to cough and you could smell the wood burning. A smell that is so often associated with good times and feelings of comfort now filled you with dread knowing what was going on across the whole of Australia. These thoughts coupled with the inability to get comfortable on the coach due to the freezing Aircon kept us up through most of the journey. It really was and still is a sobering thought. This country is so beautiful, although we have only really seen one city so far, and it is devastating what is happening. The fact we are out here and can see and feel the affects makes it hit home even harder than simply sympathising with the news. The clip below is what Canberra, the Australian capital, looked like although my phone doesn't really show how bad the smoke was.

So it's fair to say we didn't arrive in this famous city in the best shape. But we loaded ourselves up and trotted to our hostel hoping it was better than the one we just left. We knew check in wasn't until 3pm but our plan was to dump the bags and go explore a little. Which is exactly what we did. I'm pleased to say the hostel met our expectations, although we hadn't seen the room yet. We grabbed some lunch and sat in a park reliving the journey and what is happening to the world. Although depressing it made us realise again why we are doing this trip and how lucky we are to see some of these sights that unfortunately for one reason or another may not be here for future generations.

After Iz had a mini nap we met up with the free walking tour. Our tour guide was lovely albeit she had a slightly annoying Aussie accent. She showed us around the city telling us all about Australia's brief architectural history, how this once penal colony developed as well as about the Aboriginals that came before the British criminals.However I always find these tours are a good way to orientate yourself and get a quick overview of the city you are in. Her grand finale was to show us Circular Quay and the two imposing structures that reside on it; of course I mean the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Both were impressive in their own right and it was a little odd standing opposite such iconic structures. However as is the case with most landmarks it was a little underwhelming as you have definitely seen better pictures of it. As we are going on a tour around the Opera House tomorrow I won't say anymore about it now.


Having then checked into our room we went for a treat dinner... McDonald's!! McDonald's here has a few massive perks over home one of those we found was that after 10pm you can get 24 Nuggets for around £4.50!!! Why is this not a thing in England! Then it was back to the hostel for a Netflix binge and an early night!

Managing to have a long lie in was definitely needed after the lack of sleep on the bus! We’d booked a tour around the Opera House, we’d seen it from afar the day before so it was time to get up close. A morning spent sorting out blog and other trips we would be interested in (need to get a trip to see those koalas and kangaroos !!! Especially while we can, who knows how many will be left in the next few years ????).

As always, we ended up being late and having to power walk so we didn’t miss our tour- I don’t know how we always manage to be late when we’ve been doing nothing. The SOH are impressive buildings, I didn’t actually know it was two separate massive buildings and a smaller one. We learnt about the competition run for the design, the architectural design and the uses of each of the spaces. We got to see both the main halls, one being set up for Lizzo and the other set up for the opera. Unfortunately due to copyright reasons we couldn't take pictures in the halls. They are such incredible spaces, the design as aerodynamic as possible to make the sound flow perfectly without the need for microphones or speakers. We tested out the acoustics with our own rendition of twinkle twinkle little star... Yes we have sung in the Sydney Opera House and what?!


When in Sydney you have to get the iconic photo of the opera house and Sydney Harbour bridge so we took a stroll through the botanical gardens. It’s a huge area with so much wild wildlife, there was a flock (or pandemonium) of Cockatoos flying around, they definitely sound like pandemonium! There was loads of fish jumping about in the pond catching food. There was even a couple of Kookaburra playing around a tree. It was a lovely walk to the right spot for the photo, just a shame it was a pretty cloudy day.


We decided to make our way to some markets we’d walked passed the day before on the tour but being early evening time we were too late and it had been all packed away, it started to rain so our only option was to get in to a pub quick! Wet our pallets instead of our feet, only option we had really.

Although it’s the 6th January, Australia is way more festive than New Zealand, a lot closer to UK. The pub we were sitting in had thick green garlands covered in baubles and several wreaths dotted around the place. Deciding the brave the rain, only for another pub, obviously! We couldn’t decide on which beer to try so got a tasting platter, always the best way.


There was a light show on at the Opera House which we stood in the rain for, luckily it was only 7 minutes long. It was impressive but nothing really on par with the Disneyland one. Making our way in to the Opera House to use the restroom and waste half an hour before the next ‘chapter’ of the light show, we managed to hear quite a bit of the Lizzo concert which was a free bonus.

Time for home and bed! But first, dinner. Kirsty had told us Dominos do pizza for $5 here... whhhaaaattt?!? Obviously we have to check this out! Stuffed with pizza and chicken bits we waddled back to the hostel.


Posted by Bears on Tour 18:44 Archived in Australia

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