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debby_fish Dec 13th, 2006 02:05 PM

Trip Report - Sydney/Adelaide/Port Douglas Nov/06
My apologies. When I initially posted part 1 of my trip report, I did so under an unsuitable heading. I want to continue to report in the same thread so I am re-posting this report under an appropriate heading. Sorry for the redundancy everyone……

Part 1 – LAX - Sydney

I have finally gotten around to writing a trip report. We arrived back home approximately 2 weeks ago. Getting back into routine has been very difficult and I have been feeling generally “flat.” I guess it is because after many months of planning and excitedly waiting for our trip, it has finally come and gone and now we are back to reality. Our trip was awesome. Australia is a wonderful, inviting country, the people are warm and friendly and the diversity is amazing. We hope to go back in the near future!! As I received so much valuable advise on forum, I want to share our experiences for the benefit of others planning a trip. Please note that I typed the report in Word and cut & pasted it into this forum. Some characters may not transfer properly. Here we go……

After many months of planning and waiting, November 9, 2006 finally arrived and my family and I were off to Australia for the first time. Originally we had planned to travel to Australia in December/January 2006 and had planned to use FF miles for our tickets. Unfortunately when I tried to book our tickets I could not find any FF tickets available during the time in which we wanted to travel. Our dates were not flexible as we were pulling our two teenaged children from school and we needed to time our trip around vacation dates, so I gave up on attempting to find FF tickets. I priced out economy tickets on Qantas for the Christmas 2006 and was surprised that for the four of us, they totaled a little more than $12,000 - ouch. I then revisited the dates and looked at the school calendar. I noticed that the kids had 4 days off in November so I was able to plan a 17-day trip in November, enabling them to miss only 8 days of school. The price for the tickets dropped to $6,600. Easy decision, we opted for the November dates.

These tickets were for the Aussie Pass, which enabled us to fly free to 3 destinations in Zone 1 & 2 of Australia, departing from LAX. We opted for 2 destinations Adelaide and Cairns, but our trip started in Sydney.

We departed LAX on Qantas’ 12:50 pm flight bound for Sydney, flying time was going to be 14:30 hours. It was an uneventful flight, but I was very impressed with Qantas service and the little extras you receive in economy class. In addition, we were fortunate that the plane we were flying was outfitted the new entertainment on demand system, currently 15 of the 30 planes are equipped with this feature. It enabled you to watch a great collection of the latest movies and select TV programs when you wanted to watch them rather than waiting for the program to cycle through the entertainment system. Qantas plans on having their fleet of 747’s retrofitted by end of 2007 (I believe).

Tip: If flying Qantas economy to Aussie, request row 70, 71, 72, 73 or 74. These seats are at the very back of the 747, however, they are in rows of 2 (rather than 3) with extra space next to the window seat. This space comes in handy for stretching your legs or stowing your bags while in flight. If you like leaning against the window, you cannot on these rows.

We arrived in Sydney the following day at approximately 11:00 pm. It took about 40 minutes to clear customs and collect our luggage. Upon exiting with our luggage, we immediately found an ATM to the right and down the hall of the international arrivals exit. We were headed to the taxi area, when a shuttle driver asked where we were headed. “To the Rocks”, we said. He was on his way down to that area so he offered to take us with the group of people he was escorting (they were on a group tour for a dive trip). He charged us $50 and dropped us off first.

We wearily checked in to our hotel, Quay West Suites, Sydney. I chose this hotel as we were traveling with 2 teenagers and would require 2 rooms if staying in a hotel. I like the extra living space a suite affords. We were able to book a 2 bedroom, 2-bathroom suite overlooking the Sydney harbor. When we walked into the living room of our suite, we gasped. It was a beautiful, clear night, the view of the bridge and Opera house was breathtaking! We had a full on view of the harbor with what felt like ceiling to floor windows that wrapped around the harbor. We all decided that we had one of the best views in Sydney. It was magical.

The view perked us up, so we decided to go for a walk and purchase a few celebratory drinks. The city was bustling as it was a Friday night. We found a convenience store a block from our hotel, and we purchased a few items before returning as fatigue was settling in quickly. We opted for a cup of tea, a few Tim tams and Tylenol pm before falling off to sleep.

I awoke early the next morning (5:00 am) to a beautiful sunrise. The harbor was very still. I watched the helicopters buzz in and around the bridge for photo opportunities. As the sun rose, the city and harbor slowly came to life and so did my family.

We were all very hungry, but opted to go exploring rather than dine at the hotel. I was secretly hoping to stumble upon Pancakes on the Rocks for our first breakfast. Rather than leave it to chance I inquired with the Concierge. Unfortunately POTR was closed for renovations (scheduled to reopen at the end of Nov). He suggested the Gum Nut Tea Garden, a short walk from the hotel. We set off lapping in the scenery and noticed why the area is called the Rocks given the abundance of rock formations. We found the restaurant quite easily and chose to sit in the outdoor courtyard. It was a nice setting, with a limited breakfast selection but excellent quality and ambience. From there we decided to follow Alan’s self-guided walking tour of Sydney (obtained from this forum) starting in the Rocks ending in Darling Harbor. His suggested walk is a great way to get acquainted with Sydney.

We were fortunate that Saturday (and Sunday) is market day in the Rocks, so we started our walk browsing at local handcrafted items in the open-air market. From there we walked down to Circular Quay for a walk on the esplanade. Our excitement built when we could see the people climbing the arch of the Sydney Harbor Bridge as we would be experiencing that adventure 3 days later.

We continued the walking tour, soaking in the city and the sights, the day was beautiful, sunny and quite warm. We stopped along the way at Starbucks for an iced latte, as the temperature was in the high 80’s. After wandering through Darling Harbor, we decided to take a ferry back to Circular Quay and eat a late lunch in the Rocks as we had spotted an Italian restaurant that looked quite nice. We had not purchased a day pass on the ferry, we merely boarded the Matilda ferry headed to Circular Quay. The fare was collected on board when we were under way.

We walked directly to Caminetto Italian Restaurant for a late lunch – well it was practically dinner as it was close to 4:00 pm. We ordered a bottle of wine, pizza, and salad to share so that we wouldn’t spoil our appetites for dinner later on. The food was run of the mill, but the day outstanding thus far. Feeling a little sleepy after lunch and wine, we headed back to the hotel for some much needed rest. My feet were killing me, we had walked a long way.

Jet lag was starting to catch up with me, but my husband and kids decided to go swimming at the hotel pool. I pushed myself to go along, because I knew that if I gave into sleep, I would be out for a few hours. The pool at Quay West is stunning, floor to ceiling windows with an infinity pool. It appeared that the water in the pool went right up to the windows, almost like swimming in a glass bowl amongst the dramatic cityscape. The swim refreshed us and kept us going for a few more hours.

I had confirmed our arrangements with the guide for our trip the following day to the Blue Mountains. He would be picking us up at our hotel at 8:00 am. We then decided that we would head to the convenience store, pick up a few items for breakfast and a few items for a dinner as we weren’t very hungry for a full meal. We fell into bed at 10:00 pm so that we would be ready for our adventure into the Blue Mountains the following day.

Tip 1: Quay West Suites include full laundry facilities in each suite, washer and dryer and laundry detergent, I did not realize this at booking, but this was an added bonus. This is in addition to a full kitchen. Our bedrooms also had views of the Opera House and bridge. Originally I booked the hotel through an online travel service (not sure if I can say which one). I had to call the hotel directly to inquire about transfers and asked about the rates. They quoted a rate lower than the one I received from the online site, I ended up saving $150 AUD per night by booking direct with the hotel. I would highly recommend this hotel and would stay there again in the future.

I’ll stop here for now, but please let me know if this report contains TMI (too much information), if too much, I’ll condense to what we did and tips only. But to follow includes our day in the Blue Mountains & Jenolan Caves, Harbor Tour, Sydney Aquarium culminated with the Bridge Climb. From there we continued onto Adelaide for 4 ½ days, then on to Cairns, for 6 days including the Daintree Air tour, a rainforest tour and a day out sailing.

debby_fish Dec 13th, 2006 02:06 PM

Part 2

Day 2 Sydney – Blue Mountains

Before leaving the US, I booked a private tour into the Blue Mountains for a day. The tour was billed as the “Ultimate Escape by 4WD.” The tour included door-to-door pick up and drop off in Sydney and promised escape to the most remote locations. Stay out until dark to see the wildlife at night and the famous southern starry skies. See the Blue Mountains and its spectacular scenery with a local! Magic views, outstanding rock formations, secluded forests and best of all, solitude amid the native wildlife are what you can expect. I chose this tour for a number of reasons, first the pick up and drop off convenience. I knew that by day 2 we would be feeling a little jetlagged and I did not want to pressure my husband into finding the remote locations I would insist on visiting if we were to rent a car. Second, the guide offered to stay out after dark so we could experience viewing animal life at dusk – this also enabled us to drive back to Sydney when the roads were not so congested. Lastly, I had my heart set on seeing the Jenolan Caves. This added significant travel time on to our day. I had pre-arranged with the guide that we wanted to visit the Jenolan Caves as part of this tour.

We were up at the break of dawn again, approximately 5:00 am to another beautiful sunrise. We were mesmerized by the view of the harbor, before the city sprang to life. We gathered a few items for our day trip to the Blue Mountains and ate a light breakfast in the room. As promised, our guide (Craig) arrived promptly at 8:00 am. After brief introductions, we were on our way. Our first stop for morning tea/coffee was at the township of Glenbrook, gateway to the Blue Mountains. We purchased our coffees and baked goods to go, I wasn’t sure why, but I would soon find out. We proceeded a little further, through the park gates of the Blue Mountains National Park. Our first stop was Euroka Clearing, a campsite in the Blue Mountains National Park. To our amazement, wild kangaroos were grazing in a field. Craig continued driving past the tour buses to an open pasture where we could view the kangaroos without the intrusion of the tour bus visitors. We got out of the 4WD, with our coffees in hand, and walked gingerly in the midst of the kangaroos. We sat down and observed them in awe. The kangaroos went about their normal activities while we enjoyed many photo opportunities and our morning coffee. One thing I was surprised to see was that joey’s hop into the pouch head first, then rotate their bodies – I guess that makes sense, but it was odd to see feet and a tail sticking out of the mothers pouch while the joey was upside-down.

My husband opened his big mouth and exclaimed that he would like to try kangaroo meat while in Aussie. I couldn’t believe he would want to eat such a sweet looking creature. Craig then said, “not a problem, I was planning on a barbie for lunch, so we’ll have kangaroo then”. I voiced my displeasure, so he indicated he would purchase minute steak for me.

After about 20 minutes we set on our way to the next destination, Wentworth Falls. We stopped at a lookout that provided a dramatic view of cliff top escarpments and the endless blue vistas of the Jamison Valley. We could definitely see the blue haze and understand how the Blue Mountains received their name. The area was serene and the scenery spectacular.

From there we headed to Katoomba to Echo Point for a view of the Three Sisters. There are 2 well-marked bushwalks, we opted for the Three Sisters walk, approx 15 minutes for a close up vantage point of the famous rock formations.

Craig needed to stop at his office to pick up a few items and shop for lunch so he left us to wander the main street of Katoomba for ½ hour. We enjoyed the scenery and window shopped before stopping for another cup of coffee before setting out on the rest of our journey.

We rendezvoused with Craig and we were off to our lunch destination. We stopped at a lookout picnic area somewhere between Blackheath and Hartley, again an area with a spectacular lookout. We relaxed and enjoyed another beautiful vista while Craig fired up the barbie. I was feeling a little apprehensive about lunch as I knew what was on the menu and I chose not to tell my kids as I knew they would not eat if they knew what it was they were eating. I had also decided to try kangaroo and told Craig not to bother with the minute steak. The aroma of the meat smelled wonderful, and as Craig laid out the salads, bread and finally the meat, from out of nowhere swarmed thousands of flies, favoring the meat as a landing area. Not only did I have to contend with eating kangaroo, but the flies that covered the meat as well. This turned into a fear factor lunch! I took a small piece of meat and had to flick the flies off before putting the meat in my mouth quickly. I haven’t seen my kids eat so fast, and keep their mouths closed the entire time! Kangaroo meat wasn’t bad at all, but it wouldn’t be something I would eat again. All in all, Craig provided a nice lunch, even with the unwanted visitors. We cleaned up quickly as we had a 4:00 pm tour scheduled at the Jenolan Caves.

Arriving at 3:50 pm, we were given our entrance tickets for a guided tour of the Temple of Baal, one of the most highly decorated caves at Jenolan. It was discovered in 1904 and is world famous for its vast array of helictites, which seem to defy gravity. The tour was 1-½ hours and was breathtaking. One of the highlights in the cave was the “Angels Wing” which is a free hanging shawl that is over 9 meters in length. The tour is very educating and informative. This was definitely a highlight of our tour.

In hindsight, I wished we had spent more time at the Jenolan Caves, so that we could have toured a few other caves, there are 9 in total. They were unlike any caves we have ever seen and truly amazing to view.

Next on our agenda was Kanangra-Boyd National park, Kanangra Walls – Lookout Walk. It is an easy 10-minute walk that overlooks the gorge of Kanangra Creek, where you can see the tops of Mt Cloudmaker and the main Blue Mountains ridge beyond. The second lookout, overlooks the rugged ravines at the head of the gorge and Kanangra Falls. Again another magnificent view.

It was now time for our long arduous drive back to Sydney (approx. 180 km from where we were). We had all enjoyed our day immensely, the sun was setting and the animals active. Craig spotted an abandoned farm and in its fields were at least a hundred kangaroos grazing. He asked if we wanted to stop and go for a walk. An immediate resounding yes was said by all. We crept into the pasture, attempting not to scare the kangaroos. The scene was surreal and something that we won’t forget, as the sun was setting on the horizon and the kangaroos in their natural habitat. Unfortunately a few were spooked and hopped into the distance, but never taking their eyes off us, it was amazing to see them hop in what looked like a herd. Interestingly they stopped at the tree line, stood upright, looking like soldiers and watched us until we left. Viewing the animals in this setting was magical and another highlight of this day.

The sky turned dark as we started our long journey back. I could not believe the animal life we were able to see at dusk and in the dark, echidnas, wombats, kangaroos, wallabies and even a fox. Halfway of the way up Jenolan Caves Road we had a diversion as we stopped to assist someone injured in a quad bike accident which added time on to our road trip.

Craig then decided to stop at Oberon, the highest town in the Blue Mountains to tank up with diesel and find a restaurant to eat dinner. Unfortunately when we got there, no restaurants were open, so we proceeded on to Katoomba. We arrived relatively late with not much open, so he suggested we buy pizza and bring it in to his office. By this time we were famished. We ordered a few pizzas and ate the late night feast in his office, Craig served hot tea and coffee. Dominos pizza had never tasted so good. We chatted about the highlights of our day and discussed all the wildlife we were so fortunate to see. With our appetites satisfied and a few thermoses filled with coffee for the road, we were ready to head back to Sydney. The drive did not seem to take long and we arrived at our hotel completely exhausted, thrilled and excited about what we had experienced in our day out to the Blue Mountains. We fell into bed at 1:00 am and were asleep before our heads hit the pillow!

Tip 2: If you have extra days the Sydney area and are interested in something different spend an overnight at Jenolan Caves in the Caves House and view more than one cave. Or set off early and mid morning at the caves view as many as you can in one day. The caves are well worth seeing and I wish we had spent more time viewing the caves and less time at each vista. IMO the Blue Mountains are beautiful and great to visit, but the caves are something you cannot see anywhere else.

debby_fish Dec 13th, 2006 02:07 PM

Day 3 – Sydney – R&R & Harbor Tour

Again, I woke up early despite the late evening, the night before. I put the kettle on and made myself a cup of tea while savoring the view and enjoying the sunrise. The rest of my family sprang to life at 9:00 am. We decided to venture out for breakfast rather than opting for buffet breakfast in the hotel. During our walk on day one we recalled a restaurant on tucked away on Nurses walk that was open for breakfast and seemed to offer the usual breakfast fare on an ala carte menu. Unfortunately, it was closed, and as we were all hungry we opted for the Gum Nut Tea Garden again as we thoroughly enjoyed it. It was very busy that morning and the food did not seem to be as consistent in terms of portion or quality compared to the first day we ate there. We were disappointed and decided that the weekend cooks were far superior to the weekday cooks. Our plan for the day was to take the ferry to Manly and do the Manly – Spit Scenic walk.

After breakfast, fatigue hit me like a brick wall. I had been rising at 5:00 am each day and staying up until quite late. Our plans to purchase ferry passes for the day waned as I insisted on going back to the room for a rest. My husband and kids left me in the room to catch a few hours rest, while they set out exploring. They decided figure out where the Bridgeclimb location was and to take a walk across the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Two hours later, I heard a knock on the door, my family had returned and they were completely drenched. They had been caught in a sudden downpour that only lasted a few minutes. I had to laugh, I hadn’t missed much while they were gone but I felt so much better. The sky was now bright blue and we decided to take an afternoon coffee cruise on Captain Cook departing from Circular Quay. The cruise was 2 hours and 20 minutes in duration and covered the main harbor attractions such as the opera house, harbor bridge and Fort Denison before heading to the upper reaches of the middle harbor up to the Manly area.

After the cruise, we stopped at a wine shop very close to pier 6. The gentleman running the shop was extremely knowledgeable in wine selection and was able to assist us in selecting a few wines we would enjoy. I mentioned that we were interested in finding a restaurant that served pizza prepared in a wood burning oven and if he had any recommendations for a local seafood restaurant.

First for our pizza he recommended a small out of the way restaurant DeVine on the corner of Market and Clarence. Later that evening we set out on foot to find the restaurant. It was approx. 30-minute walk from our hotel. We entered a very contemporary wine bar that didn’t really look like it served food. Their pizzas were listed on a blackboard and not what we expected in terms of toppings, they were right up my alley, but my kids do not have quite a broad palate. There were approximately 15 gourmet pizzas to choose from. I ordered 3 different pizzas and 2 organic mixed green salads to share. I wish I could remember exactly what was on each pizza, but they were all outstanding and quite a hit with even my fussy eaters. Salads also excellent, very fresh greens tossed with a wonderful vinaigrette. I would say these pizzas rivaled some of the best we have ever eaten (including in Italy & France).

The bartender also spoke with me about the wines we were drinking (by the glass). I did not really care for the shiraz I selected and he brought 3 generous samples of other wines to try. I was able to choose another wine to my taste and it was excellent. I believe there may be a full restaurant on the other side as I did see another menu. I would definitely recommend this restaurant and would eat there again as the food, wine and service was outstanding.

Tip 3: Before leaving the airport pick up a complimentary copy of “Sydney The Official Guide.” It is on a rack as you are leaving international arrivals. The guide includes visitor’s maps, information about Sydney and surrounding area, suggested itineraries and tours. In addition, discount coupons for most attractions in Sydney including 20% off Captain Cook Cruises, and 15-20% off other attractions such as the Opera House, Taronga Zoo, Sydney Aquarium, Matilda Cruises and so much more.

Tip 4: If sitting outside on the boat deck, generously apply sunscreen to exposed areas. The sun is very penetrating and it is easy to burn and not notice.

partypoet Dec 13th, 2006 02:55 PM

Debby -
My husband and I are sitting at our computer reading your trip report. We are leaving for New Zealand and Australia tomorrow, and reading your beautifully written report is inspiring us. Although we are going on an organized tour with 14 other people, we can choose from several options. Because of you, we will definitely take a trip to the Blue Mountains. Have a happy and healthy holiday and new year!

stamiya Dec 13th, 2006 06:40 PM

Debby - thanks so much for the wonderful trip report. My husband and I will be going to Australia next Oct. and your reports are so helpful in our planning!

kamahinaohoku Dec 14th, 2006 11:49 AM

Debby - thank you for the wonderful report. I look forward to reading the rest of it!

debby_fish Dec 14th, 2006 02:50 PM

Thanks for the kind comments everyone. They are keeping me motivated. Next installment will include Bridge climb and Sydney aquarium.

Unfortunately my in-laws arrive tomorrow afternoon and will be staying until Tues so my next installment should be submitted after then. Unless I can finish it tomorrow morning before they arrive.

partypoet Jun 6th, 2007 06:22 AM

Did you ever post a report about the bridge climb? If you did, could you please tell me how to find it (the date, the title, etc.)

ms_go Jun 6th, 2007 06:58 AM

I'm glad this came back up to the top today. We're leaving next week for Sydney and the start of our vacation in Australia. I recall reading this when you first posted, but now I'm taking notes.

debby, did you ever post the rest of the report? I searched and could not find it.

carylspall Jun 7th, 2007 08:27 AM

Do you have a report on Adelaide?

Canadiansnowbird Jun 11th, 2007 10:21 AM

We are arriving in Sydney in April/08 prior to our 31 day cruise. We are staying in Sydney for 3 days prior. What tour did you use for your Blue Mountain day. Princess offers one, but a personalized one sounds better.

Saltuarius Jun 12th, 2007 10:11 PM

you cannot do better than Carol Probets if you want a personalised tour with heaps of info. She knows the area extremely well, is an expert birder and plant person and is very pleasant as well.
E-mail Address(es):
[email protected]
Personal Information:
PO Box 330
> Katoomba NSW 2780
> Blue Mountains
Phone: 02) 4782 1831
Mobile: 0400821862
Web Page:

Bokhara Jun 12th, 2007 11:41 PM

Hi Debby,
Thanks for your report, I like the detail you've given. Looking forward to the remainder of your travel tale.:)

luvtravl Jun 17th, 2007 01:21 PM

Debby - would love to hear about the rest of your trip! We are hoping to visit Australia in the next year or two and you're report is wonderful.

debby_fish Jul 17th, 2007 07:31 PM

Hi, I am back and hope to finish this epic trip report. Of course I have let quite a lot of time go by before finishing the report, but I will do my best to recount our awesome trip along with details and tips. But I am glad that everyone was enjoying the report, the comments encouraged me to resume writing……

Day 4 – Sydney – Bridgeclimb & Aquarium

Our bodies are slowly adjusting to the time change, but again we’re up early and ready to seize the day. Today is the day we eagerly anticipated, as it is our last day in Sydney culminated by our grand finale event – the Bridgeclimb!

During the past 4 days this adventure was in the back of all our minds and we were feeling a little ambivalent about facing the Bridgeclimb. Each day we watched countless other climbers summit the Harbor Bridge which added to our excitement and our trepidation. I made sure we had on the appropriate footwear, sunscreen and hats and we were off on our adventure.

I had read in advance that the climb takes approximately 3.5 hours and requires moderate physical exertion. I thought we should eat a hearty breakfast as we were scheduled for the 9:45 am climb. Again we did not opt for the buffet breakfast at the hotel, I just did not want to spend $35.00 AUD per person for breakfast. We wandered around Nurses Walk looking for a place to order an ala carte breakfast. We found that the restaurant in the Harbor Rocks Hotel, Sydney offered both breakfast buffet and an ala carte menu. The food was very good. But I’m not sure how much we tasted as we were getting very excited about the impending climb.

We must have scarfed our breakfasts down as we were ready to head to the Bridgeclimb office, but it was only 8:30 am – we sat down to eat at 8:00 am. We walked very slowly, but were there in a few minutes. Must have been nervous energy that had us walking fast. At check-in we were informed that we could join the 9:15 am climb as there were spots open.

After check-in we were moved to waiting area where we filled out & signed waivers and took a breathalyzer while waiting for the rest of the climbers in our group – 12 in total. We then met our Climb Leader, a witty, informative Aussie gal! She took us to the staging area to suit up in preparation.

The staff encourages you to strip down to your underwear before putting on the one-piece jump suit. The suits are vented to allow for airflow, provide protection from the elements and very comfortable. We were given lockers to store our belongings, including cameras.

From there we were given safety gear and communication devises and then spent about 30 minutes receiving safety instructions concluding with a climb simulation to give us a feel for how the safety harness operates and to introduce us to the procedures on ladders and stairs.

Then we headed outside to the start of the climb, adrenalin pumping. One by one we hooked up our safety carbiners onto a rail and proceed with the climb in single file. It was a little freaky to see cars speeding along on the road beneath us. Then we started our ascent up the first set of ladders. It was exhilarating. Before I knew it we were at the base of the east arch. Of course our Climb Leader was explaining details to us all along the way. A special treat during the climb is that everyone waves at you, the people on the buses below, passengers on ferries, and even people in helicopters and seaplanes. As part of your climbing gear, you are given a bandana to wrap around your wrist so you are able to wave back!

At the summit of the arch we stopped for a group photo. We felt like we were on top of the world. The panoramic view of Sydney was breathtakingly beautiful. We take a few moments to savor the view before proceeding across a catwalk that takes us to the west arch. Once across we start out descent which of course comes too quickly. Before we knew it, we were back in the changing room and our climb was now a memory!

I must say that we all enjoyed the climb immensely. It was amazing and an unforgettable experience. I am glad that we splurged and it was a nice way to end our trip in Sydney!

Tip: Wear comfortable walking shoes. Don’t bring your camera, you are not able to carry anything on the Bridgeclimb. The Climb Leaders do take a series of photos that you can purchase after the climb. Check out the online site – very informative. Purchase your tickets online. Far easier than waiting or leaving it to chance:

After that wonderful experience we stopped in at the pub across the road. Now I cannot remember the name, but it is directly across the road. We had a few beers each and relished in our accomplishment. It was quite an experience.

Our day wasn’t over, so we decided to head over to the Sydney Aquarium in Darling Harbor. To save time, we took a cab. We arrived fairly late and at dusk, so certain habitats weren’t open – the southern ocean exhibits . But we enjoyed the exhibits that we could view as they were a prelude to the type of sea life that we would be viewing in Queensland in the coming days.

Tip: Do not go late in the day. We felt we missed out. I am not sure if we paid a reduced admission as we arrived about 1 ½ before closing.

To end our eventful day, I wanted to try a small restaurant called Fish on the Rocks. We took a cab over to the restaurant at approximately 8:00 pm. It is a small restaurant and was seated to capacity. No one in my family wanted to wait – well except me, after a few heated words I was overruled. We stopped for a burger (ugh) before heading back to our hotel to pack. We had a very early morning checkout the next day and on to our next destination……Adelaide.

Tip: Common sense - If you want to try a restaurant, call to see if reservations are required or necessary. I could have saved a lot of frustration had I called rather than assumed we could get a table at the restaurant of my choice. Oh well, I’ll just have to plan another trip!

Also after our jam packed days, I really felt disappointed that we did not make the Manly to the Spit walk or even the Taronga Zoo. Sydney is a beautiful city with so many things to do. We all fell in love with the city and definitely want to go back…

Calex Jul 19th, 2007 07:03 AM

Please more.... Your trip report is helping me so much in planning our trip in 2008.

islandmom Aug 19th, 2007 07:59 PM

Thanks for the info!

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