Around the World 14 Australia

January 26th-29th
In Sydney, staying with a friend whose home is in a lovely area, very green and tropical although she says it seldom rains here. In the mornings you can hear all sorts of bird calls, including parakeets and parrots squaking.
Sydney is on the ocean with many bays and coves and she show us many little parks over-looking some of them. Her daughter and her boyfriend took us to Bondi Beach where Maurice tried surfing. It’s a great beach but very crowded and popular. We went into Sydney and wanted to climb the Harbor Bridge but balked at the price of $185 each so walked around the Opera House and took a couple of ferries out to see Sydney from the water. After walking around the area we then took a bus, ferry and another bus back to our friend’s place, feeling lucky to actually find it again. We didn’t have a cell phone or the address so I don’t know what we would have done if we had gotten lost. After talking to a friend we got some good ideas of what to see north of Sydney and decided to fly to New Zealand from Brisbane instead of driving all the way back to Sydney after going up the coast. This way we could see more of what should be really beautiful country.
January 30th
Rented a car and set off north up the coast. A friend gave us a good itinerary for 6 days, the time we have. We first drove through Hunter Valley, a wine growing region, and stopped at the Tyrrell Winery for a wine tasting. We were surprised to find that they were already harvesting the grapes due to the higher heat here. I tasted a good white wine but their Pinot Noir which has received many awards tasted too smoky to me. We had gone inland earlier on a tourist route and saw heavily forested land, mostly with eucalyptus trees but also passing banana plantations and macademia plantations. There was a very bad auto accident later and we had to go inland again which takes alot of time so decided not to see a couple of places that had been recommended but went on to Port Macquarie to our hotel. Most of the town is high above the ocean and there were beaches in beautiful setting but the town wasn’t at all lively. By 5:30 all the shops were closed. We did have a nice drink and dinner at a cafe on a harbor.

On the way to Bondi Beach to surf.

One of those pictures that you instantly know the location of.

A close-up to the tile. This building was apparantly a nightmare to build and there was so much disagreement on what to do and so many changes, that the archetect quit before it was finished.

A view of the beach below at Port Macquarie.

A sail boat reflected in the quiet waters of the harbor.