Mountains, Koalas, and Harbors… Oh My!

Location:  Sydney, Australia

Today was another busy day.  We woke up at 5 am (way too early!) to catch the train into downtown Sydney to meet our tour bus.  Today’s tour, explore the Blue Mountains and a Wildlife Park.

The drive to the Blue Mountains took over an hour and we first arrived at an overlook of Jamison Valley.  This valley contains the famous ‘Three Sisters’ rock formation.  From there we went to ‘Scenic World.’  We had the option to take the steepest train (read: funicular) in the world (52 degree slope) or a cable car down into the valley.  We decided not to go into the valley and instead enjoyed the view from the top and had a quick snack and drink in the cafe.  We ate lunch in Loaves and Dishes, a restaurant in the nearby town of Leura.

Looking out a the blue mountains
The three sisters of the Australian Blue Mountains

After lunch, we drove back towards the city and stopped at Featherdale Wildlife Park.  The park takes in injured and sick wildlife and nurses them back to health.  If possible, they release the animals back into the wild.  They have over 300 species of wildlife including Koala Bears, Kangaroos, Wombats, Emus, Dingos, Tasmanian Devils, Echidnas, Wallabies, Crocodiles, and lots of birds. We still haven’t seen any platypuses on this trip. We were able to pet koalas and kangaroos, very cool.

Rachel and Ryan get up close to a Koala Bear

Caution: May cause damage to your car tires
A little penguin

The last part of our excursion was a riverboat cruise. We boarded a charter boat near the Olympic Village and sailed down the Parramatta River into Sydney Harbour. We disembarked on the Quay. This is where the cruise terminal (which we were at yesterday) and the Sydney Opera House are located. We walked over to the Opera House to get a closer look and took lots of pictures.

A visit to the famous Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Harbour Quay

Afterwards we took the train back to the hotel and had dinner.

Tomorrow is a travel day; we fly from Sydney to Melbourne and expect to generally take it easy upon arrival.


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