Part 3: From One Country to Another – Sydney to Queenstown

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Our last day in Australia was, as the others had been, hot. Every day we slathered on the sunblock before leaving the hotel. I also put on bug repellant, which unfortunately didn’t discourage the hungry bugs nearly as much as I’d hoped. Australia has some mighty tenacious bugs, damn their miserable, rotten exoskeletons.

Leo met with a group of his readers that morning while I did my share to stimulate the Australian economy at some of the local gift shops. Then we walked over to the Royal Botanical Gardens, which offer a really nice view of the harbor and Opera House as well as interesting flora. We really liked the various fig trees in the Gardens. Their roots and branches looked perfect for climbing and just lent the trees more personality. I especially liked the plumeria trees with their fragrant blossoms. The formal gardens of the Government House were rather disappointing in that there weren’t many things blooming, and of what was blooming, most things I was already familiar with. I was hoping to see something really tropical and exotic.

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Part 2: Olga Fizzles, but Sydney Shines

Port Douglas is as pretty a harbor town as you could imagine. There are big parks at both ends of the main street, a beautiful marina just a couple blocks from downtown and multiple cozy coffee shops and bakeries. Lush foliage was planted everywhere. The shopkeepers were all friendly. It was so hot, nobody was in much of a hurry. It was a relaxing place.

We headed back to Thala Beach after stocking up on a few essentials. The road was lined with various resorts, and field after field of sugar cane. I remember thinking parts of Hawaii must look very similar.

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Blue Mountains

The Look

With the cancellation of the planed activities up in Port Douglas due to Cyclone Olga, we took our first formally organized tour – a bus tour up into the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

The weather threatened (again) but things turned out quite well.

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Sydney and Aussie Day

Here’s a thousand words:

Sydney Opera House

Yep – I took that, and yes, that’s the view out of our hotel room.

Actually it’s a small part of the view, since to the right is Circular Quay, and to the left the Sydney Harbor bridge.

I did take a panoramic shot from the roof of the hotel. (Because of the layout of the accessible roof portion, the picture’s mostly roof, but it’s pretty cool nonetheless.)

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