The Blue Mountains and Harbour Dinner Cruise

Trip Start May 23, 2009
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Monday, June 1, 2009

We started the day bright and early at 7:50am.  Today we’re going on a day trip out to the Blue Mountains, about 1.5 hours outside of Sydney.  We got picked up by our tour operator, Activity Tours, in mini shuttle bus.  The weather today was pretty chilly and cold at 15C, so we made sure to dress warm.  There was a huge patch of fog and cloud over Sydney, and that didn’t bear well for our tour.

We first headed out of the city going over the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, heading towards the Featherdale Wildlife Park.  At the park, we were able to touch and pet Kangaroo’s of all sizes and age.  I was so hyped at seeing the kangaroos, in my haste to take a picture of Jeff, Julie and Felicia with a kangaroo, I didn’t even notice that I was standing in a pile of Kangaroo dung!  Peee-ewww!

It was all over my shoes and the back hem of my jeans… but I was still so happy to see all these animals it didn’t really bother me.  I was able to find a cleaning station with a hose and rinse most of it off.
We also got to see and pet a koala bear… yes a frickin Koala! Woot!  I’ve always wanted to pet one.  Considering they sleep 20 hours a day, I felt privileged this one was up to greet us when it did.  It’s fur was so soft, felt just like the plush toy version =)  btw, we were instructed only to touch it’s back and not to pet it’s head, or it might attack us.

We also saw lots of other weird animals, such as a albino kangaroos, crocodiles, wombats, white feathered looking peacocks…etc.    Felicia got too close to a den of Kangaroos, and the leader of the group stood up and challenged Felicia to a boxing match, just like in the cartoons.  We were told later that they could kill humans if they wanted to, and if attacked we should drop on the floor and play meek.  Luckily for Felicia there was a fence between them at the time…. Apparently the Kangaroo thought Felicia was interested in stealing his female kangaroos away from him.
After Featherdale, we visited a quaint town called Leura and went to a special spot overlooking the Australian Rainforest, called Jamison Lookout.  Unfortunately for us, the fog had gotten worse, and we couldn’t see ANYTHING at the lookout point.

So we soldiered on, and ended up at the town’s tiny shopping area, where at a gift shop we spotted some interesting snack foods, Kangaroo and Emu jerky!  Yumm.  Felicia had wanted to get some for home, but since we were likely being served Kangaroo for lunch today, we passed on the jerky for now.

At lunch, we actually were offered a choice of “Kiosk” food which included Crocodile, Prawns, & Mussel Paella, or Stir Fry Kangaroo Meat, or “Café” food which were regular sandwiches.  Felicia, Jeff, Julie and I all chose the “Kiosk” food, when in rome right?, but it turns out, we were the only ones eating kangaroo and crocodile that day.  Everyone else on the tour opted for the crappy sandwiches.  Tsk Tsk.  Their loss, the crocodile paella was scrumptious, and the Kangaroo meat tasted like tangy beef and also yummy.

The tour also included a SkyRail Cablecar ride over the Rainforest canopy, but the fog was still there and there wasn’t much of a view.  The floor was made of see-thru glass, offered a better view from above of the rainforest below.  We also got to ride a special train from the top of the complex down into the rainforest.  This train was special because it has the world’s steepest incline, 52degrees!  That’s like a roller coaster ride. 
In the afternoon, we visited another lookout spot, called Sublime point.  At first when we reached there, it was very foggy, but as we descended down the trail to Sublime point near the cliff face, the fog had begun to clear up, and we were finally given a beautiful (if not brief) stunning view of the blue mountains, and the famous three sisters rock face.  It was really gorgeous, the pictures don’t do it justice. 

At a little hut at Sublime point, our tourguide, Stephen, setup up a table of tea and biscuits for us while we enjoyed the view.  He busted out a authentic Didgeridoo, an Aboriginal Musical Instrument made of a long hollowed out piece of wood with beeswax lining the outerlip of one side.  He demonstrated for us how to pucker our lips to produce a good sound, then proceeded to give us a little show.  Afterwards, we were all given a chance to try it out if we wanted.  No one really wanted to try, so I did.  I really suck musically, and nothing about being in Australia has changed that.  I couldn’t for the life of me reproduce that harmonic sound Stephen had produced.  It just sounded like spit.  But it was still fun trying and I got some good pictures out of it.

The tour ended soon after and we were driven to the Sydney Olympic Park, where we were to grab a ferry that will take us back to Circular Quay back in Sydney.  When we arrived in Circular Quay, we changed our harbour dinner cruise pickup point from King St. Wharf to Circular Quay, since we were already there.

At around 7pm, we started our Harbour Dinner Cruise, with Captain Cook Cruises.  After the horrific food we had at the 360 Sydney Tower last night, we were praying for anything better tonight.  And our prayers were answered.  The food was amazing, the appetizers, raw oysters, canapés with caviar, grilled shrimps, were really delectable.  Then we all ended up having Steak for our main course, which was also very good.  The views on the boat were really nice, especially at the beginning of the cruise.  We climbed up to the top of the boat where it was open top and took some pictures of the Sydney Opera House as it went by.  It’s light lit at night, but it seems, only on one side of structure. Weird.  The cruise was a lot of fun, and there was live musicians on the boat.  This one female singer had a nice voice and sang a lot of contemporary hits, and got most of the drunk people to dance.  I tried to get Julie to go up with me to dance, but she said she wasn’t drunk enough yet. =)

After the cruise, we were dropped off right at King St. Wharf by our hotel.  It was off to bed to early so we can climb the Pylon Tower at Sydney Harbour Bridge in the morning.
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