Spectacular Sydney: Cockatoos, Cameras and Kangaroo

Welcome to Sydney, the bustling Metropolis.

It strikes me that Sydney is an ecclectic mix of old and new. As you walk through the town, one cannot help but notice the Lego block apartments juxtaposed with cute little rows of town houses with bars on their windows. In the same way the azure blue of the ocean juxtaposes the red brick townhouses that perch precariously overlooking the harbour. Tripadvisor (My trusty app) listed the Sydney Opera House, Bridge and Botanic Gardens as top places to visit in Sydney. In addition to this there was also the Coastal Walkways connecting Bondi Beach to Coogee and Maroubra (for those feeling strong and agile) and Taronga Zoo. With several days up our sleeves Craig and I jumped into our tourist shoes and set off immediately.

I was waiting to see the Opera House, having seen it so many times on TV shows and in travel articles.

Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House
Craig and I on our way along the Opera House to Botanic Gardens Walkway.
Craig and I on our way along the Opera House to Botanic Gardens Walkway.

However when you see it for the first time from Circular Quay, on a moody grey day – I couldn’t help but be slightly disappointed. It did look murky brown and old. But, low and behold the sun began to shine and glinted invitingly off the white tiles. With a sigh of relief, I realised that the pictures were not a lie and this beautiful figment of my imagination and various special appearances on TV was real.

The walk from the Opera House to Mrs Macquarie’s chair took around 1/2 an hour and provided beautiful views over the harbour, across to Taronga Zoo and of a tree full of Cockatoos – in the WILD!

Originally the site of a failed farm, Governor Macquarie founded the Botanic Gardens in 1816. It has been a place of great delight to the people of Sydney ever since and many botanists have spent their years maintaining its’ beauty. It even housed a zoo at one point.

Mrs Macquarie's Chair
Mrs Macquarie’s Chair
Cockatoos in the wild, Sydney Botanic Gardens
Cockatoos in the wild, Sydney Botanic Gardens

Mrs Macquarie’s chair is a natural stone seat that overlooks the Sydney harbour. Aptly named as this was her favourite spot to sit and think. Governor Macquarie completed the Road that is now known as Macquarie Street – one of the main roads in central Sydney that runs alongside the beautiful Botanic Garden.

From here we walked back to Circular Quay and caught the ferry across to Taronga Zoo. For those travelling here in the future – the Zoo pass is NOT a rip off, at $52AUD per person Craig and I were gulping deeply at the thought. However given that the zoo admission is $44AUD and return ferry tickets are $11.60AU, it’s worth getting.

The gondola that takes you to the top is awesome – not only can you peek in on the animals on your way up, you can also see the amazing vista of Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, and of course the Harbour itself.

Overlooking Sydney from Taronga Zoo
Overlooking Sydney from Taronga Zoo
I like Birds TOO!
I like Birds TOO!

Craig was super fascinated by the large variety of lizards that we could see there, in fact we spent the best part of an hour individually photographing them. We strolled our way through African Savannahs, Tropical Rain forests and pride-lands until an overpriced meal later, we arrived at the Seal Show.

I think if Seals could talk, they would make the best comedians. Watching the show, you could not help but be in awe of their incredible agility and grace as they balanced balls using only their whiskers and jumped to touch a buoy three metres above a pool of water. The show was not all ra-ra, it had a serious message for the conservation of sea creatures behind it. I appreciated that. Good on them for making something fun educational too.

It's a Pelican, eek!
It’s a Pelican, eek!

With complaints of sore feet and tired eyes, we made our way to the exit there were Craig’s favourite birds, THE PELICAN. I bravely got up close and personal for a photo, despite the fact the birds looked as though they were about to take off.

Needless to say, Craig and I were happy to get home. To top off our day of enjoying looking at Australian Animals, we decided to sample one for dinner.

Roast Kangaroo, Brussel Sprouts and Gnocchi
Roast Kangaroo, Brussel Sprouts and Gnocchi

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