06.02.2011 - 10.02.2011 32 °C
After a short, 3 hour, flight I arrived in Sydney. Armed with a map of the city, I set about trying to find my bearings. After the many rural areas I'd been in during the past few weeks, it seemed quite strange to be walking around a big city again.
The weather was awful. Driving rain and a wind to knock one off balance. And cold. Not what I'd been expecting in the middle of the Oz summer.
That night happened to be the night of the Chinese New Year parade, so I went out and watched that with a few people from my room.
Afterwards, there was an impressive firework display over the harbour.
The dome of the Queen Victoria building. This building is connected to others by a network of underground passageways, originally intended to make it possible for civil servants to move around without having to face the busy streets. Now, they are filled with markets and shopping arcades.
St. Mary's Cathedral in Hyde Park.
Sydney AMP Tower.
Fountain used in the filming of 'The Matrix'.
Many of the older buildings are in the European colonial style. The city's founders clearly wanted to be reminded of home.
Notice the Australian and British flags in this Anglican church in The Rocks, Sydney's oldest district and site of the penal colony.
The two classic landmarks.
Old and new architecture.
The city skyline, from the Manly ferry.
I took a ferry over to Manly, on the far northern side of the harbour mouth, partly to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and also to see Sydney's skyline and harbourfront - best viewed from the water.
Manly is famous for its surf; there were many people out riding the waves.
For such a popular beach however, it was not crowded at all.
I walked over to Shelley beach, where a game of cricket was fully underway.
Considering making an Ashes comment... I thought better of it.
An eastern sea dragon on the coast walk.
Once the sun had set, giant fruit bats (or 'flying foxes', as they call them) swooped around overhead, screeching noisily. Not expecting it, the first one took me quite by surprise.
From the boat back to Circular Quay, the illuminated skyline was amazing.
My last day in Sydney I spent in the botanical gardens.
Hyde Park, on the way to the gardens.
There is a stunning variety of plants and trees here, as well as many butterflies, birds and fruit bats (literally hundreds of them on some trees - they are a bit of a pest as their swamping of certain trees can cause damage).
Sulphur crested cockatoo.
Is that a skull?
The Opera House, up close.
Circular Quay, viewed from the Opera House. This is where the many ferries depart.
This cockatoo bit me!
An Ibis. There are loads of these prehistoric looking birds. Very Ancient Egyptian.