Beyond the Opera House

Sipping the great Australian wines from Red Earth Wines last week brought to mind the two trips “down under” that I’ve taken.   Many people mentally lump New Zealand in with Australia and try to do both countries in one trip.  Given that Australia is roughly the same size as the United States, I think there is more than enough to see and do there alone.

Sydney Opera HouseMost trips down under start in Sydney.  The Opera House is iconic and certainly a “must see”.  You can take a tour of the facility (offered in multiple languages), a backstage tour or even get tickets to a concert to fully appreciate the acoustics.

 

As visible as the Opera House is the Sydney Harbor Bridge.  Did you know you can climb it?  Don’t worry – it’s probably  the safest, most well-run operation I have ever encountered.  It takes about 3 1/2 hours to complete the climb.  You only need to be able to walk and climb a few ladders and stairs to be able to enjoy the spectacular views from the top of the bridge.

John & Sunny Sydney Harbor Bridge

You are given a jumpsuit to wear over your clothes, an attached jacket – everything you need to stay warm.  Everything will be attached to you(even your sunglasses) and you will be attached to the bridge.  Safe, safe, safe.

Don’t worry about not being able to bring your own camera or cellphone with you.  There are cameras strategically mounted along the route and you can get plenty of photos of you and your group.  They will be available in the gift shop at the end of the climb.  You can book your climb on line and buy your photos at that time to both save money and be sure to get a spot for this unique adventure.

Family on Bridge

It’s an amazing experience and one not to be missed when in Sydney!

Another unique opportunity is only about 30 minutesSunny with koala outside Sydney.  Koala Park Sanctuary lets you get up close and personal with native Australian animals.  Yes, koalas, kangaroos, wombats and more!  Our family of 5 booked in advance, had a private guide.  With that, we got to go inside the koala enclosure (lots of other tourists looking puzzled as to how we got there), hand feed kangaroos, hold the wombat, participate in sheep shearing and drink Billy Tea.  Yes, you want to do all that!

John feeding Kangaroo

Without a doubt, the bridge climb and the close encounters with the animals were the highlights of Sydney for our group which ranged in age from 17 to 74. These are sure to be some of your favorite memories from your visit down under as well.  G’day!

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