Now we come to the afternoon of day 9. Sydney has so many places and things to offer, and yet we only spent half a day – half of that 9th day – for the city. It was really an insult to this awesome, gorgeous, exciting city. So I feel rather inadequate to write about any suggested things to do, or my favorite this and that in Sydney, and thus I am going to briefly touch upon the few places that we had squeezed in that afternoon.
Ferry from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo
A 12-minute ferry that takes you across the bay, around the Opera House, and provide an AMAZING view of the Sydney Bay. No words or photos (taken by me) can describe the beauty of that sun-filled noon when everything glistened in the sunlight with life and glory.
Mom wanted to see the kangaroo. A zoo is a sure place where you’ll see it. Of course the view won’t be as lively and real as in the wild, but you’ll surely see a kangaroo, or a wallaby. In the wild, you may or may not, depending on your luck.
I didn’t know there’s a species called wallaby before going to Taronga. Basically wallabies are small kangaroos. The 2 meter tall ones we usually see on TV are called Red Kangaroo. We saw one of them at the zoo, both laying leisurely in the sun, looking sleepy. Yeah, they lived in a zoo where they didn’t have to move. Of course they looked lazy.
Besides that, Taronga Zoo was a pretty disappointing place, considering you paying almost AUD 50 for the ticket. The platypus house was empty. The Tasmanian Devil Reserve was empty. The Pet a Koala required extra fee. The.. Ok, we left after those visits. In short, the zoo was more suitable for an elementary school trip than actual tourists.
Opera House Tour
An 1-hour that was totally worth the money. You got to get inside the opera house, see the 2700-seat orchestra room, you got to hear 1-hour commentary of detailed history and fun facts, and you got discount if you decided to buy a performance ticket later on.
I am in love with the Opera House. I really meant it, “love”. I can sit on that stone bench outside, by the blue bay, looking at the Hanger bridge and the iconic building, watching the doves and people passing by forever. It’s just a very peaceful yet hopeful feeling, as if no matter what is going on in the world, here you’re safe and happy, in this sunlight, this breeze.
20-minute walk from the Opera House along the edge of the Botanic Garden will take you to a spot called Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, a spot with supposedly postcard-like view of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, like this:
Why supposedly? Because I never got there. I ran like crazy to catch the last sun ray of the day, but it was already dark when I was 5 minutes away. I hated daylight saving time. 5:30 pm and it was already pitch black. Mom was also waiting for me at the steps of the Opera House with a bag of crackers (she was too tired to stick with me.) So I had to return to her. I turned my back to the Mrs. Macquarie’s chair, promising to myself I would return in 2 days – another promise I couldn’t keep.
Ferry from Circular Quay to Darling Harbour
At night, Sydney looks even more amazing. Darling Harbour – a great place to dine and have fun, enjoy some beers or glasses of cocktail on a warm summer night. But on a cold winter night, not so much. We passed by that area – some restaurants, some bars, a shopping mall, a wooden pedestrian bridge connecting the 2 sides of the harbour were all the highlights there.
What I would do if I returned to Sydney
I left Sydney, honestly, feeling the same as when I left Rome, or Europe – filled with regrets and a list of places I wanted to go or see but couldn’t. Mrs Macquarie’s chair was only one of them. There’s The Rocks, the most historic neighborhood in Sydney. There’s Queen Victoria Building, only a few steps from our familiar Town Hall station – the station we had to stop to make train transfer at least 2 times a day. There’s Bondi beach – ok, maybe not so much of a regret there after Brighton and Gold Coast. There’s Harbour bridge – I mean actually walk on the bridge, not standing hundreds of meters away and taking tens of photos, all looking the same.