Our last night in Sydney…

Our final evening started with a cultural visit to the Australian Museum of Contemporary Art – we are divided as to whether or not we enjoyed it!! John would have liked to spend more time viewing and understanding exhibits, Matt wanted to mooch round the shop and watch the skateboarding video, Kim wanted her dinner! This was followed by a mad rush back to the Nike shop for a running shirt for Matt before finally sitting down for dinner overlooking the harbour. We fly to Cairns tomorrow for the next stage of our adventure – David Todd Memorial Run, Kuranda sky rail, Barrier Reef and Daintree River here we come!! Just to put your minds at ease, it is only Matt doing the running……

Bondi or Newquay?

Difficult to tell the difference. Bondi doesn’t seem to have drunks, Newquay definitely has the better beach. Everyone told us that Manly was better and we’d have to agree. We came to see the winter festival and ice skating on the beach, a long way to go before it could compete with ice skating at Somerset House. We’d been at bondi half an hour before Matt found the skate park and a couple of people doing tricks on BMX’s. 2 hours later, we were still there. I hope Matt appreciates the sacrifice made by 2 very bored parents who didn’t whine once!! The highlight for John was seeing a shop that sold Hunter wellies rather than Uggs.

We caught the bus back to the city . Kim and Matt chose to explore the shops while John went to Darling Harbour by ferry. if we’d looked at the map, we’d have realises how near the shops were to Darling and we could have spent the afternoon together!!

Another tick in a box

Yesterday ended with a walk across the bridge. Fantastic views and an interesting conversation with a bored Bridge Security Guard halfway across. We were unable to continue our walk until Matt had correctly guessed the year the bridge opened and we’d promised to visit the Westfield Centre at Parramatta. John looked horrified at the thought and we didn’t have the heart to say it’s Bondi today!! The evening finished back in the hotel, cheering on Bradley Wiggins. We can’t have him beaten by The Aussie, Cadel Evans!

Go Wiggins Go!!

As Murray, Hamilton and Button all failed to deliver, we Stayed up late last night to watch the Tour de France and are supporting Bradley. We started the day in a little cafe for breakfast which was very cosmopolitan and we could easily get used to the lifestyle. This morning was spent on a 3 hour guided, walking tour of Sydney, led by Ross from ‘i’m free’ (Ken and Jacky would be proud of us). We saw far more of Sydney than we would have done if left to our own devices and learned a lot about it’s history and where to go free of charge. The Queen Victoria Building and the underground passages were a particular highlight for us. This afternoon we went our seperate ways!! John and Matt went out to the Olympic site while Kim explored the Botanic Gardens. Matt particularly wanted to see the skate park, More gate crashing from John as they made their way to the 17th floor of the Novotel to get the best view across the site. Meanwhile, back in the Botanic Gardens, Kim enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the trees and round Farm Covee. The wildlife is so different and it was a relief to see a moorhen – at least Kim knew what that was! John is sick of the sight of Ugg boots and wonders if Australia makes anything else. It’s also a bit disconcerting when everyone says how cold it is and they’re wrapped in scarves. They’d never survive in the UK!

The Opera House and Manly Beach

Last night, John’s sense of adventure had us gate crashing the Opera House and listening to a Bob Dylan tribute concert in the lobby. Matt and I were mortified for all of 5 minutes before relishing the experience. So much for a quiet night in with the tv! This morning we treated ourselves to the bizarre expereince of breakfast in a Germen Biergarten which for some strange reason was celebrating christmas in July.

After that it was the ferry round to Manly to see Australian surf dudes in action. We wish Newquay was like this – lovely long beach, nice shops to browse around and not a single drunk in sight! John learned his first Australian word (sunnies instead of sunglasses) and has been using it all day. A lovely afternoon was spent along the seafront. All the locals under the age of 30 seem to get about on small skateboards or scooters, Matt is trying to work out if he can get one back home in his suitcase. Despite the sunshine, the sea was too cold for us but not the locals! Matt, with his experience of 5 Cornish surfing lessons, was able to advise us how the surfers were going wrong by catching the waves to early!We had our first glimpse of local wildlife today, seagulls with red feet (cute), parrots (noisy), spiders (big and scary)


Arrived early this morning after a long sleepless night. Despite this Qantas is better than BA- John Lewis rather than Tesco!! Very proud of ourselves- we caught a train into Sydney and found the hotel all by ourselves. We had breakfast in The Rocks and explored the street market before Matt and Kim succumbed to sleep. We were a fantastic addition to the hotel lobby as our room wasn’t ready! John went exploring and has become our unofficial tour guide. Beer is like a fizzy light ale and the Australians are big supporters of NFL which looks like rugby for wimps. We’ve had dinner overlooking the harbour and the weather is ideal- warm and sunny but nowhere near as hot as HK, thank goodness. We shall walk off our dinner by going round to the Opera House and then back to the hotel to watch Wimbledon and the Grand Prix!