Following our wonderful visit to Uluru, we returned to Sydney for a short stay.
On our first morning in the city we set out for a walk to get our bearings, and we were joined by our friend Ann and her husband and son, who is about the same age as our youngest. We met Ann when traveling through Vietnam over a decade ago.
We started with the lovely botanic gardens. The kids enjoyed seeing some of the different species of cacti, including ones that grow in Texas.
There was also a fun special exhibition of carnivorous plants.
After walking across the botanic garden from south to north, it was not much further to the iconic Sydney opera house.
From Central Quay we hopped on a ferry to Darling Harbour and soaked in the views of the opera house and the city from the water.
After our ferry ride Ann and her husband showed us around the Darling Harbour area, finishing with a stop at the fantastic playground at Tumbalong Park.
The next morning we took another ferry across the harbour to Taronga Zoo. We were lucky to have a second day of bright blue skies.
The zoo had all of the animals that one would expect a zoo to have, like these Asian elephants.
We were a bit more excited to see some of the native species that we don’t typically get to observe, including this rock wallaby. Many parts of the zoo were large enclosures that we could walk through and see birds and animals moving freely.
We loved seeing the wombats!
And, of course, the kangaroos! We also saw (but did not get a good picture of) a platypus, an animal that can’t be found anywhere but Australia (even in zoos).
The amphitheater for the bird show has a spectacular view of the Sydney skyline and harbour bridge. The show was very educational; we learned about the role that raptors and vultures play in the ecosystem.
Later we visited the Powerhouse Museum, which showcases items related to various technological fields.
One exhibit was focused on the extreme weather events that Australia experiences.
The kids were happy to find that one section of the museum had hands-on activities.
The final museum that we visited was the Australian Museum. This museum is free to visit and has collections related to natural history and anthropology.
The kids weren’t quite sure what to think of these skeletons of a horse and rider.
It was interesting to see different forms of Aboriginal art from across the continent.
Our time in Sydney came and went too quickly. There are so many great things to do and we barely scratched the surface!
In our next update, we continue our Australian road trip with two special guests and visit the capital city!