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Old 29-01-2007, 16:36   #1
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The Wobbly Tour 2007

After much saving up and a bit of organisation me and Sparks were off once again to meet our Antipodean cousins. There is a reason for the title of this thread and it goes something like this:-

After a pre-holiday visit to Grego, my niece and new nephew, Grego asked if we would like to take my 4 year old niece with us to Australia. She's a lovely, sweet little girl with great capacity for being a little tinker at times. A little tinker she was, that day, and Grego had had enough. I said that we would take her to Australia and leave her at the zoo with all of the Koalas, Wombats and Wallabies.

"What's a 'Wobbly?' demanded the little princess......

We tried to stifle our laughter and explain what a Wallaby is but I'm afraid that the laughter got the better of me, hence, the title of this thread......It still makes me smile.

Australia is a place which I have never really had a particular desire to visit. The truth is that I really didn't know that much about the place. We rarely see Australia on the news and my earliest realisation that Australia is actually there was from watching Skippy the Bush Kangaroo on the telly as a child, and later, listening to the strange accent of Rolf Harris 'can you tell what it is yet?' Over the years, I formed an opinion that Australia was sun scorched, dry and not very interesting. Soaps like Home and Away gave the impression that everybody spends their time on the beach surfing and that there was really little else to do.

Recently, I started reading up a bit about Australia and found a varied history and interesting wildlife. My desire to visit this place grew.

So we set off on the 28th December for our long flights. We had an overnight stay in Hong Kong before flying into Sydney. We finally arrived on New Year's Eve, first thing in the morning. Our hotel room wouldn't be ready until the afternoon so we ditched our bags and went for a long walk.

Our first port of call was Darling Harbour where we sat at a cafe with coffees and a big breakfast. The sun was shining and it was so bright on our tired eyes. The breakfast was massive, in fact, all the portions of food that we had were massive, but with thick meaty bacon and runny eggs it was just the tonic. I have to hand it to the Aussies......they aren't afraid of a proper runny egg.

After breakfast we went to the tourist information centre and bought some tickets for the Explorer Bus. This bus takes you to all of the major sights and you can hop on and off wherever you choose. We got off the bus at the Harbour Bridge and decided to walk across it. We got part of the way across, looked to our right and there it was...... The Opera House.

The Opera House isn't just a place of entertainment, it is an icon. Built on the site of an old tram shed and designed by a pretty much unheard of Danish architect Jorn Utzon, the Opera House presented quite a challenge to its builders and financiers. The problem was its' roof.. Nobody realised at the outset that the roof would be nigh on impossible to build. The project was supposed to take roughly 6 years to build but it took about 5 years to work out the principles of how to do the roof. In total the project took about 14-15 years and an appeal fund was set up raising money for the Opera House. The Opera House Lottery raised the balance of A$ 102 million as the final cost... The architect Jorn Utzon never got to see his finished design, he was dismissed in 1966 after a change of government. Today, the Opera House is one of Sydney's main tourist attractions. You know you're in Sydney when you see the Opera House.

Here are some pics of Darling Harbour and the iconic Opera House taken from Sydney Harbour Bridge..
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Australia 2007 006.jpg (34.6 KB, 45 views)
File Type: jpg Australia 2007 007.jpg (36.7 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg Australia 2007 010.jpg (28.5 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg Australia 2007 011.jpg (29.9 KB, 35 views)
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Last edited by lettie; 29-01-2007 at 16:39.
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Old 29-01-2007, 21:18   #2
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Re: The Wobbly Tour 2007

Great pics Lettie, I'd forgotten about the wobbly's too!
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Old 29-01-2007, 22:53   #3
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Re: The Wobbly Tour 2007

great pics lettie, hope you n sparks enjoyed the whole trip, and gave the Cricket a miss.lol
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Old 29-01-2007, 23:13   #4
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Re: The Wobbly Tour 2007

Welcome back.

It seemed you were both away for so long, that I was going to start enquires as to if you'd been deported.

FREE THE TOLPUDDLE TWO- AND SEND 'EM HOME!
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Old 30-01-2007, 00:16   #5
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Re: The Wobbly Tour 2007

ooo my most favorite place in the world ......darling harbour i could not get enough of it, did you happen to do a boat trip thats interesting too.hope you both have recovered you looked absolutly shattered yesterday.
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Old 30-01-2007, 06:45   #6
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Re: The Wobbly Tour 2007

Welcome back both of you. Nice piccys, I hope theres a lot more to come!
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Old 30-01-2007, 14:13   #7
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Re: The Wobbly Tour 2007

After crossing the Harbour Bridge, we jumped back on the Explorer and got off in Chinatown. We called at our hotel and the room was ready. We planned to have showers and get back out there but the best laid plans went slightly amiss. After our showers the weariness of jet lag overtook us and the urge to have 5 minutes shut eye was over powering.

We woke up several hours later, it was 8.30pm on New Year's Eve.....
"Bloody Hell!!!!!! We could have missed it, I cursed.

After dressing quickly we made our way up to Circular Quay, stopping for something to eat on the way. Never have I seen such a crowd, there were thousands of people crammed in every available space, awaiting the countdown to New Year. Alcohol was not allowed and the crowd, although high spirited, was well behaved. We managed to find a place to squeeze in so that we could watch the celebrations. People were chatting to us, many had come from Sydney's suburbs, smaller towns a couple of hours drive away and other Australian cities. People were really friendy and surprised to hear that we had come from England and only got there that morning. Official figures said that there were well over a million people there that night.

New Year was counted down and then the fireworks started. It was absolutely amazing. They were exploding off the top of the huge hotels in the city centre, the Opera House, Darling Harbour and up the river but the star of the show was definitely the Harbour Bridge (known affectionately as the coat hanger). It was spectacular and I really doubt that we will ever see another firework display that will beat it.

The next day we mooched around the city then went to Sydney Aquarium and Wildlife World. We spent several hours admiring the corals, tropical fish and other Australian wildlife. I will mention the wildlife later in the travels as we had plenty of enounters with it...... Needless to say, it was a nice way to spend the day and we were still recovering from the journey so it wasn't too energetic.

When we awoke on the 2nd January it was absolutely persisting down. We were going to Sydney Cricket Ground to watch the first day of the last test match. The rain just poured and poured but luckily, in true Brit style, we had waterproofs. We got to the cricket ground and waited for the rain to stop, it finally did, and we got to see some cricket. England were batting, and to be fair, we probably saw the best day as far as England were concerned. The Barmy Army were sat quite close to us, they were well behaved but very tuneful. We were wetting ourselves laughing at some of the songs, especially the one about 'Matilda,' but I can't give you the lyrics on here without being banned..

After the cricket we went to get some photos of our 'star,' The Harbour Bridge. This bridge is huge!!!!! It never really looks that big on photos and on the telly, but it is massive. The arch stretches for 1,650 feet and we walked every single foot of it. The arch weighs about 30,000 tons with rivets in it the size of halved grapefruits. I loved looking at the bridge and could have happily stared at it all night. It was nearly time to move on though, so we went back to the hotel and hit the sack..

Here are some pics.... There's Circular Quay, Sydney Cricket Ground pre-match, our flag flying proudly, and The Coathanger...Sydney Harbour Bridge taken in the evening.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Australia 2007 014.jpg (26.5 KB, 32 views)
File Type: jpg Australia 2007 017.jpg (48.8 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg Australia 2007 018.jpg (30.6 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg Australia 2007 021.jpg (30.0 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg Australia 2007 024.jpg (26.8 KB, 24 views)
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Last edited by lettie; 30-01-2007 at 14:17.
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Old 30-01-2007, 14:32   #8
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Re: The Wobbly Tour 2007

Trouble now lettie is every firework display you go to will be a little disappointing, there really is none as good as Sydney's on new years eve, they show a bit on TV here but you'll know now that they don't show a lot of it, where did you take the last 2 pics? the bar near the opera house? had a few good in there
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Old 30-01-2007, 14:43   #9
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Re: The Wobbly Tour 2007

Did someone mention rivets

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Old 30-01-2007, 14:47   #10
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Re: The Wobbly Tour 2007

The last 2 pics were taken from the Opera House. The weather had been somewhat moody, as you can see by the clouds. It was nice and warm though..
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Old 30-01-2007, 15:01   #11
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Re: The Wobbly Tour 2007

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The last 2 pics were taken from the Opera House.
Ok, thought you might have taken them from the bar a bit further down the quay, good night out there when its warm and they have a band playing outside
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Old 31-01-2007, 14:48   #12
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Going Bush.

After 3 nights in Sydney we collected a rental car. This car was to be our home for the next 10 days or so. We drove out of Sydney and headed for the Blue Mountains.

The Blue Mountains area gets its' name from the bluish haze which hangs over them. The haze is caused by light hitting the oil and dust particles from the multitudinous Eucalyptus trees in the area. This area was explored by Europeans Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth in 1813 but relics suggest that Aborigines have been present in the area for up to 14,000 years. Within a few years of exploration by the Europeans, a road had been cut through the Blue Mountains. This must have been quite a feat as the greenery is darned near impenetrable bush. They did have a reason for building a road through. From their vantage point in the Blue Mountains, the explorers could see plentiful grassland on the other side. this would sustain cattle and grow crops. Unfortunately, the grassland was not as bountiful as they had hoped, subject to harsh weather conditions, flash floods in some areas, and not a drop of rain for years in others.

It was noticably cooler in the Blue Mountains and the clouds had followed us from Sydney but the smell of the Eucalypts was wonderful and brightly coloured Parakeets squawked as they flew from tree to tree. We pitched up at our motel in Katoomba, a small town which reminded us both of Hebden Bridge. We walked down to Echo Point in order to get a few views of the area. Although it was cloudy and slightly misty it still looked spectacular. The Blue Mountains are of no great height and from a distance look lovely and green, but from Echo Point we could see rocky pinnacles and sheer cliffs.

The most famous of the pinnacles are known as the Three Sisters. Aboriginal Dreamtime legend has it that three sisters Meenhi, Wimlah and Gunnedoo from the Katoomba tribe fell in love with 3 brothers from the Nepean tribe. Tribal laws forbade them to marry, so the three brothers tried to capture the three sisters by force. This sparked a tribal battle and the three sisters' lives were endangered. A local witchdoctor turned the three sisters into rocks in order to protect them. He intended to reverse the spell after the battle was over but unfortunately died in battle. Nobody else in the tribe could reverse the spell so the Three Sisters still stand there today at 922m, 918m and 906m tall.

We climbed down the steep stairway to the Three Sisters and then decided to take a walk on one of the many paths and explore the area. Wouldn't you know it........As soon as we got far enough away from civilisation to be drenched.. It peed down again!!!!

Here are some pics from the Blue Mountains, the Three Sisters, sheer cliffs and impenetrable bush.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Australia 2007 028.jpg (26.0 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg Australia 2007 033.jpg (36.1 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg Australia 2007 034.jpg (50.6 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg Australia 2007 048.jpg (66.9 KB, 23 views)
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Old 31-01-2007, 15:07   #13
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Re: The Wobbly Tour 2007

Keep it coming, i'm enjoying reading this, brings back memories, i can smell it now
Did you get to go on the worlds steapest railway?
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Old 31-01-2007, 16:04   #14
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Re: The Wobbly Tour 2007

Hehehe, the railway bit will be in the next episode. Needless to say, I didn't attempt to take photos on the train. I was too busy holding on to my bag, hat and sunglasses..
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Old 31-01-2007, 16:26   #15
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Hehehe, the railway bit will be in the next episode. Needless to say, I didn't attempt to take photos on the train. I was too busy holding on to my bag, hat and sunglasses..
LOL, I was on the front seat when I did it with a video camera in my hand
I'll not say any more i'll leave it for your next episode
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