Day 60 - The Harbour, Zoo and friends

Trip Start Sep 30, 2012
Trip End Jan 09, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Thursday, November 29, 2012

Our first stop this morning was to the kitchen downstairs. The backpackers we are staying at offers a basic breakfast including cereal and toast so we grabbed some breakies before jumping on the free shuttle bus. The bus does a loop of the city and we hopped off at Circular quays. From here we bought ferry and Zoo combo tickets. The ferry was great fun and cruised past the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. It was very special seeing them from the water as well as the surrounding areas of Sydney. It is a remarkable city built around the harbour and waterways.

After a short ride we arrived at Taronga Zoo. To get to the entrance we caught the Sky Safari Cable car. It was great fun floating over the elephants in their enclosure and the alligators. The zoo is very well organised and really aims to educate visitors on conservation efforts. Our first stop was the Australian animals. A real highlight was seeing the platypus. They are the strangest animals we'd ever seen. We were really lucky because we saw two of them swimming and popping out of the water. They are very shy and usually spend a lot of time in their nests so it was super to see them active. The other animal that amazed us was the Tasmanian Devil. These little guys didn't stop for one second. They were constantly on the go in their enclosure. We were amazed to read that their biggest threat is a face cancer that is passed from animal to animal when they are eating and bite or scratch each other. Their bodies don't recognize the cancer as a threat so their bodies don't produce antibodies to fight against the cells. It means that the cancer spreads rapidly and there is a zero survival rate. The zoo is doing great work to counteract the cancer and the spread of it. Very sad really.

We had great fun walking around the zoo and found the exotic Australian mammals, reptiles and amphibians so interesting. We finished our visit with the koala enclosure. Wonderful! They are the cuddliest animals we've ever seen. They digest for 20 hours a day and that is the reason they looked stoned all the time. But they are so calm and lovely to watch. They were quite a lot bigger than we thought they'd be. We spent lots of time just being with them. Super duper. We then caught the cable car down and jumped on the ferry. Fantastic fun.

After a small rest at our backpackers we headed off to Jonty's house. Jonty was one of Anton's close friends at Uni. We enjoyed the walk through quite a trendy part of central town and found his door. Jonty answered and introduced us to his wife, Laura, and baby Molly. She was so sweet and gave us some lovely smiles. We had a brief visit before heading the the pub for dinner. Laura and Jonty live in a lovely apartment type house with a beautiful Spanishy backyard. Our visit was brief but we hope to see them in SA sometime soon.

The pub was quite busy so we found an inside table. Soon after we arrive Jono and Ashish, another two Uni mates, arrived. It was a fantastic reunion for the boys and they reminisced about the crazy Uni days. Wow it's quite a miracle they survived those days and walked away with their livers in tact. We had a delicious dinner and the guys drank beer and laughed until the late hours of the night. It was a real insight into why they were such good friends at Uni. They are all great people. We walked (and stumbled a little) back to our backpackers. Fantastic fun!
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