Trip Start Nov 15, 2009
Trip End May 02, 2010

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Saturday, January 23, 2010

We arrived in Sydney on the 23rd Jan from Canberra, on the day we arrived we were welcomed by the hottest day Sydney has experienced for more than 6 years, it was about 41 degrees. I don't think I have ever been so hot and uncomfortable in my entire life! I couldn't eat lunch, couldn't really even more so me and Alex went to the local shopping mall to take advantage of their air conditioning!!

It rained overnight so the extreme heat had abated by the next day. We went into the city for the first time. Our train goes over the harbour bridge which I was quite excited about! Our first stop was the Rocks Market, which is the oldest part of the city and every weekend there is a market. We then headed towards Circular Quays which is where the ferries and cruises go out of from there we could see the iconic opera house. It was not as white as I thought it would be-its more of a cream colour!! As you may of seen on the last entry I have some huge bites from bloody mosquitoes, they are really itching and we were slightly concerned about them, it took about 4 days unitl they died down!

On our third day in Sydney we spent a good proporttion of the day doing boring admin. We have had a bit of a screw up with our visa, our travel agent did not tell us we had to get a longer one so we were about 3 weeks awy from eing in the country illegally. So we had the wonderful job of filling out government forms, they are no simplier in Australia. Earlier in the day alex set off to register the car in his name and then i paid our toll fee. The toll road starts about 50km outside of Sydney so its quite hard to miss!! In the Afternoon we headed up the Sydney Sky Tower which was good fun, it allowed us to have a birdseye view of the city and we both enjoyed the view of several landmark sites.

Australia day!! Me and Laura set off into the city with all the guys from the campsite, Wes, Bryan, Jo, Al, Meriem, Tommy and Katy. We are all either English or Irish (Tommy) and we made our way to Darling Harbour. Eventually the group thinned out with people deciding to do different things but we stayed with Tommy and Katy. We firstly watched the Police band in action and then headed to the rocks to watch some more music. In the rocks there was a range of food stalls and the area was really busy and had a great vibe. We then headed back to Darling Harbour because thats where all the big celebrations occur.
We arrived about 3 hours before the fireworks and go the best seats in the house, side on to the fireworks and yet on the front row with our feet in the water!! There was plenty of great live music and several big Australian acts to see although that means they could be in a pub near you soon!! The fireworks started at 8 ish and they were co-ordinated with lights and music and all i can say is that there are up there with the best fireworks either of us have ever seen. The fireworks were preceded by lots of the maritime boats that serve the harbour doing a lap infront of the crowd and this was really nice to see along with the winners of the Australians of the year award, one of which was a soilder who won the VC during his service in Afghanistan.
All in all an amazing day which we all really enjoyed the company was great and the organisation of the whole thing was good especially as the massive crowd all got onto trains which as always were on time, clean and and we all got a seat. The little things count!

After yesterdays full on day out we had a chilled day where we did the food shopping, laundry and bought a Billabong bikini for Laura and Quiksilver walk shorts for me and for $55 in total!! The weather was a bit crap today which meant we could get the little bits done. (Laura gets the bits done i dont do much).

The next day we went to Manly on the ferry which was a good day out. Manly is a nice place with good shops and a couple of nice beaches including Shell Beach. The area is nice and the ferry ride leaves from circular quays and allows you to see both the opera house and harbour bridge from the sea. Once we got back from Manly we had a walk around the Botanical gardens which was nice, they have large bats called silverbacks and we walked to Macquaries point and got Lauras dream photo of the Opera House and Bridge in one really nice photo! Tonight and as over the last 2 months chef Boyle did a vegetable curry . . . . and as always it was amazing.

Finally the sun came out and we went to Bondi for the day. We both thought that it would be a bit tacky but it was really nice and the beach was nice even with the seaweed and mix of extroverts. We played bat and ball as always which was good although me and laura disagreed over some of the rules to say the least, the main thing is that i won and that Laura lost. Ha! The highlight of the day came when Coke were running a promotion whereby they gave away free coke so we made hay while the sun was shinning and got 4 cans of coke and a beach ball!

Our last day in Sydney and we went and booked our trips for the east coast. We managed to get a bargain and this made us both happy as we got the van for New Zealand at a great price and got all our trips and levy fees thrown in for a good price. We then tried to make our way to the Sydney Cricket Ground but the dummy at the train station sent us the wrong way so i could not go! Oh well it made Lauras day not to watch even more cricket but what she does not know is that we are going to the ground in Brisbane and hopefully there will be a game on! This has been my first entry into the blog and i hope you enjoyed it as much as Lauras entries, dont comment on the grammer, im hardly J.K Rowling when it comes to words.

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Catherine and friends! on

Fireworks look amazing!!!!
Laura's blog entries have kept us well up to date on your adventures but we are bias and it has been nice that you have added one at last!!!
I have printed this one out for work and will display it on the notice board. You are right you are no J.K Rowling but very fun entry none the less... we will give you a level upon your return! You could improve your level for your next entry by writing in shorter sentences, i could harldy get a breath reading it aloud to Rach and Ferret!!
Keep having fun! Much love from us all xxxxx

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