Whale Watching in Tasman Sea

Trip Start May 18, 2004
Trip End Jul 08, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The main purpose of this visit to Sydney was to get a residential certificate at the Consulate-General of Japan. I stayed in Sydney two nights and went sightseeing as well. The most interesting activity I experienced there was whale watching and that was my first time to see the largest animal on earth. The cost was only AUD51 (on-line rate) and not bad. I visited Darling Harbour to check the tour departure point Cockle Bay Marina and then I noticed a small boat there and it seemed to be a boat for my tour. I didn't like it because I was afraid of seasickness. The advantage of the small boat was its high speed, but it didn't matter to me because I thought that cruising itself was also enjoyable. Anyway, I bought lunch and went back to my hostel. 

On the next day, I arrived at departure point in the harbour and thought I was right. The small boat was for my tour. The number of participants of the tour was around 15 and the small boat was in the right size. At first, the boat was slow, but even in Sydney Harbour, the boat got very fast! I was not fearful of the speed, but I had felt very sick even before we arrived at an observation area of the Tasman Sea. The first whale we saw was splashing. Because it happened all of a sudden, I couldn't take a picture, but it was the most impressive one. Since then I was suffering from seasickness, but I didn't want to given up whale-watching. So I had a mixed feeling: I wanted to go back to the shore ASAP and to keep watching whales. Eventually, although I threw up a few times, I kept taking pictures. Actually I just shot pictures without focusing, so I would later know that most of the pictures were rubbish. Some whales were getting very close to our boat, which excited me very much. Although I couldn't see whale splash again, I was able to watch many whales and I was fully satisfied with the activity.    

(The next paragraph is just a complaint. Please skip it if you want.)
Then I visited the Consulate-General of Japan. I had many troubles in the consulate. First, it was a bit difficult to find it because it was just a small office in a building without no sign. Second, although I had prepared enough information to apply for a certificate by reading the website of the consulate beforehand, more information was needed to fill out its application form. As a result, I left the office once and looked for a pay phone to make a call to my family in Japan to acquire the information. Third, I made an error in the application form and I noticed it after I had submitted it. So I told a receptionist to correct it, but I realised the error was not corrected when I received the certificate. Furthermore, in spite of the big mistake by them, they didn't even apologise. If I had realised the error later, I might have had to come back to the consulate from Orange (my town), which takes five hours for one way. Incidentally, to apply for a residential certificate, the applicant must visit the consulate and that's their rule. Of course, there are some Japanese living in a town further than Orange.... I am tired of the consulate.

Anyway, I spent too much time in the consulate and it was four o'clock when I got out of there. The next destination was Hyde Park Barracks. It is a new World Heritage Site and I was very interested. I don't like museums so much, but there is an exception, that is the case that a museum building itself has a important historical meaning like Auschwiz Museum. Unfortunately, Hyde Park Barracks Museum was not like that. The items were just displayed with a description like common museums. Some parts of the building looked old, but not so impressive. After I read some reviews on Tripadvisor, I felt like trying the museum, but now I think it was not worth visiting. Especially, it was not for short-term visitors like me. 

I left the museum at five, just the closing time, and headed for the Royal Botanic Garden. When I visited there in 2004, I was impressed by huge trees of the garden, but this time nothing attracted me there, because I have been used to big trees. So I just went through the garden to the Opera House. It was around six and it was still light out. After I went to Darling Harbour in the evening in February and caught a beautiful night view, I made up my mind to visit Circular Quay in the evening, too. So I decided to stay there until it got dark. At around half past seven, it got totally dark and, as I expected, the area was very beautiful. It was well worth waiting for the sunset there! 

When I came back to my hostel, I saw a Japanese couple Hiro & Kana. I heard that they had learned English in Fiji and just come to Australia. Because I had a plan to visit Fiji in the next month, they game me much information about Fiji. Come to think of it, since there is an English school for Japanese students in Fiji, I have a chance to see some Japanese there. 
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