Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Years in Sydney

Another box ticked (a very common phrase in Australia), as we decided to spend New Years in Sydney with Marvin’s cousins, Dave and Leslie Moore.  We arrived at the Sydney airport at 9:05 pm.  Marvin turned on his phone to find a message from them that they had been looking for us since 7:40.  He had accidentally given them our take off time instead of arrival.  They took us to the temple to see the beautiful Christmas lights, the manger scene, and the art show of the life of Christ (all which they were in charge of).  It was very well done and quite well attended.  Of course at 10:30 at night, we were the only visitors.

Tuesday was a day on the waters.  We started off by riding on the River Cat which goes down the Parramatta River to Sydney Harbor.  Then we took a ferry to Watson Bay which is at the point of the harbor and the open sea.  We walked all around the point enjoying the gorgeous views.  Back to the Harbor at Circle Quay and on to a different ferry this time going to Manly Beach. We had lunch there and found matching hoodies which had Manly Beach on them.  (Another box ticked!)  The beach was great and Kay had to stick her feet into the water which was a delightful temperature since the sun was hot and it was humid.  We reversed our direction and took the ferry back to the harbor and another river cat back up river.  The crazy hat was just for fun, but came in handy as we were facing the sun going home.
Kay, Dave and Leslie and the famous opera house

On the River Cat

Lighthouse at Watson Bay

Manley Beach

Looking over all the new eateries which line the wharf

Marv's crazy hat, but a good sun block

One of the best deals in Sydney is that you can buy a public transportation ticket for $2.50 for all day and go on any public transportation:  river cat, ferry, train, and tram as often as you want.

 Wednesday we drove west to the Blue Mountains and spent several hours at Scenic World.  The air looks blue because of the oil which is emitted from the gum trees.  We first took the sky ride to get a good view of the gorge.  It was breathtaking.  We hiked around the top for awhile before coming back and taking the train down into the valley.

The Three Sisters (peaks)

The cable car
 That was quite an experience.  The train went down at a 57 degree angle of decline.  It felt like we were standing up.  It was so fun.  If we didn’t have to stand in line for so long we would have done it again.  Walking through the rain forest was great and beautiful.
Lining up to get on the train

The narrow space the train went through

Quite an angle!

  After a picnic in a park, we headed back to Carlingford (where we all were staying) and got ready to ride the train into the city.  We met with some of the senior missionaries on the train.  A quick stop at the Queen Victoria Building while we were waiting for the husbands of two of the sisters (they had missed the train we were on) and we were amazed at the beautiful interior of the building (a shopping center) and the huge Christmas tree which was 3 floors tall. 

The Queen Victoria Building
Inside Queen Victoria Building

Beautiful stain glass windows


Beautiful clock which told time and date

 The Church owns one of the floors in a city building, so we were going there to the top to watch the fireworks.  But before doing so, we walked a few blocks to have dinner.  We ate at Grill’d and had the best hamburgers.  Marvin decided to have “The Lot”, a hamburger with a fried egg and beatroot.  He said it was good. (Another box ticked).  

Stairs that changed colors
Beautiful decorations

Five senior missionary couples enjoying hamburgers

 Up on the roof, we watched the 9:00 fireworks.  There were 4 different places along the harbor shooting fireworks and they were all the same.  So no matter where you were in the city, you would be able to see them.  The roof closed after the show and all the missionaries went home.  We decided to stay in town and get a feel of the “party”, all those who were waiting for the 12:00 show.  We were impressed that the overall behavior of the party goers was very good.  Of course, there were lots of police around.  We felt very comfortable and safe.  At about 11:00 we decided to head for home on the train.  We were able to travel with no delays and when the 12:00 hour arrived there were only 6 of us in our train car.  We celebrated by passing out candy and Tim Tam cookies.  It was a fun New Years Eve.

Thursday we drove up to Morisset where there is a mental hospital out in the bush, but by a beautiful lake.  Our purpose was to see the kangaroos.  When Dave and Leslie were there before, there were hundreds of roos.  We only saw a few, but Kay and Leslie had a good time feeding those who came to greet us.  We drove down the central coast to Terrigal where we had lunch and saw some beautiful coastal views.  Our last stop of the day was Bondi Beach.  It was packed with people.  Of course it is one of the most popular beaches in Australia.
Leslie gets close
Two hungry fellas


Beautiful Terrigal Point

We made it to Bondi Beach along with many many other people!
Friday was a day just for us.  We took the river cat to the city and spent some time in the botanical gardens and enjoyed sitting on Mrs. McQuarrie’s chair, just like we did when we were here in 2008.  We walked into the city and Kay went through St. Mary’s cathedral which was beautiful.  Then we walked through Hyde Park and looked into the Town Hall which had lovely architecture. While we rested on the steps of Town Hall, we saw two human billboards (persons dressed all in black (face included) carrying billboards on their backs).  They were advertising Paddy’s, a flea market.  We decided to follow them to Paddy’s, several blocks away.  It was a typical flea market where we found another hoodie for Marvin.  We weren’t sure where we were, but walked through China town and found ourselves at Darling Harbor.  Hot and tired, we decided we had had enough and took the ferry back to Circle Quay and then the train back to Carlingford.

Good looking guy there

Mrs. MacQuarie's chair which overlooks the harbor

St. Mary's Cathedral

We finished our Sydney adventure Saturday morning with a temple session with Leslie and Dave.  What a great way to finish a fun week.  We love Sydney and we were so glad to see more of the city than we did when we were there before.

What a wonderful way to start the new year!


  1. Nice report and good photos. Joseph and Suzanne

  2. Such lovely photos. Fun place to see. As we are freezing in our below zero weather (last week), it's nice to see blue skies and people in shirt sleeves! Thanks for sharing.