Sylvia and I have a bucket list of worldwide destinations to visit.  We have been to most, but Australia and New Zealand are still there.  We finally made arrangements to take a cruise to visit “downunder”.  We flew for 5-1/2 hours from Ottawa to Vancouver, laid over for 3 hours, then flew directly to Sydney for 15-1/2 hours more.  Hence, our adventure begins!

Sydney, located at 33deg – 51min – 54sec S / 151deg – 12min – 34sec E, is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania.  Located on Australia’s east coast, the metropolis surrounds the world’s largest natural harbour and sprawls about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north and Macarthur to the south. Residents of the city are known as “Sydneysiders”.  Sydney’s estimated population is 5,029,768.

Sylvia and I arrived in this beautiful city and immediately embraced its culture,  cleanliness, safety and its people.  The warmth of the sun just feels different! (in between the mist).  We need to keep in mind this is spring in Australia.

The Sydney area has been inhabited by indigenous Australians for at least 30,000 years. Lieutenant James Cook first landed at Kurnell in 1770, when navigating his way up the east coast of Australia on his ship, HMS Endeavour. It was not until 1788 when the First Fleet, which contained convicts and was led by Captain Arthur Phillip, arrived in Botany Bay to found Sydney as a penal colony, the first European settlement in Australia. Since convict transportation ended in the mid-19th century, the city has transformed from a colonial outpost into a major global cultural and economic centre. The municipal council of Sydney was incorporated in 1842 and became Australia’s first city. Gold was discovered in the colony in 1851 and with it came thousands of people seeking to make money. Sydney became one of the most multicultural cities in the world after the mass migration following the second World War.

We took a couple tours including one of Sydney (beautiful weather) and another of the Blue Mountains area (misty), including the Featherdale Wildlife Park.


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