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By this Author: garciamag

Toranga Zoo

sunny 25 °C
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Everyone we spoke with mentioned we should visit the Toranga Zoo. The tour guide on the ferry boat over even said it was one of the worlds top 10 zoos. All in all, I wasn't impressed. Maybe it was the time of year or something but the exhibits, while nicely done, had very few animals. Some didn't have any at all. There seemed to be more than a few empty exhibits.

The ride to the top via the cable cars affords a great view of downtown Sydney across the harbor.

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The shows preformed during the day helped to make up for the dissapointing exhibits. The wild bird show was really good. They had a couple of eagles as well as a dozen or so other birds that performed in an open theatre that overlooked downtown Sydney. Very cool.

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There were a couple of exhibits that stood out.

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In particular, the giraffes. Like them or not these three were very funny to watch. For an added fee, there always seems to be another way to charge you for something else, you can get your photo taken feeding different animals. As we happened by the giraffes there was a small line of folks waiting to feed the giraffes. As we watched one giraffe in particular went out of his way to get noticed. He was sticking his tongue out and trying to snatch snacks from his mates. It was fun to watch him.

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The gorillas also made for a good visit. As two youngers ones played they actually crashed into each other with an audible clunk when their heads meet in midair.

After a nice day at the zoo we took the ferry over to the Darling Harbor for dinner. We stopped at a place called Jordens and enjoyed a great meal. A bit expensive but worth it. I recommend the baramundi.

Posted by garciamag 01:15 Archived in Australia Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Heading to Sydney

Another nice drive with yet another wild rainstorm. I couldn't wait to give up the rental. ;-)

rain 26 °C
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With the weather turning sour in Port Macquarie we decided to head south a day early. This turned out to be a good decision since the weather held until we got to the mountains just north of Sydney.

Then the rain game in buckets. It rained so hard other drivers were pulling over to wait out the storm. I wanted to get into Sydney before dark so I pressed on. It was very dicey for a while but eventually the rain lessened and we made it to our next stop.

Driving in the city was exciting due to the narrow streets and the tail end of rush hour. To top it off we ended up in the wrong line at the tool coming across the bridge into Sydney and we were 20 cents short of exact change! The toll both operator that manned the other booth told us to go on so we did. After 1000km of watching the speed limit and driving safely I didn't want to get a fine for missing the toll!

Since we arrived too late to return the rental car I had to park it at the resort. I can't wait to turn it in as soon as possible in the morning.

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Posted by garciamag 01:06 Archived in Australia Tagged transportation Comments (0)

Billabong Wildlife Center

Yet another chance to see Koalas and 'Roos

sunny 27 °C
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We were pleasantly surprised by this stop. While we imagined just another mini zoo this turned out a little nicer. The Koalas were mostly asleep

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but the kangaroos were in an enclosure that allowed us to interact with them. They sell cups of cracked corn to feed them and they really do enjoy it. I was able to get many photos of kangaroos close up including one where one of the Roos helped himself to my cup of corn. They allowed us to pet them and hold their paws. Obviously, they have lots of interaction with people so it was very enjoyable.

There were other animals that you could get close to but the kangaroos were the best.

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We also picked a good time to come since we nearly had the park to ourselves.

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Posted by garciamag 01:00 Archived in Australia Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Coast drive South

Beautiful beaches

sunny
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After a day of just laying about at the beach and the pool, we decided to head down the coast. It was a nice drive that allowed us to stop ad different beaches along the way. Each were beautiful and open.

One of the neater things about Austrailian beaches is the lifeguards are formed as clubs and they in turn watch the bathers. The lifeguards will asses the currents and conditions and will put out a pair of flags on the beach that shows where it is safe to enjoy the water. Further north there was a threat of jellyfish. Here, further south there didn't seem to be so much of an issue.

As we slowly cruised the coastal route we passed some smaller towns including one called Kendal. Since it is the namesake of one of our daughters we had to drop in. It wasn't much of a place but it was fun to explore new towns nonetheless.

As the coast route brought us back to the Coast Highway we headed back. The 3 hour drive took us about 30km down the road.

Posted by garciamag 00:53 Archived in Australia Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Visiting the Koala Hospital

Our first journey in Port Macquarie

sunny 27 °C
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One of the few things that didn't cost us admission was the Koala hospital. These folks take injured and abandoned Koalas and nurse them back to health with the intention of releasing them back into the wild. In some cases this is not possible and they become residents of the hospital. You can adopt a Koala to help subsidize their work. The neat thing about viewing Koalas in this environment is they are held in smaller enclosures. Not cages by any means but more intimate enclosures that allow you to get closer to get a nice view of them. One even woke up before the normal feeding time and gave me some great photo ops.

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Right next to the Koala Hospital is Roto House. The origin of the name has a couple of explanations but essentially its a house built by a successful business man around the turn of the 20th century. Its a nice view into life and living in this part of Australia during this period. There is no entry fee for this either but it does accept donations. According to the sign on the door it is open whenever there are volunteers available. In our case there was a nice older gentleman that gave us some details on the house and made sure we knew about the Koala hospital next door.

All in all a good way to kick off week two of our travels.

Posted by garciamag 00:42 Archived in Australia Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

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