One full day left for us in this part of Down Under.
As highlighted earlier, we were already beginning to feel the rigour of travelling by Day 9 so I was actually glad that this was our last day of travelling. I must be getting old.
It took me awhile this morning to book our tickets through MyFun for the Sydney Wildlife Park and Aquarium for A$117 (2 adults, 1 child). By the time I printed out our e-tickets courtesy of the hotel, it was already 11am.
With our semi-home for the past week returned to its rightful owner, we had to now depend on our trusty feet to bring us to the Wildlife Park.
I was glad that our hotel was only about 2km walk away from the park.
I personally felt that the Aquarium was much better than the Wildlife Park. I had half-hoped to pat a koala here but one had to pay to do so. So if you’re a koala fan and want to pat a real koala, you might be better off going to the Port Macquarie.
The Wildlife Park keeps exhibits of grey kangeroos who look really comical with their tiny slit eyes roosting under the hot sun; a lone murderous looking cassowary; bumbling wombats (not a bat) and an interesting dissection of a giant ant nest.
Over at the Aquarium, I finally saw the platypus and thus ticked the last native creature I wanted to see. The lone playful platypus was busy diving about its man made pond and I was fascinated by its swift and graceful movements underwater.
Many other sea creatures are kept in it individual glass aquariums – moray eels, jellyfish, purple lobsters, giant crabs, sea horses and sea dragons. At the end of the aquarium, visitors are treated to a viewing tunnel (like Singapore’s Underwater World) where you can see manatees, manta rays and shark rays at close range.
The children loved the Aquarium much more than the relatively sleepy Wildlife Park too.
By the time we were done with our animal escapade, we were all quite tired so we decided to go back to our hotel for a rest. We ended up buying takeaways from the nearby Chinese restaurant for dinner.
After dinner and slightly recharged, I decided to pay The Rocks a visit since this was the last unchecked item on our list. So grudgingly, everyone dressed up and we started a long walk through the streets of Sydney north towards The Rocks.
Sometimes I amaze myself. Despite all the weariness, I still have the energy and drive to check off items on my itinerary. And for what? It’s not like I am on a quest or that I get prizes for completing the list.
The Rocks, according to the guide book, is where old Sydney is located and this is where the first immigrants called home. The buildings are well kept and preserve their 18th century English charm. So it wasn’t too difficult to imagine what life was like then.
As our flight back home was in the afternoon, we spent the early part of the morning shopping for souvenirs. This is the part that I usually find most tedious.
There are loads of people you feel you need to buy gifts for but with limited time and exorbitant prices at the souvenir shops, we always end up spending more than we planned.
And this isn’t even an activity we enjoy but do so out of sheer obligation.
We notice that shopping in Sydney is relatively limited. In fact, in all of Australia I’ve visited, I haven’t found a place where shopping centres are as prevalent as Singapore. Maybe it’s not so much part of their culture.
One really beautiful piece of architecture which is a high class shopping center is the Queen Victoria Shopping Centre. Housed in an emerald green building adorned with a dome, enter the building and be treated to classical interior design of checked tiles, second level balconies and rows of chandaliers lighting the hallway.
Finally done with shopping, we returned to our hotel for lunch at a nearby food court. After that we checked out and was able to easily hail a cab to bring us to the airport for A$46.
The custom checks was really stringent and I felt like I was being treated like a potential criminal. Even my take away bowl of curry chutney had to be thrown away. What did they think I was going to do with it? Drown someone in it?
Theo had to remove his shoes, sock and belt and have it scanned.
What can I say? Since 9/11, the world of global travelling has never been the same again. Darn! And I had to be associated with this dreaded date.