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                               AUSTRALIA, NSW - SYDNEY (con't)  AQUARIUM, BIRTHDAY  AND NEW YEAR'S EVE            

Sydney Aquarium

The Sydney Aquarium is located in Darling Harbour and boasts the largest collection of Australian marine life plus a living coral reef. Our favorite attraction was the Shark Tunnel with its variety of close-up sharks, rays and turtles.  There are over 11,500 all Australian Aquatic animals including platypus, penguins, crocodiles and a natural seal sanctuary.

Living Coral

Duck Billed Platypus

Lion Fish

Large Grouper

Many varieties of shark

It was a great experience being so close to the huge sharks in the tunnel, only the width of the glass away. There were many species including ones we were familiar with as well as some that were new to us.

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Dog Races

One evening we set off to see the greyhound racing. We had rented a car but got hopelessly lost trying to find our way to Wentworth Park. Getting on a wrong freeway forced us to cross bridges several times, each time being charged a toll, only to have to backtrack and try another route. We finally found the park in time to see most of the races.  Gord was the only one who managed to pick a winner and netted $26.32 on a $2 ticket!

Whatever dog I picked would ALWAYS  come in last!

Australian Museum

On one particularly hot afternoon we decided to take refuge in a cool museum. The Australian Museum was outstanding with natural history of Indigenous Australia with Aboriginal exhibits and artifacts as well as displays of the native flora and fauna. We also took in "The Making of a Monster Exhibit" which was a feature at the time we visited

December 30

Chris' 21st Birthday


It was a smokin' hot morning so it was a good that Chris' Birthday present was a surfing lesson at Bondi Beach. After breakfast we took a train, then a bus, to well-known Bondi Beach along with hundreds of other young people all out to enjoy the sunshine on their summer holidays. The beach was packed, and looked much like Waikiki at peak season.

Surf's Up!

It was a perfect "learning surf" not too high, not too fast. It wasn't long before Chris was standing up on the board.

Chris was pretty tired after his lesson so we relaxed in the sun. It turned out to be a record breaking 45 deg. C that day and despite the sunscreen, Chris got a sunburn.


Birthday Cake

That evening, we had Cheesecake Birthday Cake on Ascension. Then we had our own little party whilst enjoying the fabulous night skyline of the Sydney Harbour from our anchorage.


New Year's Eve

The harbour was filling up quickly with boats jockeying for position. The banks of the bay already had throngs of people, some with tents, all with coolers of beer, as early as mid morning to begin the New Year's Eve celebrations.

Sydney is famous for its magnificent fireworks display set off from the Harbour Bridge as well as 4 surrounding barges. We ended up staying on the boat for New Years Eve because a strong wind came up and lasted until about 11 pm. We had a front row seat on Ascension but the wake from the boat traffic made the boat a bit rocky so my photos are pretty wild as a result of the movement.

Chris took the dinghy ashore just before midnight to be apart of the  energy and countdown to bring in the New Year.
 Us old folks were content to remain on the boat and Chris returned shortly after the fireworks were over.