Sydney, Day 3, 30th September 2008.
We had a little bit of a sleep in this morning, and we were still in the hostel room after 8am. By 9am, we’d walked to the Chinese Gardens and were waiting for it to open. We had a look around the area at the fountains and other places that were once again roped off from the World Youth Day events. We also had a go on some of the playgrounds, but gave that up as actual children started to show up to use them.
The Chinese Gardens are officially my favourite place in Sydney. Incredibly beautiful (and I’m not one for flowers). It’s really a place where the pictures tell you more than I can possibly describe. There are small but informative signs all around the gardens, explaining what the various features mean. It took us a good 45 minutes to walk around the entire gardens, even without wanting to sit and relax. I really can’t recommend the gardens enough – it’s only a few dollars to get in.
We had to leave and make our way nearly all the way to the Opera House again. It was time for our Jet Boat ride! http://www.ozjetboating.com I had never done anything like this before. We went down to the little floating pontoon where the boat leaves from. Before you go, you have to put all your belongings in a bucket type of container that stays at the dock while you’re on the ride. They you get dressed in a kind of a jumpsuit/water jacket which is supposed to keep you dry.
Then you were off!! It’s only slow going while you’re in the immediate harbour area (due to safety/speed limits), which gives them the time to go over the safety hand signals and all the necessary information on how to prepare yourself. And woah. What a fun ride. Since going on it, I’ve looked at the videos on their website it and it looks rough, but it’s really not. There was only one time when it hurt, and that was more due to the fact that there was a large man next to me and on one corner he couldn’t hold on and just kind of slammed into me. If you’re healthy and want to treat yourself to something special, I think a jet boat ride is an interesting way to see Sydney Harbour. We got back to the dock after it was all over and compared ourselves… despite the clothing you wear, you will get wet!!
From the high speed to the low speed, we decided to go over to Taronga Zoo. It was nice to have a low speed trip across the water, if only for the photo opportunities it gives. When we got to Taronga, we opted for the cable car ride to the top of the park, and to walk down. We spent a few hours wandering the park, looking at all the animals. Considering that it’s on a hillside in the middle of a big city, it really is a nice zoo.
By 5pm though, we were back in Sydney CBD. After some walking around the city, we decided to head back to the hostel via Hyde Park again. It was really quiet, and walking through the park, despite the amount of walking we were doing, was a nice way to relax after a day of cramming in sight-seeing.
I’m not sure where we ended up eating dinner that night, but I do have a photo of some wedges with sweet chilli sauce and sour cream, so at least I know what I ate!! I think that this was the night the little Italian place just up from the hostel was open, so we ate there.