Hello again everyone, a very warm welcome from the other side of the world to 2007!! We witnessed probably the most spectacular firework display of the new year celebrations as Sydney not only celebrated 2006 but also the 75th anniversary of the harbour bridge.
Prior to our new years eve celebrations we did actually do a couple of outings to the Blue Mountains and a night out with some of our friends from Fraser Island. The blue mountains were pretty spectacular as they were a lot higher than we had anticipated. They are called the blue mountains because 95% of the trees here are eucalyptus trees and they give off a chemical which basically makes a blue mist appearance in sunlight. It is very lush and green also and kind of reminded us of the Snowdonia region in Wales, this is due to the blue mountains being part of a rainforest and subsequently having plenty of rainfall.
We started the day by visiting the home of the Sydney olympics games and the huge Telstra stadium which holds 95,000 spectators. It is also home to the 8000 didgeridoos as the Ozzies refer to them as they are basically 8000 tubes planted in the ground to represent all of the athletes and sponsors from the games. We continued from here to a national park to see some wildlife - we weren't overly impressed as we had already seen about 4million kangaroos and that was pretty much all we saw here. After a short stop we headed up to a lookout which overlooked the vast area of the blue mountains, we met a few familiar faces from our fraser island tour here and made arrangements to meet up with them for a few "cold ones"!
Our next stop was a picturesque view of the three sisters - which is pretty much a rock formation of three hills. Apparently it was because two rival tribes once existed here, the one tribe had three glamorous sisters who were not allowed to marry men from the rival tribe. As it happened the women and men fell for each other leaving the tribe leader with no alternative than to turn them into rock formations! Which was really nice of him! He did however promise to undo the spell at a later date but he was unfortunately killed in another battle and therefore never got undone! hmmm.....
Anyways we headed through a series of beautiful waterfalls and made our way to the bottom of the mountains by way of 1000 steps, we didnt fancy a walk back up to the top so we decided to make our way up via the steepest railway in the world. It wasnt the most modern of railways which scared Shell once we were on board, it was almost like a theme park ride and they even played Indiana Jones theme music during the ride!
We went out with our one of our friends from the West Coast for her birthday and had a nice meal and a few drinks around Darling Harbour which was in fact reassuringly inexpensive, we did just drink wine and this is fairly cheap in Oz the beer on the other hand is well expensive!
The next day was New Years eve eve (30th) and we decided to have a bit of an organisation day by booking up our final trips - Melbourne, adelaide and New Zealand. We did manage to squeeze a good night on the tiles with our friends from Fraser Island and we had plenty of drinks together by Sydney Opera House and then onto a few bars in the "rocks" area of Sydney.
New Years eve is traditionally a major event in Sydney as it is - apart from a few small islands and New Zealand - the first major city to witness the new year. Everyone was busy getting the harbour bridge and opera house ready for the firework display, we had a pretty chilled out day at Tumbalong park, which is a really nice place in the city by Darling harbour where you can basically sunbathe and relax. We then headed to the Imax cinema for a 4D movie experience which was pretty good - even if Shell was falling asleep and getting motion sickness!
On New Years eve night we had a lovely evening with Paddy, Rachel and Rowena (Paddy & Rachels friend) at the next door neighbours place! They were from Kenilworth so we did have a very English orientated new year - with us lot trying to sing Auld Lang Syne! Had a great view of Sydney Harbour bridge from their garden and we all had a really nice time, some of us indulged perhaps a little too much with the drink however and New Years day was spent with a severe hangover in bed!
Oh well, onward and upward everything is booked up for practically the remainder of our journey we will as always keep you posted love to you all and apologies for not responing to some text messages Dan used it all on one drunken phone call to Tamworth! Speak to you soon guys x x x Dan and Shell x x x