We're now in Sydney and have been staying with Sarah and Adam since Thursday. They picked us up from the airport which was very nice, and we spent the afternoon having a bit of a local tour and exploring the beach. Friday was really rainy unfortunately, so we played some board games and booked ourselves a trip to Fraser Island for the new year.
The weekend has been much sunnier (34 degrees sunny!). On Saturday we headed for for the Kuring Gai Chase National Park where we hiked up to a waterfall. On the way we found a cool ropeswing and a lot of leeches (on our shoes rather than our skin so don't worry!) and then had a bit of a steep climb before cooling down with a dip in the top of the waterfall (so refreshing!). Afterwards we went to Avalon beach and had a nice swim, and Daniel and Adam did some body boarding. Later on we had a picnic dinner in Pittwater and took Sarah and Adam's kayak out for a spin (we're professionals now :P)
On Sunday, we got up early and went for a pre-breakfast swim in the sea (excellent wake up call), and then headed for Manly where we got the ferry over to Sydney city centre. Great views on the way in of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. We wandered around through the botanical gardens and the city (looking at the Christmas decorations- still feels weird!) and then took the monorail around past Darling Harbour. Sydney feels like a really nice city, and small enough to wander around which is also nice.
Today we've been up to the top of Bangalley head (about 20mins from Avalon) and wandered around Avalon village itself which has lots of little boutiquey shops. Off to the beach this afternoon, and tomorrow we're off for a couple of days camping in the Blue Mountains before Ike and Didi get here on Thursday.
We'll write again soon, lots of love
Philippa and Daniel
P.S we've uploaded a couple of videos for you to look at (now the internet is free for a bit!) so have a look if you like!