After spending 3 weeks in Queensland going at a lot slower pace than we had over the last 2 months, we had to pick up the pace again to get to Sydney to give us enough time to clean the van, pack and sightsee. We did allow ourselves time to stop at Harvey Bay for 2 nights to see if we coulg go on a Whale watching tour. We knew that it was the beginning of the season and that they were just arriving in Harvey bay for a rest in their migration pattern, but we booked anyway hoping our luck was in.
It was actually a sunny morning when we set off which made a change from the past few weeks, it did however cloud over when on the boat. It was a couple of hours before we saw anything and we were beginning to think that it wasn't our day, then we say a school of Dolphins that came and swam in fron of the boat, Matthew got this on Film and was really amazing at how quick they are. Although we had seen Dolphins in Monkey Mia, this was a different experience.
We then saw the Whale. At the time and on the way back on the boat, we felt a little dissapointed that we had only seen one Whale, although on reflection what we saw was fantastic. It kept flapping its tale at us (they are showoffs) and then it came around the back of the boat and started flapping its arms on the top of the water as though waving at us, it then rolled over a few times and disappeared for a while. The next time we saw her she was breaching out of the water. We have tried to take a few photo's and videos, but obviously the boat was moving and so was the Whale so they are a bit unsteady, but it should give you a taste of what we saw. The Whales are increasing in number again and have gone from just 20 to 8000 in 20 years, so although they have these trips they do follow certain regulations to protect the Whales and it was a fantastic experience, although we do wish we had seen more than one.
It was then the long frive to Sydney and all it did was raine, we spent about 7 hours driving and then staying in free roadside rest areas for 3 days to get us there. When we arrived we found a camp site and spent the afternoon organising the van. The next morning it was sunny so we ventured into Sydney on the bus. It was a Saturday so we thought it would be busy. but suprisingly it wasn't. We headed straight for the Harbour bridge and the Opera house, they didn't dissapoint and as it was sunny they looked really good. We wondered around the harbour which was a really relaxed place and then walked through the Botanical gardens which were lovely. We intended on having fish and chips, but didn't like the look of the chip shop so went into town instead. It was not really that big, but it had cute little streets and shopping centres like the Victoria Quarter in leeds. we really liked the feel of Sydney, but it began to get a bit cold so we decided to go to the cinema as we both wanted to see the new Batman film.
The next day we headed to manly to have a look and update the internet. Again we had a bit of sun, and it was a really nice beach. It was full of surfers (mad as it wasn't that warm). We decided to have Fish and Chips overlooking the sea. They were ok, but the chips weren;t half as nice, they don't do vinager of ketchup, just a piece of lemon with the fish. A decent sized portion though, but i think we definatley do the best fish and chips! We then looked around for an internet shop, which was lcosed as it was Sunday, bloody typical!
We then headed back for two more days of rain, packing and cleaning before dropping our van off and heading to New Zealand for even more cold weather!
Total mileage = 10960