CRUISE DAY 13 – Sydney, Australia – December 5, 2015

We were exactly half way through our cruise at this point as we made a turnaround in Sydney. The first half was a cruise around New Zealand and that was a wrap. Now we were headed to the South Pacific to the Fiji Islands and New Caledonia.

We started the morning by going to the Taronga Zoo. We came all of the way to Australia and this was to be the only day we got to really see any of that wonderful country. Alice wanted to see Koalas and Kangaroos, so the zoo was our best option.

Because our ship docked at White Bay (deep into the harbor) and not at Circular Quay (the downtown wharf), the ship cancelled our zoo excursion. We were therefore obliged to find our own way to the zoo. We caught a shuttle bus from our distant docking area to the King Street Wharf near the aquarium. From there we walked through downtown to get to Circular Quay to get a ferry to the Zoo. This walk through downtown on a weekend morning without all of the traffic was quite enjoyable.

When we got to Circular Quay, we bought our round trip ferry tickets to the zoo and then had to wait about half an hour for the next boat. By the time we got to the zoo we knew we only had a few hours to see everything before we had to get back to the ship. We therefore decided to spend our time in the Australia Walkabout section, ignoring the other sections.

The zoo is located on the side of a hill so they provide a gondola ride to the top so that you can walk down hill to see the exhibits. We had quite an adventure with Alice’s fear of heights. This is the first gondola ride that I have ever seen her take. As it turns out this was the most exciting part of the day. The rest of the trip was a real bust. First of all, the Koala Exhibit was closed so we saw no koalas. We did get to see wallabies and kangaroos in a cute walk through area. I posted my only decent picture at the zoo on Facebook. We went to see the Tasmanian Devil exhibit, but they were mostly just hiding and sleeping. Then it was on the see the elephants. Again, they were not out in the exhibit. I’m glad that the excursion was cancelled. We spent a lot less money on our own trip.

On the way back to the ship we discovered that the ferry also made a stop at the King Street Wharf so we didn’t get off at Circular Quay but continued on to King Street and got the shuttle back to the ship.

The reason we had to get back to the ship early was because they were loading a new set of passengers for the second leg of the cruise and everyone had to be on board by 2:00 PM so that they could schedule the mandatory life boat drill.

On the way out of the harbor we went under the Sydney Harbor Bridge and got some good pictures of the people on the bridge climb. Then I got some nice daytime shots of the Opera House. On the first day of the cruise I was only able to get night time pictures. Now it is off to the warmer half of our journey with another two days at sea.

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