We've had a great couple of days here. At our last post we had just done the Sydney Aquarium. The next day we woke up early and caught the train out to the Blue Mountains. So Pretty! It was pouring all during the train ride (2 hrs) out there and we were bummed (due in no small part to forgetting our rain gear...doh). But after a big breakfast upon arrival (dad you would be proud), the rain let up, and we had an amazing day.
The mountains appear blue due to the Eucalyptus trees - this was cool, but the best part was being above the cloud layer and looking down at valleys shrouded in fog. In addition, there is one of the few instances of a temperate rainforest in the world - Jules and I had a great time walking through looking at huge (and loud) birds (including Cockatoos Julie wants you to know), cool plants, etc.
In addition to hiking about and enjoying the views, there is also a series of 'rides' at one end of the main loop of view points. One of the rides is the worlds steepest railway - you descend down a cliff side at an average tilt of 45 degrees (moms you would have loved this one! :) ) and sometimes nearly straight vertical drops. Much fun and many shrieks from Jules - though of course it was her favorite part of the day.
Nothing special that night beyond exploring Sydney's china town - good chow for cheap.
The next day (today) we headed to a zoo (Featherdale) that features all Australian animals. We were surprised upon entry through a small gate to find Wallabies (think small kangaroos) jumping all around loose! You were encouraged to go up and 'pat' them as well as to feed them if you want. Pretty cool, but it got better when we got into the Koala habitat and got to pet the Koalas! 30 feet further on came the Kangaroos jumping all over plus a giant Emu (think ostrich) running loose. Craziness. We must admit we had fun petting the animals - even though it was the equivalent of petting a goat or cow in the U.S (there are more than 2x the number of Kangaroos as humans in AU). It was still cool as we hadn't seen many of these animals before let alone pet them. My personal favorite was the wombat - though I couldn't pet them as they said I would lose a finger (I wasn't convinced but Jules wouldn't let me...).
Anyhow so we had a great day at the zoo beyond Julie getting a surprise from a few birds who seemed to see her blue coat as a target - that was another cool thing as there were a huge array of birds flying loose through the whole place. It was pure mayhem but again cool (besides the poop of course). Not a zoo that would fly in the U.S. but a fun day.
Ok, we need to run on. We are going to post this without pics and will add them later.
We are off to Adelaide to drink some wine, you'll hear from us in a few days. Cheers!
A great view out to the Blue Mountains (the Three Sisters in the forefront)
Hanging with the Koalas at the zoo in Sydney And the Kangaroos... And the Wallabies...