04.01.2006 32 °C
A first for us both. Neither Tracey or I had ever been to Australia before. The first thing that struck me ( well it actually dawned on me whilst we were in NZ ) was that OZ and NZ , despite their proximity do not have the same climate. Austrlalia is significantly hotter.
Arriving at about 1800, to a usually pleasant 30 degrees or so we emerged from Kings Cross station and encoutered the foreward cab driver attitude ( they don't know where anything is !! ). Luckily for us once I'd shown the cabbie a map he pointed us donw the street and a brief but sweaty hike later we were in our lovely temporary home at Simpson's Hotel in Potts Point.
Welcomed by Keith and shown to our room on the top floor we chilled out for an hour or so, showered and then decided to head off for a first real look at the city from Mrs Macquaries Chair. Hiking ( or Tramping as they say in NZ ) out there in the pitch black with they wild life making all kinds of tropical sounds and the sight of huge bat silouettes against the evening sky was an experience to be had, but the view was well, well worth it.
After an early night and then an early start we thought we'd take a walk through the Botanical Gardens
to the Opera House ( we'd had to collect our tickets for NYE) and then spend the rest of the day getting familiar with the city, exploring Circular Quay and Darling Harbour and getting used to the ferry and metro system around town.
The next few days we took in Manly and the beach, Taronga Zoo ( which was hideously disappointing, alot of the exhibits actually upsetting as the animals have little room to roam, even if they do have a great view of the city) and souvenir shopping !