From Uluru, we flew back to Sydney, this time to stay in the city rather than connect on another flight. Our last week in Australia was divided with a few nights in Sydney and the Blue Mountains. As holds true with most of our travels, our time in Australia seemed to pass way too quickly. It was hard to believe we’d already been on the road for a month and our time in Australia was about to come to an end.
We arrived in Sydney just in time for the Vivid Festival of Light. The festival showcases the work of artists of light and lasts for about three weeks. We enjoyed spending one of our nights in the city watching the lights dance on the Sydney Opera House and around the harbor while weaving our way through crowds and shopping in the little artisan booths set up by the waterfront.
In Sydney, with the help of Southern World, we stayed in the Adina Park Apartment hotel. It was a perfect option for our family – very nice to have a little space to spread out, complete with a sitting area, small kitchen, and washer and dryer, very useful after being on the road for three weeks.
The highlight for the girls during our time in Sydney was definitely the Taronga Zoo in which Southern World assisted us in arranging a “Wild Experience”. For a little over two hours, we were personally escorted by a Zookeeper through several of the animal habitats. The girls fed wallaby’s & koalas, pet echidnas & feather tailed gliders as we learned more about several of the animals native to Australia.
After a few days in Sydney, we picked up a rental car and drove a short two hours up to the Blue Mountains where we enjoyed the change of pace, scenery and climate. The temperature actually dropped over 30 degrees and we had a few snow flurries to welcome us to the Fairmont Hotel. It was in the small towns in the Blue Mountains that we enjoyed our favorite restaurant meals in Australia.
Sadly, as our time in the Blue Mountains came to an end, it also was time for Ma to return home. Three weeks in Australia had flown by. While we were all a little sad to say goodbye for now, we were also excited to move on to New Zealand. We spent our last day in Sydney picking up a few new clothes, preparing for the colder weather we were heading to next.
My favorite thing in Syndey was Vivid. The first night fireworks though weren’t very impressive and didn’t last long at all.
I liked all of the zoo. It was really nice, especially the echidnas. The ropes and play area in the zoo were really fun.
There was a great kids room in the our hotel in the Blue Mountains. There was a slide and in one part a little obstacle course that you had to zig zag around. We went on a fun hike. On one part, Angela stayed behind with Ma and Mom, and I walked in front of everyone and warned them about the big rocks and wind ahead.
At the Taronga Zoo, I liked feeding the Wallaby, holding the Feather-Tailed Glider and petting the Echidnas.
The Vivid lights on the Sydney Opera House at night were pretty and I found a fun new phone case at one of the booths. I also liked our three bedroom apartment on the 29th floor in the city.
In the Blue Mountains, I liked going on our family hike. The kids room at the Fairmont hotel was fun to play in, especially the mirror maze.
Sitting in our Fairmont Blue Mountains hotel room, on our last night in Australia with our Ma, we recorded our first family Vlog in highlighting our favorite parts of Australia so far.
We’ve arranged for most of our family touring in Australia through Southern World. We like exploring new destinations by all methods of travel – cruising, touring, or on our own. The thing we like best about private custom tours is that we can collaborate with and design our experience exactly the way we want, under the expert guidance of a trusted local operator.
With mom in meetings for our time in Melbourne, we don’t have any scheduled tours planned until we arrive in Uluru. Even though we didn’t have anything organized for a few weeks after we arrived, Southern World was kind enough to send an abundance of local touring options we could explore on our own during our first couple of weeks in Australia. The information was all waiting for us when we arrived in Melbourne, especially nice that we didn’t receive it at home and have one more thing to pack.
There are several options for cruising around the perimeter of Australia – Large ship, small ship, expedition. The cruises are a great way to see the sections of the country you may like to return to at a later date. With as long as it takes to get to Australia from the States, we recommend also organizing some pre-or post touring to explore some of the interior of the country as well.
Taking a tour with a small group provides the opportunity to experience the sites of Australia with other like-minded travelers on popular pre-designed itineraries.