A Family on the Rocks

Wednesday, 23-09-2014. Day 35.

Waking up in Sydney

Carnival Legend | Sydney Harbor Bridge | Sydney Opera House

We were in no rush this morning, so everyone got to sleep in (except Tom, who always wakes up around 5:30 a.m. no matter where he is). We had bought a few things for breakfast the night before, so we fed the girls—Jackie is fond of Rice Bubbles (that's what Rice Krispies are called in Australia and New Zealand) without milk and Frankie had the new standard of Vegemite and butter on toast—and the grown-ups had a pretty decent french-press coffee.

Of course when you're in Sydney, it's somewhat obligatory to visit the Sydney Opera House, and the girls really wanted to see it. So we checked the maps to find the Opera House was five kilometers from Paddington. We didn't hire a car in Sydney, and it was a pretty nice day, so we decided to walk.

We strolled down Oxford street, which is jammed with all sorts of clothing and fashion shops (including a OnePiece shop), as well as restaurants and pubs. This walking was hungry business, so we stopped for an early lunch at a cafe before continuing on through Hyde Park, where we saw many black-headed ibises strutting around the grounds.


We walked by the Australian Museum and St. Mary's Cathedral, then down Macquarie St and along the Royal Botanic Gardens, until we got to Sydney Harbor.

St. Mary's Cathedral

St. Mary's Cathedral

It took us about an hour and a half (including our lunch break) to walk down to the Opera House (which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, by the way), and here's what we saw when we got there:

First look at the Sydney Opera House

Sydney Harbour Bridge

We also saw the Carnival Legend docked in the harbor. It was a massive ship.

Carnival Legend

Carnival Legend

We walked around the Opera House to get a full view of the place (and the posters advertising the upcoming Violent Femmes show on December 29th) and of Sydney Harbor, including the tiny Fort Denison.

We were going to get a bite to eat at the Opera Bar, but it was too expensive. Instead, we staved off a full-blown meal with some ice cream as we explored Circular Quay (which offers access to the tour boats and water taxis that travel across Sydney Harbor as well as still more great views of the Opera House) and the edge of The Rocks, a historic (and somewhat tourist-centric) section across Sydney Cove.

The Opera House from The Rocks.

As the girls played foosball at Arena Calcetto, a series of six art-installation "bespoke foosball tables" next to the Museum of Contemporary Art, we discussed our next move.

It was getting a little late in the afternoon, and some of us were getting hungry, so we figured it was time to head back home and make some dinner. We jumped into a cab in front of the Fortune of War (Sydney's oldest pub) and went back to Paddington. We'd explore more of The Rocks tomorrow.

Sydney's Oldest Pub

Sydney's Oldest Pub

Notable Statistics

  • iPadographers: 6 (the Opera House really brings them out)
  • Time-lapse murals observed: 1
  • Aggressive seagulls encountered: 2
  • Kilometers walked: 5
  • Taxis hired: 1
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites visited 1 (cumulative total: 5)

is a writer of things with a strong adventurous streak. He also drinks coffee.

Read more of Tom's posts.

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A Family on the Rocks
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