As always, you can stay up-to-date with us by watching the 3-minute highlight reel below, or by reading the juicy details below. Perhaps you may enjoy both!

Term 4 has begun and it is full on! Besides Athletics’ days, Year 4 Camp, Conferences, End of Year Assemblies and celebrations, and Christmas festivities that Morgan has going on at school, our travel life is picking up pace rapidly as well. Evan’s work life is also gaining speed as he just returned from a business trip to Perth two weeks ago, and is a producer for a short film in Auckland this weekend!

However, in order to kick start our personal exciting and impending adventure season, we whisked ourselves away to a romantic weekend in Sydney, Australia over New Zealand’s Labour Day weekend.

The Opera House, shortly after the King and I performance

The Opera House

Our flight coming into Sydney was a far cry from smooth, as morning fog in Sydney redirected our flight to Canberra, and we fully ‘enjoyed’ the pleasant view of tarmac and the aroma of weary travelers for over an hour. The delay sadly caused us to miss breakfast with friends from our adventures on the Milford Track. Upon arrival, the fog seemed a distant memory as the sky was a clear and crisp blue. And oh the blessed humidity…we missed you!

Opera Hour shortly after The King and I performance

Opera House

Events quickly changed for the better! From Evan’s many business travels, he scored us two nights at the Holiday Inn in Old Sydney in The Rocks, right on the waterfront to Circular Quay. I doubt we looked like typical “Gold Member Guests” that the hotel concierge often spoils…but we’ll take a free room upgrade, waterfront view room, and free internet without complaint!

Overlooking Farm Cove towards the Harbour Bridge and The Opera House

Macquarie’s Point

We made it in time to see our scheduled show at the Opera House in the Joan Sutherland Theatre: The King and I.  What an experience to watch a show in this gorgeous building! The show only made us more excited for our upcoming trip to Thailand!

Overlooking Farm Cove towards the Harbour Bridge and The Opera House

Harbour Bridge & Opera House

After living in the small *city of Christchurch for over two years, Evan has developed a new-found zeal for bright lights, rooftop bars, and skyscrapers. He acquiesced to my desire to walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens and out to Macquarie’s Point, but he soon found his way back to the hustle and bustle of Circular Quay.

*city-Yea…Christchurch isn’t really a city…

A Malaysian feast at the Malaya, overlooking Darling Harbour

The Malaya on Darling Harbour

We quickly changed into our evening garb, and raced to our 6:30 reservation at The Malaya, on Darling Harbour.

Fireworks above Darling Harbour

Fireworks on Darling Harbour

It was all smiles that night…a delicious meal, street performers, and even fireworks over the harbour.

The following morning, we woke early to view the sunrise over the Opera House, but were quite dismayed to find a giant cruise liner blocking our view from our hotel roof.  No bother; we’ll decided to engorge ourselves on a decadent pancake breakfast near the wharf, instead. Shortly thereafter, our friend Simon (who we had met while receiving our open water certification in the Barrier Reef) picked us up to take us on a day excursion to the Blue Mountains. Together, with his partner and her two sons, we spent the day hiking, paddling in the falls, and surveying the blue haze that sits upon the eucalyptus forests and tablelands.

Wentworth Falls

Wentworth Falls

Wentworth Falls

Wentworth Falls

Wentworth Falls Fun

Wentworth Falls

Wentworth Falls

Wentworth Falls Fun

Windy along the Cliff Walk

Windy along the Cliff Walk

 

 

The 3 Sisters

The 3 Sisters at Echo Point

Simon & Liz

Simon & Liz, our gracious hosts

After returning from the Mountains, we found an exciting rooftop restaurant and bar called The Glenmore. We enjoyed dinner and a picturesque view of the Opera House and Circular Quay lit up at night. We walked onto the Harbour Bridge to fully appreciate the bustle of the city, studded with twinkling lights.

 

 

 

Circular Quay by night

Circular Quay by night

 

On our final day of our long weekend, I was determined not to miss the sunrise behind the Opera House. We woke before dawn to find the perfect spot on Dawes Point. Just as the sun was beginning to bud above the horizon, a looming carnival cruiser appeared into the bay… Darn you Carnival! However, it passed and anchored just in time for us to soak in the ‘tail-end’ of our precious sunrise! And it was WORTH it!

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Harbour Bridge at Dawn

Harbour Bridge at Dawn

Hello GQ!

Hello GQ!

To conclude our final hours in Sydney, we took a ferry across the Harbour to Manly Beach. The windy ferry didn’t bother us, and we were eager to enjoy the sunshine and seafood that this small coastal suburb offered. Unfortunately the cool breeze coming off the ocean kept us out of our swimmers, but we loved our day trip nonetheless.

Lunch on Manly Beach

Lunch on Manly Beach

Manly Beach Stroll

Manly Beach Stroll

Upon our return, we enjoyed a dip in our hotel’s rooftop spa before boarding the train towards Sydney airport. Despite our 2:15am arrival  at home in Christchurch, and the subsequent 6:00am alarm for work, our Sydney adventure is one we won’t soon forget!

DSC_4221Approaching Sydney by Ferry

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Farewell Sydney!