Day in Sydney

Of course, we only got to look out of our hotel window last night, so it was dark.  Turned out we had a pretty decent view.

We had a nice day in Sydney, mainly spent wandering around the Harbour area.

Breakfast in the hotel, then off we walked.  It was enjoyable, mainly because of the scenery, but because the troubled weather we started with had picked up a lot and it was nice and sunny.

A giant cruise ship was in port, so dominates part of the view, but still pretty spectacular, I suppose more so as the ship is there as well.

Strolled down to The Rocks (as it’s named), wandered down by the cruise ship, past where the various ferries leave from, along the quay up towards the Opera House.  We enjoyed our favourite pastime of people watching !

Stopped and had a coffee at the waters edge where we saw a wild parrot (later joined by his mate) working a sugar packet from the cafe 😂

Gentle stroll back via the shops for the obligatory shopping before returning to the hotel for a while.  Then off again strolling around the other end of The Rocks, up close to the cruise ship, the Harbour Bridge, and a stop off at our favourite little pub.

Early bite to eat and off to bed, as we head to Vietnam in the morning !

Darwin to Sydney

After a nice night in a bed that didn’t rock with the movement, we had a gentle morning at the hotel in Darwin, that mainly consisted of getting up slowly, and getting breakfast.  We saw a couple off the train who were also staying in our hotel which, considering how many hotels there are in Darwin, probably wasn’t really the coincidence we thought it was !

Amusing breakfast choice

The Darwin Hilton hotel is really well located in central Darwin – whilst I enjoy resorts, I also like to leave the hotel.  There’s plenty close by, with restaurants literally outside, a small shopping mall, and although we didn’t walk there ourselves, the waterfront seems just a 5-10 minute walk away where there are restaurants also.

Nice morning the day we left:

Darwin seems a nice small city.  However we had a choice of one night in Sydney and two in Darwin, or vice versa, and opted for the two nights in Sydney. It looked like a day there might’ve been nice and, considering it was heavily bombed in WW2, I think there are plenty of things to see and do if you’re into that sort of thing.

It’s a pretty green looking city too.

Checked in at Virgin Australia for our flight to Sydney.  Darwin airport is, as you would imagine ‘manageable’ in size, so nice to pass through.  We went to the Virgin Australia lounge there too, which is nice and large, so well able to cope.

After a small delay, we were soon on our plane, and on our way to Sydney.

This wasn’t our first Virgin Australia experience, and I have to say it was as good as the others we had taken.  The food, drinks and service were all pretty good.

The flight was a little over 4 hours which, by the time you’ve eaten etc., actually passes relatively easily, although when looking at the flight status map, you appreciate the vastness of this huge country.  Everywhere is a long way.

Luggage collection at the Sydney domestic terminal wasn’t too bad, and after a marathon walk across Sydney airport to get in our pick up car, we were soon on our way to our hotel.  Fortunately, due to the time of night we arrived (8.30 pm ish) traffic had died down, and the ride only took 30 mins maybe.

We are staying at the Shangri La hotel which has a great view over the Sydney Harbour bridge and Opera House – I’m sure it’ll look better in the day light 😂😂😂

 

Final Day on the Train

We woke early again, and headed down for breakfast.  Not super hungry again, but a good menu choice for breakfast.  Our next stop was Katherine at around 900am, so we wanted to be ready.  Passed lots of outback on our journey – lots !

In Katherine, we strolled off on the platform and walked up to the ‘terminal’ 😂. We had booked the river/gorge cruise.  Again, well organised, with buses waiting as we arrived, people helpfully pointing out where to go etc etc.

A brief 30-odd minute bus ride, and we arrived at the Nitmiluk National Park outside of Katherine.  Saw a little Wallaby (maybe it was a kangaroo – would someone please tell me how I can differentiate other than “one is bigger than the other” !) eating in our ‘holding’ area for the tour.  She didn’t seem unduly concerned by us, and finally slowly wandered off for a better meal somewhere I assume.

The boat ride through the Nitmiluk gorge wasn’t bad.  Lots of sandstone formations, discussion about the flora and fauna and the Joawyn people.  Interesting. Not quite as hot as the day before, but still pretty warm.

Bus ride back to the terminal again, ready for a 100pm departure. Nice job by the organisers.

Interesting how the landscape and vegetation changed as we headed further north, into the more tropical part of the country, as opposed to the very arid areas we passed through.

A little hard to tell, but as we gradually got closer to Darwin, lots and lots of termite mounds everywhere.  I know they’re in these photos, I really do.

Finally, we got to Darwin around 500pm.  Quickly off the train, identified our luggage, then off to our hotel for the night.  A brief look around, a bite to eat, and off for an early night.

Decent view from our hotel window.

Dinner here !

Our digs for the night ☺️

Strange how good a nice bed feels after the train !