Day 2 – 5am alarm, we were up, showered and out the hotel by 5.30am to capture the sunrise over Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. But first a route march to Mrs Macquaries Point backing onto the Botanic Gardens – not open as a cut through that early in the morning – a wrong turn and we were road side down an underpass busy, noisy and dusty before eventually regaining the scenic footpath to the point.
On our arrrival some professionals and amateurs alike were already set up to capture the moments. Long-suffering carefuly chose his spot although this changed as the hour progressed with a shuffling from all present to get the best shot!
I missed what could have been my best shot from behind me where the sun was rising, as a keen photographer scrambling on the rocks to get his best shot ended up in the water drenched from head to foot!
Long-sufferings best shots then……
The walk back to our hotel for breakfast through the Botanic Gardens was shorter and whetted our appetite for our own tour of the gardens that morning.
Royal Botanic Garden Sydney occupying a stunning position on Sydney Harbour with free entry and accessible all year round ensures these beautiful gardens opened in 1816 are a must see attraction.
We were blessed with blue skies and comfortably warm temperatures for our visit. Although tours were available we decided as our time was limited to the morning only we would be our own guides, an easy option with clear signposting and plant/information boards along the way.
Immaculate gardens in a beautiful setting, secret pathways through the borders, long vistas and places to sit on seats and the grassy areas, nowhere it seems here is out of bounds.
Brachychiton rupestris The Queensland Bottle Tree – its common name in reference to the bottle shaped trunk which can reach a diameter of 2 metres!
Early that morning as we cut through on our way back from our sunrise – the gardens open at 7am – the main paths were busy with joggers, power walkers and commuters alike. I can think of no better way to start the day than in this glorious place, I only wish our time had allowed for a longer more leisurely visit. Sydney residents are very fortunate to have such a place with free year round access on their doorstep every day, but even as a fleeting visitor these gardens have everything to offer.
An afternoon ferry cruise around the harbour offered us a different view of Sydney Harbour Bridge as we motored underneath its huge expanse!
There was much to see from our ferry – out to land and the busy waters…..
On our return back to land there followed a hike back up the hill, thirst quenching hotel drinks and hot showers. Finally posh frocks were on and a walk back down the hill saw us ready for………..
A night at the Opera – Joan Sutherland Theatre Sydney Opera House
The Production for that night ‘Great Opera Hits’.
The early evening walk Harbourside to the Opera House set the mood for the evening, as I was stopped in the street with the words from a female passer by ‘what a beautiful dress, you look fabulous’. The Long suffering his grin stretching from ear to ear gave me the look ‘I told you so!’
Once I got over the shock of a complete stranger paying me a compliment it did much to boost my low confidence. The hip now subjected to heels after a day of almost continuous walking was having a hard time keeping my walk even. It was with renewed vigour I pulled up, tightened my glutes and walked as tall and straight as I could muster while intermittently hanging on to Long-sufferings arm whenever lurching/limping threatened!
Sydney Opera House was the perfect venue, from the buzz in the bar area for our pre-drinks, the anticipation as we waited in the full theatre to the awe inspiring vocals of the opera singers themselves. We came away after our first taste of opera with a greater appreciation for the art and a view to repeat the experience in the not too distant future back in England!
All that remained was to climb back up the hill to our hotel, a nightcap in the bar and hopefully a good nights sleep ready for tomorrows itinerary…………