Day 2 began bright and early. Well, actually the sun hadn’t risen yet. It’s wintertime in Australia so the sun rises later and sets early. Neither the cold weather nor the early timing stopped us from embarking on a tour of the Blue Mountains, a 2.5-hour drive from central Sydney.
On the way, we spent an hour at Featherdale Wildlife Park, an un-zoo like environment constructed for sick or injured wild animals who have no chance of surviving in their natural, wild habitats. Featherdale makes it their mission to help the injured animals recuperate, truly a noble cause. There were “heaps” (another favorite Aussie phrase) of Australian natives like cute koalas, various species of kangaroos, wombats, wallabies, etc. The best part? We could pet them all!
Next up were the Blue Mountains, a national park that had been inhabited by the Australian Aboriginals not too long ago. Our tour guide, Billy, was a local Aussie and the best of tour guides. Not only did he scare us with his extensive knowledge of poisonous spiders and snakes found in the Blue Mountains, but he also told us old Aboriginal folktales and their take on how the Three Sisters, a popular rock formation, had been created. The Blue Mountains were full of wildlife and the area was so vast you could definitely spend days getting lost while exploring it. Although I almost passed out on the hike back up out of the Blue Mountains and to the white suspicious-looking van we were brought in, I would go back again if I had the chance.
The day wasn’t over just yet. After a delicious, juicy meal of a Turkish kabab wrap, we went to a bar and its “VIP room,” which I learned is just the fancy term for the “smoking room” in Sydney bars. A fun conversation between us Americans, 2 girls from Holland, and 2 boys from England and a 1 am stroll in front of the Sydney Opera House was just the icing on top of the already amazing day.