Monday, 3 February 2014

Australia Day Weekend Getaway - DAY TWO

Sunday 26th January, Australia Day, was a very overcast, grey, cloudy day in Sydney, then changed to a bright blue sky very late in the afternoon.  Quite a warm, pleasant day and just as well the sun was hidden by the overcast conditions as we went on a Captain Cook Harbour Cruise to see the Tall Ships Race, otherwise, we may have been sunburnt since we were out on the deck, cruising the harbour for 2 hours.
Life is tough, but someone has to do it.!

Strolled through the Darling Harbour area again during the morning, being entertained by so many buskers, the Army Band, people on stilts etc.  One area was spray painting everyone in green and gold and I mean, the whole body.  This is not green grass, this is spray and so is everything else sprayed.  Saw so many people, of all ages, walking around all day and wondered how they were going to remove it all? Bath or shower water would be a hideous colour.

The rope maze for the kids to climb was very popular.  I wondered how many fell? It was like swinging in the jungle like monkeys. Plus, beautiful butterflies on stilts.
Plenty of other such entertainment for the kids, so many that I couldn't take pics of them all as we were walking to Circular Quay to catch our cruise and the girls kept telling me I was dragging along behind!

Grey, cloudy skies as we walked across the pedestrian crossing at Darling Harbour.
See the Sydney Tower in the background?
Looked at it and felt very proud we had reached that red "Westfields" sign yesterday.
(Read previous blog posting)

Sydney celebrates Australia Day better than any other city in Australia many experts say, simply because they have so much more to offer with our beautiful harbour. No debate please, I'm just repeating what many officials say. Usually such a bright blue sky like the first photo shows, but on Sunday last week it was extremely overcast though never looked like raining. See from the following photos I took.

The day commenced with a Ferrython Race, followed by an F18 Fighter Jet Flyover and 21 Gun Salute.

I was taking a photo of "Captain Cook" on the wharf as we were ushered to the right boat, when someone tapped me on my shoulder and asked "would you like me to take a photo of yourself with CC?" People everywhere were in an amazing holiday mood, you could feel it and see it by their faces.  I thanked him kindly. For our overseas readers, Google for Captain Cook and you'll see why he is the very essence of our history with European settlement.

It was the TALLS SHIP CRUISE we were on and this was a race from Bradley's Head to the Harbour Bridge of a fleet of historic vessels, one of which had sailed around Cape Horn no less than 29 times. 

Four Tall Ships contested, including the HMB Endeavour Replica, but it was the Southern Swan who was the eventual winner. The other two were the Soren Larsen and the James Craig.

We were able to sail quite close at times and I was so surprised that with all the different types of boats on the harbour, there seemed to be no chaos.  The maritime police vessels were cruising around constantly.

The old and the new, side by side.

People paid $150 to $300 to be on board one of the competing Tall Ships.
There was a great spirit of rivalry - at one stage we witnessed a water bomb attack from one to another.

The cannons firing nearly gave us heart attack. 
Our commentator said it was sabotage.

A helicopter flying an Australian Flag flew around the Harbour constantly.

Another helicopter flew past us and landed on the L100, maybe to pick up the Governor General so our commentator said, but this wasn't confirmed. 

Qantas planes purposely flew over the Harbour giving passengers a once-in-a-lifetime view and they flew right over the top of us quite often.

Tall ships passing Kirribilli House, where the Prime Minister resides for official duties.

The actual finish line was under the Sydney Harbour Bridge and was fairly closely contested, but the Southern Swan narrowly won.

Some of the scenes along the journey.
Right in the middle at the very top are some Harbour Bridge climbers, they are only little dots, but just under the flag flying.  Both the Australian Flag and the Aboriginal Flag flew this day.
Note also some of the additional set up on the bridge ready for the Fireworks Display that night.

Passing Fort Denison, an island in the middle of the Harbour with a fascinating history.

Passing HMAS Sydney Cove.

Need I say more? Our magnificent Opera House.

Plus the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the buildings of Sydney.

Through to the other side of the Harbour Bridge.
Pubs, accommodation and a variety of buildings on the waterfront.

The site for the new Casino under construction.  They are rebuilding the very point of this land to the hill (bringing in enormous amounts of soil etc) with the vegetation that would have been there when the First Fleet arrived.

When we returned to Darling Harbour it was "packed" with people, possibly waiting for the fireworks later on.

I couldn't get over how quickly the sky had changed to a beautiful clear blue, JUST as we were going home.
Last pic is the view from our car park as we were sadly leaving.



  1. Wonderful - great pics. Lovely to spend time with your girls too!

    1. Most definitely Jill. We share wonderful memories and they are indeed great friends too. Judy

  2. Thank you for sharing. Great images - we sometimes grumble about 'our' city, but it is wonderful to to see it as you experienced the day (and weekend...).

  3. You know, so many say that we are tourists everywhere else except in our own locality. Go to it everyone, you'll be amazed at what you'll find out. Judy