Aloha from tropical Hawaii! We last left off ending our time with a day of adventure rafting through the rapids of the Tully River. The views along the river were breathtaking and the day brought an amazing bonding experience as we all worked together to master the rapids. Our last day in Cairns was spent relaxing, playing football and practicing our yoga poses on the beach. We ate dinner at a local restaurant and then caught the latest feature films. Our biggest Marvel fans approved of the new Spider-Man movie.
Before we knew it, we were settling into the beautiful spacious suites of our Sydney hotel and off for dinner in the trendy new area of Barangaroo overlooking the harbor. The next morning brought us to new heights as we climbed the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge. The views of the harbor and the Sydney Opera House were incredible. We explored the Christmas Village and the Rocks Markets for lunch, and then cheered on Sydney’s best rugby players as we tried to learn the game’s rules. After the game, we found some good food in Manly Beach and then caught the ferry back to our hotel for a good night’s rest before another big day in beautiful Sydney.
The first stop of the day was a tour of the ANZ stadium, where Sydney’s Olympics were held in 2000. We posed for photos on the exact podium from the Olympics and explored the stadium that is now used for sporting events and concerts. We took a backstage tour of the lounges and even practiced our best attempts at being a sports broadcaster from the media booth.
That afternoon we took a marvelous coastal walk from Tamarama Beach to Bondi Beach where we snapped some photos on the rocks in front of the ocean and saw the famous view of the iceberg pools overlooking Bondi beach. We all found delicious lunch spots in Bondi, where we enjoyed açai bowls, fresh juices, local fish and even some delicious ribs. We ended off the day with a spectacular 360 view of the city at the top of the Sydney Tower Eye.
The trip to the ropes course at Taronga Zoo involved a beautiful ferry ride across the water and a gondola ride up the mountain. We then buckled into our harnesses and tested our balance on the ropes course as we wobbled our way through planks and high ropes! We worked up an appetite for lunch at Pitt Street and ended the day belting out our favorite songs at our private group karaoke.
Everyone was excited to visit the iconic Sydney Opera House the next morning. We were lucky to catch the Sydney Orchestra practicing their music – this was a real highlight that most tours don’t get to experience. Our afternoon was filled with adventure, as we set off on a spinning jet boat ride through the harbor and we finished the night with a fun game of laser tag!
Our last day in Sydney was spent visiting the Sealife Aquarium and picking up our last-minute souvenirs from Australia before catching our flight to Honolulu. Our first couple of days in Hawaii have been amazing and we’re all happy to finally have some real summer weather! We spent our first day soaking up the sun and swimming in the warm ocean water and then check out the restaurants and shops on the Waikiki strip.
Our second day on Oahu brought more sun and fun as we boarded a catamaran for a snorkeling adventure. We were lucky enough to spot beautiful and ginormous turtles, as well as plenty of fish. Everyone had a blast snorkeling.
Since then we have paid our respects at Pearl Harbor, hiked up Diamond Head for magnificent views and experienced a Hawaiian luau to cap off a really special few days on the island. We can’t believe our trip is coming to an end and we all can’t imagine leaving our new friends turned family. Final cheers from trip 71H! We’ll see you all soon!
The Westcoast Blogger