After 16 years I finally came back to one of my favorite cities in the world! Good weather, great beaches and a beautiful harbor. The city was packed with tourists, especially European backpackers. We walked around the town: the Rocks, where the city was born, the Royal Botanic Garden, full of flying foxes, the largest bat in the world and Darling harbor.
We visited a very interesting exposition in the state library about the exploration of Antarctica called Finding Antarctica. Its discovery was linked to the exploration of Australia and to the mythical southern land called Terra Australis Incognita that was believed to exist since the Greek times. The greeks were right!
We also visited the Sydney Aquarium in Darling harbor, one of the best I have ever been (the other being Monterrey Aquarium in California). They had two species of giant crabs that I have never seen alive before; the Tasmanian giant crab and the Japanese spider crab. Amazing creatures!
On the weekend we took the ferry to Manly and relaxed on the beach. This is must-do trip when in Sydney!
I hope next time I will be back sooner.
A happy and free green turtle
On our last day in Long Island in Whitsundays, me and Elaine did a one hour track to an isolated beach on Sandy bay. As soon as we arrived, Elaine noticed a marine turtle stuck in between the mangroves branches. It wasn't moving and it looked dead. It probably got caught by surprise by the ebbing tide (the tidal range in those islands can be pretty large). I decided to investigate and when I got close I noticed that it was still alive! I picked it up and it started to flap its flippers like crazy! I put it down at the beach and took some pics. Soon after it went back to the sea. Later I read that this time of the year the green turtles swim close to the islands to procreate. Happy to have saved an endangered species!
The Whitsunday islands is an archipelago of 74 islands located 1000 Km north of Brisbane. It is a great location for sailing, snorkeling and diving. Most of the islands are parks and the original vegetation is intact. Dozens of desert beaches, including the famous Whitehaven beach, look pristine, just like when the islands were discovered in 1770 by Capt James Cook. This was my first time and I just followed the tourist crowd. I did one dive at Knuckle reef, snorkeling and visited Whitehaven beach. Next time I would like to charter a yacht with friends and visit at our own pace.
Cape Byron lighthouse
Byron bay is a very popular beach town with great surfing and a famous lighthouse. It is the most powerful in Australia and it is located in the easternmost point on mainland. The main beach is very long and you can walk for hours. Some areas are optional clothing. The nightlife is good and the vibe is a mix of surfing and hippie crowd. It is definitely worth a visit!
Main beach in Noosa
_I have been spending the last few days in beautiful Noosa on the Sunshine coast, north of Brisbane. It is a small town with a nice beach surrounded by two large national parks. I have taken surf lessons, did some jogging along the coast and did some kayaking on the beach and on the river. Nice, lazy days. I really recommend the hostel where I am staying, Halse lodge. It is very clean, surrounded by trees and it has a big verandah.