The D&O Diary was on assignment this past week in the Asia Pacific region, with the first stop in the great country of Australia. It is always great to be in Australia, but the Southern Hemisphere Summer is a particularly good time to be there. After a day or two of clouds and some rain on arrival, the weather turned particularly glorious, as reflected in the pictures below.

Upon arrival in Sydney, we took the Airport Link train to Circular Quay, on the Sydney Harbor, and then caught a cross-harbor ferry to the suburban beach town of Manly, to spend a day or two recovering from jet lag. The main attraction of Manly — in addition to the beach itself — is its accessibility of the Sydney Harbor National Park.

The Pacific coastline near the North Head of the Sydney Harbor opening
In addition to some great views, we also saw some of the local wildlife
Look sharp, there’s a VERY large spider here
Another resident of the Park, an Eastern Water Dragon
Shelly Beach, with a view back toward Manly

After our recovery time in Manly, we took the ferry back across the harbor to spend a few days in Sydney proper.

A view of the Sydney Harbor Bridge from our hotel room

One day while we were in Sydney, we took another ferry to Watsons Bay to have lunch at the Doyle’s on the Beach restaurant (famous for its views of the Sydney skyline).

A view of the cliffs along the Sydney Harbor South Head
A video taken near Doyle’s with a view of the Sydney skyline, the harbor, and the North Head

We were up the next day before dawn to catch an early morning train on the Blue Mountains Line, to Katoomba, about two hours west of Sydney. In Katoomba, we accessed the the Blue Mountains National Park, where we planned to walk through the park from Katoomba Falls to Leura Cascades, and then to catch a return train from Leura back to Sydney. It turned out to be a great day of hiking, entailing more than 15 miles of rugged trails and beautiful scenery.

A view from an overlook in the Blue Mountains National Park
Katoomba Rapids
The Three Sisters rock formation in the Blue Mountains National Park, near Katoomba
The trail to the Leura Cascades
A view from Echo Point in the Blue Mountains National Park
Leura Cascades
A video of the view from the overlook in the Blue Mountains National Park

After our visit to the Blue Mountains, we returned to Sydney with a plan to spend the weekend in the beach community of Bondi (pronounced “Bon-DYE”). As it turned out, it was a brilliant plan because we were fortunate to be able to enjoy absolutely wonderful summer weather for the duration of the visit.

On Bondi Beach
One of the great things we did while in Bondi was to take the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk, about five miles in each direction. A perfect thing to do on a sunny summer day.
Look closely, there’s a sand crab hiding in this tidal pool
A view of Gordon’s Bay along the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk
A view from the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

It was an amazing visit overall. The very idea of summer in February is a brilliant concept, self-evidently meritorious. It is also a thing of wonder that we saw only a very small part of this amazing country. Clearly, we have to come back. Soon.

Although we saw a lot of amazing things in Australia, one thing we didn’t see is a kangaroo, except for this stone version, seen on the streets of Katoomba