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Day 4 : Tuesday 8th March 2005

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Down Under!

After leaving the airport, we were faced with the usual problem of having turned up in Sydney in the early morning, way before the official check-in at the hotel. Unfortunately we couldn't check in to our allotted room at the Four Points by Sheraton at Darling Harbour. The receptionist offered us a different room on the 1st floor, but as we didn't feel too tired, we decided to hold out for our allotted room.

We left our bags with the concierge and then headed out for a walk around Darling Harbour. We grabbed an excellent breakfast at one of the cafe's along the harbour. Then we decided to head up the AMP Tower for a better view, and some "getting our bearings". The view from the top of this tower is simply stunning, being 250m above the streets of Sydney, although the entrance price is a rather steep $22. There was a free guided tour round the top, pointing out places of interest, but this was rather boring and not at all revealing. More of a tourist hard-sell than anything informative.

We returned to the hotel where they had made a total mess of our room allocation, and after having to change rooms, we eventually settled in. I was determined not to repeat my four hour afternoon snooze the last time I arrived in Sydney, but I couldn't help it and promptly fell asleep until about 4pm !

We returned to the streets and walked to the Rocks, all the way down to Dawes Point, which is situated under the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge. From there, we walked around to Circular Quay, where most of the harbour ferries come and go to the CBD. Further round we got to Bennelong Point, home to the famous Sydney Opera House. We didn't go in, but took the opportunity for a few photos! We decided then to head further round the shoreline, through the Royal Botanic Gardens to Mrs Macquaries Point, which is where you get the famous views looking back at the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

After watching the sun set over the city, we headed back through the gardens, to find ourselves seemingly locked in . All the gates had been shut at 6:30pm and with darkness rapidly approaching, we were not keen on spending a night in the park, especially after walking through the Palm Grove section where thousands of huge fruit bats were waking up and flying around everywhere screeching . Eventually, after this mini-adventure, we found the main gate, which was still open, but just about to be closed by the park warden!

Dinner was at Darling Harbour and then tiredness crept in again, so we went back to the hotel to review our photos and let me catch up on this diary!

AMP Tower (sorry about the reflections )

Dawes Point and the Rocks

Royal Botanic Gardens and Mrs Macquarie's Point