Today after a very needed, very necessary and very long sleep we went to the base hostel tourist centre and booked basically our whole Australia experience. A lot of the different places we’re visiting we can organise ourselves as it’s just a matter of deciding when we’re going to be there and then logging onto the whichever bus company we booked and letting them know the dates of our travels, but Cairns is the adventure city of Australia and there is a lot that we want to do there in a small amount if time.
Although it’s sad saying goodbye to a lump sum of money, it’s such a great feeling being organised and having things booked. Juliet and I now have about 20 nights accommodation sorted and paid for thanks to our BASE jumping card (there are a lot of base hostels all over aus and with the base hostel card we have nights pre paid for at a discount, anywhere in Australia). We also have a sky dive, a bungee jump and and extreme white water rafting all booked (yes we are crazy) aaaaaand we have a three day tourof cape tribulation (the rainforest) and port Douglas all booked, including transfers and accommodation – so all in all, it’s very exciting and I know we’ll be so relieved when we get to Cairns and everything’s sorted/paid for.
After making a cute little packed lunch for ourselves and getting an amazing discount on tickets for the aquarium (because we’d spent so much for Cairns etc we basically got into the aquarium at toddler price) we headed over to have a look at the fishys. Because of our incredible experience scuba diving, the general fish didn’t really impress Julie and I – when you’ve been breathing under water swimming with the fish, seeing them in a tank isn’t that exciting… BUT we did get to see dugongs being fed which was so cool! Dugongs are close relatives of the elephant and are only normally found in Australia and they’re very big and fat and cute and live off sea lettuce!
Then we saw platypus’ which actually made my day because they are hilarious, they swim around bashing into things with their flat beaks which are clearly too big for their faces and they still manage to look cute under the water!
After our aquarium visit, we had a late lunch / dinner / picnic sitting on the pier in darling harbour, overlooking the water in the sun and this is where we decided we absolutely love Sydney! It reminded me so much of the water front in Capetown (my home away from home) and with the sun shining it was gorgeous.
The second part of our day was taken over by a crazy adventure… At 5.15pm this afternoon, Juliet and I completed the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb! We first of all met our group, learnt how to wear the harnesses, got dressed into our harbour bridge climb jump suits, harnessed up and then had a practice climbing the Sydney harbour bridge ladder simulators. Once we were all set to start climbing with every single item attached to our suits including sunglasses, head torches, ear phones to hear our guide and even handkerchiefs, I (typical) suddenly needed the toilet so badly! Talk about bad timing, so everything had to be un-clipped, zipped and harnessed then redone up but FINALLY we were ready to go!
The climb started off pretty tame and it was amazing to be able to just look out over Sydney Opera House and the harbour and what seemed like the whole of Australia. Soon enough though we went through what seemed like a very thin section, actually nicknamed the catwalk and then we came out onto some steep ladders. Bearing in mind we’re harnessed onto the rail the whole time there’s really nothing to be afraid of, however climbing up the 200 step ladders to get to the arch, was actually quite nerve wracking. However once we got to the top and had our photos taken, we could start our actual ascent up the arch (the tall curvy bit of the bridge).
At different points while climbing up to the middle of the arch we stopped to watch the beautiful sunset and to have our photos taken (these will be uploaded at a later date when I work out how to upload them onto my iPad!) and the view was utterly spectacular. From the top we could see hundreds of tiny sailing boats making their way home underneath the sunset, and also the Sydney opera house was lit up by the oranges and reds of the mesmerizing sun setting. We were so high it felt like the sunset was level with us and when we screamed, amazingly the people on the cruise ship sailing under the bridge heard and screamed back, taking a million photos of us on the bridge while they did so.
On the way down we got the opportunity to film a short video as the sun completely set…
Climbing the bridge was an unforgettable experience and climbing the time that we did meant we could see Sydney from an amazing height in both sunlight and moonlight, and witness an incredible sunset. It was the most incredible view of what seemed like the world and I’m so glad that it is an adventure we made time to do. HIGHLY RECOMMENDABLE!!!! (Ps proposals and weddings on the bridge are very popular and they even have a ring attacher so if you drop the ring in nerves, it’s not lost forever!)