Monday, July 18, 2016

Australia 2016, Day 3 - Botanical Gardens, Cockatoo Island, Megan Hilty in Concert

I started day 3 in much the same way that days 1 and 2 started - walking down Kent Street to Argyle Street and through the Argyle Cut in The Rocks, Sydney's oldest district. The Argyle Cut is a tunnel cut through the sandstone cliffs in The Rocks by convicts back in the 1800s. The weather that morning was crisp and beautiful, and the sight of the autumn leaves against the blue sky was lovely - there's a reason autumn is my favorite season!

I spent the morning exploring the Royal Botanical Gardens, which is celebrating its 200th birthday in 2016. On my last trip to Sydney I didn't spend much time in the gardens, other than walking through on my way to Mrs. Macquarie's Chair. This trip I never made it to the chair, but I enjoyed the gardens, the bird watching, and unique plantlife. I did a free guided tour during which the guide explained a lot about how the aboriginal people used the various plants - it wasn't the most exciting tour, but it was interesting. We eventually made our way down to the harbour and the iconic photo from the gardens of the canna lilies in the foreground with the bridge and Opera House in the background - gorgeous and worth the tour just to find that spot! 
Day 3 photo with my Opera House in the distance
One of the Vivid exhibits, the Cathedral of Lights was spectacular at night but still quite impressive during the day. I liked how its shape resembled the sails of the Opera House.
After the Botanical Gardens, I took a ferry out to Cockatoo Island, the largest island in Sydney Harbour, which has served as both a penal colony and a WW2 ship repair facility. Honestly, the island itself was not all that exciting, but it was fun to just wander and explore, and I spent a good bit of time just sitting on the grass hill at the top of the island, reading some travel information, resting my sore feet, and enjoying the view of the Harbour.
Borrowed from the internet to show the size and location of Cockatoo Island

As the day drew to a close, I headed back to Stephanie's apartment to freshen up and then walk to meet Stephanie after work for dinner and the Megan Hilty concert that night - no photos of the concert, but here's the first of many of our selfies from the trip (Stephanie got a better one but it's on her phone and we can't figure out how to get it off, lol!). I love getting to share moments like this with my BFF!
In case you dont know who Megan Hilty is, she's a Broadway star who has played in Wicked, 9 to 5, and starred in the tv show Smash.

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