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Pictures of Sydney  

As stereotypical tourists, we hit the major attractions in Sydney: the Opera House, Taronga Zoo, Manly Beach, Aquarium, and the Koala Park.

The Sydney Opera House beautifully lit on a warm winter evening The Sydney Opera House beautifully lit on a warm winter evening The settings sun reflects off North Sydney buildings. Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House Sydney Opera House What to do next? If the designers of this park felt inclined to build a crazy huge face, you’d think they would've chosen one that didn't scare the crap out of little kids...and adults too!  But seriously, this was modeled after Luna Park at Coney Island, New York.
Darling Harbour Thrill seekers can get a rush from climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Located in the Darling Harbourside Festival Marketplace, Babushka's is a cool Eastern European store specializing in Russian Dolls. Gowings was a small department store chain in Sydney, Australia, established in 1868. It specialized in men's casual clothing, camping gear, and knick-knacks.  According to Wikipedia:

"In November 2005, after three years of successive losses, G Retail Ltd entered administration. Attempts to sell the business were unsuccessful and the last remaining Gowings store was the one in George Street Sydney, which closed its doors at 5:23pm on 29 January 2006. The building is now occupied by the shop of Lowes, a former competitor."

I just thought the sign looked like a cool way to cheer on the Detroit Red Wings hockey team!
A view of Sydney Harbour from the Taronga Zoo This girl seemed a little intimidated to be pulled from the studio audience at a Taronga Zoo bird show. Moo A pair of Little Pied Cormorants enjoyed lunch and then proudly posed for the cameras.
A pair of Little Pied Cormorants enjoyed lunch and then proudly posed for the cameras. A pair of Little Pied Cormorants enjoyed lunch and then proudly posed for the cameras. Echidnas, sometimes also referred to as "spiny anteaters", are named after a monster in ancient Greek mythology. Wallaby
As Paris Hilton would say, "That's hot." A mother kangaroo and her baby joey seek shelter from the hot afternoon sun. We happened upon these pelicans right at feeding time. We happened upon these pelicans right at feeding time.
We happened upon these pelicans right at feeding time.  You can see the shadow of a fish as it's entering the bird's mouth! Pelican The gondola is a great way to see the zoo from above. Sea Horse
Radioactive jellyfish! Porcupine Puffer This "ginormous" ray was last seen transporting school kids in Finding Nemo.  Look, he's smiling for the camera... ...while these ugly sharks seem to be sneering at the camera.  Actually, I think I saw one of these in Predator.
A Cleaner Wrasse nibbles bits of algae off a Beaked Coralfish Lionfish are extremely poisonous. Christmas lights glow in Sydney's City Centre. The Sydney Tower eclipses the sun.
We stumbled upon someone hand-feeding a wild Rainbow Lorikeet in the Royal Botanic Gardens. Our new favorite chocolate-covered something, Tim Tam biscuits first hit supermarket shelves in 1964 and were named after a horse that won the Kentucky Derby in 1958. The Burger King fast-food chain is named Hungry Jack's in Australia.  Fine, have it your way! Manly Beach
Body surfing at Manly Beach Thousands of grey-headed flying fox bats come out at night to rid Sydney's sky of insects. You can get up close and personal with one of Australia's favorite marsupials at the Koala Park. According to thekoala.com, "The koala gets its name from an ancient Aboriginal word meaning 'no drink' because it receives over 90% of its hydration from the Eucalyptus leaves (also known as gum leaves) it eats, and only drinks when ill or times when there is not enough moisture in the leaves. ie during droughts etc."
Koalas sleep for up to 19 hours per day. Koalas have sharp claws that allow them to securely grip tree trunks and branches. "Hey Murray, does this branch make my butt look big?" A Cockatoo
Little Penguins are the smallest penguins in the world. Peacock Wombat This flock of sheep got away from their handler and started trimming the lawn.
This lamb seemed more interested in sniffing my camera than eating the grass.      
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The Blue Mountains were a nice relief from the hustle and bustle of busy Sydney. Situated about 65 mi (105 km) to the west, the Blue Mountains reach 3,600 ft (1,100 m) above sea level at their highest point. The mountains get their name from the blue haze produced by airborne oil released by eucalyptus trees.

We did some easy hikes, took a tour through the impressive Jenolan Caves, rode the Zig Zag Railway, and relaxed in a rental cottage.

Grose Valley near the town of Blackheath The Echo Point lookout in south Katoomba The Three Sisters rock formation seen from Echo Point Jamison Valley
Jamison Valley
Rolling Australian countryside Rolling Australian countryside Jenolan Caves Visitors' Centre The entrance to Jenolan Caves
More than 300 subterranean chambers were formed in a limestone belt that was deposited more than 300 million years ago. We found one of the magic stones from Temple of Doom.
The wide-angle lens came in handy. ...as did a headlamp.
We rented this pretty cottage in Wentworth Falls. We rented this pretty cottage in Wentworth Falls. This took some getting used to. The Katoomba Scenic Railway is reported to be the steepest incline railway in the world (insert evil laugh here).  It was originally built in the 1880s to transport miners down to the valley’s coal deposits.
The Katoomba Scenic Railway is reported to be the steepest incline railway in the world (insert evil laugh here).  It was originally built in the 1880s to transport miners down to the valley’s coal deposits. The Cat's Meow and Stairway to Kevin.  Gosh darn didily, did Ned Flanders name these stores? The Zig Zag Railway was built between 1866 and 1869 to transport produce and coal to Sydney. The Zig Zag Railway Co-op Ltd. owns and operates the railway.
Lithgow Valley Zig Zag Reserve Lithgow Valley Zig Zag Reserve Cooerwull Railway Footbridge
Little Engineer  
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