This week I found myself spending a few days vacationing in the city of Sydney. I was excited to be in explorer mode. What little gems can I find in this brilliant city in my own back yard?
At the request of Daughter No. 1, a day was spent at the wonderful Taronga Zoo. Now I’m not a worldly traveler (yet) but I do think there would be few zoos in the world where the giraffes, elephants, tigers, penguins, seals, quokkas, koalas, kangaroos, gorillas, and chimpanzee residents have sweeping views of a harbor such as Sydney.
The ferry takes us past the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House on its short speedy journey to the Zoo just down the bay. I cant help but feel these world recognized structures are ‘mine’, part of my home and a sense of pride sweeps over me as I see the ginormous flag gesturing atop the bridge.
As the ferry leaves us at the Zoo terminal the chimps call out a welcome that echoes through the trees and beckon us to their home. The elephants, grey mammoths of the savannahs wave to us below as we gently ride up the slope on the gondola; I was going to do enough walking today, the ride to the top a treat.
The zoo is crowded with other humans. As I don’t have school age children I didn’t realise it’s a beautiful sunny, warm spring day AND the first day of school holidays. Rooky mistake. Nevertheless we enjoyed the excursion, watching the seal show, viewing animals great and small, reptiles, birds and bugs and learning about endangered plights in their natural habitats. I left comforted that research such as the Zoo undertakes will ensure these wonderful creatures are part of this world for future generations.
We love a bit of an adrenaline rush. My girls and I have experienced a heart racing bolt riding the Superman Ride at Movieworld on the Gold Coast. With hearts in our mouths and Superman’s reassuring voice “its OK folks, I’ll save you” over the loud speaker we are projected forward to a 100kmh speed in 2 seconds. R-U-S-H
The haunted house at Queenstown in New Zealand is the current top of our scare list as we shuffled forward in villainous darkness while chilling children voices played with our senses and unknown beasts grabbed at our ankles and tickled our necks. Yes, we paid money for these haunting experiences.
So when we noticed “The Rocks Ghost Tour” while in Sydney we were there, it had been a while since our last eerie adrenaline encounter. Our imaginations were in full flight as we met Rowan our ghost guide, we were ready to meet the convict ghosts that we were certain plagued The Rocks district of Sydney town.
Rowan spoke to us of potential sprit sightings and meetings, warned us that we might see orbs of light or feel ghosts of characters who had met a gruesome death as we stepped down into dark musty cellars, climbed stairs to shadowy attics in the dark. We opened our minds to the idea of seeing the girl in the white dress that frequents the stairs, to hearing the haunting repetitive sweeping of Mrs Cadman as she incessantly keeps her cottage clean or the shadow of the black widow who watches over children in the hidden park. I even took photos in the dark, hoping there would be a glimpse captured as proof. I know some have this sixth sense, though it didn’t visit me this evening.
While the chill factor was a little disappointing the history of The Rocks is intriguing and the stories told are definitely worth the experience. This is part of my heritage, part of me – the country girl exploring the historic foundations of my nation.