Technically, we’re back in Canada now, getting over some major jet lag, but I kinda lagged a bit at the end there in making posts. It got a bit complicated with all of the traveling. So, I’m going to use this post to go over some of the stuff we did in our last few days down under.
On our last full day in Cairns, we decided to go check out the Cairns Aquarium. It included some terrarium stuff too, so not everything was wet. Let’s start with a doozy of a spider.
This spider was so big, that if you laid her on top of a cantaloupe, her legs would cover a full half of it. The one beside her wasn’t all that much smaller either.
These next ones are giant armored cock roaches. I’m sure you’re very happy to see them.
Of course, no trip to Australia would be complete without some pictures of crocodiles. It would have been nicer to get some pictures of them in the wild when we were on our rain forest tour, but that wasn’t to be.
Moving on to the more aquatic life, this is a picture of a crayfish.
Yes, he’s about the same size as a spiny lobster from down in Florida. I don’t know what the distinction is between a crayfish and a lobster, maybe it’s colour, cause these guys were pale blue.
Next we have a general bunch of fish.
Honeycomb moray eel, conveniently sticking his head out so we can see him.
The reef stone fish. Also known as the most venomous fish in the world.
Moon jelly fish. These were the things we swam through out on the Great Barrier Reef.
Another pleasant aquatic scene.
Big sea anemone with fish in front of it.
I don’t know what this next thing is, but it looks like a bright purple hamburger patty with bright neon-green hairs. How could you not take a picture of that.
Sting rays too.
That’s it for the aquarium and that was it for Cairns. The next morning we flew down to Sydney to spend two nights there. We arrived in the late morning so Kat and I decided to go on walkabout.
We didn’t have to go very far before we ran into more greenery, which is good because Sydney is a typical big city with all of the traffic and hustle and bustle. It turns out the Royal Botanical Gardens weren’t all that far from our hotel and it being a rather lovely sunny day, we indulged.
Here is the entrance.
We encountered a lot of these birds, and not just in the gardens, but all over Sydney. I don’t know what they are called, but they kinda remind me of Gonzo from the muppets.
Huge leaning tree.
Of course, if you’re going to wander around some botanical gardens, you should stop and smell the flowers while you’re there. Like this rose.
Or maybe this one.
I caught Kat just after she had been on a sniff-a-thon.
Here is me being overwhelmed by the size of these aloe plants. That is what we assumed they were, but someone suggested that they might also be agave.
Picture from above looking down in to the parkway.
This little fellow is a kookaburra. He was quite used to strangers too. Kat was able to get close enough to tickle his tail feathers, but he drew the line at that and flew away to another perch.
They have some ginormous trees down there.
Here is Kat beside one for perspective.
Here is another example of one of those trees that are made up of lots of little trunks.
Coming out the other end of the gardens, we came upon a rather famous Sydney icon: the opera house.
It was fascinating to see it up close as you really don’t get the feel for the scale when you see it in pictures. It’s rather huge.
After that, we wandered back to our hotel. I have to take this moment to point out an interesting difference between the light switches down there and here in Canada.
They are tiny, and they work backwards compared to ours. When the top part is pressed in, they are off. I think that may simple be that they are on the underside of the planet and everything there is upside-down.
We had one more full day in Sydney before we needed to fly home, so we used that opportunity to go visit the zoo. This gave us a good chance to see all sorts of really lazy and tired animals because it was the middle of the day and it was too hot to be moving about.
We can start with a Komodo dragon, which technically speaking, isn’t native to Australia at all.
Lizard in a tree.
Really big python.
Iguana just hanging out.
A pile of gila monsters. Pink and black are great colours for these guys.
Another iguana, up in a tree.
Taipan, a really, really poisonous snake. He was up and moving around too.
Not sure which snake this one was, but he totally looks like a worn out bicycle tire inner tube.
Did someone say giraffes?
Not to worry, it’s just a mere-cat.
They also had two Sumatra tigers, which are on the severely endangered list as there are only about 400-500 still in the wild.
Big horny herbivore.
This is an otter that has the tail of another otter stuck in his mouth. All three of the otters were playing around.
This is a fishing cat.
The infamous kangaroo who just seem to be chillin’ in the afternoon heat.
The third largest bird in the world is a cassowary. The tour guide for our rain forest hike was really hoping we would see one in the wild, but they are pretty rare. Fortunately, they had one at the zoo.
Wooohooo!! Lemurs! Who doesn’t like lemurs.
If you go into the gift shop, they have all manner of stuffed animals of all sizes that you can buy. Including this rather huge stuffed octopus that was putting the moves on Kat.
This is a red panda. Apparently the word “panda” literally means bamboo eater.
We took a selfie of ourselves as well, just to show that we were there.
That pretty much wraps up the whole trip. We caught our ride to the airport at 8am the next day and then hopped a flight from Sydney to Hong Kong. That took close to nine hours. We had a short wait in HK then a 14 hour flight from there to Toronto.
Get off in Toronto, do all of going through customs stuff, get your luggage, recheck your luggage, change terminals, and then hop another flight to Ottawa. Easy as cake.
Except for the fact that we have some hardcore jet lag going on right now. Waking up at 3am and crashing at 3pm has happened several times.
Oh well, it was all worth it.