Archive for February, 2006

Taronga Zoological Park, Sydney

Sunday 26th February

Today we drove to the Taronga Zoological Park. We spent nearly three hours visiting the various exhibits. It was obvious that much had been done to improve the animal displays since our last visit nearly six years ago. Although the enclosures generally are not very big, they seem quite adequate and good attempts have been made to allow good views of the animals. Unfortunately my favourite animals, the Red Pandas, were not to been seen; they must have been asleep out of view.

There have also been many improvements as far as human facilities are concerned. Extensive new restaurants, new toilets and a chair lift are all good additions. Several sets of escalators help greatly with the slope of the zoo grounds, especially when one has parked at the top and have to walk uphill all the way back to the car.

During our visit I took many good photographs of the animals. We were just in time to see the Bird Show and I managed a seat right near the front. I took a number of excellent shots of the White-Bellied Sea-Eagle and the Wedge-Tailed Eagle as well as the Powerful Owl. The show was as entertaining as usual. I also zoomed in on the head of a giraffe – and not a head and shoulders shot as that would not be close up! I also managed some excellent shots of the city skyline, the bridge and the harbour.

I didn’t concentrate on looking for native birds flying free but still recorded a short list. We were pleased to have a cool breeze blowing as it was quite warm. Out of the breeze it was hot. We are having trouble adapting to the high humidity here in Sydney. At 30 degrees it feels much warmer than the same temperature at Murray Bridge because of the humidity.

Holiday in Sydney

Thursday 23rd February.

I am typing this in the waiting lounge at the Adelaide Airport – the new one. It has only been open for domestic traffic for six days. Having spent many hours in airport lounges over the last few months I am not looking forward to the next hour. At least Corinne is with me this time. Our flight to Sydney has been delayed by over an hour. No reason has been given. It’s a good thing we are not relying on a connecting flight elsewhere today.

Eventually we boarded our plane to Sydney. Just before take-off the pilot explained that there was a technical problem in Melbourne before they flew to Adelaide. He said that Qantas policy was “Safety before Schedules,” which is very reassuring. We had an extra hour and a half wait before take off. The flight was good except we had very little of a view over South Australia and later the Blue Mountains due to heavy cloud. Corinne had a window seat so we had a good view when the cloud cleared over NSW.

On arrival Simon was there to meet us. He had only just arrived as we had phoned him to say we were going to be late. He drove us back to their home. On the way we drove over the harbour bridge, the first time we’d been over it in a car. On arrival we had a bite to eat as it was close to 3 o’clock. We then sat and talked until dinner. Later in the evening Simon went to collect Leanne from work.