We weren't allowed to feed them until . . .
We went to see some dolphins that we heard about through a German couple that we met in 1770. We waded knee deep while the dolphins swam around about a metre in front of me, they were waiting for their morning breakfast. There were two dolphins, the first dolphin I saw had scars all over his back and I was wondering aloud how it happened. The volunteer told me it was from territorial fights with other male dolphins and that the scars were actually more attractive to the female dolphins.
We weren't allowed to feed them until . . .
We drove most of the day until we got to Bundeburg, the sugar cane capital of Australia. We bought some soft drinks made with cane sugar and they had really interesting bottles. At the local i-site we got a tip to go see some sea turtles laying eggs. It was the beginning of the turtle egg laying season so we bought some tickets to view them at night. We arrived at dark where we went to an education centre to learn about the turtles and wait until a turtle came to shore to lay their eggs. The guides kept telling us that turtles are wild animals and that they will arrive when they are ready and not at any specific time. So we had to wait and wait, read and re-read and see a . . .
This is the glass-bottomed pontoon boat that ferried us to Lady Musgrave Island
Today I had the expereince of a lifetime. We got on our boat and rode out to Lady Musgrave Island. It was a far ride out, it was the first time in my life I had ever been so far out to sea that you could see a full horizon with no land anywhere in view. Just beutiful blue sky and and gorgeous cyan ocean for three hunded and sixty degrees.
After we landed at Lady Musgrave, Dad, Allegra and I went to shore onto the Island Itself. The sand was the whitest I had seen in my life. I learned later that . . .
Today we went to the Australian Reptile Park. The first exhibit we went to was a snake and spider exhibit which caused me to make a mental note that I would always put shoes on when walking in the scrub instead of wearing flip flops. The spider wasn`t that cool but the snake exhibit was. We got to see all snakes of different colours and a couple of giant snakes that could crush you and the Taipan, the world`s deadliest snake, native to Australia. It was so hot I had to run my hat under the tap and put it on my head and . . .
Here I am in front of the iconic ``Coat Hanger`` Bridge in Sydney
Today we took the subway into downtown Sydney. Some very nice person left three half used week long passes for transit and kids under twelve rode free so we all got to take the train and ferry for free. When we got downtown we walked to the "Rocks" where we bought some mangos and had a picnic. We explored this area a little which was made up of tiny allyways. Then we took a ferry (for free) over to Manley beach which is at the entrance to Sydney harbour. Manley is on a thin long peninsula where . . .
This morning we saw quite a few koalas. There were about four koalas to a tree and there were a lot of trees. I befriended a koala, it was so cute! I got to feed it and touch its head. It was quite an experience, and the best part is, it was a wild koala. Koalas are my New Favourite Animal (NFA). Later we went to the Twelve Apostles and played on the beach. When it got dark we saw some. . .
Today we went to a golf course with one thousand kangaroos. I almost touched one. Later I had a traumatizing experience with some cockatoos. They started out nice. I was feeding them and admiring how beautiful they were when one landed on my arm. I wanted to get some pictures, of course, but I winced at the sharp talons jabbing into my arm. Next one landed on my head, this one didn't hurt as much because of my toque. Then they . . .
Today I went ZORBING! I've been wanting to do this for a large portion of my life, probably since I was ten or twelve. I mean, who wouldn't want to be rolled down a hill like a gerbil in a giant plastic ball? Essentially that's what Zorbing is. They strapped me down kind of like DaVinci's human anatomy picture, hands and legs apart, body in the centre. I got rolled down the hill, heals over head, doing backfilps and cartwheels and gyroscoping until i hit the bottom. On my second go, I chose to have some water added to the fun, and I also chose not to be strapped in this time. I went in free fall on a zig zag track and felt myself being tumbled around inside my globe, getting so much momentum that I was sometimes scooped up to the top and thrown down with a splash. This was easily the highlight of an amazing visit to New Zealand.
We went back to Ninety Mile Beach and it turns out that the first time we were there it was HIGH TIDE! So now the size of the beach had tripled. I had so much fun playing in the waves and sliding on the dunes but Mom was asleep and Allegra didn't go too far because she said it was too cold. Getting tossed around in the waves was fun for a little while, but even with Dad there with me, it got boring fast. After we left Ninety Mile Beach, we came to this lookout where we could park our van. While Dad made dinner, Mom, Allegra and I went for a walk and found the most vibrant and diverse place I have seen in my life. On one hillside, there was a sandstone outlook that allowed us to see a huge array of plants of all shapes and sizes and a little trail leading down to a a bay of sugar white sand surrounded by a mass of volcanic rock with archways and a blowhole. Incredible!
Today we went for a hike along the shore of the Bay of Islands. We started in a town called Opua, and there is a little trail dug into the red clay, and the water was a beautiful turquoise, almost cyan. We walked along the trail until we found this beautiful spot where we sat down and just enjoyed the sun. I was the only one who went swimming because i was the only one who was smart enough to wear my board shorts. When we got back from our hike, we drove until we had made it to Ninety Mile Beach. the stretch of white sand went on for so long in both directions that it disappeared into the horizon. Allegra and I had so much fun sliding down the sand dunes and running back up and sliding back down again. It was dark by the time we got back to our van and we went right to sleep. We are going back to the beach tomorrow.