Day 10 & 11: Journey To OZ & Sydney Opera House

July 2nd

Queenstown to Sydney

We went back to Halo for breakfast again after checking out of the hotel.  Then off to souvenir shop and head for the airport for our international flight to Sydney.  Bye bye, NZ.  You’ve been lovely and a grand adventure for sure.

We arrived in Sydney and made it through customs after a bit of boot washing (they are serious about soil transfer here, too).  Phill met us at the airport and helped us get to the apartment.  Mom arrived earlier in the day and Phill & Emma were kind enough to pick her up.

Sweet Emma picked up a few provisions for us to have at the apartment, and we ordered take away (carry out) fish & chips and prawn & shrimp skewers for dinner.

Early to bed as we were all wiped out!

July 3rd

We are actually staying in Manly Beach – across Sydney Harbor.  Our apartment is minutes from the beautiful beach and a short walk to the ferry boats to take us across to Sydney.  Our ferry ride is complete with stunning views of the Harbor Bridge, the Opera House and the many sailing vessels in the harbor.

Harbor Bridge

We caught the ferry over to Sydney – Circular Quay Warf – and walked over to the Sydney Opera House.

Sunrise view of Opera House from ferry boat

We booked a tour and saw one of the large theaters set up for an upcoming opera of Otello, a small performance space where a one-man-show called, Leo, was on and another small theater space currently being use by a dance company.

The place is a stunning feat of architecture with elegant design and modern use of materials.  The house was budgeted for $7M and to take 3 years and actually ended up requiring $102M and took 16 years.  Just a bit over budget and only slightly delayed!

The roof is covered in over 1M tiles and the colors are a combination of white and cream.  Funny since I always thought the opera house was a pristine white from all of the pictures I’ve ever seen.   If the tiles were all white, then the harsh sun would make them too bright. The rest of the materials are very simple – birch wood, concrete with granite aggregate, curved & tinted glass.

The architect, Jorn Utzon, resigned from the project midway through construction due to a change in government and increasing pressure to complete the project.  The opera house was paid for by the government as well as a toll roll established – and was fully paid for 18mo after the opening.  Utzon and his son were later rehired but the government for some improvement and additions to the structure but Utzon never saw the completed project in person.  He died in 2008 back in his home country of Denmark.

Lincoln made it through about 1/2 of the tour before being rescued by Stella, Declan & Emma.  He went over to a lego exhibit on one of the levels of the opera house.

We headed off to lunch at Morrison Bar & Oyster Room and indulged in duck-fat fries, crab tacos, excellent burgers and French Rose.  Poor Declan was so sleepy, and Lincoln took on the job of keeping him awake.

We headed back across the ferry for some R&R, blogging time, grocery shopping and dinner making.  Wrapped up the evening with a fab meatloaf compliments of Bev and headed to bed to prepare for, you guessed it, an early morning.  Up next…Echo Point, Scenic World & Featherdale!

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