We're traveling to Sydney for me to attend a 2-day meeting of the Australian Computer Society Professional Ethics Committee and related committees, and then to spend a few days sightseeing...
View from the ACS Office on 27th floor of Barangaroo Tower 1 over Darling Harbour:
View from the ACS Office over Crown Casino Tower:
View from Pyrmont Bridge, Darling Harbour, back towards Crown and the 3 Barangaroo Towers (tower 1, ACS, the one with red colouring):
ACS Professional Services Board committees (including Ethics):
Darling Harbour lights at night:
Lyric Theatre, Pyrmont, for a performance of Rogers & Hammerstein's 1957 musical "Cinderella":
Alex has finished his 2 days of meetings in Sydney, so now for a bit of a break we're driving (hire car) up to Katoomba. Stopped at Wentworth Falls (town) on the way, and I did a bit of a bush walk to Victoria Lookout - saw the Empress Falls, but not the Wentworth Falls (a bit too far to leave Helen alone in the car). Beautiful views, beautiful bushland, lots of wildflowers still out (you'd never know it was the first day of Summer - min 8 tonight, max 17 tomorrow). Even saw a lyrebird, but it was too quick for me to get it properly in focus. Nearby was the Oak Avenue commemorating both the charting of the crossing of the Blue Mountains (quite an event at the time) and all the Australian Prime Ministers:
Empress Falls at Wentworth Falls location:
Wentworth Falls scenery:
Wentworth Falls wildflowers:
Wentworth Falls daisy wildflowers:
Fleeting view of a lyrebird in full plumage:
Oak Avenue (Menzies' Tree on the Right):
Our destination was Katoomba - the heart of the Blue Mountains. After arriving, we walked from our motel to Echo Point, where great views of the Three Sisters were to be had. More walks to different vantage points (the second lot while Helen waited!). More great views, more wildflowers!
View at Echo Point of the famous Three Sisters:
More wildflowers (the right ones like WA's everlastings, but smaller):
Walking to a different vantage point, to see the Three Sisters end-on (with Sisters 2 & 3 hidden behind #1):
There is even a walkway across the Sister #1 - but closed because of rock falls:
The pathway descends all the way (I think, I didn't go!) to the bottom of the canyon - called The Giant Stairway:
Another day in Katoomba, and explored some of the viewpoints near Echo Point and Scenic World (includes Katoomba Cascades, Katoomba Falls, Eagle Hawk Lookout, Landslide Lookout, Narrow Neck Lookout). And plenty of wildflowers. And more lyrebirds.
View of the Cascade part of Katoomba Falls:
View of the Scenic World cablecar with Katoomba Falls in the background:
More wildflowers (right one a form of Banksia?):
And more wildflowers (right one a Waratah):
And more viewpoints, here from Landslide Lookout:
And more lyrebirds, but still as elusive as the first:
Today, after checking out local viewpoints in Katoomba, we drove the 10km or so to Blackheath to check out the scenery there. Tried Evans Lookout, but closed; also Pulpit Rock, Govetts Leap... So drove out to Anvil Rock [actually, Hat Hill] and I took a modest walk to the summit. Lots of wildflowers, and some speccy views.
Not the real Anvil Rock, but close enough! And the view from there:
Lots more wildflowers:
While still in Blackheath this afternoon, we went to the Heritage centre, and discovered that Govetts Leap is actually open to pedestrians though you have to walk around the works going on, and the actual lookout is closed, but nearby lookouts are open. Lovely views, eg of the Bridal Veil waterfall, and more wildflowers...
After returning to Katoomba I had one last foray to lookouts, this time near Katoomba Falls and Scenic World - Duke & Duchess of York Lookout, Watchtower Lookout, Solitary Lookout, Katoomba Falls Lookout, Orphan Rock Lookout, Witches Leap Falls Lookout. Great views, and more wildflowers.
Orphan Rock, and lookout-in-a-rock"
Witches Leap Falls and Katoomba Cascade Falls:
Our last day in the Blue Mountains before we head for The Shire (Sutherland Shire) for our last night away from home. We visited the Leura Cascades, quite close to Echo Point. There was a lot of repair work going on, and the main Picnic Area carpark was closed, as were some of the paths to see the cascades. Some of the paths were quite daunting, some had become cascades themselves, but overall gave a wonderful close-up view of the never-ending cascades - so wonderful, well worth it. The cascades actually ended in the Bridal Veil Falls, which could only be seen (on my route) from afar.
Farewell to the Three Sisters, now with a bluer backdrop, with the sun out:
Leura Cascades, starting with the final Bridal Veil Falls:
The walkway beside the cascades:
The Leura Cascades:
One final thing to do whilst in Leura was to visit the Bygone Glorys Teapot Museum and Tearooms. The collection was started in the 70s, and now houses over 11,000 teapots (as well as accompanying crockery), and is the largest collection in private hands in the world. We also enjoyed a delicious Devonshire Tea! The big teapot out the front was one of the first, made from discarded steam engine parts!
The Teapot Museum:
One final posting from our Sydney trip (not made till more than a week later). The last day (Sunday) was spent mostly with Erica, who we picked up from her home in Maroubra, then drove through Royal National Park (lunch at Audley Village) to the viewpoints and coastal towns in the Illawarra region (as far S as Thiroull), taking in the Grand Pacific Drive with stunning balanced cantilevered Sea Cliff Bridge.
First we drove to and then through Royal National Park; quite varied scenery, some dense rainforest like this:
And we stopped at Audley Village in the midst of the Park for lunch:
Then quickly emerged onto the scarp with stunning views over the coastline; here is Otford Lookout (with a glimpse of the Sea Cliff Bridge around the first headland):
Driving on the "balanced cantilever" Sea Cliff Bridge:
Mike Dwyer Lookout and Memorial (he was a local teacher and activist) with a view down over Coledale Beach:
Concluding our journey back at Maroubra Beach to drop Erica off at home:
Then we returned the hire car to Sydney Airport and flew home...