28th February 2013
We had a very early start today as we were booked on a coach trip to the “Blue Mountains” and the “Featherdale Wildlife Park”. The shuttle bus was due to collect us from the hotel at 7.30am so we had decided to stay in the hotel for breakfast. What a great idea that was, we had an amazing array of choices and everything was freshly cooked, the price of breakfast here in the hotel is very expensive but the quality is excellent. We were transported by the shuttle bus to a local coach station where we were transferred to a super luxury coach. We actually travelled across the iconic Sydney Harbour bridge on our way to the first stop of our day out. The driver gave us a very informative commentary on the history and construction of the bridge as we travelled across.
Our first stop of the day was a place called Echo point, which is about 4 hours away from Sydney where we stopped to enjoy the view and also enjoy an Aboriginal dance performance. The dancers were dressed in traditional Aboriginal costumes and they were heavily made up and painted with red and white paint signs on their faces and most of their visible body parts. There was a serious side to this very colourful and interesting stop as the tourists were treated to a very interesting lecture about Aboriginal history, culture and lifestyle. A very good way of drawing people's attention to the plight and the circumstances of the original inhabitants of this wonderful continent.
The name Leura itself is Aboriginal for ‘lava’. Many volcanic stones have been found in the area.” We wandered around the handicraft and souvenir shops before taking our seats on the coach to continue our journey.
Not to mention the caged dingos and the tasmanian devil that was restlessly running round and round his enclosure wearing a pathway in the soil. We were lucky enough to be present when he was fed and he consumed a whole rabbits head, bones included, using his very powerful jaws to crush the bones. I was amazed to see some owls and a wild kookaburra tamely sitting on separate logs as we passed along the pathway and I wondered why they did not just up and fly away. I enquired if they were under sedation from one of the friendly keepers and she assured us they were injured and they were being nursed back to full health. Margaret and I snapped many photographs on our way around the park and I will have to put another slide show together to do them justice. The rain began to get heavier so we decided to head back to the coach. Another wonderful visit where we could have done with more time and less rain to enjoy the experience.
Our coach driver informed us that we could finish the day with a cruise back to Darling Harbour for an extra payment of eight dollars each. We decided to decline this offer as it was quite chilly and we preferred to go back to our hotel in the comfort of the coach. We arrived back at the hotel 45 minutes later tired and hungry.
The rain was still teeming down so I borrowed an umbrella from the hotel and we went off in search of a restaurant. Margaret‘s fantastic sense of direction then came into force and she remembered an Italian restaurant, named “Mama’s” that we have dined in before, on our last visit to Sydney. The food was as good as last time and we enjoyed a very well prepared, well served meal at a reasonable price. We then slowly made our way back to the hotel through the pouring rain to enjoy a well earned nights sleep and to re-live the day with the wonderful memories we have stored away.