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[Photo TR] Down Under 2018

PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 1:09 pm
by chaos
This February I had the chance to escape the Virginia winter and experience Australia for the first time. There were a lot of incredible things to do and places to see, but I also tried to steer the trip towards theme parks when I could.

First stop was Sydney, home of the world's only wooden wild mouse! Unfortunately, it was closed :cry: , but at least it was getting refurbished.

One of the most notable things about downtown Sydney for me, was how close together everything was. From the hotel, we could walk to the Opera House, the docks, and hundreds of restaurants. We could also take a slightly longer walk across the bridge and go to Luna Park. The city was vibrant - it just felt bright and colorful, with new activities around every corner. Very clean, too. Beats every city I've visited in the US.

Sydney Harbour Bridge: I loved the bridge. Went across it a few times, including once for a morning run. It provides great views of Sydney, the Opera House, Luna Park, and the downtown buildings. You can also climb it for a price. The Bridge Climb was exciting and efficient. The climb tour guides were all a lot of fun. They were knowledgable and seemed to truly enjoy their jobs.

Luna Park: The location on the water is pretty great, and the Wild Mouse looked fun. Unfortunately we didn't get to ride it. The rest of the park has a drop tower and pretty standard carnival attractions. It's also right next to an Olympic-sized swimming pool if you're interested in that sort of thing.

Opera House: Being the uncultured American that I am, I had never been to an Opera before. I saw The Nose, which is really weird, but also very funny depending on your sense of humor. During this performance, I discovered that I don't like Opera. Even though everything was in English, I still needed the subtitles to understand what they were singing. The lack of discernible tunes also started bothering me after a while. I'm very glad I got to see an Opera at the Sydney Opera House, but I would be reluctant to see another one.

Restaurants: The food was great! There's a different place every 10 feet as you walk around the harbour by the Opera House. Breakfast was my favorite. I found that every breakfast I ate in Australia was huge. Greatest bacon I've ever had. Also, Australians seem to really love mushrooms. They are offered as a side for almost every meal. I started to assuming this was one of the reasons people were so healthy . . . I did not see a single overweight non-tourist on my whole trip!

Tall Ship Harbour Cruise: The cruise was an add-on to the Scenic World trip package we purchased, and I'm very glad we went. The captain was great, and very patiently interacted with all the kids around him while he navigated. The other tour guides were also friendly, pointing out all the landmarks and such. Happy tour guides seemed to be the theme of this trip, as everyone seemed to be enjoying their job.

Chinese New Year: It was Chinese New Year when we were there, so the city was all decked out in celebration. It was pretty neat, and made me want to see what awesome things Sydney did for each of the holidays.

Re: [Photo TR] Down Under 2018

PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 4:17 pm
by Canobie Coaster
Great report! Sydney looks beautiful.

Re: [Photo TR] Down Under 2018

PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 6:43 pm
by Nrthwnd
Great shots of Sydney and it's harbor!

And that Wild Mouse! :omg: Darned if it didn't look like the one that used to be (RIP) in Blackpool!*

*What I can see of it, from that angle, lol!

Re: [Photo TR] Down Under 2018

PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 9:13 pm
by ThemeParkJunkie51290
Truly beautiful pictures! =) I would love to visit this wonderful city one day!

Re: [Photo TR] Down Under 2018

PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 11:12 am
by JordyC
Very good report! A bummer to hear that the wild mouse was closed, but it seems like you still had a great time!

Re: [Photo TR] Down Under 2018

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 8:07 pm
by chaos
Thanks for all the comments!

We made it out to Scenic World in the Blue Mountains (home to the tragically SBNO Orphan Rocker). And even without the coaster, Scenic World is one of my favorite parks I've ever been to. The staff is really nice (like Dollywood/Silver Dollar City nice) and super energetic. The park is in a rainforest, so everything about it is absolutely beautiful and breathtaking.

The crazy thing is, there was a massive amount of fog when we went, so I can't even imagine how much more beautiful everything would look without it. If I went back, I would definitely plan on spending more than half a day there.

The park has three "rides." One of them is a Skyway, which takes you across a valley hundreds of feet in the air. Second, there is a railway, which is the coolest railway I've been on. This is not Magic Mountain Orient Express. This thing is STEEP. The elderly folks in our car did not like it at all. It goes in a pitch black tunnel for a while, and then opens up to beautiful views of the rainforest.

Once you are down in the valley, you could go hiking for days. But, given that we were short on time, we took the shorter, 30 minute trail to the Cableway. The Cableway is very similar to the Skyway, but it takes you from the bottom of the valley back up to the top, which is where all the food/gift shops are. The cool thing about the Cableway is that it gives you some good views of the cliffs, and more importantly, Orphan Rocker.

Seeing Orphan Rocker's track in person made me so sad it is not operating. It uses the terrain so well, and is in such a unique area that it would probably be in my top 10 based on that alone. I have a new dream that Mack will come in and rebuild it the right way, because it truly would be an experience like no other.

Re: [Photo TR] Down Under 2018

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 8:21 pm
by chaos
More photos, and a video!

Re: [Photo TR] Down Under 2018

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 6:46 pm
by cal1br3tto
Great look at Australia so far! It's a place that's definitely on my list for a coaster trip.

I can't recall my previous thoughts on whether I wanted to go to Scenic World, but you've convinced me that it's 100% worth visiting despite the lack of an operating coaster (and worse, the sad teasing presence of Orphan Rocker).

Re: [Photo TR] Down Under 2018

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 4:30 am
by SharkTums
^The incline railway is worth the trip out there! When you take it down, there's even a small pop of airtime!

Re: [Photo TR] Down Under 2018

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 8:43 am
by jedimaster1227
Neat to see how Orphan Rocker is looking these days... I'm not sure I'll ever get out to Australia, so it is nice to live vicariously through trip reports like these! Thanks for sharing! =)