October 23, 2017-Another recommendation I had gotten was to go to Manly beach and have lunch. So this involved taking a ferry ride to Manly Beach and then walking around. We caught the morning ferry, watching all the commuters come off and we got on.
When we arrived at Manly Beach, we checked into the visitors center to see what there was to do and how to get to the beach. Turns out that a small aquarium within waqlking distance had some underwater tubes we could walk through and see ocean fish. So we walked over to this center, passing another beach in the meantime.
We caught a tour that included a feeding, so we had a chance to see a lot of the fish feeding. We saw huge turtles, sharks, cuttlefish, and penguins. Our guide was very informative with many details on the fish and their habits.
There was a group of divers who were doing the feeding. Among them were some tourists that were “swimming with sharks.” Not really much swimming ging on, but there were in the same vicinity as the sharks. Didn’t look that exciting to me.
We watched the penguins feed, then we strolled down the pedestrian causeway to the real beachy area. Here we walked up and down to see what the beach had to offer. We found a nice restaurant right on the beach that seemed to have a good view.
While we were sitting there waiting on our food, there was a commotion on the beach side and we got up to see whales breaching about ¼ mile offshore. Susan managed to get a pretty good picture.
Once we finished lunch, we walked around some more enjoying the sun, then wandered back to the ferry to return to our hotel. We had time, and we needed to get some warmer gear for our trip to New Zealand, so we walked down to the building that holds the Sydney Tower, the tallest point in Sydney to shop for some clothes. We were looking for merino wool wear, and in the mall below the needle we found the Ice3breaker store that featured merino wool from New Zealand. Susan scored big with a wool puffy coat that she wore al through New Zealand and just loved (still wearing it now that we are back in Austin.) I got a sweater that I thought would be warm enough—turned out it wasn’t that warm, but it is perfect for Austin winters.
We walked back through the pedestrian mall to our hotel. We had made reservations at the Custom House for dinner. Customs House is well regarded as a restaurant, but it is noted for its tremendous views. We sat outside and overlooked the bridge and the Opera House. The building was the offices for the Customs Service until 1960. Since then they have turned it into a destination for eating and drinking as well as art exhibits. Even the food looked like art. Nice end to a great visit to Sydney. We could have stayed 3 more days.