Saturday, December 13, 2014

Australia Day In Sydney

We just happened, by chance, to be in Sydney on Australia Day.

This is a National holiday, celebrated similarly to our 4th of July, with music and fireworks and food booths and picnics in the park.

 It commemorates the arrival of the first fleet of (11) ships @ Sydney Cove back in 1788, and it used to be known as Anniversary Day or Foundation Day.  

Australia Day definitely has a better ring to it.

We are staying at the Quay Suites (it's right there, on the right).

  It overlooks the main ferry station for Sydney.   Our view includes the Sydney Bridge, and our front walkway ends at the Opera House.   We had breakfast here on the patio every single morning, just to take advantage of the view.  But the best thing is, it's an entire apartment, complete with a washer and dryer.  Strategic for us, because after 3 weeks in Australia, we need to do some laundry.

It's the perfect vantage point for all the Australia Day action!   There's a music festival in the park at the base of the Sydney Bridge.  There are bands playing (they had 6 different stages set up)

And there are boat races (just look at all this activity!   And look how this many boats has churned up the normally still water!   And look, up on top, there are bridge climbers!)

 Even the fireboats are getting in on the action.

The crowds swell as the day wears on;


And a helicopter proudly trails a banner of the Australian flag.

We eat fresh corn on the cob

And we stop for a beer at the Tavern @ the Lord Nelson Hotel, which later we find out is the "Oldest continuing licensed hotel in Sydney", having obtained it's original liquor license in 1831.  It has added it's own microbrewery in recent years, and still has overnight accommodations, just up a flight or two or three of rickety stairs. 

We will come back  on Monday for 
"$7 Pie Night"  

Traditional beef pie, smashed or "mushy" peas, with mashed potatoes and a wonderful to-die-for gravy.  

One of the best meals I had the entire 5 week trip!

For Australia Day, we definitely enjoyed the bands and the crowds, and all the celebratory activities.

This is the first of several times we have been in the right place at the right time.  It happened again in Barcelona for Catalonia Days; and in Tuscany for the Mille Miglia Vintage Sports Car Race in Italy, (The Thousand Mile Race);  and again in Vienna for some kind of celebration of the remote villages of Austria.   

Of course, it's not always to our advantage, we were also booked into Rome during "Holy Week" with an extra 300,000 of our newest Catholic friends.......which we immediately re-booked into Venice instead!

But this one turned out to be lots of fun. 


At the end of a great day we are at Aria Restaurant for an amazing dinner with a view of the Opera House on one side, and a view of the Sydney Bridge on the other.  

Gotta' love  Sydney............. and Mr. C.



  1. That looked way cool!

    1. It was way cool! You know, we always try to have a rough plan for each destination ~ but we like to leave some room for flexibility, also ~ 'cause it would just be a shame to have to pass on the unexpected. There is some security in having a plan, but there's also some fun in spontaneity!

  2. The view from your hotel suite was so pretty and afforded you such a great view! Looks like they put on quite a lot of activities and celebrations! From your photos it appears your location gave you a great perspective of the city and views of so many of the recognizable points of interest in the area!

    The Pie Night entrĂ©e looks so good – so many of us mush the peas into our mashed potatoes and gravy – turns out it an special dish there! How fun. The corn on the cob looks really good. ( Must be fun for you to try corn in the cob around the world to see how it compares with that corn grown by the Fresno State College – which I think was unforgettable corn on the cob.)

    Thank you for the great photos and for sharing the adventure! Love it!

    1. Yes, KS, it was a really fun day, all the more so because it was so unexpected! We absolutely loved staying at the Quay (Pronounced Key) Grand Suites. Sydney is one of the few cities we would consider repeating, and we would definitely stay at the same spot. The Circular Quay is the main dock for all the ferries, and, much like Seattle, there is a ton of ferry activity. We ordered room service every morning for breakfast, just to sit out on the patio and watch all the action ~ which was plenty, even on non-Australia Day days. The corn was really delicious, but probably doesn't take first prize away from Fresno State's, Although my uncle and I were just discussing how much we miss the Iowa sweet corn.......And the beef pie ~ we had some really fancy dinners in Sydney, but I would return for that beef pie! They don't put anything in it but beef and gravy (we would have carrots & potatoes & such inside it here in the US), but it was home-made crust, and fresh mashed peas, and oh! If only I had the secret to that gravy! All part of the fun and adventure of traveling.......


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