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Australia 2000: [Sydney] [Great Barrier Reef] [Melbourne]

May 19, 2000: We arrived in Sydney at night after a long flight from Indianapolis via Chicago and Los Angeles. We checked into the ANA Hotel in downtown Sydney, where we had a corner king harborview room with a wraparound view of the harbor and Sydney Opera House below. We awoke early the next morning before sunrise.
May 20, 2000: We enjoyed a room service breakfast while the sun rose over the harbor.
We took a full day tour of Sydney, stopping first at the Featherdale Wildlife Park, where we met this sleepy fellow.
Tom was able to pet one of his less-sleepy friends during feeding time. Eucalyptus leaves are delicious!
Things to do in Australia: 1. See kangaroos and koalas. Check!
A zoo worker fed fish to these adorable penguins.
How they feed this guy remains a mystery. Perhaps they toss in an American tourist a couple of times a week.
While heading back into town, we drove past the Olympic Village, which was nearing completion before the 2000 Summer Games a few months later. In the distance is one of the arenas. After our great experience in an Olympic city just prior to the games, we vowed to do the same thing in Athens four years later.
Next, we boarded a large cruise ship for a luncheon cruise of the harbor. We now know what the locals mean by "diamond light" - the sunlight in Sydney is piercingly bright and beautiful.
The Sydney Opera House is a spectacular sight from all angles.
Next, we continued the coach part of our tour, with lots of sightseeing and several stops, including this one. We're writing these captions four years later, so our memory of names and places has faded somewhat. Unfortunately, we took very few photos on our tour, since we had not yet invested in a digital camera.
This is Bondi Beach. It was pretty deserted in late afternoon in May, but it was great to visit anyway. Olympic workers were constructing a beach volleyball venue at one end.
May 21, 2000: One of Debbie's favorite movies is "The Bounty" with Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins, so we were very excited to find that the ship used in the film is moored in Sydney Harbor. After sightseeing and shopping in the Rocks area, we took a luncheon cruise of the harbor on the Bounty. The interior did not look at all like it did on the film, because it contained comfortable cabins, a modern galley, and restrooms, but the deck looked very familiar.

Here are all kinds of interesting facts about the Bounty replica, so you can learn all about it. Later that afternoon, we headed to the airport to catch a Qantas flight to Brisbane, then Townsville.

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