Monday, October 27, 2008

October 19 Sydney to Byron Bay

On our last day in Sydney, we followed up on Todd’s zoo suggestion, and take a water taxi across the regatta-filled harbor to the Taronga zoo. A gondola ride from the waterfront taxi-drop to the zoo entrance teases an overview, but I believe the hands-down highlight was on the ground: a walk through the kangaroo enclosure puts red kangaroos and tiny wallaby joeys popping about within petting distance. Larger male red kangaroos pose lazily in the shade... “Check me out.”

We hop a bus back through a Beverly Hills-but-more-cottage-charming neighborhood, over the bridge, and back to town, where we opt to walk the rest of the way, glimpsing the Needle and meandering through the park for a last tree climb before packing up and heading out.

The city thins quickly as we drive North along the Pacific Highway. There are still an assortment of roadsigns that are both helpful and entertaining - reminding drivers to go slowly, rest often, and, of course, stay left. We see at least a half dozen kangaroos within the first few hours - unfortunately all in varying states of rigormortis -- kangaroadkill. Ugh. At long last, we do spot several groupings - generally known as “mobs” (thank you, Josh!) or also “troops” or herds.

An overnight in Coffs Bay - more attractive than the name would imply - plus a few hours brings us to Cape Byron, where we pause at the first available overlook to ooh & aah at the view. Gazing past the hangliders & model planes, the eye can follow the curve of the coast all the way to the landmark Cape Byron Lighthouse perched on the headlands. Incredibly, whales are spouting just offshore.

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