Zoo Day! We had our free breakfast in the club again this morning. They had scrambled eggs this time, and vegetarian lo mien type noodles along with the same fruits and pastries from before. Then we packed up and walked down to the quay to catch the ferry to Taronga Zoo. It’s only a 12 minute ride. The ferry lets you off at the bottom of the zoo which is built on a hill, and the main entrance is at the top. You can either ride a bus around to the top or there is a cable car that will take you up, so we hopped up on the cable car since that was included in our ferry/zoo combo ticket that we bought.
We also purchased what they call a Koala Encounter. It was $20 and you get to go in with a couple koalas and have your picture taken. In this state is illegal to hold koalas, and we didn’t have time to hold any in Queensland, so this was what we could do. Koalas sleep 20-22 hours per day so of course she was asleep for our picture, but thats okay. We got to learn more about her from a zoo keeper and get super up close. She didn’t even look real. Her koala fur was so thick and fuzzy and she was so peacefully sleeping she looked like a little stuffed animal. The keeper said she’d be easier if she weren’t real, haha. Apparently they’re very picky eaters.
Other than that, it was pretty much your standard zoo. A lot of enclosures where you can walk in with the animals like a sweet Emu named Ross, a bunch of rock wallabies, and of course the usual bird aviaries. We also caught a bird show, and a seal show where we learned that the harbor seals we see in California are unique in their loud barking. The other seals that were presented all had very small clicking voices, and the trainer said the loud seal had an American accent. This zoo also has an incredible view of Sydney. The guide on our snorkel tour had told us about this and joked that Sydney always gives its prime real estate to the animals. After 7 hours at the zoo we caught the ferry back to the quay and walked back to the hotel to clean up a bit for dinner and the opera.
We showered and dressed and then popped into the Executive Club for their happy hour again. More free pre-dinner wine and petit fours! We were feeling lazy so we caught a taxi down to the opera house. After picking up our tickets we headed to Opera Bar, which is a little restaurant/bar on the lower level of the concourse where we planned to have dinner. The whole concourse was packed with opera goers, after work get together, and also there was another cruise ship in port. I had fish and chips and Eric had a steak, and since it was our last night I went ahead and got a $17 cocktail which was delicious. Our seats for the opera were in an elevated box area off to the side. Unfortunately that meant we couldn’t see the subtitles or half of the stage, but we could see the orchestra very well. I enjoyed it, the man playing Rodolfo was absolutely the most talented person in the show and the audience definitely knew it. Unfortunately the woman playing Mimi opposite him was the least talented in the show and Rodolfo just made her look that much worse. It’s hard to stand up to amazing when you’re only good. The other singers were very good as well. I felt that with the help of the plot outlined on the playbill and having seen Rent several times, I followed what was happening, though I think I missed a lot of the subtleties and funny lines. I did find it very funny when one of the chorus actors was puttering around in the background and broke a giant pearl bracelet which exploded all over the stage. He spent the rest of the scene trying to collect the pearls while remaining in character and not getting in anyones way. We took a taxi back to the hotel and fell asleep pretty quickly.
Our last morning in Australia! Sad. We started with breakfast in the Executive Club again. Our only priority this morning was to head to a grocery store and stock up on Tim Tams. Very important. We walked to a Woolworth’s just a few blocks away and bought 4 full size boxes of Tim Tams and 3 smaller boxes in funky flavors, along with a few candy bars. Yay! We had requested a late checkout this morning as well so we could spend some time packing up and relaxing before our afternoon flight. For our last meal in Sydney we went out to a Pie Face, which we had encountered during our first time in Sydney. We got take away pies in cute little boxes. My vegetarian pie was filled with something more or less like chili, and I added the optional mashed pea and mashed potato topping. I love this concept of savory lunch pies, especially ones with faces on them that you can take away in a little cardboard box with a fork. We then went next door to a convenience store and spent $12 in change on chips and candy in an effort not to take home Australian currency. We ate our lunch and snacks in the hotel, and then sadly had to get back on a train to the airport.