In December, I traveled with colleagues to Brisbane and Sydney, Australia, for work. Our schedule was such that we ended up there over a weekend, which meant time for some hiking, ferry rides, and marsupial-spotting!

It’s summer in Australia in December, which means the weather was hot, and the sun was strong. Pure temperature relief when coming from chilly Copenhagen.img_9764

First up, we finished our work and opted for a hike in the Bunya Mountains National Park, outside of Brisbane. When we pulled up to the parking area, we were surprised and delighted to see wallabies. Everywhere. Wallabies lounging. Wallabies eating. Baby wallabies peeking out of mama wallabies’ pouches. Not only that, we had our first introduction to the Australian brushturkey. A cafe on site had lorikeets living outside that were quite friendly, too.img_9738

During our hike, we walked amongst huge bunya trees, listening to birds calling, and investigating bugs and mushrooms. Including, unfortunately, ticks. Yuck.

Bunya trees.

The next day we headed to Sydney. For our weekend, we bought tickets for the ferry, and headed not only along the Parramatta River, but also from Circular Quay to Manly Beach.

The beach was busy because it was such as beautiful day. We stolled along the coastline, where we came across the Fairy Bower Pool; triangular saltwater pools created in 1929 when bathing in saltwater became popular. Flanking these pools are two sculptures known as both The Sea Nymphs and the Oceanides, and created by Helen Leete. The Fairy Bower Pools were my favorite site at Manly.

img_9876 Since we were in Sydney for quite a few days, we had the pleasure to see the Sydney Opera House during the daytime on the ferry, and from the harbor in the night. It really is a graceful building. And it looks kind of like the exoskeleton of a bug.img_9802img_9834img_9773img_9768

I saw a lot of Christmas decorations, which felt a little out of place to someone like me not used to Christmas coming in the summer. 🙂

Finally, the great weather meant really gorgeous runs along the Parramatta River, with lizards and cockatoos and splendidly-colored flowering trees and plants.

And at work we also got to feed the cockatoos out of the window – now that was not something I expected.

img_9875I didn’t see any koalas, and actually no kangaroos, either. So, a reason besides work to head back!