Day #98 - G'Day!

Today is a transit day - something we've not done for a few weeks. We're sadly saying goodbye to New Zealand and flying over to Sydney. So after packing up our bags, saying our fond farewells, we rocked up to the check-in desk at Queenstown airport. 

We hit a snag. A big snag! One of our Australian eVisitor visas wasn't found. This meant that we would be denied entry at the other end of the flight. It's a good job the check-in staff at this end checked this out for us. Luckily, you can apply (again) online and within 30 minutes, we had a fresh new approved eVisitor visa and we could try to check-in again.  Success!

The flight went smoothly and we were able to view the Queenstown area and the Remarkable Mountains from a new perspective as we flew out.

On our arrival into Sydney, we could also enjoy a magnificent view of the city and I caught my first glimpse of the iconic harbour with its bridge and opera house.

Our hotel is centrally located, right on the edge of the lovely Hyde Park. We have an apartment room which affords us lovely views across the park and into the heart of the city. It also has an impressive rooftop gym, hot tub and pool. You can bet that we will be making use of those!

Once we had explored our new home, we set out to explore our surroundings. Not only do we have the park on our doorstep, we are also at one end of Oxford Street which is the heart of the gay district. So we would be in good company.

Once back, we ventured up to the roof to enjoy the pool and hot tub. We had both all to ourselves and so were able to really appreciate the moment.
After a quick change we then headed back out up Oxford Street to have something to eat and sample a little of the night life. We enjoyed some schnitzels and a bottle of rose while we sat outside one establishment and were mesmorised by an unusual sight (well, unusual to us as non-locals). Although we were in gay central, I'm not talking about some of the unusual sites you get hanging around the gay scene. These were up in the air. 
As dusk began to draw in, the air became filled with what we first thought were large crows, but on a closer look, they were bats - the famous fruit bats (or flying foxes). Although I have seen bats many times, I have never seen them this big and in daylight! They were all heading to the Royal Botanic Gardens, near Hyde Park for the night where they have established a "camp". What made this site even more fascinating was mixed in with the bats flying around were many cockatoos! These magnificent white plumed birds (with a very loud cry) swooped in and out of the migrating bats and perched on the street furniture. I didn't manage to capture a photo for you but will try again another night. 
After dinner we worked our way down Oxford Street, trying out various venues en route back to the hotel. It was a very relaxed evening.

Nighttime View from Our Hotel Balcony