After flying out of Christchurch, New Zealand, we landed in Cairns, Australia. We were only there for a night or two and unfortunately I don't have many pictures to document the time. I remember it being extremely hot and humid. We visited a nature preserve where we saw some exotic birds and insects before heading downtown for dinner. The tropical birds would roost in the trees downtown, with hundreds perched in a single small tree. They made more noise than one would think possible, and we could hear them from blocks away. I ate both alligator and kangaroo for the first time at dinner, the former of which really did taste a lot like chicken. The next day we went snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, which was pretty amazing, but I didn't bring my camera along out to sea.

Egrets | Reid Burchell Photography

We then flew out of Cairns headed for Sydney, which would be the the last stop on our journey. We roomed at the Pier One Hotel, which sat right at the foot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. After settling in, we took a taxi to a local zoo to see some of the native wildlife. We even got to pet a wallaby and a baby kangaroo.




The next day we walked about the piers and took a ferry tour in Sydney Harbour to take in the sights, getting great views of the bridge and the Sydney Opera House. Both the Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2 were in the harbour at the time, which was quite a thing to witness. Two of largest ocean liners ever built, their reunion marked the first time since their mother ships (QE1 and QM1) met in the harbour in 1941 as troop carriers during WWII.

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Harbour

Queen Mary II

Of course we also took a quick tour of the opera house, whose architecture did not disappoint.

That night there was a big celebration for the meeting of the two ocean liners, with a host of fireworks directly over the opera house. That along with the lights of the city made for some really fantastic shots.

Our last day there consisted of a little shopping around in the city and a final walk under the bridge that night.

Queen Victoria Building

Sydney Harbour Bridge

That concluded a trip I will certainly cherish for the rest of my life. Hopefully I'll have the opportunity to return someday!