Places To Visit in Sydney, Australia

First Stop: Wonderland
Rating: 3 kangaroos - Hop on to this immediately

Adi cautiously looking at a nearby koala. The first place we visited in Sydney was Wonderland, a wildlife park and themepark in one. Kids below 4 years old get in for free while adults are charged AU$78 each (roughly P1,950). This amount already allows you to enter the wildlife park and themepark.

We particularly liked the wildlife park. We enjoyed seeing the penguins, the laughing kookabura, an echidna, and of course, the koalas and the kangaroos. I must have been a koala in a past life. Koalas hardly move and just appear so sleepy and lethargic from munching on all those eucalyptus leaves. They appear not to want to do anything. What a life!

Kangaroos We also had the chance to see kangaroos "with pouch young." I always thought kangaroos were big (there are such types, standing about 5 feet tall, I am told) but the ones we saw were very small (they looked like big rats) and yet they had joeys peeking out of their pouches. It was so entertaining to see!

The other part of Wonderland is a themepark where they have all sorts of rides and roller coasters. Adi particularly enjoyed Hanna Barbera Land, with attractions suited to kids his age. He rode the carousel, drove the stone age cars at Dinos' Derby, and amused himself with the Hall of Mirrors where you can see yourself upside down, super-thin. There was also a lunchtime show called "Yogi Bear's Picnic." Adi saw characters like Yogi Bear, Fred Flintstone, Snagglepuss, and CaveMan dancing, singing and appearing in a 20-minute presentation.

During your visit to Wonderland, also be on the look-out for characters walking around for a photo opportunity. Adi had the chance to be photographed with Muttley (from Wacky Races).

We had lunch at The Outback. Our meal cost us AU$42.50 or roughly P354 per person. This already included one order and drink per individual. The place serves very good strawberry shakes.

The servings are not too large. A three-year old kid, though, can get by just sharing his parents' meals instead of ordering something for himself separately. We had spinach fetuccine, Australian seafood platter, and the Gold Rush Kiddy Meal.

My husband enjoyed the sour cream and salmon combination of his spinach fetuccine. It had a lightly spicy, tomato-based sauce and al dente green fetuccine pasta. My seafood platter was also quite good. It had breaded squid rings, fish, prawns, scallops, and kani sticks and they were not the least bit oily. It also came with loads of french fries which Adi enjoyed.

The Kiddy Meal called Gold Rush had chicken nuggets, french fries (also) and came with a carbonated soft drink and dessert. Dessert was three scoops of solidly smooth vanilla ice cream, with a choice of chocolate, strawberry, or banana syrup.

Sign: Lost Parents

We had fun at Wonderland, particularly at the Wildlife Park. Also, don't worry about losing your way. There's a sign and a desk, I guess, which takes care of "Lost Parents."

Second Stop: The Olympic Park's Aquatic Center
Rating: 2 Kangaroos - worth hopping onto also

At about 4 pm, we then were on our way to The Olympic Park or Homebush as they call it, the site of the 2000 Olympics. We just went to the International Aquatic Center where the swimming events will be held. The pools are open for use by the public, upon paying the entrance fee.

Adi had fun transferring from the kiddie pool , to the other pools, as there are several to choose from. The walk from the dressing rooms to the pool can be quite chilly (what with the airconditioning) so be sure to bring thick towels or a robe. The water is also quite cold so Adi was already shivering after only a few seconds of getting wet. Still, Adi loves the water so he could not care less about his teeth chattering or his knees shaking.

There's also a sauna that parents can use, again after paying a fee upon entry.

It was a fun-filled swimming afternoon for Adi, at the site of the year 2000 Olympic Games.

Third Stop: Charcoal Mine Restaurant
Rating: 2 kangaroos - worth hopping onto also

This is located in Parramatta, the commercial and business district of the Western suburbs. It is a Korean restaurant where customers can cook their own beef, chicken, liver, pork, squid, and other seafood. There is a lot of variety in the ingredients that can be chosen and there are also vegetables and several sauces which can go with meats and seafood.

The place was packed on a Saturday evening. This is a good place for people who are not that hungry (yet) and who would like to do the cooking themselves.

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01 - Intro, Visa requirements
02 - Off To Australia, Adi's Plane Ride
03 - Sydney Wonderland Themepark, Olympic Park Aquatic Center, Charcoal Mine Restaurant (Parramatta)
04 - The Opera House, Silver Spring Resto, Paddy's Market, St. Mary's Cathedral and the Archibald Fountain at Hyde Park
05 - Nature Tripping at the Blue Mountains
06 - Taronga Zoo, Writers' Walk at Circular Quay, Sydney Aquarium, Lobster Cave Resto, AMP Tower
07 - Brisbane, Gold Coast
08 - MovieWorld
09 - SeaWorld

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Photographs copyright © 2000 by Angel and Manuel Viloria. All Rights Reserved.
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