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Sydney - the grand finale

AUSTRALIA | Tuesday, 14 May 2013 | Views [891]

I suspect that there could be a no more fitting finale for a fabulous stay in Sydney than taking a helicopter tour of the city.

Helitours were incredibly helpful arranging a last minute addition to their afternoon flight. From the moment of pickup at the appointed hotel, staff were friendly and professional. On arrival at their airport office we proceed through the safety procedures and were ushered onto a small 4 seater helicopter. At first glance, it was hard to believe that such a small craft was going to be able, not only fit us all in, but actually be able to take off having done so. We needed haven’t worried of course and once inside, it was quite comfortable. Take off was extremely smooth and any pre-flight nerves soon dissolved in Peter’s capable care. Within minutes the icons of the Sydney skyline were in view and it was inevitable that I would be adding to my already extensive collection of Opera House and Harbour Bridge photos. I cannot, it seems, ever tire of admiring them. They sky was rather overcast and the brilliant blues that make this city so incredibly beautiful in the sunshine were sadly not in evidence but in reality this did little to detract from the wonderful overall experience.

We progressed over the Circular Quay and on towards Manly and the northern beaches with Peter pointing out various landmarks and points of interest. I have come to know this city pretty well and looking at the many familiar sights, I felt a kind of belonging. We were given the all clear to head back along the coastline I had walked the previous day. Bondi Beach was almost deserted being a cloudy Monday autumn afternoon – in complete contradiction to how it had been just the day before. We flew over each of the coves down to Coogee and then over a final large beach I had not known of before. We arrived back with a feeling of exhilaration and fulfilment.

To complete my last day I meet with my old friend for a late lunch and a glass of chilled rosé. Up on the café terrace of the MCA taking in the sights around Circular Quay and breathing in that vibe which is so unmistakeably Sydney, I know that this city will always hold fond memories for me. As my remaining hours here fade along with the daylight, this has, without doubt, been a wonderful way to end my 3 week mini exploration of the three states of South and South East Australia.

From the shop keepers who would no sooner recognise me from anyone else and yet shared a kind word, the tour guides who fed my ever inquisitive mind, hostel staff and guests who welcomed an often weary traveller, to the lovely hairdresser in Adelaide for sorting out the previous calamity of a haircut and of course to delightful old friends and a few new ones too, thank you to everyone who made this trip so memorable by breathing life into all of these wonderful sights and experiences.


Tags: backpacking, helitours, sydney

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