Sydney, AU – Wednesday, Jan 8th, 2014

Today was a long busy day.  It included the Featherdale Wildlife Park, Aboriginal Center and Blue Mountains.  I was picked up by Blue Diamond Tours at 6:50am at my hotel.  It was a cloudy day with a light rain some of the day and only 68 degrees, similar to what it’s like in winter here.  The first day like this since I’ve been in Sydney.  I was given the option of not taking the tour and going at a later date but I have other things planned for the rest of my stay.  Blue Diamond Tours is the only tour company that gives you this option.  The bus has 3 small steps to get up but I was able to transfer directly to the top step then transfer to the seat.  After the wheels were removed the chair stored easily in the back of the bus.  After a 45 minute ride we arrived at Featherdale Wildlife Park.  The park is very accessible but a little messy with the light rain.  There are accessible bathrooms at different locations in the park.  You have a great oppurtunity to interact with some of the animals.  I did get to pet a koala, kangaroo, wallaby and hold an owl.  The owl was not too keen on me holding him because he shit on my leg.  We were only at the park for 1 hour but could have stayed another 3 hours.  This is one reason why I limit taking group tours.

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After the park we headed to the Aboriginal Center in Katoomba to watch traditional Aboriginal dancing.  The entire center was accessible with an elevator to all floors with accessible bathrooms.
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The next stop was Blue Mountains.  The Blue Mountains gets it’s name because the oils of the eucalyptus trees evaporates into the air and the human eye sees the blue spectrum reflexing off the landscape.  Unfortunately with the cloudy sky, fog and light rain we were not able to see the blue haze or the famous rock formation Three Sisters.  Scenic World consists of the cableway, scenic railway, skyway and walkway.  We took the cableway down to the rainforest which was accessible and has a ramp to get on and off the cableway, if needed.  The walkway is accessible in the rainforest that takes you past the old coal mine and to the scenic railway.  One of the highlights was seeing a lyrebird with it’s feathers open.  They are able to mimic natural and artificial sounds.  The scenic railway is a glass-roofed carriage that take you on an in-cline up the mountain.  This part of Scenic World is not accessible.  There are are series of steps to get to the railway.  Next we rode the skyway across the rainforest but were not able to see anything because of the heavy fog.
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We stopped for a quick lunch and headed to the ferry to catch a ride to Circular Quay.  The ferry was easy to get on with access to the inside and outside areas.  There is also and accessible bathroom on the ferry.  Ian, our bus driver and guide for tour was great.  He was very informative and knowledgeable on all aspects of the tour.  Blue Diamond Tours were great working with me and I would recommend them for the Blue Mountain Tour.
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I’m getting more comfortable with the train system.  I took the train from Circular Quay to Town Hall to Kings Cross the cost was only $5 and took about 20 minutes.

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