Robin's Adventures

Australia & New Zealand 2012
Robin & Steve's Adventures Down Under

Sydney Opera House

We went to the Opera House one evening to see a wonderful production of Bizet's Pearl Fishers. The Opera House and the Harbor Bridge were all lit up at night.

The next morning we had a behind the scenes tour of the Opera House. It was an interesting perspective to stand on the stage and look out at all of the seats in the theater. We saw pieces of sets that were being made and a whole container of stage blood.

Opera House Tidbits

A net is now attached over the orchestra pit to protect the musicians from falling objects. Apparently, during one production, live chickens were used on stage and several fell into the pit and on top of the musicians.

For most operas, the brass players have a separate section from the other musicians, shown in the second photo, because they are too loud.

Robin can now announce that she has played piano at the Sydney Opera House!

Steve was very interested in how the scenery was dropped into place by using counterbalances and pulleys.

There are special fixtures over the stage in some of the theaters that cut down the reverberation for the musicians.

There is a wall near the stage door that has some very famous lip prints. Someone started the tradition of kissing the stage wall for luck on the way to perform.

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the Sydney area. It is a popular surfing spot and there are shark nets designed to keep the area safe. The water is so blue that one of the color names used by apple computer was "bondi blue."


Doyle's Restaurant has been a Sydney institution since 1885. Steve had fish and chips with a type of fish that is popular in Australia called John Dory. From our table we had a delightful view of the beach and Watson's Bay. The seagulls all line up along the roof waiting for tasty morsels.

Harbor Bridge

Sydney's Harbor Bridge, at 440 feet from the top to the water level, is the world's tallest steel arch bridge. Steve somehow got it into his head that it would be fun to climb the bridge. Not wanting him to get into mischief by himself, I went along. There were about 1350 stairs in our climb and the views from the top were spectacular.

Off to New Zealand

Queenstown was breathtakingly beautiful. There were even spectacular views from the airport. The town is a small alpine village and ski resort that is surrounded by a mountain range that is appropriately named the Remarkables. A beautiful alpine lake called Lake Wakatipu is in the center of town.

Scenic Flight to Milford Sound

Our scenic flight to Milford Sound took us over the Remarkables mountain range. The scenery was, at the risk of sounding redundant, incredibly remarkable.

Remarkable Views

As our small airplane traversed the Remarkables, we saw glacial valleys, alpine lakes and rivers, and snow capped mountain peaks.

Remarkable Video

Fiordland National Park

Once in Milford Sound, we got on a small ship to cruise through the fiords. The scenery was breathtaking. The area was carved out by a glaciaer that left tall craggy mountains to surround the beautiful bay. It is one of the wettest places on earth so it has lush rainforest foliage and beautiful cascading waterfalls. The waterfall shown here is Bowen Falls.