In this week's blog from Minh Ta, he gets up close and personal with koalas and kangaroos on an included CAPA Sydney program excursion. Minh also shares stunning views from his hike through the Blue Mountains. Check it out below!
Welcome! How is everyone’s week going so far? For this week’s blog, I am going to share with you guys our CAPA organized trip to Featherdale Wildlife Park and the Blue Mountains. We have had a great time with kangaroos, koalas, and mountains. If you haven’t already, please check out my earlier blog about Chinatown in Sydney here, or other fun stuff I did while in Sydney here. Enough talking, let’s get started!
Sunshine in the Blue Mountains.
Featherdale Wildlife Park
Petting the roos.
Located just 45 minutes away from our apartment by car, the Feathedale Wildlife Park is the home of over 250 different Australian species, ranges from reptiles and birds to kangaroos and koalas. Featherdale might be one rare location that offers the experience of getting up close with koalas and kangaroos.
A sleeping koala in Featherdale.
We started the tour with many bird species including some Australia exclusives such as emu and Gouldian finch. A lot of birds are allowed to roam freely but, unfortunately, we only get to see bigger birds like emus from afar.
Birds in Featherdale.
Here is the most exciting part of the park. The park has a service where you pay $25 to get a picture with a real koala. I got to pet her and took a picture with her while she was eating. She was so soft and adorable!
A roo chilling under the trees.
The park also has areas where kangaroos and Australian livestock roam. We took a lot of photos with the kangaroos and guess what, they are really camera shy! It is really funny that the kangaroos immediately turn away after seeing their own faces on our phones. They remind me of these cute little toddles who always turn away after figuring out the cameras are on them.
After an hour of playing with the cute kangaroos, we took off to our next destination, the Blue Mountains.
We spent another hour on the bus to get to the Blue Mountains.
CAPA students in the Blue Mountains.
If Featherdale Wildlife Park is well-known for its wide range of animal species, the Blue Mountains are known for both native plants and animals. Even though I did not encounter any ground animals during the trip, the Blue Mountains are known to host more than 400 animal species. The true hidden gem of the Blue Mountains are not animals but its eucalypt diversity and it is also the reason for the name “Blue Mountains”. The area is called “Blue Mountains” because of the combination of the essential oil of various eucalyptus species and the hot temperature creates a special spectrum that appears bluish to the human eye.
The Three Sisters, Blue Mountains.
After climbing for a while, we are told the Aboriginal legends of the Three Sisters who fell in love with three men from a neighboring village. The romance was against tribal rules, so the three men decided to capture the three sisters and sparked a war between the two tribes. The village elder protected the sisters from the war by turning them into stone. Then, the elder got killed in a battle and the three sisters became stones since.
Other than mountains, plants, and animals, the Blue Mountains offer waterfalls too. We were able to meet one of the waterfalls in the Blue Mountains and we took a lot of good pictures with it. Here is one of the pictures.
The Katoomba waterfall in the Blue Mountains.
Alright guys, so that is it for this week’s travel. I will be back next week with more exclusive Australian content for you. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line. Cheers!
Minh Ta is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2019, sharing his story in frequent posts on CAPA World. A Computer Science and Applied Math major at Augustana College, he is studying abroad in Sydney this semester.
Minh's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.