Sunday, April 18, 2010
BOTANIC GARDENS !
The Botanic Gardens were opposite our hotel, literally across the street, so we spent a few hours the first day, as dusk drew in, having a wander. As we were going through the 'jungle' section of the Gardens the girls and I noticed how noisy all the birds were in the treetops - but when we looked up, they weren't birds at all! They were giant bats!
We had thought the shapes on the trees were fruit, but as dusk drew in the bats started opening their wings and chittering away to each other - thousands of them - and then they started flying in the direction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge..
We discovered that if we stood on our hotel balcony we were level with them as they flew by, they were huge, and so many of them! No chance of any bugs being able to spoil your evening meal outside, with all those hungry mouths to feed!
They had a wing span of about a metre and were grey-headed flying foxes, endemic to Australia, and unfortunately the colony has grown over the years and now they are damaging the trees in the Gardens, so they are going to be forcibly relocated - by playing loud noises at them, so that they don't roost there. I wonder where 22 thousand bats will go?
The Gardens themselves are filled with exotic trees and glass pyramids, fountains and sculptures - we only managed to see one half of it, so... next time!
They curve around and out into the Bay and give spectacular views of Sydney and the Opera House and Bridge. I suppose it's as odd as Central Park in New York, you just don't expect this huge, green space. We had to walk to, and of course, sit on Mrs MacQuarie's Chair!