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We had only one more morning scheduled in Sydney before we were to leave for Cairns.  After enjoying my train ride through the Botanic Gardens the day before, I convinced my family to head there.  There were many strange (to us) trees, beautiful flowers, unfamiliar birds and lovely statues.

We entered through the Woolloomooloo Gate into a wonderland of flowers, palms and birdsong.

I was most excited about seeing a Wollemi Pine, one of the rarest trees in the wild.  Several years ago I illustrated quite a few trees for the Vanishing Acts tree guides done by the Morton Arboretum and the Wollemi Pine was one of them.  It was so neat to see this tree in person!

Another interesting tree was the Dragon’s Blood Tree, Dracaena draco, planted in the early 1860’s.  It’s named for its red resin and grows very slowly.  Notice that the leaves only grow on the ends of the branches!


As we walked through the gardens, we heard the cockatoos before we saw them.  They’re loud!  It was fun seeing and hearing all the different birds throughout the morning.  We saw my favorite birds, the rainbow lorikeets, on the way back to the hotel.

There were so many interesting things to see, it was hard for my husband to keep me moving along!  I would have loved to sketch at any point, but we had to get back to the hotel, pick up our luggage and head to Cairns.  I think my favorite trees were the fig trees.  They were just enormous with such interesting trunks, each like an individual sculpture on the grounds.  I added one to my sketch page later in the trip and finished it at home.  Enjoy!