The hottest day…

Sunday dawned, and while we knew it was going to be hot from the weather forecast, nothing quite prepared us for the, what turned out to be, the hottest day in many a year.  In fact, Penrith, to the west of Sydney, reached 47.3C, the highest temperature recorded by a weather station in the Sydney metropolitan area in 79 years! Where we were in the city, it got to 42C during the afternoon, which was, shall we say, hot enough.

Our plan for the day was to head to the Australian National Maritime Museum, which we had not visited before.  There are different ticketing options, and went for the Big Ticket, which gives you access to not only the museum, but also the vessels on display. We were advised to start with the ships, as when it gets too hot, these are closed to the public.  Neither of us wanted to go onto the submarine, so we headed first for the replica of James Cook’s HMB Endeavour.

Museum entrance

I was surprised at how small the ship was, though I am not sure how big I expected it to be in retrospect, but it was great to imagine what it must have been like on Cook’s world voyage between 1768 and 1771.

Karl by Endeavour
View to the Cape Bowling Green lighthouse, moved to the museum in 1994
Looking up…

It was really hot already on board, but we headed over to HMAS Vampire, a destroyer that saw active service between 1959 and 1968.  We missed out the other ships, including a 19th century barque or tall ship, as it was just too hot, but a good excuse to perhaps go back one day.

The cooking facilities on HMAS Vampire
The shop on board
Above the hatch where the food was served
The submarine, HMAS Onslow

The interior of the museum brought some air-conditioned relief, and we spent a good amount of time there.  Even if you are not that interested in maritime history, or sea-faring in general, it is still worth a visit, as there is a lot to learn about Australia as well as ships.

When we came out, the temperatures had shot up even more, and we strolled back into town, using shops as cover from the heat (and using that as an excuse to purchase several items…..).

Inflatable pineapple, flamingo and ice-cream…not a hallucination!

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram @thistleandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on



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