Hello and welcome to the fourth and final post on my Australian adventures. The last stop was Sydney the largest and most visited city in Australia, but not its capital (that would be Canberra). I wasn’t expecting to fall so in love with this city, but I did. I fell in love with it’s beaches, it’s cosmopolitan style and sunny warm weather. I think I left my heart in Sydney. As I mentioned in my previous posts, I left my fancy and heavy DSLR camera at home and all photos were taken with my iPhone 5 and little Fuji x-100S. Here is my visual synopsis…
Here are a few details and information about my time in Sydney:
Meriton Serviced Apartments – We chose to stay at the serviced apartments over a hotel because of the more affordable price. Plus, we could fit our whole group comfortably in one apartment. We stayed at the Pitt Street location which was central to most things in the city and was only a 20 minute walk to the Sydney Harbour and right next to the Town Hall railway station. We stayed in a three bedroom apartment and had a wonderful a view from the 43rd floor. The apartment was spacious, clean, had a full kitchen with utensils for cooking, laundry and 24-hour staff that was very helpful. But, the best thing of all was the balcony and the view. The apartment was serviced everyday with clean towels, etc.
Royal Botanical Gardens – On our first day in Sydney we decided to wander through the gardens as we made our way to the Sydney Harbor. It was nice to find such beautiful tranquility in the middle of the city as we wandered down some of the many paths past beautifully maintained rose, herb and flower gardens.
Sydney Opera House – Completed in 1973, this is Australia’s most recognizable building and probably the architectural icon of the 20th Century. We visited during it’s 40th anniversary year. We had wanted to do a tour of the opera house, but we didn’t have the chance. Instead we decided to see a show our last evening in Sydney. We saw South Pacific in the South Pacific. Before the show we had drinks and sushi at the Opera Bar. What wonderful place to spend the evening with your friends and watch the sunset and take in views of the harbor while listening to live music.
Ferry to Manly – This is probably the easiest and cheapest way to see the Sydney Harbour. You can catch the ferry at the Circular Quay (Quay is pronounced “key”) The ride to Manly is about 30 minutes and you’ll pass the opera house and the harbour bridge and get some beautiful views of the city. We spent the afternoon exploring Manly beach, shopping, and ate lunch along side the beach at the Manly Grill.
Jimmy Lik’s – Located in the neighborhood of Pott’s Point this seductively lit cool joint serves up exotic South Asian inspired dishes with a modern twist. A lot of the food is street food inspired and we went with a the “Jimmy’s Selection”, which is an 8-course selection of small plates and entrees. Some of the selections were a bit adventurous, but delicious. I recommend trying this place when you are in Sydney.
Sydney Aquarium – A warning that this is a very crowded place and that you can buy your tickets online in advance for a cheaper price and skip the long lines to get in. It was loud and there were a lot of families and kids running everywhere. You have to be patient to view some of the aquariums. The best thing about visiting for me was being able to see and find out more about some of the fish, corals and sea life I saw on the Great Barrier Reef. The Dugongs (a very large mammal, similar to a Manatee) are also very cute and fun to watch. They look like a huge plant eating vacuum cleaner. They have two of only six Dugong’s on display in the world.
Sydney Fish Market – We visited the market one day for lunch and had some delicious fresh sushi. Apparently if you go early at 5:30 am you can witness their daily fish auction.
Bridge Climb – I’m not gonna lie, this is an expensive endeavor that will set you back at least $200. It was expensive, but unforgettable. We chose the “Express Climb” which is a bit shorter than the standard climb and takes about three hours. The climb was led by a friendly, knowledgeable guide and each climber wears a radio and headset to hear the bridge’s history. You will get exhilarating views of the city and the Opera House, Luna park and the harbour. It was extremely well organized and safe. You have to wear a special climbing suite and safety harness and are clipped in the whole time. You also cannot carry any personal items (including phones and cameras). They take photos of you at the top, which you can purchase. Definitely an experience for the memory books!
Australian Heritage Hotel – After our bridge climb we decided to celebrate with drinks at this historic nearby watering hole. The Hotel is located in “The Rocks” district and has been open for business since 1824, making it the oldest continuously licensed pub in the City of Sydney. The Australian looks much the same as it did when soldiers drank here after the First World War in 1918, during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. They had a nice selection of beers and some of the most interesting pizza combos I have ever seen; Pepper Kangaroo, Half Emu/Half Kangaroo, Saltwater Crocodile, Peking Duck just to name a few.
Bondi Beach Cliff Walk – Sydney is a city by the ocean and has some of the most beautiful beaches. Bondi beach is a must see as Australia’s most famous beach. It’s a great destination for people watching, surfing and shopping. You’ll find a mix of tourists, families and surfers. We did the iconic stroll along the craggy, cliffs from Bondi Beach to Bronte Beach. The views were stunning and I found myself wanting to make this my new home. We had lunch in Bronte beach where there is a string of nice cafes and eateries to choose from.
Paddy’s Markets – The large brick building that houses the market is situated just beside Chinatown. This is the best place to go souvenir shopping and I guarantee you won’t find Australian souvenirs cheaper anywhere else. The vendors will negotiate lower prices, you just have to ask. It’s a huge place where you can find all kinds of hand painted Aboriginal arts and crafts like boomerangs and digeridoos. There is a lot of repetition between the stalls and maybe a few too many cell phone case vendors.
This concludes my Australian adventures. Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed and if you are planning a trip that this information is helpful!
In case you missed the other Australia posts you can find them here: