Australia: 6 days as Sydney Siders


Sydney harbour bridge sydney opera house Australia

In April 2017 we hit Australia, and we hit it hard.

My beautiful cousin, V, emigrated 2 years ago and is now a fully fledged Sydney Sider. She skilfully helped us to arrange an itinerary: Sydney, Uluru, the Whitsundays and Melbourne. This was an unusual trip for us because we were bouncing around the country visiting family and friends rather than going rogue alone like usual.

Time was a commodity that we could not afford to waste with 3 weeks to cram in all that Australia had to offer us.

We fell off of the plane at Sydney Kingsmith airport, full of complimentary cheese and galaxy chocolate bars, ready for a nap. But a nap was not on the cards- we had 6 days and they had been filled to bursting with activites.

V and her equally photogenic husband collected us from the airport and took us back to their house to shower, caffeinate and lay on the floor with their labrador puppy (who ignored me, by the way). That was the last time our feet touched the ground.

Golden retriever puppy


Day 1

With a skinfull of caffeine we were off to Bondi, a 20 minute drive from our base in Paddington.

I think the plan was that we enjoy Bondi and have a little walk to blow away the cobwebs. But I was so thrilled to be reunited with V that we walked from Bondi to Coogee, roughly 6km. The view was breathtaking, from Bronte beach down to Waverley Cemetery, and finally down wooden steps and walkways to Coogee. The only difficulty was that we had abandoned the car in Bondi, 6km back. One of our party volunteered and was dispatched to rescue the vehicle and to come and meet us back at Coogee.

Bondi beach Sydney Australia

This absolute beaut improves all of the scenery

Later in the afternoon we walked across Sydney to befriend the fruitbats at Centennial park. Fruit bats
are larger, and significantly noisier, than you would imagine. In the early evening they made their way over the city in droves, setting off for some satisfying bug hunting.

Fruit bats Centennial Park Sydney Australia

Having admired all that Sydney had to offer for Day One, I passed out leaning against the wall at V's house at 8pm. Accepting there was no fight left in me, we succumbed to jet lag and fell asleep face down.

Day 2

A private walking tour of Sydney, courtesy of V, took us from Paddington and off to brunch around Potts Point. If you like brunch, Sydney is the place for you. Nowhere does brunch like Sydney does brunch!

Moving off through Wooloomooloo, we made our way through the city to enjoy our first sights of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House bathed in sunlight.

We moved next to Circular Quay to enjoy an up close and personal view of the Opera House. An added benefit here was the line of bars facing the Opera House. I find it is often easier to admire the beautiful things you come across when travelling whilst enjoying a cold beer.

Next stop was The Rocks to take in the handmade crafts and drool over the food stalls at the market. Buskers play in the streets and the pubs and restaurants bustle near the waterfront.

Following the water, we carried on to Darling Harbour and towards the Chinese Garden of Friendship. Our grand plans  then came unstuck- the Garden of Friendship was closed!

Despite our disappointment we made a trip through China Town and up through the Kings Cross area (similar to the Kings Cross area in London where you can find a bit of adult entertainment if you felt that way inclined). We didn't stick about for too long but made our way back towards Paddington to face plant and sleep off what was left of the jet lag.

Day 3

Time for a road trip, we piled into the car. We were hunting for wallabies. Wallabies to hug.

40 very scenic minutes south of Sydney, Symbio Zoo will sell you a bag of dried grass for a few dollars so you can sit on the ground and pet a wallaby.

Coast Road Sydney Australia

This was a thrilling day out for me. In a large paddock wallabies and kangaroos scurry about attending to important marsupial business. Coaxing a wallaby over for a handful of dried grass was something of an art form. Fun bonus fact: if a wallaby wants you to stay put so it can finish its meal in comfort, it will hold onto your hand with its tiny paws.

Symbio Sydney Australia

Day 4

Our hosts had normal lives to lead and so we struck out alone on day four.

We caught the ferry from Circular Quay from Sydney to Manly (home of the budgie smuggler!). 30 minutes of mild sea sickness later and we arrived at the Sea Life Sanctuary where we admired some of the more toxic and toothy Australian marine life safely behind glass.

Making our way through Manly we discovered the Manly to Spit walk. Enthusiastic to a fault, we cracked on cheerfully. We realised about 4k in that the entire route is 10k. Already mildly sunburnt, we decided to make our way back towards Sydney CBD and see if we could climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

I have always been petrified of heights and so the news that the harbour bridge climb was fully booked was music to my ears. Unfortunately for my vertigo the Sydney harbour bridge pylon look out museum was open. 200 steps and 87 metres later, the museum opens out onto a path running around the top of the pylon with a breath taking view of Sydney CBD.

Sydney CBD Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon Look Out
Sydney Harbour Bridge pylon look out

After a delicious dinner, we packed our things ready for 3 days in Uluru (which is a whole other story, and blog post!)

Day 5

After an early evening arrival back into Sydney from Uluru, we got changed and went out for a our last full night in Sydney.

A last evening walk around Circular Quay to enjoy the spectacular view of the Opera House at night and we were headed to the Shangri-La for a few drinks and an aerial view of the city at night. The evening ended with sangria and Mexican food at The Flying Fajita Sisters.

Sydney Opera House Night

Day 6

We didn't strictly sight see on this day- we went out of Sydney into the suburbs to meet family and enjoy their hospitality at a barbecue at their house. Another beautifully scenic drive, this trip resulted in lots of family stories being exchanged and in us seeing our first wild Kookaburra!

kookaburra Australia

Day 7

There was only time on day 7 for a long good bye hug with the puppy and an good ugly cry at the airport. We were off to Brisbane and the Whitsundays so we didn't have too long to be sad.

Thanks for reading, please feel free to leave a comment for anything we missed but can look forward too next time we're in Sydney!

Comments

  1. Looks like fun packed week. Love reading it and it is on our list :)

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    1. Thank you- I hope you enjoy it when you get to Australia!

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  2. Well it was an interesting read. My husband visited Australia couple of years back and he is all for Bondi beach.and why ..the pictures you hv posted says it all.hope will be able to make it to Australia sometime .

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    1. It's a beautiful place, an absolute bucket list destination!

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  3. Brought back memories! I didn't do the harbour bridge though - bucket list!

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    1. It's a fabulous place, isn't it? The harbour bridge was terrifying but the pylon look out was a bit more manageable!

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  4. Lovely post! I'd love to meet some wallabies myself one day!

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    1. I hope you do get to meet the wallabies, they're awesome!

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  5. Oh lucky you to have so many days for Sydney alone. But didn't you go to the Blue Mountains? Such a short trip and so beautiful.

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    1. Hi Jurga- we didn't get as far as the Blue Mountains this time, but I'm hoping that leaves us something to look forward too on our next trip instead!

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  6. I would love to visit Australia some day! In the meanwhile your post was very inspiring ;) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for reading and I'm glad you enjoyed it- I hope you do make it, you'll have a blast!

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