Five things to do in Sydney…

I have recently returned from an awesome three-week adventure on the east coast of Australia, my journey started in Sydney.  Matt and I left London and flew via Bangkok, where we spent two nights before flying on to Sydney.  After collecting our campervan from Jucy rentals it was daunting getting used to driving in a new country, especially after a 10 hour flight.  Driving over Sydney Harbour Bridge and catching my first glimpse of Sydney Opera House was an extremely exciting moment for me, what a sight!
Arriving at our friends’ house in one piece we had a nap and woke to sounds of kookaburras.  These noises are so foreign compared to birdsong in the UK; it was a poignant moment in our trip.  I love the feeling of being in a new country and as this was my first trip down under the kookaburra’s call remains a really vivid memory.

We kick started our trip with five days in Sydney, staying with friends it was great to be shown around this iconic city by locals.  Here are my highlights:

 

1. A Friday night in Sydney…
Arriving on a Friday night I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than with drinks at the Opera Bar.  Situated right by the Opera House the outdoor seating has the most fabulous views of Sydney Harbour.  What a way to spend our first evening; sparkling wine in hand, gazing at the wondrous view.  It was most definitely a fabulous welcome to Australia.  After drinks we had a stroll around the outside of the Opera House, I still couldn’t quite believe I was there!  Next a short walk around Circular Quay bought us to an area of the city called The Rocks for dinner.  Liv and Jamie chose The Glenmore; if you are ever in Sydney I would really recommend this place for a meal or just a drink at the rooftop bar.  It was buzzing and the views of the Opera House and harbour in the distance are just awesome!
2. Meet the Australian wildlife…
Apart from seeing Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge another big tick off of my Australia to do list was to see the native animals.  A visit to the Koala Park in West Pennant Hills was just the job.  The park was fairly small but this was a plus point as it wasn’t very busy and only cost $26, along with a couple of extra dollars for kangaroo feed.  The stars of the park are of course the koalas and with regular talks you can meet and get up close to these sleepy creatures.  The park also has a gated off area with kangaroos inside, here you can wander around and hand feed them.  Little did I know at this point in my trip that I would be seeing kangaroos all the way up the east coast.  Being from the UK this was such a novelty and the excitement of seeing them especially in the wild never actually wore off!

 

 

3. Bondi to Coogee on foot…
While in Sydney I really wanted to visit the famous Bondi Beach.  A great way to explore this lovely coastline is by walking from Bondi to Coogee.  Before the walk we stopped for brunch at Bondi Massive Café, a funky little coffee shop in the town centre.  I had the very tasty Avocado Smash: feta, tomatoes, avocado and mint salad on sourdough.  The Aussies certainly do make good healthy food!  All fuelled up it was time to go.  The 6km walk follows the coastline and takes you right past Tamarama, Bronte and Clovelly beaches, so you can stop for a swim or a snorkel on the way.  I loved that the walk wass dotted with water fountains and toilets all the way along.  It was a hot day so being able to refill my water bottle was just perfect.  It is a fairly easy walk, although there are a few steps in places, but you can do it at your own pace and stop for a break or a swim along the way.  I got star struck at seeing some of the lifeguards who feature in the TV show Bondi Rescue patrolling the beaches!  Once at Coogee you can either get a bus, taxi or walk back again…we chose a taxi!

 

 

4. Fish and chips…
An evening visit to Manly for fish, chips, ice cream and a stroll along the beach sounds like something quite British; but it was far from it!  The climate for one is obviously a lot warmer and two, don’t get me wrong, I love good old traditional British fish and chips but Mongers in Manly (there is also one in Byron Bay and Bondi) gave traditional fish and chips a great modern twist.  I had flathead with chips washed down with a local 4 Pines beer.  Afterwards we had a stroll along the pine tree-lined beachfront with an ice cream and watched surfers catching waves as the sunset.  A walk along the quirky side streets with a bit of window-shopping finished the evening off nicely.

 

 

5. Sydney Harbour tall ships cruise…
One of my best trips was a tall ships cruise on Sydney Harbour.  Setting sail early evening meant that we cruised out past the Opera House just as the sun was setting.  The views of the bridge and harbour from the water are incredible.  After powering out we slowly drifted back under sail, and watched as the sunset and the twinkling lights of the city began to illuminate the night sky.  I have to admit that I got pretty emotional at the sight of the Opera House as the sun went down and the stars came out, it was such a beautiful sight.  We paid extra for an all-inclusive bar, which was fantastic as Liv and I drank sparkling wine all evening and the boys had beer.  This was topped off with some delicious finger food of oysters, prawns, sushi, duck wraps and many other exciting trays that did a circuit around the boat.  A musician singing and playing a guitar set the tone perfectly.  It was such a special evening to share with my husband and friends who we had not seen for about a year and a half and is a memory I will treasure for a long time.  I thoroughly recommend this trip, seeing Sydney Harbour from the water gives such a different view of the city; I loved it!

2 comments on “Five things to do in Sydney…”

  1. Pingback: Cool Campsites on Australia's East Coast...| Nicola Dunkinson

  2. Pingback: Cool Campsites on the East Coast of Australia...| Nicola Dunkinson

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