Sydney

When I arrived in Sydney from Adelaide, I went to my most favourite spot – Circular Quay feat. the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

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Janetta and I met for one last dinner, and other than that it was a low key day.  I was saving all my excitement for my second day! The only thing I had left on my Sydney bucket list was to complete the Congee to Bondi Beach Coastal Walk, a coastal cliff walk spanning about 6km.

I picked the perfect time to do it – there was a breeze and the sun was only shining directly on me for a few small parts.  I can’t imagine doing the walk in the middle of summer! You can start at Bondi or Congee beach, but after speaking with Sydney friends, I decided I’d start at Congee.

Next up was Gordon’s Bay.

The trail continued to Clovelly Beach, which even had it’s own little swimming pool.

The next part of the path was damaged by storms in June 2016, so it now detours through Waverly Cemetery, perhaps the most stunning cemetery I’ve ever seen.

And then we were back to beaches, starting with Bronte Beach.

Tamarama Beach was next.

It touched briefly on Mackenzies Bay.

And then I arrived in Bondi Beach and the Icebergs pool (which was being overrun by the ocean)!  It was hard to believe this was the same beach that was completely covered by people in January, but I guess only the hardcore beach fans are out in the fall.

On my last day in Sydney I intended to go see an opera!  However, the only one on was playing in an uncovered outdoor theatre and it was raining.  So I had an early night in preparation for my flight tomorrow instead.

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Sydney

I’ve been hanging out in Sydney for the past few days and its been hot!  I did leave Janetta’s apartment to do some exploring, but you just can’t stand to be outside for too long in this 40 degree weather.  So I’ve also spent lots of time in air-conditioned malls and movie theaters.

My first outing was to get some pastizzis, a maltese treat that reminded me of home. The flavours were different, but it was still a nice treat.

I also walked around the royal botanic gardens which were just lovely, and provided amazing views of the opera house and bridge

There was a nice Chinese New Year display near the opera house.  I especially appreciate the Year of the Rooster, as it’s my mom’s year.”Honest, energetic and intelligent, the flamboyant Rooster is confident and not afraid of hard work”.

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My friend Zoe (currently in Toronto) found a fancy ice cream place in Sydney that I had to check out.  Gorgeous and delicious 🙂

I’m off to New Zealand on the 1st for a month, so the rest of my time in Sydney has been spent resting, reading and relaxing.

Sydney

When mom left I moved into my friend Janetta’s place and had a relaxing few days, which is just what I needed.

I did still get out though.  On the 12th, the day mom left, I headed to Ikea then found a good shady spot near the opera house and bridge and stayed there for a good couple hours people watching, until Janetta was done with her school work for the day.

On the 13th I did laundry, which was such a good day! It was so wonderful to have fresh smelling clothes, I can’t even tell you. We did get out that night though, to a wonderful bookstore/restaurant Sappho Books Cafe & Wine Bar.

The 14th was a fantastic day! I got a personal tour of the university that morning. They have some lovely old buildings, and lots of green space with seating.

From here we headed down to Newtown, a really cool suburb with lots of eclectic stores.  We of course checked out every bookstore, and couldn’t stop ourselves from buying a blind date with a book.  Mine turned out to be the perfect beach read!

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After a quick rest, we went downtown. While it was nice to walk through the parks, and see St. Mary’s Cathedral, the main draw was a free orchestra performance on the domain. We got there 2 hours early and it was already packed!  But it was an amazing performance, and they ended it off with a bang (literally, there were canons and fireworks). Those black dots you may see flying in the sky are actually bats, so that was pretty cool to see.

Since Saturday was a late night, we took it extra easy today. The weather here is very dramatic.  It will go from raining to 40 degree weather within minutes, so we went to the movies to avoid both the rain and the sun!  We saw Jackie, which was phenomenal, then did a little more exploring in Newtown.

There’s a lake near Janetta’s house, so we meandered there that evening, also checking out the local residential area.

It was the perfect mix of being active and resting, as I’m off to tomorrow to start 2 weeks of travelling across Canberra, Melbourne and Hobart.

Sydney

Today is mom’s last day in Sydney, so we had a few errands to run to get her prepped for her flight.  It was also our first 40 degree day out, so that worked out, as we were going to be spending most of the day in air-conditioned malls.

We started at the Queen Victoria Building, which was one of the most beautiful malls I’d ever been in.

We walked to Darling Harbour to check out the stores there, and on the way decided to hit up the aquarium.  It was not air conditioned, and in fact was pretty humid the whole way through, but still a pretty good aquarium.

We then hit the Darling Harbour stores and Broadway Mall.  I think we’ll treat ourselves to a nice dinner, to celebrate what a wonderful trip we’ve had together, but other than that our day has been filled with packing as mom prepares to go home and I move on to stay with my friend.

Blue Mountains and Featherdale Wildlife Park

After 2 days exploring Sydney, we decided today would be a good day to get out of the city. We booked a small group tour with AAT Kings, and had just the best day.

We got breakfast in the small town of Leura, and because we were running ahead of schedule we had time to stop by the gorgeous viewpoint of Echo Point to see the three sisters.

The legend of the three sisters goes as such: there was a magic man living in the rainforest who had three beautiful teenage daughters.  There was a bunyip (like a troll) also living in the forest, who very much wanted to eat these three sister. One day the magic man had to go away for a conference, and he warned his daughters to not leave their cave or make any noise that would attract the bunyip.  Of course, as soon as he left, the girls started partying outside.  They woke up the bunyip, who decided it was time to eat the girls.  When they saw the bunyip coming, they started to scream, which their father heard.  He came flying back, but by the time he made it the bunyip was just about to start eating.  In order to save his daughters, he grabbed his magic stick and turned them to stone, which was too hard for the troll to eat.  Of course, the bunyip wasn’t happy to have his meal taken away, so he decided to eat the man.  The magic man knew he couldn’t outrun the troll, but found a deep crack in the forest floor where the troll wouldn’t be able to reach him, so he transformed into a lyre bird, and hid in the crack until the bunyip went away.  However, as he flew out of the crack he dropped his magic stick, and was unable to transform himself or his daughters back to their human selves. If you see a lyre bird in the rainforest, it’s the father looking for his magic stick.

From Echo Point we moved on to Scenic World, where we took the world’s steepest railway, cable cars over waterfalls and rainforests, and walked among the tree tops in the rainforest.  Truly a lovely few hours.

Our day wasn’t done yet though! We had a wonderful stop at Featherdale Wilflife Park, which only features Australian animals and lets you get right up close to them.  You could actually buy food and feed the kangaroos and wallabys, and though we chose not to, I still did pet a kangaroo.

After the center we took a lovely 1.5 boat cruise to the city center. The views match those from yesterday, so no new pictures, but it was lovely to see again.

Sydney

For our second day in Sydney, we decided to get on the water! There’s a hop-on-hop-off boat that we decided worked best for us.

We got off at the zoo, which is across the bay, and spent a good 3 hours walking through it and admiring the views.

And then we were back on the water, making our way to Manly Beach.

The beach was lovely! While it was busy, there was less people than Bondi beach, which was appreciated.  Mom even dipped her feet in the water (she’s wearing white in the picture on the right).

It’s about a 5-10 minute walk from the ferry terminal to the beach, so when we walked by this doughnut store for the second time I knew we needed to try one.  Delicious!

And then it was an 1.5 hour boat ride back to Darling Harbour.

One of the reasons I decided now was a great time to visit Australia, is because my great friend Janetta is studying here.  It was actually her birthday today, so we met up have dinner and celebrate.

Sydney

Very early this morning, we made our way to the airport. It was time to check out Australia.  I had a working holiday visa, allowing me to enter and leave Australia as many times as I’d like for 1 year, but I didn’t think mom needed one as she’d only be here for 5 days. We discovered she did in fact need one at 3:30am, when she couldn’t check herself in for the flight.  It was really fun to deal with at the early hour, but we managed to get her a visitor’s visa and we did eventually make it to Sydney.

We headed straight for the tourist office and figured out our plans for the next few days.  Our first stop was the hop-on-hop-off city tour bus, which gave us our first sightings of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House.

We got off at The Rocks, which hosts a market every Sunday.

We got back on the bus, and made our way to Circular Quay, home of the Sydney Opera House.

It was starting to get hot, so we cooled off with an opera house tour, that provided fantastic views and an incredibly interesting history.

We got a few more shots of the opera house, then got back on the bus to see more of the city.

The bus actually took us to Bondi Beach, so we got off to do some exploring at Sydney’s most iconic (and populated) beach.

We got back on the bus to get back to Darling Harbour, which was near our hotel.

And that was enough for us! We’d been up since midnight Australia time (2m in New Zealand) and we were ready for a rest.