When in Australia… must travel! My last adventure was a few months ago when I road tripped the Great Ocean Road. So I bought a plane ticket to Sydney! Last weekend, me and 2 other friends headed out for a fun weekend after a few weeks of studying/cramming. I had so much fun exploring in Sydney–its a beautiful city (don’t hate on me Melb people, I still LOVE Melbourne). After finding our hostel in Kings Cross we ventured out to find some place to eat. We ended up on this cute little lane way with lots of different shops and restaurants and made sure to peek in all the windows before settling in for some Malaysian food.
Saturday morning we rolled out of bed nice and early and caught a shuttle out to the blue mountains. Our guide was great and kept up a fantastic commentary about Sydney, surrounding area, history and the mountains. The blue mountains only have two ‘big’ towns: Katoomba and Leura; we stopped in Leura for lunch. The town is very cute and full of shops and little sightseeing bits. Next stop on the tour was Scenic World, we decided not to spend the extra money to go on the cable cars and decided to do some bush walking instead.
This was my absolute favorite part of the day! We hiked up and saw the Katoomba Falls and the Three Sisters from an amazing lookout before going further down the trail for another view. Walking out of the trees and onto the edge of the falls was amazing. There were cockatoos flying over us and an amazing view out into the valley.
Next stop was an aboriginal carving of a dead male kangaroo. Our guide explained that aboriginals had probably carved the image into the sandstone as a teaching tool for younger hunters in the tribe. The image shows a kangaroo lying down with a spear through the center of it; the kangaroo is also missing his feet. Usually carvings are found in groups, so there is likely more carvings hidden in the trees that haven’t been discovered yet!
A quick drive through Olympic park brought us to the dock where we hopped on the FantaSea ferry to take us across the harbor. This was a fantastic end to the tour as we got to see the sun set over the water and then the lights of the harbor turn on. On a friend’s suggestion we headed out to Surrey Hills to look for some food!
The next morning, food was on the mind again… On our way to grab Pancakes on The Rocks we ran into a photographer who traveled to the mountains with us the day before. The 4 of grabbed some delicious chocolate fuel for the day ahead….
The Rocks Market captured our attention for a few hours. We wandered through all the stalls sampling foods, smelling essential oils/lotions/scrubs, looking at souvenirs, etc. I ended up talking to a man who had a boomerang stall for quite a while. He explained that not all boomerangs are returning ones-it depends on the way they are made. He told us about the different types of boomerangs and how to throw and catch them properly. A few stalls over a lady detailed the benefits of emu oil to us. UGG stores are everywhere in Australia (obviously), I like looking at all the different styles…. they are oddly becoming more attractive to me.
I wanted to see the Sydney Fish Markets, so that was our next adventure! It was quite busy and full of different produce and fried fish platters. We ordered one platter for 2 people–and couldn’t finish it between the 3 of us! We had a ton of fun throwing the leftovers to the seagulls and pelicans in the water.
The University of Sydney also has a veterinary school, we wandered on campus until we found the buildings and the vet hospital. A huge and beautiful uni campus!! After a long day of walking a chill evening catching a movie in Broadway Shopping Center was required!
On our last day we conducted our own walking tour down the Butler Stairs, past the marina, and over to a great view of the bridge and opera house. While taking photos we asked a tourist to take our picture, through broken English she insisted we use her selfie stick.
We kept walking and stumbled on the Royal Botanical Gardens and decided to have a picnic lunch. The weather was so nice and sunny that we abandoned our other plans and caught the bus to Bondi Beach. The water is so blue! And full of surfers waiting for the next wave.
This trip to Sydney was a bit of a wake up call– I am really lucky to have to opportunity to live in Australia, if only for a short time. I want to take advantage of it and get to know Melbourne really well and travel the rest of the country. My biggest fear is becoming complacent and not exploring and learning about this country while I am here. I already have a list started of everything I need to see in Sydney next time I’m in town:
Anyone have any suggestions of places to go or things to see and do next time I’m in Sydney?
P.S: The photographer we met on our blue mountains tour and went to breakfast with takes amazing photos!! She has an album of pictures from that weekend in Sydney that are definitely worth checking out!! Here is a link to her Facebook album.