My trip to Australia was ten years in the making. In December 2006, I had a plane ticket to Sydney. I canceled it because I felt overwhelmed with the planning process and I was only going to stay for two weeks. I realized it wouldn’t have been enough time. This will be the first of several posts and photos of my 4-week long adventure in October 2016.
Needless to say my actual first day in Sydney I spent sleeping. I ended up sleeping late, and I was staying with a friend. We ended up just going out for dinner at a nearby restaurant.
The next day I had planned to join a free 3-hour tour of Sydney given by I’m Free walking tours. At the end of the tour, you are asked to pay as much as you think the tour is worth. The tours start at 10:30 am or 6:30 pm and you meet the guide at the Sydney Town Hall Square and end at the Harbour.
One negative about the tour is you don’t have to schedule ahead, and the group can potentially get too large. The group was at least 20 people, and at times despite the guides effort to shout, I didn’t hear him or had to ask others “What did he say?”. Overall I would suggest it. We got a lot of tips on things to do in the city.
The meeting place and first stop were the The Town Hall. This building was completed in 1889 on top of a cemetery and serves as civic offices of the lord mayor and alderman for over 140 years. Many of the buildings had large spaces and used for meetings, exhibitions receptions, and performances.
One of the stops on our route were in the neighborhood called The Rocks, the site of Australia’s first European settlement. The I’m Free tour company offers a separate tour at 6 pm. It was filled with shops, bars, and restaurants.
The tour ended at the Harbour and we took in views of the Sydney is the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. On my last night in Australia, a friend and I went to see Othello at the Opera House.
A popular thing to do is to climb the Harbour Bridge. I thought about it, but the truth is…I don’t like bridges. Just thinking about it gives me anxiety. I don’t like walking across them, driving across them and not climbing them. So I just enjoyed the view.
On the weekend my friend and I drove to Blue Mountain and Australian Reptile Park. Blue Mountain is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The beaches are fabulous. I couldn’t get enough of them. One afternoon I took a walk from Bronte Beach to Coogee and stopping along the way. I also took a ferry ride to Manly Beach.
Other things I did.
I spent a day the Hop on Hop off the double-decker bus. The unfortunate thing is it was raining. To stay dry, I hopped off at the Aquarium and Bondi Beach for lunch.
The number one question people ask me is “How was the food?”. Well, I found it to be very similar to the US. Australia doesn’t have its cuisines like Asia or Mexico. I did see fish and chip shops every like you would see McDonald’s in the US. My first meal was a snapper truffle pie, chips, and salad. It was good and reminded me of a pot pie.
I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get around Sydney on public transportation.
Next stop is Auckland, New Zealand.