After staying in Sydney for 4 nights we are on the move North up the East Coast, but what did I think of Sydney in those 6 days? Was it all I imagined it would be?
We were unfortunate enough to arrive on a wet and windy day which by the end of the day had turned pretty nasty – to the point where trees had fallen down and the Blue Mountains had snow! So what I first saw wasn’t the greatest impression but the weather picked up and overall I was left with a pretty good impression of the city.
The first place we laid eyes on to after being picked up from the airport was Bondi. We were staying at Noah’s Bondi Beach hostel and lucky enough to have a room you could see the sea from. Bondi beach was just as I imagined – long bay, surfers constantly in the sea and a street full of cafes and shops overlooking the sea – maybe I have watched a bit too much Bondi Surf Rescue! My favourite time of day here is sunrise with a handful of surfers in the water and more runners along the sand; as you watch the sunrise you watch Bondi wake up and get running. The days where it is hot and sunny the beach stays busy all day long with mostly travellers soaking up the sun and watching the world go by. Overall the Bondi Beach area of Bondi was exactly as I imagined it, we didn’t get a chance to explore the other areas of Bondi but who needed to? You had everything you could wish for on or around the beach.
Wandering Sydney on foot was enjoyable; I loved the Botanic Gardens which then lead round to the Opera house and rest of harbour. The Opera house was exactly how I imagined it would be from pictures and television – the harbour bridge was the same but the rest of the city took me by surprise. I had forgotten to think what the city was like beyond the harbour and beach. After enjoying the harbour area and wandering around the Rocks we took a look inside the Contemporary Art Museum. It was great and there was a bit of something for all different tastes, however I forgot how much I hate contemporary art! I would recommend going if you enjoy that sort of art, however if it’s not your thing steer clear. We headed to Chinatown and Darling harbour before the day was over – Darling harbour was a beautiful place, especially with the sun shining down on the water. Central Sydney surprised me in some ways that I didn’t expect – I just hadn’t thought about what the city would be like. It reminded me of being in USA cities such as Chicago or San Francisco; I enjoyed the city but after 7 months in London before here I’m ready to get exploring and not be in a city.
We took the ferry across to Manly – wow what a view of the city sky line and harbour! However you can achieve a very similar view from the north side of the harbour bride without having to pay to go on the ferry. The views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge look even more sensational from a distance. I loved Manly from the moment we got off the ferry, with a beautiful street that leads all the way down to the beach. The beach was surprisingly large compared to Bondi and packed but then again it was Sunday. We had some yummy take away fish and chips on the benches by the beach. Heading North we drove past all different beaches, some large and some small. In Newtown we were lucky enough to spend a few hours at a family’s house, with the back balcony overlooking a valley with houses built up the sides in to the steep hill. We were at tree level and with the help of some birdseed we were soon accompanied by an array of cockatoos, rainbow lorakeets and kookaburras! There were even butcher birds who would swoop down and grab meat out of the air if you threw a piece up. Australian garden birds sure are more vibrant and exciting to watch than British birds! We headed further north to Pitts water and Palm Beach where Home and Away was filmed; the whole north coast was very beautiful.
Having spent several days in Bondi we took the costal path around to Bronte and we were lucky to see ‘The Sculpture by the Sea’ being set up all the way along the 2 km path. The first day we took this walk there was a school of dolphins swimming and playing in the waves – we soon learnt this was an everyday thing when all the locals were stopping for photos as well as us. There were a few lucky people surfing in the water who must have nearly been in touching distance of the dolphins. Carrying along round the bay in the car again like the north coast you come across all different bays all beautiful – we drove as far as the bottom of the peninsular.
I am really not a huge city girl and after forgetting that there would be a huge city to go with the harbour I was very glad we were staying in the Bondi area with the beach outside our window. My favourite area I didn’t expect was Manly. I felt very lucky to see the north beaches especially up in the peninsular where you have water to both sides of you – this was only possible to see by car from the city. Overall I would highly rate Sydney, the little areas of the city are what really makes it great but I mostly love how much water the city has in harbour and beach form.