A friend of mine immigrated to Sydney a couple of years ago which, when I started to get an itch for a new adventure in September last year, was the perfect excuse to book a last minute trip to Australia!
Sydney certainly has a lot to offer with its famous land marks, beautiful beaches and warm weather, but the highlight of the trip for me was spending time with my friend and her gorgeous family! However, not to bore you with all of the details of girls nights out, boozy brunches, and catch ups over beach walks, delicious meals and bottles of wine, I’ll stick to sharing the highlights of Sydney.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
There are three ways to experience the bridge:
- You can enjoy lovely views of the city while walking across the eastern side of the bridge for free. We did this one afternoon and it was great fun!
- You can climb one of the pylons for AU $15.
- You can climb the bridge, either the inner arch (for around AU $170) or the upper arch (for upwards of AU $300). I personally did the upper arch experience at twilight and although the views from the top were gorgeous, the whole experience took about 3.5 hours and I actually wished I had opted for the express climb. Besides the steep price tag, the fact that you cannot drink before the climb (this is particularly annoying for an end of day climb as they actually breathalyse you) and that you cannot take your own camera may also put you off.
The Sydney Opera House
The Opera House is smaller than I imagined or perhaps it is just the enormity of the Sydney Harbour Bridge that dwarfs it. You can of course just wander around the outside and pop into the gift store and ticket office and I bet seeing a performance there is very worthwhile. I however had a little bit more interest in learning about the building as I work at Arup, the engineers for the Opera House, and so took a tour which allows you to see the inside of some of the performance spaces while learning a little bit about the history of the Opera House.
Ferry from Manly
After a lovely morning wandering around Manly, which has a superb beach and rather sweet pedestrianized shopping area, we hopped on a ferry towards Circular Quay. Albeit a bit cold and windy, the views of the city from the ferry are fantastic and I highly recommend making this trip.
Bondi to Coogee walk
I got to Bondi just in time to enjoy sunrise from the balcony of the Bondi Icebergs and then took about 1.5 hours to make my way to Coogee for breakfast. The walk between Bondi and Coogee is absolutely stunning as the path runs along the cliffs above the ocean and the beaches along the way and is certainly worth doing anytime of the day!
Exploring the neighborhoods
From The Rocks to Surry Hills and Barangaroo to Darlinghurst, there are so many wonderful areas to wander around. I loved exploring the alleyways, enjoying the food and taking in the atmosphere! However, if you would like a little guidance, the Sydney Free Walking Tours are a good option.