I was far too excited to be going to Australia. It has always been on my list ever since I was a kid watching home and away! After two and a half months in South East Asia, I was beginning to feel a little homesick and I found comfort straight away in Sydney. The people, the food and the city in general just reminded me of home and it was the best feeling.
We stayed at the Ultimo Hotel in Haymarket. This location was actually perfect for us. It was a short walk to all of the major attractions, and central station was almost on our doorstep. This boutique hotel is quirky. On arrival they ask for your star sign and give you a do not disturb sign containing some interesting information about you, along with some recommendations of things to do in the city – a really nice personal touch. The room was small but the space was used really well and I have no complaints about it!
If you are in the city centre, walking is probably your best best. Most of the attractions are in the same area – Sydney harbour bridge, opera house and museum of contemporary art to name a few. The public transport system is also really good, all you need is an Opal card which you can pick up in 711. You just top it up and it can be used across all public transport in NSW – just remember to tap on and tap off!
Places To Eat & Drink
Although we really tried to cut back on eating out, hotel life just isn’t equipped for that! So we did venture out a few times. We hit the following spots and I would recommend going to any of them.
- Brainwave Cafe
- Vida Surf Shop Cafe
- Bowery Lane
- Hacienda for cocktails (and the cutest interiors I have ever seen!)
Things To Do
We covered a lot of ground in our three nights in Sydney. There is just so much to do and see!
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Although we didn’t get to climb the bridge, we still managed to make it up to the pylon tower viewpoint. It was pretty cool learning about the construction of the bridge and the view from there is pretty amazing. Try go on bright day, with less clouds. The view will be much better!
Sydney Opera House
The famous sail design of the Sydney opera house is so iconic! No matter when we visit it was crawling with tourists. We wandered around the gardens surrounding the opera house, which is home to Mrs Marquaries chair and a number of viewpoints overlooking the opera house and Sydney harbour bridge. If you have time, pack a picnic and head here to enjoy the view.
We got lucky, and on the day we arrived, Night Noodle Market was in Hyde Park. We just happened to stumble upon it. This is basically like Taste of Dublin, except it is free to enter! Plenty of food trucks, serving all sorts of cuisines, along with a number of performers were present and the whole thing was really well organised. Definitely worth heading along to if you see it!
Hunter Valley Wine Tour
The Hunter Valley is an area in east Australia that is home to some of the most famous winery’s in the country. We booked our tour to Hunter Valley on Viator. The company was called AAT Kings, and it was such a good day out. We visited three different wineries including Leogate, Hunter Valley Resort and McGuigans, and had lunch included also. There was plenty of wine going around and the journey home was full of sleepy passengers!
Museum of Contemporary Art
This four story building is free to enter, and is home to a number of local and international artists of the modern age. I would recommend paying this spot a visit if you are in the area, especially if the weather is not ideal (rare!)
Shopping in Sydney is pretty expensive. That being said, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pop into the Queen Victoria Building on George Street. It has some amazing Aussie stores (Glue was my favourite!) along with the usual suspects (Sephora, Lush…) there were some amazing boutiques and I just wished I could fit more in my backpack! The building itself is worth checking out.
Bondi to Coogee Walk
My number one favourite thing that we did in Sydney was the bondi to coogee walk. Although, we did it the other way around. We took the bus to coogee and started our walk from coogee beach. This beach is so beautiful and has a really nice rocky area. We started on our coastal walk, stopping along the way at Gordon’s Bay, Clovelly Beach and Icebergs before getting to Bondi where we relaxed for a few hours. Definitely be highlight for me!
There are not many places I have been that I have said I would live, but Sydney is one of these places. I just felt so comfortable here. The people are lovely, the city is beautiful and I just love the lifestyle. Who knows…