Reading comes naturally and habitually to me during my travel escapades. Most often, you will find me glued on to a novel/book, maps, city guides, and my travel journal, color pens.
After the beachy paradise of Gold Coast, here I was in the financial city of Australia, Sydney. Known as the City of Harbors for its massive harbor line, the biggest in the country, Sydney has much more to offer for its ever-buzzing life. The iconic ‘Opera House’ is the symbol of peace & tranquility, overpowering the Sydney harbor and a true postcard spot in Australia and indeed, across the globe. The amazing outdoor lifestyle and a series of dramatic landmarks make it one of the top visited cities.
The Sydney siders are known to be friendly, full of energy and positivity. It reflects in the characteristic & liveliness of the city. Offering a plethora of options to explore, Sydney is popular & vibrantly known for its International Art Festivals, Cosmopolitan Culture. The Annual Sydney Festival, Colonial Architecture, Scenic Beaches especially Bondi and Manly Beach, sprawling Vineyards to indulge in Wine tasting Sessions, Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley in the outskirts of Sydney.
Don’t miss the new year’s eve celebrations in Sydney- it’s spectacular and one of the first cities in the world to ring in the New Year.
Sydney experiences mostly hot to mild weather through most of the year but it does get really chilly & windy during winters, so do carry your woolens. So if all this is not enough to make Sydney a part of your holiday list then peep into my wow experiences with the city and figure out.
The city is convenient to move around and easily accessible via multiple modes of transportation including metro, bus and local cabs. You can even opt to rent a car and move around at your own will. (For Indians it easier as Sydney has right hand drive and an Indian license (in English) is valid)
A Hop On Hop Off sightseeing bus- ‘the Sydney Explorer’ is one of the best options to go around the city and cover the major attractions in short duration.
Fairly economical and convenient, it moves around at a brisk pace covering most iconic and tourist landmarks with good stop over time for you to click some memories. What’s best is that you can get down at your favorite spot to spend more time & hop on the bus again later. It really worked for me!!
You come across some good cafes to sip a hot coffee with a morning muffin to start your day. Don’t know about you, but I have this strange connect with coffee- “My brains kick-starts only after having hot cup of dark coffee.”- That instant kick you need for motivation.
Let me give you a quick itinerary to explore Sydney in the best way. As I said earlier, my holidays are well planned & organized to get best value out of them.
My Sydney trip was planned to have the best of everything
For the Sake of Art:
If you are an art lover, there is a lot you can look forward to. Places like Museum of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales are few of my favorites.
Sydney’s Royal Botanical Garden:
It is one of the oldest public gardens, offering ample space, encounters with nature and what’s more it’s just walking distance from Circular Quay and Hyde Park.
The Botanical garden also houses colorful birds, fruit bats, water dragons and numbers of plant species. Good options around for a stroll and great place for kids with some outdoor games in close proximity to natural surroundings.
Both my daughter & I being sea mermaids, our love for beaches is never-ending.
Sydney offers just the kind of beaches one dreams of.
My personal favorites are Bondi & Manly Beach. One can play, swim, surf and party at the cafes and restaurants around the beach. It’s true blue fun!
My trips with family, especially my daughter, have been quite amazing as she keeps surprising me with her spontaneity. At the Bondi beach, while being busy with her dad exploring things, she was smitten by this cute, little boy watching her play. Her sibling craving came to light as she went up to his dad and took him along for a short play date.
It was heartening to see the little gypsy exploring world around her, mingling with kids and being protective about her company.
Sydney’s Darling Harbour is the most buzzing area with a host of restaurants, cafés, bars and nightlife that is rocking with lots of music and flavor around. The colorful lights and soft notes of the piano playing around the harbor are the perfect setting for a night out.
The Star at the Pyrmont Street is another major attraction for premium brands, a grand casino, gastronomy experience offering all star chefs and restaurants, residential options, opulent fashion, luxurious spas and fancy night clubs. A must see!
For those who love the Adrenalin rush, Sydney has some interesting adventure sports to savor and enjoy.
One must experience snorkeling at Gordon’s bay. Just get into your suits, there’s a series of steel plaques attached to concrete drums (linked together by a chain) with information about the local sea life. If you are lucky you can spot starfish, sea urchins, cuttlefish and blue gropers. It’s a nerve-wrenching adventure,
The 360 degree view of the city from Sydney Tower is worth a watch. All you need is to have heads for a height as the walk is a 360 open air experience of the tower. It’s jaw-dropping though!
Walking and crossing the Sydney Harbor Bridge gives you an amazing panoramic view of the iconic Opera House.
One can catch some great shopping options especially the most popular brand David Jones.
Oxford Street is the traditional fashion hub where you get the best of brands. Paddington in the city suburb offers some great world famous knitwear and woolens.
While our first three days were encounters with the city, it was an interesting discovery that history and geography had suddenly become my favorite subjects of discussion.
The most exciting part of this discovery was my daughter enjoying and learning the ‘so called’ boring subjects in a manner it should be.
Travelling indeed makes you come closer with the process of past-present and evolution.
With these escapades, I have started acknowledging the fact that it’s not the time you spend in the city that matters but how involved you are with the place, culture and people that defines your true experience.
Not sure if travelling as a tourist is ideal but for me and to a certain extent for my family,we love exploring places as ‘travelers’, the environment grows in your thoughts, attire, food and conversations which remain as memories forever.
Finally, it was our last day in Sydney and on popular demand from the little one; we headed to the popular ‘Taronga Zoo’ which is sure to take you back into your childhood.
Taronga Zoo has some of the best views of the harbor and the city. To reach the zoo; you need to take a ferry from Circular quay station.
You can spot the bridge with people taking a Sky walk to the zoo as well as the cable car ride. I must tell you it looks fascinating but is indeed challenging to walk up and down the bridge.
The other view is of Sydney opera house. Once you arrive on the other side of the elevated landform covered with dense forest.
You can take a cable car-waving at elephants and chimps around you.
One can look for Hippos, Komodo dragon, Koalas, Kangaroos, Penguins, Giraffe and lots of Seagulls while hopping and munching around. Personal encounters with Koalas, Penguins, Giraffe & Owls are also some highlights that you can enjoy.
There are number of wildlife shows and adventure activities and a personal favorite is the seal show and the free flight bird show which has set show times. A full day at this adventure zoo can be spent and food is mostly Continental and Mediterranean.
After the zoo, it was time for some chilled beer by at one of the bars at the opera house followed by some memorable clicks of the iconic spot to wrap up our Sydney leg of the tour.
Highly recommended for the taste of Aussie Land!!