I cannot even describe to you how truly amazed I am by Sydney and all of the beautiful things this city has to offer!
I expected it to be magical, but I am totally blown away by its beauty.
We got to our hotel late at night, but of course Steve and I wanted to see the Opera House and Harbour Bridge as soon as possible, I mean we’ve only been waiting our whole lives to see such wondrous architecture! So after checking in, we went straight to the Opera house, which thankfully, was only about a 5 minute walk from our hotel. The street leading up to the Opera House is filled with delicious little restaurants and cute little touristy shops which were open and filled with people. Surprisingly, restaurants still have their patios open even though it is July and the middle of the winter. Each table comes with a little personal heater and every restaurant was packed of course, because of the breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour!
We didn’t stick around long, just long enough to take a few photos and stand in awe looking out at the bridge and beautiful Sydney Opera House.
The next morning we were up bright and early to have breakfast together. We ate in the hotel lobby where I had the most amazing egg white omelette filled with asparagus and broccoli, it was heavenly! Once Steve and his dad left for work, Steve’s mom Judy and I were out the door and on a hunt to find the best way to see Sydney. We walked up to a tourist desk in Circular Quay and found out that a coffee cruise tour was leaving any minute. We bought our tickets which were extremely reasonable. $45 each for coffee, biscuits and a two-hour scenic tour of Sydney and the surrounding area. This tour was absolutely incredible and I highly recommend it. We saw a version of Sydney you would not be able to see on land, and went out as far as Manly. The tour guide was extremely informative and told us everything you need to know about Sydney and its history. We were able to take some breathtaking photos along the way, and the weather was BEAUTIFUL. It really was a perfect morning.
After the tour, we decided to walk up to the Opera House to take some pictures and get a closer look. It was amazing and surreal and incredible to be there.I was looking out at the water while standing by the Opera House and just happened to see a pod of 16 or so dolphins swimming by! It was so amazing, it felt so surreal to be there and to see that! At that moment, I really needed someone to pinch me! My whole life I have wanted to travel to Australia, and I couldn’t believe i was there and witnessing such an amazing view.
After our little photo shoot, we decided to try and find our way to Darling Harbour. Judy had been there before and remembered it was amazing with cute little shops and restaurants along the harbour so I grabbed a map and we started to venture off in that direction. We ended up at a cute little restaurant called Nick’s which was located right along the water front. I had THE BEST seafood salad I have ever had! If you are ever in that area and want to somewhere good to eat, I highly recommend going to Nick’s! The view is beautiful, the service is great, and if you get a seat up front you can ‘people watch’ which is probably one of my favourite things to do, haha.
After lunch, we wandered around Darling Harbour and shopped. I purchased two great pairs of boots because we are heading to Melbourne in a few days where it is COLD. The salesperson at the shoe store was EXTREMELY FRIENDLY… maybe a little bit TOO friendly. He would not stop bombarding me with questions about where I was from and what I did and how I should move to Australia and get a job at the shoe store he works at. It was a little forward of him and we could not get out of that store because he just wouldnt stop talking! I did find out that the minimum wage in Australia is $23 an hour which I thought was amazing ! Maybe I will think about moving down under!
OH I TOTALLY FORGOT TO MENTION SOMETHING I LEARNED IN SYDNEY! Judy has been looking for Uggs and every store we go into, I tell her the uggs there are fake because they do not have the Ugg Australia logo we are used to seeing in North America. Finally, in one of the stores, I asked an employee if the Uggs are fake and she told me that any sheepskin boot is called an Ugg and that there are many different companies that make Uggs. The Ugg Australia brand we see in North America isn’t even FROM Australia but from China instead so really the Uggs we are getting in North America are the fakes ones, not the ones I have been seeing all over Sydney!!!
OK, back on track.
That night, we decided to go for a lovely dinner at one of those restaurants overlooking the Opera House. it was spectacular eating dinner overlooking some of the most amazing architecture in the world. I have yet to have a disappointing meal in Australia. I wish we had more independent restaurants in the Toronto area. Im so sick of going to a restaurant and not getting a meal that is worth what you pay for it. Like Europe, Australia has MANY independent little ‘Ma and Pop shops’ where your guaranteed to have an amazing meal. The prices in Australia are definitely higher than what you would find in Canada. The average meal is $25-$30, but the portions are huge and the meals are amazing.
Because of the jet lag, and running around being tourists all day, every night we are in bed at like 9:30. I know, pretty pathetic right? its like as soon as we finish dinner its time for bed! I don’t really mind though because Steve has to be up early for work anyways and the earlier we get up, the more time I have in the morning with him before he has to head to work.
Our last morning in Sydney, we headed back to the restaurants by the Opera House for breakfast. Im sorry, I can’t remember the name of the restaurant but the food there was amazing! I got toast with asparagus, egg whites, and smoked salmon and it was heavenly! I love how much smoked salmon they have here in Australia. Its one of my favourite foods and you never see it on a menu in Canada, so I am totally taking advantage of the fact that its everywhere here!
Steve hadn’t had a chance to experience Sydney in the daylight yet, and we wanted to get some pictures of us together before leaving, so after our AMAZING breakfast, we walked around the harbour and took some great photos together,
Then the men headed off to work and Judy and I were on our own to explore once again. I really wanted to go to Bondi Beach, so we decided to hop on a ‘Hop On Hop Off’ Sydney Bus Tour. The bus said ‘Sydney & Bondi’ right on it so we figured it would be easy to get there, but after paying for the tickets and getting on the bus we realized it would take about two hours each way to get to Bondi, and with us having to leave for the airport at around 4pm, there just wasn’t enough time in the day to be able to do it all! So unfortunately, I had to miss out on seeing Bondi, but I’m okay with that! Ill just have to put it on my list for the next time I am in Sydney! We ended up exploring Sydney via bus for a little while, then got off the bus at the botanical gardens. There was a little train tour you could take inside the botanical gardens, so we decided to do that, and our tour guide happened to be Canadian! He was from Nova Scotia and travelling around Australia for the year right after graduating University! It was nice to see a fellow Canadian so far from the Great White North 😛
The botanical gardens were amazing and definitely a must-see if you are in Sydney. Like I said before, it is their winter time right now so some things aren’t in bloom, but it was still magnificent to see! Sydney locals and probably even some tourists use the gardens to exercise! There were a few people on the grass with personal trainers exercising and I have NEVER seen so many people jogging! It made me miss running so much. I have been totally off track now for almost a month and although I am enjoying my vacation, I cannot wait to get back on track and back into shape when I get home!
Well, Melbourne is our next stop! I am going to miss Sydney so much. It is definitely one of the most incredible cities I have ever seen! Im excited to see what Melbourne has to offer, although i’m not sure how it’ll top the wonders of Sydney!
Of course I’ll keep you guys updated along the way, and PLEASE comment if you live in Melbourne and know of any great places to see…
ALSO- I’m on a kangaroo hunt! I have yet to see any kangaroos and I have to before this trip is over! If you know of any spots around Melbourne to see Kangaroos, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!