So I’ll start my first post as I make my first journey up the east coast of Australia on the Greyhound bus. Leaving Sydney heading towards Port Macquarie.
I’m only starting to realise just how large and vast this country actually is!! Originally thinking, I’ll just book a ticket from Sydney up to Brisbane, then realising that it would be a 12 hour drive, I decided to make my first stop at Port Macquarie which is just under a seven hour drive from Sydney with a couple of stops along the way.
I arrived in Sydney last week, after close to 24 hours travelling from London Heathrow. My friend Neil had offered to pick me up from the airport, which I was most grateful for. I booked my first couple nights in a Private room at a hostel called The Jolly Swagmans, knowing I’d need to get over the jet lag before moving in to any dorm rooms. Upon arrival I realised I was right in the middle of the red light district in Kings Cross. I immediately thought, what have you done Oto… The hostel was however reasonably quiet.
After a semi decent night’s sleep I awoke feeling slightly fuzzy, but so excited to go out and explore right away. After buying an Opal Card, which is The New South Wales version of the Oyster card, and a sim card packed with Data, as i’d definitely need google maps because of my tendencies of getting completely lost anywhere I go.
For example last year I took a short trip to Dortmund Germany and ended up lost in a Romany Gypsy street for an hour searching for my Hotel.
I packed a day Bag, and headed straight to Circular Quay. I was surprised, when you’re in the city how close distance everything actually is.
Circular Quay is the main transport hub of Sydney Harbour and home to the Iconic landmarks, The Sydney Opera House and The Sydney Harbour Bridge.
After a 20 minute walk from Kings Cross I made it to Circular Quay, to the Opera House and with that small excited gasp you let out when you find what you were looking for I realised, Hey, I’m in Australia!
The quay it self was a great place just to sit, have a coffee, people watch and see the ferries coming and going out the Harbour. Filled with lots of outdoor cafes and restaurants so there’s always somewhere to grab a quick bite.
The Harbour Bridge
Next I walked across the famous Harbour bridge. You can actually buy tickets and climb to the actual top of it for starting prices of around $200 AUD. Although I’m sure the views from the top would have been breathtaking, after a bit of research I found out you can’t take a camera or any kind of equipment up with you for safety reasons and that you could just walk along the bottom of the bridge for free so I opted for this option with stunning views over the city and the Opera House it certainly didn’t disappoint.
At the end of the Bridge you can explore the rocks district which is historic area filled with cobble stoned streets, some of Sydney’s oldest pubs and views of the bridge.
The Royal Botanic Gardens
As my father is an avid Botanist I took a stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens to snap him a few pictures. It was absolutely pristine and well looked after. Filled with different areas consisting of thousands of species of plants to explore. Its a great place to sit and enjoy a packed lunch and lie in the sun with great views of sky scrapers poking their way through the canopies of the trees.
Making my way back through The Central Business District, I headed to the Sydeny Tower. This was one of those for me. It did have Great views over the entire city, but for the price of $28AUD it only takes a short amount of time to get up and have a look around.
They do Offer a sky walk tour which takes you to the top and you can walk around outside of it for $70AUD but again, like the bridge you cant take any cameras or equipment up with you. But if you have the time and are happy to spend the money its worth the views.
Coogee To Bondi Costal Walk
The next morning I decided to do the Bondi to Coogee walk, but in reverse. After a couple coffees I caught a train to Bondi Junction and bus towards Coogee. The Public transport throughout Sydney I found to be completely reliable and hassle free. I got off the bus which stops nearly in front of a cafe called The Little Kitchen which is owned and run by one of my good friends Neil and his Wife Amy.
I stopped to grab some breakfast here and to see him before starting my walk.
He’s a really hard working guy and very talented chef, producing reasonably simple but great tasting housemade food using the freshest of ingredients and their work has certainly payed off as the place though small is always buzzing with people. Definitely stop buy for something to eat or just a coffee if you’re in the area.
The Bondi to Coogee walk, (or reverse) which ever way you choose to do it has to be one of the most beautiful and free things to do in Sydney.
The walk is roughly 6km and takes around 2 hours to complete. Amazing scenery including beaches, rock pools and cliff faces. It’s an easy to follow and well marked route past Tamarama, Bronte, Gordens Bay and Clovelly.
When I did this Walk I really started to see how big fitness and healthy lifestyle is a massive part of Australian life. From people surfing, doing various fitness classes in the parks to just the general people walking down the beach looking like they are about to step on to modeling shoot.
I could have spent weeks exploring just Sydney, but in the short time that I had I think I managed to cover the majority of the best bits.The next day I took a journey out to the Blue Mountains National Park, But i’ll make a separate post about this.
Its been an amazing start to my little adventure. Next stop, Port Macquarie.