On my way back to Indonesia from the Cook Islands, I decided to stop over in Sydney to break up the flight and see the sights. I LOVE Australia! I wish I could turn back time and applied for the working holiday visa when I finished high school and had the chance to live and work there before heading off to College. The working holiday visa is only good if you're under 30, which I don't qualify for anymore, but glad I was still able to visit and experience all Australia has to offer. I was able to get a little taste of both ends of the east coast. I Dove the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns and now a full week in Sydney. Here are six fun things to do in Sydney. A week was not nearly enough time, but my pocketbook would not let me stay longer!
SHOW AT THE OPERA HOUSE
The opera house is really impressive, and they even do tours of it, which I skipped, but I did get tickets to see Blanc De Blanc, which was playing in their studio for $60, substantially cheaper than seeing a show on the main stage. The show was more of a cabaret for adults. The venue small but intimate and I had a great time! I went early to get a drink and appetizer at the opera café which was jam packed full of people pre-funking before their show. The whole area comes alive at night even if you’re not here to see a show, you can grab drinks and snacks and watch the live band play music right on the water with the opera house as your backdrop.
HUNTER VALLEY WINES TOUR
Being a wino and having taken two years of enology courses behind me when I thought about being a wine maker. I’ve been craving good wine. There is none to be found in SEA and the Monte Carlo from South Africa that you can get is not really drinkable, but will do in a desperate pinch. I was reminded by a couple of friends that I was in the wine region and that I should take a tour. I wasn’t even thinking about wine at that point, being so far removed from a good wine region, forgot I was in a great wine country. I looked for a tour to Hunter Valley and went the next day. Hunter Valley is 2 hours outside of Sydney. We visited four wineries and did a stop to do cheese and chocolate tasting along the way. I winded up buying two bottles from the wineries to bring back with me.
FEATHERDALE WILDLIFE PARK
Coming to Sydney, I was hoping to see two animals, kangaroos, and koalas. One of my friends had recently been to Featherdale and gave me directions on how to get there by bus. So awesome! The kangaroos were roaming free, and I took a few selfies with them, and there was an area where you could be up close to a Koala and get a picture, so, of course, did that too. I spent probably 2 hours here between walking around and watching the kangaroos and wallaby’s play.
Ah, the famous Bondi Beach. Known for surfers, skateboarders and home of the salt water pool. I went early morning to catch sunrise and breakfast. The pool is pretty impressive, and although I didn’t swim in it, you can go for just a $6.50 entry (As of March 2017). I stopped and watched the skateboarders for a while and found out I missed Tony Hawk by ONE DAY! He was there the day after I came. So bummed!
FERRY TO MANLY BEACH
Another early morning, I wanted to grab the early ferry to Manly Beach so that I could get pictures of the Opera House at sunrise. The ride to Manly is about 30 minutes, and if you catch the early morning, you’ll get a great view of the sunrise climbing behind the Opera House, which makes excellent pictures. Manly is a cute little area filled with shops, cafes and of course the beach. Since taking the ferry so early, nothing was open except a few cafes on the water, so I hung out and had some breakfast and tea until the shops opened. Definitely worth spending half a day there.
LIGHT RAIL TO SYDNEY FISH MARKET
Being a sucker for fish markets, when I found out Sydney had one, I had to check it out! I took the light rail over from my hostel near Central station and got over there mid-morning, where all the stalls were filled with the day’s catch. You can get everything from sushi to a king size mixed seafood BBQ served to you soon as the doors open at 10 am. From live seafood to take home to having the restaurants cook it up for your, this is a place to check out when you’re in Sydney. Also on the same light rail line is paddy’s market selling everything from clothes to vegetables. It’s a big warehouse style market that’s cool to check out on your way back to central station.