Sydney Opera House
Sydney is recognizable through its Opera House. Therefor, a visit here is obligatory. Listed in UNESCO's World Heritage Center List, this magnanimous structure is a gem in the Sydney sky. Built in 1973, it is well known for its architecture and design. Standing shaped like white sails on the Sydney harbor, the Danish Architect won many accolades for this structure. It marked the start of the Modern era for Sydney after its colonial rule.
I accidentally timed my visit to Sydney to coincide with their annual Australia Day celebration. It was a happy accident as the city was one big party that day. Unfortunately, the Bridge Climb was booked up during my entire stay (always book that in advance!) but I did get to witness a terrific fireworks display over Darling Harbour. My first stop was the famous Sydney Opera House. It looks beautiful in pictures but I must say it was amazing up close. I’m not sure how many pictures one could possibly take of this building but I’m going for the record. The other major attraction in Sydney Harbour is the Harbour Bridge. It’s funny to see the constant stream of people climbing to its top. Wish I could have done that, it looks really cool up there. With the holiday, there were a TON of boats out on the water and since that looked like a lovely way to spend a few hours, I found the ferry terminal and bought a ticket to the far beaches at Manly. Mostly, I just wanted the ferry ride through the harbor but the beach was gorgeous, too. For my last day in Sydney, my plan was to check out the famous Bondi Beach. Bondi is a huge beach and was very crowded even at 10 am when I got there. I found a good spot and settled in for a while enjoying the atmosphere.
Today we have had a wonder around the city and its amazing. I completely love it. We have taken a trip to the harbor to see the bridge and the Opera house. We might have also stopped in a few shops on our way down, but you will be pleased to hear (mum) that I haven't managed to spend any money on clothes just yet! Tonight we are off out to the Side bar (in the basement of Wake Up) so we have bought two boxes of goon (boxed wine) on the way back, ready for drinking games before happy hour!
Sydney Harbour Bridge
The other iconic attraction of Sydney is the Sydney Harbour Bridge with its massive arc-like structure which makes it the world's largest steel arc bridge. 'Bridge Climb' organizes different kinds of climb on the arc structure of the bridge based on different price packages. If you have a few hundred dollars to spend in your budget, it is a lifetime moment to view the whole of Sydney from top of the bridge. You can also walk on the bridge through the pedestrian path paved along one side of the bridge which also gives your great views of Opera House and Sydney harbour.
Amber’s pick and something I’d never done in Sydney. We got a three-hour ride from Darling Harbor past Sydney Harbor with a crew that let us steer the boat and crank the sails. Mid-sail, the heavens finally opened up and the temperature dropped about 20 degrees. That night’s entertainment was St. George’s Open Air Cinema. It’s over now, but Bondi has one till March.
Featherdale Wildlife Park
It is always a confusion to whether visit the Featherdale Wildlife Park or the Taronga Zoo as it completely depends on individual choice. The Taronga Zoo holds a considerable variety of species and animals from all over the world and you a need a day to spend your time here. Also you need to pay an extra fee to feed and click snaps of Kola bear and Kangaroo. Whereas, Featherdale Wildlife Park is a sanctuary only to native Australian animals like Wallaby, Kangaroo, Wombat, Kola bear etc. and the entry fee is comparatively cheaper than Taronga Zoo for what it offers. The main advantage of this park is that you don't need to pay extra to feed and take selfies with Kangaroo, Wallaby and Kola bear and also you can finish your visit in half a day.
This suburb is a delightful little undiscovered gem. Thanks to a local’s recommendation, my roommate and I took off on a ferry and docked on the tiny peninsula of Watson’s Bay. Aside from a seafood restaurant, pretty little harbor, and itty bitty stretch of sandy beach, we initially wondered what else there was to do. But just hike up through the park in the middle of town to the ocean side of the peninsula (it’s a 5-10 minute walk, don’t worry) and you’ll see why the locals recommend it: the views are spectacular. Walk along the cliffs and climb up to the lookout point, where you are greeted with a salty ocean breeze, sweeping views of the South Pacific on one side, and the city skyline of Sydney on the other.
Amber arrived in the morning, so we had the whole day ahead of us. After a rest from her 11-hour flight, we took the ferry to Circular Quay so she could see the Bridge and Opera House. We took the customary photos, then strolled down George Street to Hyde Park, St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Queen Victoria Building — major CBD sites complete. We stopped for food and drinks with some friends at one of my favorite pubs on George Street, Cheers.
Sydney Cricket Ground
It’s a dream come true for any cricket fan to walk on the lush grass turf of Sydney Cricket Ground, have a seat at the away and home team dressing room, walk along the walk of honour, visit the commentator and media room, get lost in the history of Sydney Cricket where history of records was created by the cricket giants. The daily guided tour of Stadium starts at 10 am from the Allianz Stadium Office. Do not miss to have a look at the commemorative plaque in remembrance of 'Philip Hughes'.
Queen Victoria Building (QVB)
Magnificent stained glass windows, 19th century staircases and the stunning central dome are some of the features of QVB that will leave you awestruck. As for the shopping, once you’ve had your fill of all that’s designer, look up kikki.K. It’s a boutique overflowing with beautiful knick knacks, must-have stationary and gifts that are going to make you reach out for the credit card, much more than you had planned. qvb.com.auOXFORD STREET
3. Blue Mountains: Home to some endangered Aboriginal tribes, blue mountains got there name due to the presence of Eucalyptus trees which emanate oil fumes which mixed wih air in the atmosphere tend to give out a blue hue to the surroundings. There is a Aboriginal show that you can catch which details there history and lifestyle. TIP: Make sure you stop by Leura- a fairytale village on your way back for a quick bite of the local cuisine and humongous helpings of locally made yummy ice-cream :)
Overlooking Darling Harbor, the Star Casino is the second largest casino in Australia with two gaming floors, eight bars, seven restaurants, over 300 hotel rooms and more than 100 private apartments. The gaming area consists of the main gaming floor on level one featuring three major parts – Table Games, Electronic Gaming, and Poker, and the Sovereign Room on level three featuring four private gaming rooms and extra dining and lounge amenities. With over 1490 slot machines dotted around the casino varying in size, theme and bonus level, gamblers can easily stuck there for days in order to try each one of them. With such a great variety of dining facilities ranging from privately owned outlets to top dining restaurants, and numerous casino games ranging from traditional games to electronic gaming machines, one will find the Star Casino a great destination in Sydney.
For the seriously stylish shopper, Oxford Street is where high street fashion effortlessly mingles with artistic standalone boutiques and home-grown designer labels. Running all the way from Darlinghurst up till Woollahra, keep an eye out for Camilla, Ginger & Smart, Easton Pearson and Ellery.DARLING STREET
Easily confused for a suburb in the Swiss Alps, bohemian cafes, boutiques, pubs and bookstores dot the charming Darling Street in Balmain. Known for its cafe culture, this is the place to stop by for a breather. Then drop by at Witchery, Punch Gallery and Hunt Leather (East Balmain).NEWTOWN’S KING STREET
This is no ordinary creek. Berowra is best known for its gumtrees including blackout, scribbly, peppermint and blue gums. There is a bike track for exercise and several spots to stop for a picnic. Located north of Hornsby, it takes about 45 minutes to drive from Harbour Bridge to Berowra Creek. Take your time as you follow the trail from the Saltmarsh Boardwalk to the Crosslands Reserve, or vice versa. Breathe in the fresh air, snap photos and enjoy the moment. If I did all five camping spots, this seems like it would be a great grand finale.
We devoted Amber’s last day to sampling Hunter Valley wineries with Activity Tours, which seems to offer the best prices for this day trip, and gave us a discounted rate for this tour. It’s a little rushed, but you get to see three or four wineries — this equals 30 or so wines — and go to a cheese tasting. We finished up with dinner on the water.
Just set back from Bondi Beach the 180 degree bi folding windows attract a crowd of ‘want to be seen’ during the day and in the evenings is packed to a maximum. The cocktail bar offers surprisingly good cocktails and with views over the famous surf the hotel has a relaxed feel but with all the elegance you would expect from a boutique hotel.
Summer Bay Bed & Breakfast
We have taken a trip to another beach today called Palm beach but most of you all know it as Summer bay from Home and Away. We have had a really fun day here today though, I was buried in the sand by Mike and Jay, clothes, money, cards and all... Then when I went to wash all the sand away I lost most of my bikini in the waves! I am just pretty pleased there is a dip in the sand to the sea is all I can say! Tonight we are going to the pub to watch the Tottenham, Villa match so looking forward to seeing how much its raining its home on the TV...
Hard Rock Cafe Sydney
I usually head to Cafe Sydney for dinner. Nothing beats rooftop venue with spectacular views of the harbour. It is on the rooftop of Customs House, which is right at circular quay, the outdoor terrace boasts giving you the promised view. Start off the evening in their relaxing lounge. Don't forget to get yourself a cocktail.
The Strand Arcade
Having survived 118 years, two depressions and two World Wars, the Strand is arguably the most historic shopping arcades in Sydney’s CBD. Three floors of this Victorian-style mall caters to old-world coffee shops and several Australian brands and designers like Alannah Hill, Leona Edmiston and Sass & Bide. Our pick though is Andrew McDonald Shoemaker, for their hand-crafted high quality shoes. andrewmcdonald.com.au; strandarcade.com.au.QUEEN VICTORIA BUILDING (QVB)
The girls went on their secret shopping adventure, so I went over to the park with the boys, played cricket for the first time in my life and soaked Grant in the pool of reflection at Hyde Park, which gained me a soaking in return of ice cold water. Had the best Spaghetti Bologenese cooked for us for dinner by Mike tonight too, it was delish!
National Gallery of Australia
Next stop after Manuka Oval at your itinerary is the National Gallery of Australia. Witness the largest museum of Australia at the capital of the states. With over 1.6 lakhs of artwork the museum stands tall since 1982 and is a must visit. Might get a glimpse of your favorite cricketers at this classy palace.
Sea Life Sydney Aquarium
Sydney’s famous aquarium is huge, filled with a million fish, penguins, and turtles, as well as special exhibits for deep-sea creatures like transparent jellyfish and seahorses, striped reef crustaceans and the biggest crab I have ever seen (it takes up half of a floor-to-ceiling tank wall). Best of all are the underwater tunnels through the shark enclosures: walk beneath Jaws’ cousins, saw-nosed sharks, and manatees. (Buy a ticket in combination with the Wildlife World and you’ll save.)
Honeymoon Island is a flat sand bank that was recently created by the wind dragging sand inside Aitutaki Lgoon, in the tiny Pacific territory of the Cook Islands. The sandbank is populated by a few bushes and several palm trees grown from the coconuts planted by the many couples that make the trip down here as a sign of their eternal love. The whole island can be walked in fifteen minutes and reached by a 45 minutes boat ride from Vaipae, Aitutaki's main town. It is said that couples used to come here to get married, hence the name. There are various arch-like structures made of bamboo and local flowers under which couples exchange their vows. 7) Aileen from I am Aileen: White Beach, Boracay, Philippines
Everything that stings, bites, and kills is found in our country,” said Tim, my taxi driver from the Sydney airport to the hotel when he heard I’d signed up for a nature-driven holiday. There was some truth to his words: the deadliest spider (funnel web) and the top 10 killer snakes in the world are all proud Aussies. But I was there on a different mission: to track down the cute critters on the island continent. If penguin parades amuse you, head to Phillip Island at dusk to watch the smallest penguins in the world, aptly named Little Penguins, waddle their way out of water and into their sandy nests on the beach, or spot the endangered cassowary while on a stroll along the beaches of Northern Queensland. And in Land Down Under, thousands of sprightly kangaroos with little joeys peeking from their pouches are a delightful sight for animal lovers. My favourite, however, is the teddy bear-like koala for which I headed on a four-and-half-hour drive from Sydney to the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie. After signing up for the complimentary walk-and-talk tour that takes place daily at 3 pm, I entered the open-air hospital to the refreshing scent of eucalyptus and a screeching sound of cockatoos, and camouflaged against the brown barks, were the sleepy little saints I had come for. One was busy biting into leaves, as another, a baby, clung onto its mama. “They look like they were made to be cuddled,” said a voice behind me, as if reading my mind. This was my guide on the group tour, a pioneering volunteer at the Koala Hospital, Mick Feeney. He quickly added, “Wild koalas on’t like being touched. They’ve got claws!” And with that, our tour began.The Koala Hospital, the first of its kind in the world, began operations when animal-lovers and local shop keepers, Jean and Max Starr, came across one-too-many injured koalas. The couple wanted to care for the animal, and in 1973, launched the Koala Preservation Society, a non-profit that runs the Koala Hospital. Even today, the hospital remains an organisation that functions on the might of volunteers and donations, sans government funding.To volunteer, one needs to fill forms online and pay a fee of AUD100 for a monthlong specialised training programme that covers insurance. A sweet deal that hasn’t yet been lapped up by an Indian.The InhabitantsOn the tour, one gets to meet a few koalas. Ian is a 17-year-old koala and a senior citizen, easily recognisable with his dull brown coat. Mick explains, “With advancing years, they wither away.Sometimes they come down to move to another tree but are too weak to get back up.” This inmate was saved by a passerby as he sat helplessly at the bottom of a tree in the forest, in clear view of predators like foxes, dingoes, and pythons. “Most of our rescues take place when people who are out on their walks or hikes spot an injured koala and call our helpline,” prompting the team of koala-messiahs to rush out in an ambulance for rescue. The good Samaritan who calls in, gets to name the animal. Zenani, another inhabitant, is a feisty three-year-old who has a human mother. She was brought to the hospital after surviving a bush-fire where she lost her mother. Baby koalas need their mamas perhaps even more than we humans do.In only 35 days after conception, the little jelly bean moves from the birth canal to the pouch where it develops for the next seven months. At about one year, the joey is much too big to fit into the pouch and climbs out, still clinging to its mama’s belly, back, or chest, till the age of three. Zenani didn’t get that. Having lost her mum, she latched onto her caregiver, Barbara. Within the hospital, it is only her human mother that Zenani will rush towards, hugging and clutching as she cradles Zenani, wrapped in a blanket, and feeds her through a milk bottle—a most heart-warming sight.We then walked into the ICU to meet Nick, a young koala who was hit by a car that left him with a damaged paw. “At first, it looked like we might need to amputate, but managed to save the limb.” In another bed lay ‘one-eyed Jack’ who had contracted chlamydia and subsequently lost one eye.Some can’t defend themselves in the wild and live out their years at the hospital; others recover and are rehabilitated. Mick ends the tour with John Williamson’s lyrics, a well-known Australian singer whose donations helped build the ICU. He sang Goodbye Blinky Bill decades ago and warned the world, ‘Our koalas are all dying, can it really be. A national disaster, a world catastrophe.’ As I left the hospital, I thought about our future generations which may never know this unique marsupial. Williamson’s song sums up the sentiment, ‘What would we tell our children about this little mate.’Plot The Cute Critters1. Run alongside an Emu at Wildlife Currumbin Sanctuary, GOLD COAST2. Cuddle a koala at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, BRISBANE3. Watch the Australian Sulphur-crested cockatoo at Australia Zoo, QUEENSLAND4. Hand feed kangaroos at Featherdale Wildlife Park, SYDNEY5. Watch the bearded dragon at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo SYDNEY
The tour starts at The Glass Dome at Wynyard Park. This small park is closely connected to the history of the city. and was made a public park in 1887. It was earlier a part of the Soldier’s Parade Ground and Barracks that was used by the guards of the many convicts that arrived in Sydney till 1840. The Dome Glass has an underground lavatory that was built in 1912. A small, pleasant place to start this evening walk.
Glebe Point Road
Not all streets have to be noisy and chaotic and while I enjoy the hustle and bustle I also love the occasional long stroll through a quiet lane. Glebe point road is not exactly a quiet lane but it’s slightly hippie and colorful character make for a wonderful walk. When I was studying in Sydney I would often wander through this quaint neighborhood and get lost with my then Greek boyfriend. Known for its largely ethnic restaurants and bohemian shops, the main street is filled with writers, musicians, artists and urban hippies. Glebe has a lovely weekend flea market as well that takes off on Saturdays and the mood is festive and wild with musicians , tarot card readers, writers all making merry under the sun.