Sunshine start

Sydney Travel Blog

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Opera House
Our vacation started out as it would be the rest of the way. During the days we were in Sydney, we only had rain for an hour. Further on during our trip we would experience rain for only one night. We couldn't have wished for anything better. We traveled the distance between Sydney and Cairns by car, first spending some time in Sydney and after returning it in Cairns, doing a diving course.

Day One: Getting to know Sydney

Due to the delay on the flight to Hong Kong, we arrived in Sydney early morning. Actually we arrived at sunrise (6 am), so we got a nice view of the city in advance straight away. After a quick sleep we took of and tried to soak up the "feeling" of the city.
Harbour Bridge
Our hotel was on Pitt Street (The Ibis) so most of everything was in walking distance. The first day we took a walk through downtown to have look at the usual sights.

First we went to Argyle Street, which looks nice, going through rock below the Harbour Bridge. It is close to the stairs leading up to the walking ramp of the bridge. We walked over the bridge getting some great views of the city. On the other side of the river there's a nice quiet neighborhood. The waterfront gives some great scenic views of the city and the skyline. It isn't possible to get a view further east than the walking path directly leading from Olympic Drive (believe me, we tried...)

After reaching the south side again, we had a look at the Opera House, an amazing building completed in 1973. It actually is a lot bigger than it seems to be in the pictures... Directly adjoining the place of the Opera House, are the botanical gardens, existing since 1816.
Skyline from botanical gardens
This is an amazing collection of trees with the skyline of Sydney as a background, which gives it a bit of a surreal view. On the way back to the hotel we passed through Hyde park. This is a park in the more traditional sense of the word, but still a nice one.

In the evening we went to Darling Harbour. First this was one of the bad areas of the cities, but in the 80's the Minister of Public Works started a redevelopment of the area. The Harbour now has become a place for entertainment and a nice place to spend your time.
We easily did all of this within a day without rushing and spending some time to have a look around, like in the area around the ferries and the Opera House, the north side of the river and at Darling Harbour.

Day Two: Seeing some other sides of Sydney

The next day we visited Darling Harbour again, and paid a visit to the Wild Life World where most of the indigenous animals can be watched (some living).
Overview of the bay
Next we went to the Sydney Tower, which gives a great view of the city and surroundings with a height of 250 meters. I think this is a must-do, because of the stunning sights.

In the afternoon we took the ferry to Manly Beach, one of the "beach-suburbs" of Sydney. The trip through the bay to Manly is a nice experience on its own. Manly beach is basically a peninsula on the side of the bay opposite to downtown, with Manly on the smallest part of it. On the main street it's possible to see the ocean on one side, and the bay on the other. (The distance is about 3 blocks) After relaxing on the beach for a while, we took of to the east along the ocean coast (along the bike-/walkway). On the end you reach Parkhill Reserve. We took the path to the north, where the cliffs give a great view of Manly.
Manly beach
We continued further to the east, where you really enter the reserve.

Since it was at sunset already, we didn't have time to really explore the reserve and returned to Manly to have dinner. (Advice: try to take your time here) In the evening we got another unusual experience, with the parrot population inhibiting all the palmtrees, making noise...
The return to downtown Sydney in the dark gave a nice view of the lit skyline and gives a whole other experience of it.

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Opera House
Opera House
Harbour Bridge
Harbour Bridge
Skyline from botanical gardens
Skyline from botanical gardens
Overview of the bay
Overview of the bay
Manly beach
Manly beach
Skyline overview
Skyline overview
Neighborhood on the north side of …
Neighborhood on the north side of…
Government House at the Botanical …
Government House at the Botanical…
Fountain at Darling Harbour
Fountain at Darling Harbour
The highest working post box in th…
The highest working post box in t…
On the way to Manly
On the way to Manly
Opera by night
Opera by night
Sydney
photo by: Sunflower300