The second stop on my trip to the southern hemisphere was Sydney, Australia. Australia has provinces like my home, Canada and Sydney is the capital of New South Wales.
One of Australia’s most recognizable landmarks is the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Its a large bridge that offers guided tours up and over its massive arches.
I did not walk over the bridge arches but I did walk across the bridge. I highly recommend doing this when in Sydney. It gives you beautiful views all around you. It’s definitely not as scary as walking over the top of it.
When you get over to the other side of the bridge, you arrive in North Sydney. You look back at downtown Sydney. We really liked North Sydney. It had a more relaxed vibe than downtown. Instead of walking back across the bridge, we took a water taxi back to the Circular Quay. Our hotel was a 10 minute walk from the water taxi.
The other very iconic landmark in Sydney is the Opera House. It is such a gorgeous structure. It has botanical gardens nearby to explore as well. You can see shows in the Opera House or have a guided tour of the interior. Check on their website for a variety of shows and acts.
On our first full day in Sydney, we ate at a spot called Rossini Cafe. It is located right on the waterfront at the Circular Quay. The views of the bridge were awesome from here. Be warned, food in downtown Sydney is very, very expensive. For example, the salad with chicken was $30. Because we were here on a Saturday, many restaurants add a surcharge of 10% to your bill. I found that many restaurants and even grocery stores were closed on Saturday and Sunday. I did not get to check out as many spots to eat because of that. We flew in on a Friday and left by the following Thursday.
Sydney has a variety of tropical birds. These lorikeets wanted some of our lunch. They flew so low on the patio that they hit my husband in the head.
For one of our days, we visited the famous Taronga Zoo. It is just outside of downtown Sydney, across the water. Where you take the water taxi in the Circular Quay, look around for booths selling combined passes with your zoo ticket and ferry ride together. You can save money this way. There are a couple different booths selling these. Once you get to the zoo, you take a gondola up to the top. The zoo is situated on a hill so you go from the top to the bottom. It’s nice to walk downhill all day.
We started our day here by watching a seal show. It was very informative and covered several topics regarding sea life conservation, preservation and other interesting environmental facts.
Near the seal show, we saw the gorillas were about to be fed soon so we were lucky enough to catch that. The silver back male was asserting his dominance as soon as exiting the hidden stables by posturing and daring anyone brave enough to stare at him too long. They are extremely strong animals and tore into their lunch with ease. How do they get so strong from just vegtables?!
We saw giraffes being fed carrots. You can pay to have your photo while doing this.
I was so excited to see koalas. All the eucalyptus leaves they eat give their pen such a fresh smell. They are lazy animals and sleep about 20 hours out of the day.
There was a fenced off area in the zoo where we were able to get near kangaroos, emus and wallabees.
This pygmy hippo was in a mood and chasing after the birds in its pen. Hippos are very territorial and can be very dangerous in the wild.
We stumbled across a fantastic outdoor market in The Rocks area of Sydney. This weekend market had endless stalls with unique items. I purchased most of my Australia souvenirs from here. These stalls are also a weekend food market. It’s worth looking in to. I wish I was able to spend more time here.
Sunset over the Sydney Harbour Bridge as we are on a water taxi.
Sunset over the Opera House.
Sydney is a beautiful and bustling city. I am happy I got to explore it. If I ever came back to Sydney, I would definitely stay in North Sydney as it is quieter and a little less expensive. Its easy enough to catch a water taxi to get over to downtown. I do not recommend renting a car in Sydney if you don’t have to. Parking is very expensive everywhere. Taxis are also incredibly expensive so plan accordingly and instead of spending money on transport, splurge on accommodations that are not too far from downtown. I researched for a long time and finally found a deal on www.expedia.ca for a hotel at 20% off. Another idea could be renting an AirBnB. Something we did not get around to doing was the Blue Mountains. The mountains, which we heard are beautiful and covered with eucalytpus trees, are located about 2 hours outside of the city. Apparently sunsets here are epic and there is a tram to ride. You can take bus tours to get here or you can take the train. Our hotel concierege was going to tell us exactly how to take the train if we were going to go.