For Daniela it was the first time in Australia and she immediately fell in love with Sydney. And as I had completed a part of my Master degree at the University of Sydney, it was like coming home for me. Not much had changed. The Opera House and the Harbor Bridge were still in the same place and the Aussies were still super friendly. The only difference I noticed was that they had introduced a new payment system for the public transport and that there were flying foxes in the trees. But apart from a nostalgic visit at my university we also explored the city and present you our top picks.
Watch the Opera House and Harbor Bridge from a special angle
The obvious pick, but to get a truly good view you have to be at the right spot at sunset (or sunrise in case you are a morning person). The best view you get from the Rocks or from Mrs Macquarie’s Chair in the Royal Botanic Gardens. And the gardens itself is of course also worth a visit.
Listen to the stories of the Rocks
The Rocks is the place of the first settlement in Sydney. And because those first settlers were criminals sent over from Great Britain there are many stories to tell about those early days. The best way to listen to them is by joining the free walking tour a 6pm.
Walk from Bondi to Coogee Beach
The best way to explore those two beaches and all the beaches in between is by walking from Bondi to Coogee. It is a beautiful 2h coastal walk with steep cliffs and sandy beaches. And when we reached Coogee Beach at the end, the place where I had lived for many weeks, we had to go to my favorite bar, the Coogee Bay Hotel.
Explore Manly Beach
Manly feels like a beach village but is actually a suburb of Sydney. There are many shops, restaurants and takeaways and at the beach you can practice beachvolley or surfing. The most comfortable way to reach it is by ferry from Circular Quay, but you can also take the exhausting way and walk there from Split. It is a scenic walk but also a bit long on a sunny day.
Visit Victoria Shopping Center and Windham Subway Station
It is a shopping center full of history. Not only is it situated in a beautiful building which is dedicated to Queen Victoria it is also full of explanations about the early days of Sydney. And of course, it is also a shopping center full of many small stores.
Windham Subway Station on the other hand is relatively new but contains a piece of art that gives a possible answer to what happens, when an escalator goes nuts.
Watch the yachts at Darling Harbour
Darling Harbour is right in the heart of the central business district and a great place to have lunch and watch the yachts passing by. But be careful when crossing the pedestrian bridge as it opens up, every time one of the taller boats is passing.
Eat Thai Food and go out in Newtown
Newtown is the suburb of my university and also the place where I lived during the first half of the semester. And probably because of its proximity to the university it is full of bars and reasonable priced Thai restaurants. It is a suburb with a great atmosphere and definitely worth a visit.
Why we skipped the Blue Mountains, Taronga Zoo and Sea Life
Because we only had a limited amount of time we decided to do the blue mountains when we are crossing the Sydney region with our camper van, so these info will follow later. We also skipped Taronga Zoo and Sea Life even though they must be spectacular, as we prefer to see the animals in wild life while travelling Australia.