Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Travel guide: Sydney, Australia!

Australia. The land down under. Oz.

We loved living in Sydney and our last visit did a great job of reminding us of why we miss it. In fact if Oz was a quick flight away I’m sure we’d visit it annually. Alas as it is almost 22 hours of flying from the UK it takes a fair bit of planning and annual leave to make a trip worth it. We did a 3 hour stop in Doha, Qatar so our flight split was London Heathrow to Doha = 8 hours then Doha to Sydney 14 hours. Qatar Airways are brilliant btw - great seats, entertainment and lovely food. 

We crammed our 2 weeks with friends, family and memories to last a life time. As with our Road Trip around California we thought we would do a high light list instead of realms of posts on each day but if you want more information or are planning a trip Sydney side let us know.

Part 1
Day 1: we arrive at 7pm and as we had kept ourselves awake for the last 8 hours of flights we were already feeling tired. A light dinner, catch up with our bestie Kate and we were ready for bed.

Day 2: A chance to relive the Sydney days. Stop 1 was the view over the city from Manly side. As we lived in Manly we fell in love with our view across the harbour. From Sydney Harbour National Park point you can admire the view while capturing all the Sydney landmarks.

From the city view to the beach we couldn’t let our first day pass with a trip to the beach. Unfortunately the wind was against us and sunbathing turned into more of a sandstorm survival but the sea was lovely and warm and it was good to feel the sand between our toes (less so in our eyes, ears).

Manly Beach
Day 3: With the wind still causing chaos Kate had decided that a hike would be a good way to get out and enjoy the sun without getting attacked by the sand. The destination was Barrenjoey Lighthouse. It features in the opening sequence of Home and Away and the view at the top of the grade 3 hike is stunning. With beautiful beaches spanning out below and almost Jurassic Park like jungle sounding you it is out of this world. Even with the wind we could feel the heat but the exhilaration at reaching the top meant it was the perfect way to spend an afternoon.

Our reward was an evening of indulgence at Chica Bonita Manly. Put simply this place does delicious food. The food is Mexican influenced and the place is queued out regularly. It is a whole in the hole and menu is simple so it is easy to make a choice. The flavours were strong but not overwhelming and everything was so fresh - including the cocktails. 

Day 4: Our Sydney city day. You can’t go to Sydney and not spend a day wandering the city itself. The mix of buildings, the history, the shops, the landmarks, Sydney has it all. We arrived on the Manly Ferry, our favourite way, and landed in view of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Our first stop, however, was lunch in China Town. A straight march up hill and through the main city area meant we arrived starving for Yum Cha. Otherwise known as Dim Sum this Chinese special allows you to sample all sorts and is delivered to your table for you to review. Think Yo Sushi but authentic and much more delicious.

With full bellies our next activity was the Chinese Garden’s. While most people would be content wandering around, admiring the beautiful environment we weren’t. Well WE were but as Kate and Mel had ever been we felt it necessary to pay the AU$10 per person and walk around in full Chines dress. We posed for other visitors photos and even got offered tips from a lady who thought we were paid to work there (we refused of course).

As evening fell we made it our final mission to visit all 12 zodiac signs made from lanterns and decorating the harbour side in honour of Chinese New Year. Laura made us pose with the signs associated with our birth year and all went well until we reached the last lantern and a thunderstorm made its entrance. In less than 3 minutes we were all completely soaked. We took the fast ferry back which takes 15 minutes instead of 25 and were glad to make it home swiftly. That was until we met our new house guest, a Huntsman spider as big as my hand. Kate as a true Aussie dealt with it like a pro. Laura and I ran…….and screamed…..and hid.

Day 5: Friday and our last day in Sydney. Kate had planned a morning of SUP Yoga for us. Read all about in our next post here.

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