travel with me: sydney, australia

Time for my Sydney, Australia travel post!

*down under by men at work plays*

Anyone get the reference? If not, oh well! I had such an amazing time in Sydney, Australia and I am so excited to share my pics with you all! So many of you enjoyed my New Zealand post, so you are in luck because I have one more travel post after this one! It sadly rained the entire time I was in Sydney, but I tried to make the most of it! At this point in the trip I had the "mid trip blues" in which I was kinda down and mopey, but I quickly recovered I promise! Let's get started with the day we arrived.

The first day in Sydney was more of a half day because we had a later morning flight so we didn't arrive in Sydney until later in the afternoon. From my hotel room, I was able to see the very top of the Opera House which was so exciting! That first night our tour guide took us on the metro (not sure the nickname for it in Sydney, maybe just the T?) and we traveled to the Rocks and Sydney Harbor.

While we were in Sydney, the vivid Sydney light festival was in full swing, so we were able to see some incredible light installations as well as see the Opera House lit up in an array of patterns and colors. 

At the Rocks, which is the historic "downtown" area of Sydney, the tour guide gave us an in-depth history lesson of the area. The name comes from the convicts arriving in Sydney being sent to the rocky land to sleep whereas the other people were able to go sleep on a marshy hill. The convicts lived and worked in the Rocks, cutting out intricate stones, creating a unique area that is still around to this day. For dinner, I enjoyed a Hawaiian pizza, which surprisingly was on the menu at several restaurants I ate at!

The first morning in Australia, I decided to try an Australian speciality- vegemite. I spread a very thin amount over butter on toast. Not a fan. It had a rancid beef bouillon taste to it, but I applaud those who enjoy it! I sung "he just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich" from Down Under in my head as I pondered the taste of this speciality. 

the group headed out to see the Opera House from several different angles! It was so beautiful- truly a magnificent sight to see in person. 

The remainder of the day was jam packed with touristy things- going up the Sydney Tower (which gives panoramic views of the city, but it was so foggy that we were only able to see a little bit of the city), then drive around China Town, visit the Opal Museum, and eat lunch at a huge food court. I tried a delicious fried chicken sandwich, chips with a chive and bacon dip (yum!), and Pavlova- the national dish of Australia that is a mixture of vanilla ice cream, meringue, and strawberry topping (which was divine btw). (the restaurant is Burger Project if you are interested! They have several locations in Sydney)

After the delicious lunch we headed to the harbor to go on our Harbor Cruise. I loved the harbor because I am personally a fan of any type of waterfront area (for example Copenhagen, Boston, Charleston, etc). The harbor had a lovely dark green gate that surrounded the water which was so picturesque with the Opera House in the background.

Afterwards we visited the indoor zoo to see some adorable creatures! Kangaroos, koalas, and more. I decided to skip on pics for these because I actually got to hold and pet these animals in Cairns, which will be on the blog next week! After the zoo the group shopped for a bit at this outlet mall of sorts and had a delicious dinner. Then back to the hotel in a torrential downpour and bed!

The next day was a free day to explore the city. I went with a smaller group to Paddy's Markets in Chinatown. This was a great place to explore because the market it filled with retailers that sell souvenirs and other novelties for much lower prices than the souvenir shops sprinkled throughout the city. Of course some things can be tacky, but I was able to find several good shops that had inexpensive and quality souvenirs such as boomerangs, didgeridoos, etc. I also found an opal store where I bought an Australian Opal ring for $50 AUD. (let's just hope it's real lol). Even if you don't like the Chinatown scene (which is really cool), you should still check out Paddy's Market- especially if you are looking for opal much cheaper than in the Opal stores and museums. 

The sun was making its appearance on this day, so my small group decided to walk back to the Rocks to see it in the day time. I loved all the store fronts and buildings with upstairs patios. Such a neat area!

Since the sun was out, we went to the harbor again to get a final view of the Opera House in the daylight. The water was a beautiful teal color and the sky was the perfect blue. 

That evening after dinner, some people in my group went to see the lights festival one more time. It was a spectacular end to our time in Sydney. Lots of food vendors, street performers, and activities made the harbor a hub of excitement and art. I loved seeing the light installations that we hadn't seen the first night, especially the one below that were angel wings that "picked up" when you stood in front of the wall. 

Sydney was an incredible city. The vivid lights, history, and character of the buildings and people made this city an incredible place. It was such a great first glimpse into the vast country of Australia. Be sure to catch my previous travel post in New Zealand here, and my Cairns post coming next week. I hope you enjoyed! 

As always,

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