>> Thursday, May 1, 2014
For as long as I could remember, an item on the top of my bucket list was to touch all of the continents on Earth. On a whim last year we decided to do just that and booked a trip to Australia since it was the last continent I needed to visit. It was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made. Not only did we miss the brutally cold winter months of Calgary, but we were able to visit and meet up with friends along our trip making for wonderful memories.
We were lucky enough to spend 3 whole weeks in Australia, starting off exploring their most well-known city, Sydney. After a day layover in Los Angeles and a 15 hour flight, we finally arrived in Australia and didn’t want to miss a minute of it. After quickly dropping off our belongings at the hotel, we immediately left to wander the streets. Plus, at this point we were so jet lagged there was really no point in resting since we probably couldn’t sleep anyhow. Lucky for us, our hotel was on George Street near Central Station making everything extremely close either by foot or the metro.
After a couple minutes of walking we realized that we were extremely close to Chinatown and the Darling Harbour front. I would definitely recommend Darling Harbour if you’re looking for a nice place to have dinner. There are many great restaurant selections alongside the boardwalk overlooking the harbour or if you’re looking for something a bit more unique, there are many restaurants hidden in the streets nearby like Momofuku!
One place we couldn’t miss was the Sydney Fish Market. A great place to pick up fresh seafood for locals, it’s also the perfect lunch location for tourists. Just be warned that there are lots of tour busses that stopover there, so try to go when it isn’t peak times to avoid the long lines. The fish market is a seafood lover’s dream (my husband was speechless for a good hour). Housing everything from fresh fish, shrimp, lobsters, crabs and more! You can’t go wrong picking anything you need to make a fresh seafood feast. There are also many restaurants and cafes located within which cook up all the amazing seafood that’s sold there. My favorite were the oysters, since they sell varieties that aren’t normally served here in Calgary it was fun just to sample all the different selections they had that day.
Probably the most famous location is the Sydney Harbour front, flanked by the architectural marvel of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It’s probably the most visited spot in Sydney. I really enjoyed strolling along the boardwalk or grabbing a coffee at one of the many cafes alongside and people watching. Due to our schedule we weren’t able to fit in a show at the Opera House but did the tour instead. I highly recommend it because they provide the history and back story to how the opera house came to be. Plus they walk you to several areas that aren’t normally seen by people attending the shows. Opposite to the Sydney Opera House is the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, built 1932 the arched steel bridge is famous for the amazing fireworks displays during special holidays like New Year’s Eve. Next to the bridge you’ll find Sydney’s oldest neighbourhood, the Rocks. This historical area now houses many restaurants and bars. If you have time, you can also join walking tours which provide great insight in to the first settlers of Sydney.
We couldn’t wait to hit the beach and head out to Bondi on our second day. Full of surfers and sun tanners, Bondi is one of Sydney’s most famous beaches with many well-known restaurants bordering its shores. Sean’s Panorama is a great little spot overlooking the shoreline boasting some amazing local seafood. It’s not only a must visit for tourists but also locals alike. From the restaurant, you can stroll down to the boardwalk and stroll along the coastline that connects various beaches and alcoves along the way. The full path takes roughly 2 hours and also a great place for a morning run due to the breathtaking scenery.
If you’re in Sydney for a couple days, I suggest taking one of the many fairies to one of the nearby islands. Located roughly 45 mins by ferry from Sydney’s harbour, Manly is a beach comprised of three sections. The local attractions include, kayaking, shopping, surfing and many amazing restaurants. We decided to visit Manly Wharf aside from its beautiful beach was because of Hugo’s Manly Pizzeria and Bar. Voted Sydney’s top pizza bar time and time again, it was hard not to make a point of stopping by. We ordered of the Chorizo and Garlic Pizzas and they were both spectacular. I’ve never had pizza so thin and crunchy before, Hugo’s pizza are crustless so the toppings are fully loaded to the edge of the pizza, add on the amazing view and one can probably stay there all day! After visiting Sydney, I couldn’t wait to hop to our next stop in Australia. Now I can successfully scratch that off my bucket list!