Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Australia Part II: Sydney

After spending our first two days in Melbourne we took an overnight train from Melbourne to Sydney.  The trip took just under 12 hours and was a similar quality trip to riding Amtrak in the US.  The trip was almost entirely in the dark, so there wasn't much to see along the way.

We arrived in Sydney around 7 AM.  Sydney is located on a beautiful natural harbour (yes, that's how they spell it in Australia).  After stashing our luggage in a locker at the train station we headed out to explore the city.  We saw the Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, and Circular Quay.  For lunch we met up with my brother in law's sister, Kim, who lives in Sydney.

After lunch we picked up our luggage and headed out to Bondi Beach where we spent two nights in an apartment booked through Air B&B.  Our B&B hosts Steph and Ed were great.  They are expats from France and had a unique perspective on living overseas that we could appreciate.  They also live right by one of Sydney's most popular beaches with some great views.  Bondi is a great surfing beach.  While we don't surf ourselves (yet), it was fun to watch people riding the waves.

Steph and Ed also let us use the barbecue (grill) on their porch.  We took full advantage of this and enjoyed some delicious steak, potatoes, and green beans.

For our second day in Sydney we found our way back to the city center by bus and then hopped on a ferry out to Manly.  Bondi is south of Sydney Harbour while Manly is to the north.  The ferry to Manly offered great views of the city, and Manly is rather picturesque itself.  It is located on an isthmus between a bay off the Sydney Harbor and the shore of the Pacific Ocean.  

For lunch in Manly we enjoyed fish and chips and some local beer at the 4 Pines Brew Pub across from the wharf.

After lunch we ventured out on a walk around the harbour in Manly.  The harbour view was nice, but the local flowers and birds were definitely the highlight of the four hour walk.

Some of our favorite birds were a sulphur crested cockatoo, Australian pelicans, a little pied cormorant, and numerous rainbow lorikeets. Also notable were the spiders the size of my hand hanging out in the trees above us.

We waited until dusk to head back in to the city and enjoyed the blue hour view of Sydney Harbour.  Upon our arrival back in Sydney we managed to meet up for drinks with a high school friend (Jeff Mills) who was in town for work.  It's fun running into familiar faces all over the globe.

Our last morning in Sydney was spent taking a bus, a train, and another bus out to an industrial neighborhood where we picked up our camper van.  We saved the best part of our trip for last.  Six days of camping along the coast between Sydney and Melbourne was amazing.  I'll share details soon in my next blog post.

No comments:

Post a Comment