The last stop of my first trip to the Oceania region was Sydney. Flying from the warm weather with sunny beaches in Cairns to a winter (July) in Sydney. Two reasons for the stop in Sydney, it had the cheapest flight back to the United States and it had a bucket list check-off to check out the Opera House.
Sydney is a great city, it’s very clean and the public transit is excellent. However, this was a one and done for me. I got the bucket list check-off and I won’t go back. In my opinion, the city is very overrated and my 2-day stay was plenty to check out the city. During my time traveling all over Australia and New Zealand (2018 – 2019), I spoke to many Aussies, Kiwis, and tourists, all of which had the same opinion, Sydney is overrated. So if you’re planning a trip (still recommended), keep it short, Sydney is a must-do but 2 days is plenty.
Day 1 – Arrival & Opera House 07.06.2016
Arriving from Cairns (3-hour flight) in the late morning, we took an uber to our hotel, Cambridge Hotel Sydney. This was an okay hotel, it’s not the nicest but the area is nice. After settling in we wanted to check out the famous Sydney Harbor, which was roughly a half-hour. Stopping first in the CBD 1.6 km (1 mile) walk and then heading to the Harbor for a total of 2.7km (1.5 miles).
Arriving at the Sydney harbor and wow is it breathtaking, the engineering structure of the Opera House is amazing! Spending at least 30 minutes outside taking nonstop photos I finally walked up the steps to head inside. The Opera House has a small gift shop but there isn’t much else to walk unless you have tickets.
Directly across the harbor is the beautiful Sydney Harbor Bridge, which if you’re brave enough you can pay to walk up to the top. The best times to go are for sunrise and sunset, both were well booked in advance, so we passed.
Next to the Opera House is the Botanic Gardens, covering 30-hectare. This was by far the nicest botanic garden I have ever been to and easily the largest. The botanic gardens give you a great viw of the Sydney Skyline. After spending about 2 hours here it was time to head back for dinner and rest up for our last day in the Oceania Region.
Day 2 – Sydney Tower Eye & Harbor Tour 07.07.2016
The plan for today was to check out the Tower Eye, go whale watching, and finish with a nice dinner trying Kangaroo. First, stop the Tower Eye, the cost was approx. AUD 25 if you buy tickets ahead online and AUD 30 if you buy at the Tower. The Tower gives you 360-degree views of the entire city and overlooks the harbor, it is 250 meters high (1000 Feet) and is the tallest building in Sydney. Unfortunately for me, it was a cloudy day so I didn’t get that great of photos.
As we are about to head down to the harbor to get on the boat for the Whale Watching tour we received an email telling us the tour was canceled due to rough conditions. With nothing else in mind to do, we still went down the harbor and decided to ride the ferry around the harbor, giving us our harbor tour. This turned out to be better than I expected since we got to see the backside of the Opera House, which in my opinion is way better than the front.
With an early flight out the next day back and about 24 hours of travel waiting for us, we went out to have a nice dinner. Spending at least two hours trying to find a restaurant I finally found one, Waterfront Grill. Kangaroo was different but very good and for those that are not vegan or vegetarian, I recommend trying it.
Back to America.