australia, Uncategorized

A 4 day guide to Sydney & the Blue Mountains

On the 25th March we celebrated five whole months since arriving in Australia. Can you believe that?! So much has happened in that time yet I still can’t believe we’ve been here for so long. That said, one of the things we haven’t done a lot of is travelling…

But as term one of the Australian school year concluded, Conor and I booked some last minute flights to Sydney leaving our beloved state of Victoria behind. We planned to spend 4 days in the big smoke, hoping to get a taste for the city life, beach life and mountain life in that time and we just about succeeded!

As I was working almost non stop up until the trip, Conor really took the reigns with our itinerary and made a plan to include lots of our favourite things, plus plenty of down time to relax and catch up with friends and I’m going to share a little bit of that with you.

Day 1

We caught an early morning flight from Melbourne to Sydney airport and a train from the airport to the suburb where we were staying. Trains in Sydney are super convenient, including trains from the airport. However, they do sting you with a surcharge of around $15 for entering the airport, ouch!

Next stop, central Sydney to grab some lunch. We made like the local business people and entered the long line outside Big Bite on Pitt to fuel the walking tour we had planned. With stomachs full from the huge sandwiches we had just devoured, we now needed a caffeine fix which we happily found at Mecca Coffee, King Street.

We then decided to tag along on a free walking tour which we always recommend for the first day in a new city. It really helps to get your bearings and learn a little about the local area and culture. Whilst we didn’t think our guide was as good as we’ve had in other cities, we still are glad that we did this.

In the evening, we decided to hang around and see the beautiful Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House for sunset before retiring for the evening.

Day 2

We woke up on a glorious, sunny Sydney morning which was perfect for the days planned activities; walking the infamous Spit to Manly coastal walk. This was easily my favourite day in Sydney. The walk is 10km long but the terrain isn’t overly challenging and the views of the ocean combined with tonnes of beautiful beaches along the way are enough to make your soul swell. The other emotion that you’re going to feel on this walk is complete and utter envy – the houses on the route are absolutely beautiful and cost an amount that I could only ever dream of being able to afford!

When we arrived in Manly, we grabbed some lunch and headed to the 4 Pines brewery for some afternoon refreshments before catching the ferry back to Sydney Harbour. We decided to catch the ferry at sunset hoping to get a great photo coming into the harbour. The clouds however had other ideas… Still a lovely angle to see Sydney from!

Day 3

Our third day called for another coastal walk but this time the shorter distance of 6km from Coogee to Bondi. One of the highlights of this walk is passing the beautiful Bronte Beach where I definitely could have stayed for a few hours! Along the way there are lots of outdoor pools to stop at, including the grand finale of Bondi Icebergs on the cusp of Bondi Beach.

After having a browse and sampling some of the great ice cream shops in Bondi, we headed over to visit our friends from home who live here. We spent the afternoon catching up with them and their beautiful dog and sharing tales of Aussie life. We then headed home for an early night as we had a pretty big final day planned!

Day 4

Our final day saw us head to what I would now describe as one of my favourite places in the world, the Blue Mountains. We picked up our hire car from Sydney and drove up in the early morning sun. Our first stop was a little walk along to Pulpit Rock Lookout and then to Govetts Leap. The views are breathtaking and although there are a lot of steps and/or hills on these walks, it’s definitely worth it for the views.

Finally, we headed for the most iconic location in the Blue Mountains; the Three Sisters. There are a few short walks from the car park here too which allow you to actually walk onto one of the sisters, super cool! Upon arriving back at our starting point, we waited amongst the many other tourists for that beautiful sunset shot and we weren’t disappointed…

Although I am certain that there are tonnes more things to do in Sydney, as we only had a few days to explore we were super happy with our itinerary. Despite being a major city, Sydney has so much of the nature that we love to explore right on it’s doorstep. The coastal walks alone have me longing to go back as I write this in rainy Melbourne! Fortunately for us, flights are super cheap between the two cities so I know that we’ll get chance to return someday soon.

If you’ve been to Sydney/live in Sydney, I’d love some recommendations for our next visit! Until then, I’ll try and update the blog with our next travels far sooner than 5 months after we return from a trip…

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