Justin grew up just north of the Central Coast in New South Wales and having been fairly close to Sydney and spending a fair amount of time visiting and exploring the area, he can easily say it’s a home away from home. Here is what he suggests when running away to Sydney;
“The activities in Sydney range vastly and will depend on your own interests and of course your budget. Some of the places Krystelle and I like to visit include;
Those two iconic Aussie landmarks the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. Both feature strongly in Australian paraphernalia and make for a great photo at any time of the day. For unobstructed views and or photos, take a ferry across the harbour from Circular Quay. If you are feeling more adventurous, you can climb the Bridge. Prices range from AUD $198.00 to AUD $348.00 depending on the time of your ascent. Krystelle is 100% scared of heights and would still recommend it to anyone. If that sort of cash is outside your reach, it is possible to climb one of the pillars – almost to the top – for free.
Tourist tip: Personal cameras of any description are not prohibited during the bridge climb. Photo packages are available on your return to the ascent point but are rather expensive. We found the cheapest option (in our group of 7) was to pay for a thumb drive and split the cost.
Tours are also available for the Opera House providing a sneak peek behind the scenes and an opportunity to discover this building’s unique construction and history.
Just around the corner, you will find Darling Harbour, the perfect setting for a romantic meal or catch up with friends. After you have satisfied your hunger at one of the many eateries on the waterfront, head across to the Australian National Maritime Museum which consists of 7 main galleries and 3 museum ships, focusing on the discovery of Australia and our naval defence.
Darling Harbour is also home to the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium which houses approximately 650 species of Australian aquatic life, Madame Tussauds and the Chinese Garden of Friendship; a place of serenity in the centre of a bustling metropolis. The Garden boasts an intricately manicured display of Chinese culture and history surrounding the relationship between Sydney and her sister city Guangzhou in China. Admission is $6 for adults.
If you are in the mood for finding a bargain in the city, head over to Paddy’s Markets. Here you will find souvenirs and the usual curios you will find at flea markets anywhere else. For more up-scale retail therapy try Westfield Sydney located beneath the Sydney Tower.
Across Circular Quay take the time to discover Taronga Zoo and the 4,000 animals that call this home; or explore a little further afield and take in Manly Beach, the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary or the Kalkari Discovery Centre and if you’re still hungry, we recommend grabbing a bite to eat at misschu “Queen of Rice Paper Rolls” – delicious!
Now if you have the time to head out of the city, a short drive west will bring you to the Blue Mountains, home to the Three Sisters and some great hiking trails and cave networks. A bushfire did severely ravish the region in October 2013 however the area is recovering slowly.
An hour further north you will find the Central Coast and some of the finest New South Wales’ beaches for surfing. Continue even further and you will be in wine country - the Hunter Valley. Home to some of the best wineries Australia has to offer it makes for unforgettable day trip or weekend escape. We recommend Cockfighter’s Ghost and if you make out there, be sure to try the rose."
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