On my first trip to Sydney, Australia, we hit the ground running. We were met at the airport, whisked off to the eclectic, newly revitalized warehouse district of Alexandria, with its charming terrace houses and cafes, distilleries and pastry shops. We had breakfast at “Grounds” for a farm to table experience. The trick is to stay very busy on your first day upon arrival from the US, so as to get adjusted to the time difference and help fight off the jet-lag.
Our next stop was the Barangaroo Aborignal Culture tour. Our Aboriginal Visitor Service Guide led us through this reserve, which is a great way to connect with one of the world’s oldest cultures.
We headed to Kings Wharf for out “Sydney Harbor Long Lunch” bay cruise. This is a unique cruise of the beautiful bays of Sydney. We stopped at well-known iconic restaurants along the way. Our first stop was at Doyle’s for starters (appetizers). We continued on our cruise to Balmoral Beach for the “main” course at Public House. On our way back to Sydney, we were treated to trays of desserts and beverages. From the beginning, our captain and crew provided us background of Sydney’s maritime history. While listenineg, we were picking out all the beaches we wanted to re-visit. A great way to get the lay of the land. A harbor cruise just isn’t a harbor cruise until you cruise under the famed Sydney Harbor Bridge and behind you is the iconic Sydney Opera house. WOW!
Finally, we were ready to check into our hotel and take a quick rest, grab dinner and head out to explore Sydney at night. There are a number of wonderful hotels in the many districts of Sydney. CBD (Central Business District), Double Bay, The Rocks, Circular Quay. There is something to do in each district.
Visiting The Sydney Opera House was brought to life by a behind-the-scenes tour which revealed great stories of how they chose the architect and what an engineering feat it was. A lot more lies behind those tiny white tiles.
On the weekend one can visit the Paddington Markets and The Rocks Markets. The outdoor markets are hosts to local artisans.
Of course, a visit to Sydney is not complete without a climb on the Sydney Bridge, and yes, I did it. If you opt not to take the climb, there are many other options, including a visit to the Australia Zoo, Botanic Gardens and the Opera Center, which displays the craftsmanship behind the sets and costumes for the Opera. Take a drive to Bondi Beach or any of the lovely beaches along the bay. Or just have a nice lunch on the harbor taking in the sights.
Two great events that happen annually in Sydney is The Handa Opera, held during the month of April, and Vivid, held the last week in May. We were fortunate to attend the Handa Opera’s performance of Puccini’s Turandot. Not an Opera fan? Well you haven’t been to the Handa Opera. The set and orchestra are built on the bay. It is spectacular to see an Opera as the sun is setting.
There are many things you can do within an hour or two from Sydney:
The Australian Wildlife and Reptile Park is a hands-on zoo. Cuddle a koala, feed kangaroos and emus, see Tasmanian Devils and Kookaburras. The park is home to one of the best reptile collections.
The Bouddi Peninsula is home to the seaside villages of Killcare, Hardy’s Bay, Pretty Beach and Wagstaffe, and home to one of the Luxury Lodges of Australia. They offer the best in exquisite accommodations and the finest cuisine and best wines Australia has to offer. This stunning peninsula is a great way to pamper yourself on a busy itinerary in Australia, celebrate a special occasion, a couple's getaway or a family vacation. We were fortunate to stay in one of the inns in Killcare.
After leaving Bouddi we took a ferry over to Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Australia’s oldest National Park, home of the world’s most concentrated collection of aboriginal Heritage sites. Before heading back to Sydney we had lunch at Akuna Bay Marina.
Looking forward to my next visit to explore the other provinces of this beautiful country.