If you're following me on Instagram, you may have seen that I was in Australia over the festive holiday season. My main reason for going to the land down under was to visit my dear friend Saroeuth whom I hadn't seen in 6 years!
My time in Sydney was unforgettable thanks to my wonderful friends. I managed roundup a list of things to do (or should I say things I've done) in the city. I do hope these come in handy for anyone planning a trip there.
1. Take a walking tour
Saroeuth suggested I take the walking tour to familiarise myself with the city and learn about its history so I went on the 3 hour walking tour with I'm Free tours. I personally felt that 3 hours was way too long and the tour is limited to the city centre so it didn't include the more exciting and interesting sights. I did manage to see Town Hall, the QVB, Hyde Park Barracks and the canopy of birdcages suspended above Angel Place. I know how cliché and touristy this sounds but I only truly felt like I was in Sydney when we finally reached Circular Quay toward the end of the tour and I saw the Sydney Opera House for the first time.
2. Hang around Sydney Opera House
On New Year's Day, my friend Tobi and I took a walk from King's Cross, through Woolloomooloo and the Royal Botanic Gardens, to the Sydney Opera House. I didn't get the opportunity to see a show there as everything was sold out due to it being peak season. We did hang around the area, like all the other tourists, to take tons of photos. FYI - its made of tiny ceramic tiles that look like those used in bathrooms in the 70's.
3. Walk across Harbour Bridge
If you're willing to spend a tiny fortune to climb the bridge then go for it. I opted for just taking a stroll across it on the pedestrian pathway.
4. Take a ferry to Milsons Point
We took the ferry to Milsons Point to see the Sydney Opera House from another angle and to go to Luna Park. We also walked across the bridge from here.
5. Go to Luna Park
We didn't actually plan on going to Luna Park but when we got there we decided to go on a couple of the amusement park rides. It's a super adorable and retro theme park with some great views of the harbour and is definitely worth checking out.
6. Have dinner at Darling Harbor and watch the fireworks (on Saturdays)
7. Go to The Cuban Place for salsa dancing
After our dinner at Darling Harbour, Dina took us to The Cuban Place for a night of fun dancing. It ended up being a fabulous girls night out.
Especially during the sales! I managed to pick up a bunch of cool things including a selfie stick and walking shoes. Turned out I didn't pack any decent (flat) shoes for sightseeing.
9. Take a day trip to Blue Mountains
We had the loveliest day at Blue Mountains. See more images and details here.
10. Take a walk from Bondi to Bronte beach
If you're like me and you love walking along the coast to admire the breathtaking views, then this walk is a must. See all the picturesque images here.
11. Have a picnic on New Year's Eve and watch the famous Sydney NYE Fireworks
I had such a lovely end to 2014 hanging out with Elliot, Will, Tobi and Justine. We had a picnic while waiting for the incredible NYE fireworks. It really is everything it's cracked up to be and more...
12. Go up the Sydney Tower Eye
You definitely don't wanna do what we did and go up here just before sunset. Clouds covered the windows so it was near impossible to get a good view of the city.
13. Go to Manly Beach
Unfortunately, on the day we chose to go to Manly Beach, it was overcast and windy so we ended up having a late lunch and sundowners at Insitu instead, before heading back to Circular Quay.
There are a bunch of lovely restaurants at The Rocks. I met my foodie friends, Hemal & Kubashni, for dinner at Bar100 and had an awesome time catching up over good food and cocktails.
15. Have dinner at St James Hotel Bistro
We were planning to grab some food at The Sydney Festival but it was so full and the queues were ridiculously long so we ended up at St James Hotel Bistro for a late pub dinner. The food tasted pretty good but we were starving at this point so I'm not sure if this was the reason we liked it so much.
16. Spend an evening at The Star Casino
We planned another girls night out on my last night in Sydney and ended up at The Star Casino. The great thing about this place is that you can bounce from venue to venue. We hung out at the Sky Terrace, Rock Lily and Cherry all in one night.
17. Take a PhotoBooth pic at Rock Lily
I'm a PhotoBooth fanatic so off course I insisted we all squeeze into the booth (clearly only built for 2) and snap some silly pics.
18. Have Gelato Messina
The best gelato in Australia! I went to Gelato Messina at The Star Casino on my last day and I'm rather annoyed about this as I didn't get to indulge and taste more flavours.
19. Buy souvenirs at Paddington Market
At the end of my trip, I realised I didn't buy any souvenirs so Saroeuth took me to Paddington Market. I picked up stuff at really good prices but I'm pretty certain the money I saved was used up in the parking fees! I don't suggest parking at Paddington Market if you're on a budget.
20. Check out the nightlife at King's Cross
My friends, Elliot and Will, live in King's Cross which has a really amazing night scene but its also a great place to hang out during the day too.
There are loads more things to do and places to see in Sydney like Newtown, Surry Hills and The Grounds of Alexandria but unfortunately I didn't have enough time to cover it all. This won't be my last trip to Sydney seeing as Saroeuth lives there so I'm sure I'll get to cover more on my next visit.