Edit Blog Post
Published: February 2nd 2010
23 January 2010 - 31 January 2010
Byron Bay to Sydney by bus--13 1/2 hours
Sydney to Bondi Beach by taxi--A$20 - 30
City to Manly by ferry--A$13.80 return
Funk House, King's Cross, Sydney
4-bed dorm, fan, shared bathroom, inc. breakfast--A$27 per person per night
Really funky place right in the heart of King's Cross (A.K.A the Redlight District). However, it's really busy, and the cleaners just barge into your room unannouced.
Noah's Backpckers, Bondi Beach
Double, fan, shared bathroom, TV
Another large place with really slow check in (it took 2 hours!) and it's not the most hygienic. The toilets are akin to public toilets you may find in an inner city!! Best to avoid this place!
Westend Backpackers, Sydney
Double, A/C, private bathroom--A$73
Pretty big place, but a decent option in the heart of the city.
Arriving in Sydney after a long bus journey, on a Saturday at midnight was taxing to say the least. Try getting a taxi here!! It was now that we were really missing the extra efficient services of Blue Bird taxi's back in Indonesia, as none of them wanted to stop or none of them wanted
to take us to where we were going or the drunks got to them first!!
So after an hour or so we finally made it to our hostel, where Becky and Phill (friends from the UK) were waiting for us.
The following morning we got up, bright and early to a slightly cool and rainy day, and set of for a little walk around Sydney. We first went to the infamous Paddy's Market, a huge indoor market (surprisingly run by Chinese rather than Irish). Some great bargains were had here before we walked across to the Sydney Fish Market via Darling Harbour. This place is fantastic (Sydney Fish Market by the way). You buy a bottle of wine (in our case, two!) with some plastic cups, then you head to the seafood and pick what you want. Perch yourself on the grass and feast. It's a great atmosphere and one of the must do's of Sydney!
Walking back to King's Cross, we walked through the centre of Sydney and did a bit of retail therapy before heading back to the hostel. We opted to not eat out and instead went to the supermarket and bought some food to
Byron Bay to Sydney
Lunch stop at the Big Prawn
cook for ourselves. An early night was planned as we were due to be up the next day early to head out to the Blue Mountains but instead we ended up sleeping at way past midnight and woke up the next day not feeling our best! Nevertheless we got up, had a rushed breakfast at the hostel and headed out on our tour to the Blue Mountains. Situated about 90 minutes to the southwest of Sydney, the Blue Mountain's is home to the famous Three Sisters, one of Australia's top 5 most photographed sites. Once again there is a great Dreamtime story about how the three rock formations got it's name. Three sisters fell in love with three men from a neighbouring tribe, but marriage was forbidden by tribal law. A battle ensued, and the sisters were turned into stone by an elder to protect them, but he was killed in the fighting so nobody was able to turn them back.
There are actually a number of myths but this was just one of them.
Anyway, the trip started off with a visit to watch some wild Kangaroo's before heading off to a viewpoint to look over the vast
Byron Bay to Sydney
Typical Aussie coach drivers, with extra short shorts and extra long socks!
and beautiful Blue Mountain's. They are called the Blue Mountains as the vast amount of Eucalyptus trees here give of a bluish hue that sometimes can be seen just above the trees.
After the viewpoint we headed on a trek to a waterfall. Going down was fine. Coming back up was a different story!! Luckily we weren't trekking in the 40C heat that New South Wales was suffering with a few ays ago!! The trek involved very steep steps, and alot of them!! Finally returning the bus we stopped briefly at the Three Sister's viewpoint before heading to the cable car which takes you down into the valley. It wasn't the most impressive as it was quite quick and returning back to the top we took the scenic railway which again wasn't really that impressive.
With a final night spent at the Funk, we headed out early to Bondi Beach in the outer suburbs. Today was Australia Day and Bondi is apparently THE place to celebrate it. After arriving there it took us a whole two hours to check into our hostel (no idea why!) and after we set off to the fantastic beach. It was absolutely rammed but
we found a spot and set about sunbathing the day away! Sadly your not allowed to drink on the beach so the Australia Day spirit was a little dull. In fact it hotted up when a few hooligans decided to have a fight on the beach. Usual behaviour on Australia Day! The other highlight was trying to get on an Australian TV Series, Bondi Rescue, a show about the day to day lives of the life guards! No idea if our futile attempts worked but Amy had a blast trying to recognize the "stars" of the show! Dan secretly also had a blast! (No he didn't, Amy!). Tanned out (well Amy and Dan were, Becky and Phil were still the colour of the very white sand!) we headed back to the hostel to get ready for our night out. Well, it went a bit sour as either no where was open or no one was out. And we thought Australia Day would be a busy one! It turned out the next day that people tend to go out the night BEFORE Australia Day! Well, lesson learnt for the next time we visit!
So, Bondi was a bit of a
disappointment, but life goes on and we headed back to the City for another few days. The first day we pootled around the city and headed up the SkyTower for the magnificent views of the city. Meanwhile, Becky and Phil did the Sydney Bridge climb while we attempted to spot them through the SkyTower's binoculors...to no avail! We also took the opportunity later on to buy a digeridoo (is that how you spell it?) which has become Dan's pride and joy as well as a few boomerangs from a great little store in Darlinghurst.
Our final full day in Sydney saw us go to Manly Beach, another outer suburb. The famous Manly Ferry took us there, taking us past the Opera House and the Sydney Bridge and a grey day turned into a fabulous one as we did some more sunbathing on the beach. Manly Beach has turned into one of our favourite, as the sea here is wonderfully clear and clean and the surf not too trechourous (unlike Bondi). We soon wished that we had stayed here instead of Bondi! It was also potentially our last beach stop on our entire travels as we realised that day that
we only had a weeks worth of funds available, meaning that night we had to finally get round to the task of booking our return flights back to the UK. Yes folks...only a week left of our Banana Pancake Trip!! Sad times indeed!
That night we bid farewell to Becky and Phil as they fly out to NZ and Fiji and we set off south to Melbourne for the last installment of our epic! Again sad times people!
So for Sydney it is a goodbye (for now). It's an interesting place, a bit grey, and bit like any other major city in the world. We head off to Melbourne where we'll plan to spend a couple of days before renting a car and exploring the world famous Great Ocean Road before flying back to a snowy UK!!
Tot: 3.156s; Tpl: 0.05s; cc: 15; qc: 65; dbt: 0.0486s; 3; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb