View from the apartment window
11th – 13th May ’12 Sydney, Australia
We left Auckland and arrived in Sydney in the morning and were met by Debbie, Rob and Matt all decked out in their Boro shirts and waving a Boro flag! It was a brilliant start to our Aussie adventure!
Deb rang the lady whose apartment we were renting for 3 nights and discovered we could check in before the 2pm usual time, which was great news as we were all shattered. We then all followed Howard through various bits of airport car park and across roads and through a park until we arrived 1 mile later at the station he had researched that would save us all $12 each on our train fare into the city.
Our apartment was in the Hyde Park Plaza and had fantastic views over the city, we also had access to the roof top pool and Jacuzzi which was a nice bonus. After an hours attempt at sleep excitement proved too much and we all headed out to explore.
We walked down George Street to the Harbour area and got our first views of the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, both of which
were pretty impressive. I was equally impressed with the street performers and was past myself with excitement at the 2 aborigines playing the didgeridoo – now this was what I thought Australia was about!, when they invited people to come up and have their photo taken with them I was first in the queue!!
On our way back to the apartment Debbie was stopped by a lad who had spotted her t shirt and also told us about a rock night that was held on Fridays and was walkable from where we were staying. Matt was feeling ill so we left him in bed and the rest of us headed off for a night on the town, unfortunately when we found the pub it turned out the rock night had changed to a Saturday but we stayed for a beer and I chatted to the owner and got us all in free of charge for the rock night.
It was quite a walk down to the rock place so on the way back we called in a couple of pubs, had a bit of a dance and the came across a street magician doing card tricks – well
we had to stop to see that, he was really good and Debbie got picked to take part and was given her card signed to keep!
12th. Today was a sightseeing day and we walked down to our nearest station and bought tripper tickets which covered us for trains, buses and ferries. We went back to the harbour and caught a ferry to Manly Beach – this had been recommended to us by various Australian people who we had met on our travels, it gave you fantastic views of the harbour area, the Bridge and the Opera House.
Manly Beach itself was a lovely place, really laid back and full of interesting little shops and open air craft stalls come markets. There was also a little stage with a band playing which we stopped to listen to for a while. It was here that we bought Billy’s New Thongs (aussie for flip flops I hasten to add) which have featured in various adventures on facebook.
The beach was gorgeous – all white sand and lots of people surfing. We ended up staying quite a while, mucking around, taking photos and enjoying the sunshine. It was really
difficult to find anywhere to buy reasonably priced lager in Sydney and when Howard, Deb and Rob found an off licence with some they ended up buying a case which they then had to cart all the way back. There were lots of comments about us all being from Queensland which none of us understood until we got there and discovered Castlemaine XXXX is brewed there. Matty carrying the case onto the train drew a great cheer from a gang of lads and as we were leaving they started chatting to us. They seemed to be on some kind of a raucous weekend and then one of them pumped and wouldn’t own up to it, they were all blaming each other and just as we got off the train Debbie said actually it was me and they all started cheering and hooting!
That night after a few beers in the apartment we set off again for the rock night – Venom, we decided to go by train using our trippers and after a few changes arrived. True to his word the manager let us all in for free and what a difference from the previous night, the music was
great, the venue was over 3 floors and we soon found our spot on the top floor. Then things got messy, the jugs started, the dancing started, the teaching the locals English words in the smoking area – Twoc being the favourite, making lots of new friends, the DJ playing Black Sabbath and Motorhead for our Pommie friends and before we knew it it was 3 am, the lights were on, it was time to go, Debbie had pulled and we stumbled our way back home via the kebab shop! A fantastic night out!!
13th Stacy arrived today and just like us, but for very different reasons, was shattered so after a quick hello it was back to bed for everyone until Rob woke us all up at 12 having, rightly I guess, decided not to waste the whole day.
Eventually everyone was up and ready and we headed back to the harbour area, while Stacy and Deb went to visit some museums the rest of us walked round to the Opera House and right round it, me stopping for my free hug from some random man with a sign. It is an amazing building architecturally and as
The Sydney Harbour Bridge
impressive close up as from a distance.
After a much needed energy boost in the form of a roast dinner I started to feel a bit more human again. I also had my first taste of roast pumpkin and it was pretty good. We didn’t walk over Sydney Harbour Bridge but did see several people all tied on doing it and try as we might we couldn’t see a plaque anywhere saying it was designed in Middlesbrough or made with Boro steel.
As it got later it got colder and we decided to jump on the free bus back up to Hyde Park, but after waiting by a bus shelter for about 20 minutes and being walked around by a very strange oriental man making threatening sounds we decided just to walk. We passed through a couple of the city parks full of weird and wonderful trees but failed to spot the koala that Rob and Matt had seen yesterday.
That night we just went in the Jacuzzi to thaw out, then chatted about the great outback adventure to come and had an early night!
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