One of my favourite things to do when visiting a new place, is walk, walk, WALK!
With the sun shining, I decided to take a little break from beach days, and set off on a route suggested in my guidebook to see some of the more picturesque areas in the city. Sydney is a much larger city than I had expected, and after a few mishaps getting lost amongst the shopping malls which interlink underground, I am finally starting to get to grips with it!
My day started at the Royal Botanical Gardens (Gran would be MOST proud I’m sure!) which is home to the Art Gallery of New South Wales (certainly worth a perusal, I saved this for a significantly colder day, and it is deceptively enormous!) and as rumour had it, some of the best views looking over the Harbour.
Spring is clearly a good time to visit the gardens, which were absolutely beautiful. It’s fantastic how quickly you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and become completely lost in your surroundings. The brightly coloured flowers, exotic trees, and charming walkways were simply delightful, and although I’m sure Madeira would perhaps have the edge on this, there is certainly some competition!
Through the gardens, I was led to Mrs Maquaries Chair – the perfect view point for the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge for those classic images of Sydney. Had I been a little more organised, this would have been a perfect picnic location, albeit avoiding the disapproving looks of the hundreds of people out running on their lunch breaks…!
I continued my walk along the water, up to the Opera House itself. Although I didn’t want to commit to pay and tour the inside, it’s fascinating seeing this very oddly shaped building up close, and it’s quite surprising to note that it is not a bright shade of white as the photos would suggest! Located here as well is the Opera Bar a delightful spot to enjoy a beverage up close to Opera House, overlooking the Harbour Bridge. Considering the prestigious location, prices are not as extortionate as you would expect, particularly in comparison to the prices at some of our favourite exclusive London hotspots!
The Harbour area has been extremely busy every time I have passed through, with a mix of tourists having a leisurely perusal of the area, and locals going about their day to day business. Past the ferry terminals sits the Contemporary Art Museum which I would also recommend for a visit, to see some of those weird and wonderful pieces of art, similar to the Tate Modern.
Just past here I have also enjoyed a beverage in Cruise Bar, which has incredible views of the Opera House, and also gave me my first minor Australian celebrity sighting (although these may have been unknown to myself, I have since seen Justin Bieber close to this location… quite disappointing, when really in Australia I should be running into the likes of Hugh Jackman…)
I finished my day up just above here in The Rocks, the oldest part of Sydney, with plenty of little restaurants and shops to wander around. I also enjoyed perusing a Saturday market in this area (of course, one of our favourite activities!) but realised this was quite different to the weekend markets I am used to visiting with yourself, with a stall selling Kangaroo kebabs.
Sydney has been a real treat, and a city I have liked much more than expected. But for now, it’s time to see some more of Australia!
With kindest regards,