Zoe and I managed to cheat the system and book both of our train tickets to Sydney on my travel pass #winning. So after a long overnight ride we arrived early Monday morning.
We got off to an early start and headed towards Circular Quay. Of course we stopped to take 3,764 pictures in front of the iconic Sydney Opera House along the way.
We caught the bus to the famous Bondi Beach for the afternoon. Bondi is one of a kind, with cliffs on either side, cute storefronts, heaps of surfers, and of course no shortage of beautiful people.
We stopped in the cute suburb of Paddington for supper. Along Oxford St we also stumbled upon the coolest outdoor public library! The demolition site of a historic building had been turned into a beautiful work space with books for borrowing on the honour system–so cool.
After dinner we headed to the Opera Bar to have a drink overlooking the beautiful Sydney harbour. The views from the venue were pretty surreal.
Tuesday morning we wandered around Sydney’s historic downtown.
The CBD is packed with loads of gorgeous old buildings with stunning architecture. One of our favs was St Mary’s Cathedral.
In the afternoon we headed to Manly beach on the ferry. The shops around Manly are super cute and spending an afternoon on the beach is never rough.
Since 2000 when MK & Ash Olsen filmed Our Lips Are Sealed in Sydney I have had climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge on my bucket list and Tuesday night I got to cross it off! The pre-climb prep was perhaps more rigorous than skydiving funny enough. You are required to get totally suited up, harnessed on, and radioed in. The climb itself is about 2 hours and has been completed by over 3 million people since it’s inception in 1998, including celebs like Opera, Robert De Niro, and Ryan Reynolds to name a small handful. The views from the bridge were absolutely amazing and at the top of the arch we even got to see fireworks from one of the cruise ships in the harbour! Our guide had worked at bridge climb since it’s opening so we were lucky to have really interesting commentary the whole climb!
The operation faced a LOT of skepticism and resistance before it got the green light–it was a 10 yr uphill battle for the founder. But to put how well this operation does now in perspective, the cheapest climb is $200; they have roughly 500 climbers per day 365 days a year; you are not allowed to bring cameras and pictures are sold at the end. So they’re doing alright.
On Wednesday we spent most of the day at the highly recommended Taronga Zoo. At the zoo, not only are there hundreds of cool animals but also amazing views of the Sydney cityscape. My fav exhibits had to be the red tailed panda and the gorillas. Zoe had been waiting her whole life to see a quoka–a special type of wombat–so that was the highlight of her day without question.
After the zoo we headed down to Darling Harbour, a beautiful area lined with restaurants and shops on the water. We met up with Briley, another on of my friends from my Thailand tour for dinner at a yummy Asian restaurant that brought back memories of our trip!
On our final morning in Sydney we wandered around Pott’s Point and Rushcutter’s Bay Park and got a glimpse at how the other half lives. These people are living in mansions on the harbour with their tennis courts, polo field, and country club a stones throw away. However, it is pretty ironic that one of the wealthiest suburbs in Sydney is directly adjacent to what is widely regarded as the seediest area of the city–Kings Cross. Zoe and I have already begun to scheme ways we can earn enough money to retire here.