Arriving late evening from Ayers Rock I got to my hotel around 2030 and hit the room service. I was staying at the Sydney Harbour Marriott which is a short walk from Circular Quay right in the centre of Sydney’s CBD. I had a bit of a long lie so by the time I got up it wasn’t worth heading out to Bondi Beach so I decided to just spend the day wandering around Sydney.
My hotel was right in the centre of Sydney CBD a short walk from Circular Quay Ferry Terminal and Train Station with excellent views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. I spent the next few hours walking around the harbour past the Opera House and into the Botanic Gardens which are huge and immaculately maintained offering an excellent vantage point for the obligatory photo of the Opera House with the bridge in the background. After spending a few hours wandering the gardens I headed back in the opposite direction towards the bridge and walked round to Darling Harbour – a surprisingly long walk – grabbing lunch on the way from one of the many restaurants along the harbour.
Determined not to waste most of the next day I headed to bed early and was up at the crack of dawn to go to a Starbucks I found – right outside the hotel and then I jumped aboard the Hop-on, hop-off bus tour of the city. As with Melbourne, I had booked these online as it’s a bit cheaper than paying on the day.
The sightseeing bus operated two routes, one around the city and one that headed out to Bondi Beach, both taking around 90 minutes to do the complete loop. The beauty of these buses is that you can hop-on and off at the various stops as often as you like for 24 or 48 hours and for someone new to the city they are a great way to see the city and the popular tourist attractions. I chose to just do the complete loop during the course of the morning, hopping off to change to the Bondi Beach tour half way through. After lunch I went round again, hopping on and off at the various stops that interested me.
On Day 10 I headed into the Blue Mountains on a small group tour which I’ve discussed in a separate entry.
Coming back into Sydney on Day 11 I decided to do the Bridge Climb, I hadn’t booked it in advance as I wanted to make sure it was a good day when I went and today was perfect, pretty much no wind and beautiful clear skies. Turning up at Bridge Climb they were able to fit me in – although I wouldn’t recommend this if you’re travelling to Sydney during the summer months. If you are in Sydney this is an experience I highly recommend, you climb the bridge in small groups led by one of the experienced bridge team guides and are attached to a safety line at all times. You, unfortunately, can’t take your own camera with you in case it falls but you do get to wear a highly attractive jump suit during the climb and can purchase photos they have taken of you at the end.
My last day in Sydney was spent visiting the Zoo, I don’t normally like Zoos but people I had been talking to while on the Blue Mountain Tour recommended it, it was an interesting experience and to get there from the city centre you hop on one of the ferries from Circular Quay and cross the bay. The zoo is built on a fairly steep hill and I recommend purchasing your zoo ticket either in advance or from the ferry terminal when you get your ferry ticket as this ensures that you can hop in the cable car when you reach the other side to head up to the main entrance where you can work your way back down the hill, rather than having to enter the zoo through the bottom entrance and climb your way up the hill.