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gloriajames Sydney - A travel report by Gloria
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Sydney,  Australia - flag Australia -  New South Wales
4705 readers

gloriajames's travel reports

Sydney - A Funky and Cosmopolitan City

  16 votes
Page: 1 2
Sydney is home to many migrants and offers a myriad of options for one to either explore her beautiful beaches, feast on the fantastic food or to soak in the spectacular harbour views.


View of Sydney Opera House from Hyatt Hotel.
View of Sydney Opera House from Hyatt Hotel.
Though not the capital of Australia, Sydney is the most popular city in the state of New South Wales and truly lives up to her name and reputation for having ‘the way of life’ in the Land of Down Under.

She is best explored during spring as the temperature is between 18 to 27 degrees and is ideal for taking many walks and lazing at Bondi or Manly beaches.

When I landed, I had neither of those as I was brought straight to view Sydney’s most famous and recognisable landmarks of the modern world – the OPERA HOUSE on Bennelong Point. My guide explained the saga of architect Jorn Utzon’s project which seemed doomed from start in view of its design and miraculously became the landmark of Australia. If you want to know more, get a guided tour to explore the interior of the Opera House.

Next stop was at Mrs Macquaries Chair for a photoshot of the OPERA HOUSE with the HARBOUR BRIDGE as the backdrop. If you are feeling adventurous, why not do the bridge climb! You can opt for the morning or evening climb which takes about 3 hours at least and it includes some training before your climb. Be warned, only the fit are allowed and everyone undergoes a brief medical test before embarking on this A$175 climb. Every climber gets a certificate of accomplishment.

I did not join the brave ones and proceeded to King Street Wharf 1 and got onboard “the Captain Cook Cruises” for a 2hrs luncheon cruise instead. I must add that this is the best way to relax and soak in the lovely harbour views.

To get a feel of the old historic Sydney, explore the area around The Rocks namely at George Street and you will find buildings dating back to the 1800s and early 1900s. This is where the first white settlement first began in Australia.

Favourite spots:
Sydney Fish Market
Sydney Fish Market
1. Sydney Fish Market
Which is the second largest in the world and where you can drop by for your fresh fish fix and have it cooked on the spot. Do try the fresh oysters and sushi platter.

2. Darling Harbour / King Street Wharf / Cockle Bay Wharf
These impressive waterfront bars and restaurants makes you want to come back for more. The night seems to never end here and the harbour views are excellent.

3. St Mary’s Cathedral
Just next to Hyde Park is this impressive catholic cathedral that was opened on 1900. The interior is tastefully done.

4. Queen Victoria Building (QVB)
Located at Pitt Street Mall, is one of the world’s most beautiful shopping centres. It’s the Harrods of Australia. QVB is opened 24 hours and is very tastefully decorated at Christmas time. There is a guided tour at opening hours which provides you with the history of QVB. I must add that I found it best to explore the QVB in the wee hours of the night as there was no crowd!!

What's really great:
Quad Biking on Stockton Beach Dunes.
Quad Biking on Stockton Beach Dunes.
If you are in search of dolphins and dunes, head on for a 3 hours drive from north of Sydney and you will land in Port Stephens. The sea around here is home to about 160 dolphins and during the period of the migration route, you will chance upon one of the 3,500 humpback whales.

Port Stephens is home to 5 regions and I managed to explore the region around Nelson and Anna Bays.

There are two must-dos here.

I joined the Dolphin Cruise which took about 2 hrs. This cruise includes a luncheon, dolphin watching and swimming in the boom net. That I must say is a totally unique experience as the dolphins are allowed to get close to you.

Next, was Sand Safaris at Stockton Beach where you can opt to go on a Quad Bike or join 8 others in a 4-Wheel Drive. These 2,500 year old sand dunes is the largest moving coastal sand mass in the southern hemisphere. This was truly a unique adventure and I had great fun sand-boarding.

Sights:
Fairy Penguins
Fairy Penguins
1. Head on to the Sydney Aquarium and the Sky Tower. Get an admission ticket that allows you to do both sights as its cheaper on the budget. There are over thousands of Australian fish and sharks at this aquarium and with a glass tunnel about 145m long that makes you feel submerged in the sea. And if you feel like soaring in the air, then do the 305 metre high Sky Tower tour that gives you a bird’s eye view of the city from the observation decks.

2. Bondi and Manly Beaches if you wish to surf or simply people watch. As Australia has a huge hole in its ozone layer, it is not advisable to work on your tan without a sunblock. Apparently, many Aussies risk skin cancer and the government’s main concern is to promote awareness of it to its people. If you do visit Manly beach, a must do is the Oceanworld.

3. Taronga Zoo – Is the best place to see Australia’s wildlife and is only a 15 mins ferry ride from the city and boosting spectacular harbour views.

Accommodations:
Novotel Hotel
Novotel Hotel
1. RG Hotel on Capitol Square – is a 3½ star hotel centrally located and easily accessible to Chinatown and within walking distance to many shopping centres and sights.

2. Hyatt Hotel – located near the Rocks offers magnificent views of the Opera House.

3. Novotel Hotel at Darling Habour provides waterfront views of the harbour.

4. Establishment at George Street is a chic luxury hotel in a restored heritage building.

Nightlife:
Bungalow 8
Bungalow 8
1.Tank located at the Establishment, is the most happening and hippiest dance club in the city. Be warned that you have to be very appropriately dressed in the your clubbing clothes otherwise you will have to stand in the queue for ages! Only the best dressed are given priority entry! If dancing is not for you, then mingle with the drinking crowd at the Establishment Bar.

2. Bungalow 8 and Cargo Bar, both located at King’s Street Wharf are jumping bars and a must try are the martinis! Be warned, there are lots of eye candy!

Hangouts:
Hard Rock Cafe Sydney
Hard Rock Cafe Sydney
1. Hard Rock Café at 121 Crown Street for die hard fans who wish to collect souvenir t-shirts.

2. Paddy Maguires Pub at the corner of George and Hay Streets is a traditional Irish pub and serves the best pub meals.

Restaurants:
Nick's Seafood Restaurant
Nick's Seafood Restaurant
1. Tetsuya’s at 529 Kent Street, Tel: 02-92672900, offers a fusion french and japanese cuisine.

2. Wagamama (www.wagamama.com) at King Street Wharf, Darling Harbour is highly recommended if you want to try fusion japanese and chinese food.

3. Neil Perry’s Rockpool at 107 George Street, Rocks, Tel: 02-92521888. This god-father of Mod Oz cuisine is famous for seafood and pastries.

4. Bills at 433 Liverpool St, Darlinghurst, Tel: 02-93609631, is famous for its brekky!! You must try the to-die-for hot chocolate.

5.Blackbird Café at Balcony Level, Cockle Bay Wharf, Tel: 02-92837385, is a best value for money restaurant with price ranges from $4 to $17 and offering one of the best views of Darling Harbour.

6.Nick’s – Promenade, Cockle Bay Wharf, Tel: 02-92641212, serves excellent seafood and is famous for its signature seafood platter. End your meal with Nick’s “better than sex” chocolate fondant.

Other recommendations:
The Three Sisters and Blue Mountains
The Three Sisters and Blue Mountains
Just west of Sydney, after a couple of hours drive, will take you to the Blue Mountains which is a world heritage site spanning 1million hectares of forests. If you like the wilderness, this is a must-do for you.

Blue Mountains as they are so called because of the blue haze from scattered rays of light coming into contact with fine dust particles and droplets of oil dispersed from the eucalyptus forests that carpets most of the mountains there.

Look out for the famous rock formation depicting ‘The Three Sisters’. Go on board the scenic skyway to get closer to the formations. Stop at Echo Point for your best photoshot and also at Kattoomba to view the waterfalls.

Make sure your guide tells you the legend surrounding ‘The Three Sisters'.

Published on Sunday November 28th, 2004


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Thu, Dec 29 2005 - 07:24 AM rating by jarome

Fantastic overview of Sydney Gloria. Well written and good variety of attractions.

Mon, Nov 29 2004 - 08:18 PM rating by magsalex

Another greaqt report-well written, informative and great pics!

Mon, Nov 29 2004 - 12:28 PM rating by bear495

Gloria,
Another very nice job. Please continue reporting. I always enjoy what you have to write.

Russ

Mon, Nov 29 2004 - 10:56 AM rating by mistybleu

GJ,
A very imformative and well written report, it brought back memories of my trip last year. But the quad biking over the sand dune sounds smashing.
Rgds Misty((*_*))

Mon, Nov 29 2004 - 04:21 AM rating by picasso

Gloria,your article is well written and you had provide
A lot of information on Sydney, great pictures ,very interesting.

Keep it up *****!

Boris

Sun, Nov 28 2004 - 06:42 AM rating by britman

Awesome report - beautifully written, very readable and great pictures!
another ***** star report.

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