Without realizing it we were already in Sydney, the last leg of our road trip from Brisbane! After two days of hiking in nature in the Blue Mountains, we spent our last two days in Sydney, the largest Australian city, from where we took our flight to Latin America to continue our trip around the world.
We could say that we ended our trip down the east coast of Australia with a thumbs up, because we loved Sydney! Although not the official capital (which is Canberra), Sydney is the largest city in the country with its 5 million inhabitants. It is also one of the oldest cities in Australia, founded in 1788 by the English.
Where to sleep in Sydney
Once again, we chose an AirBnb, since the previous times we liked the system a lot and the Australians are very used to it. We met lots of people and loved it. In the hostels there are always tourists and the atmosphere is very different. Plus, AirBnb is generally cheaper than hostels! We found a room at a 30-minute train ride from the city center, which was perfect!
Getting around Sydney
The public transport system in Sydney is very effective. The subway, the train, the buses, even the ferry … everything here works very well and is quite easy to understand. In addition, if you use Google Maps you will be able to find all the information necessary to get around. If not, you can visit the city’s website to find your itinerary easily.
To pay you will use an Opal Card, both rechargeable (if you use it several times) or for single trips. Knowing that in the center of Sydney everything is close enough, we chose single trip cards. The price changes depending on the distance traveled.
What to do in Sydney in 2 days
We arrived in Sydney at noon (from the Blue Mountains). So we took the last day that we had our rental car to go visit the beaches of the Sydney coast and then return the car in the afternoon. For the second day in Sydney, we visited the center of the city. Follow us, there we go!
Day 1 in Sydney: East beaches and Coastal Walk
There are several beaches east of Sydney, among which the famous Bondi Beach stands out. But if you know us a little already, you know that we do not like that much to lay on the beach for hours. So we planned to do the Coastal Walk, a path that links the beaches of Coogee Beach and Bondi Beach through several very beautiful places.
So we parked near Coogee Beach and we started to walk … but in summer in Sydney it can get really hot! We soon realized that we would not be able to walk all the way to Bondi Beach on foot! It was very hot! We turned around and went back to the car. At the end we ended up visiting all the places that interested us (creeks and beaches) with air conditioning. Much easier and fresher!
We visited the beaches of Gordons Bay, Clovelly Beach, Bronte Baths, Marks Park and then walked to Bondi Beach and its stunning sea water pool.
After this nice day, we went to return the rental car near the airport (it is very close to the city center), and from there we took a train to return to our AirBnb.
Day 2 in Sydney: the city center or CBD
A beautiful day woke up! The sun was shining, the coffee was ready, and so were we! So we took the train to central Sydney and prepared to make the most of our last day in Australia! We got off at Circular Quay station, right in the CBD (Central Business District, ie downtown).
From Circular Quay we saw for the first time the hoped-for Opera House and the Harbor Bridge! We were super happy to finally discover the city, which marked exactly half of our trip around the world! We passed quickly in front of the ferries waiting in front of the station and went straight to see the Opera House.
Did you know that the Sydney Opera House almost never existed? Yes, the most famous monument and symbol of the city is built on land belonging to an aboriginal tribe. After a lot of controversy, the Sydney Opera House was finally opened 16 years after its construction began!
Today it is said to represent a sailboat, or an ocean wave, or even a shell. We personally did not enter the debate, we simply tried to enjoy the moment and the beauty of the building! You can wander around the entire Opera House, and sometimes also visit the interior (unfortunately, it was closed during our stay because the next day it was the Australian National Day!).
Across the bay, Harbor Bridge, the city’s second symbol, connects the CBD with Sydney’s northern districts. It was built in 1932 and it is huge! They told us that for their construction they had to destroy a part of the city. The neighborhood at the foot of the bridge is old Sydney, better known as The Rocks.
We continued visiting this famous neighborhood of The Rocks, which we loved! It is very well preserved, with cobblestone streets, old houses and several very cool restaurants and bars. We arrived at the Park Hyatt hotel to take a picture of the Opera House, and then we went down the little streets in the shade (it was very hot that day). We found The Rocks Discovery Museum, a free museum that explains the history of the neighborhood. Really interesting!
After a short pause to eat (you can find the place in the section Where to eat, a little further down), we continued southbound on George Street, to the Queen Victoria Building (QVC) , An old building from the end of the 19th century. Today is a large 4-storey shopping mall where we stopped to unwind a little from the heat of the Australian summer.
Once we had replenished forces, we went to visit Darling Harbor, a very active marina with lots of shops. Again, due to the preparations for the national holiday the next day, some places were closed to the public. We stayed there for a while watching the boats and the Australians. Here you can also visit the Sydney Aquarium, the Wax Museum, the National Maritime Museum and go shopping along the whole harbor!
Before we returned to the apartment, we passed in front of the Sydney Tower, with its 305 meters high (the second highest tower in the southern hemisphere, €20 to climb) and Saint Mary’s Cathedral.
Where to eat in Sydney
Since the restaurants in Australia were quite expensive for our budget around the world, we only wanted to try two Restaurants in Sydney. By the way, we can recommend both, because they were great!
- Soul Burger Randwick: A good vegetarian burgers restaurant that we liked! They have 12 different burgers, several types of chips (aside) and fairly original drinks (ginger beer, coconut milk milkshake …). There are several in the region, and we sampled the one closest to Coogee Beach.
- Playfair Café: A sandwich shop in the Rocks neighborhood, we ate on their terrace. We took a couple of sandwiches and a banana milkshake. It was not bad! And so ended our trip in Australia.
We loved Sydney, although we were very hot. It is a modern city, but at the same time with an interesting history, a place where we felt good and where we loved to stroll along its beaches and streets!