When planning our trip to Sydney, we decided to use air bnb for a variety of reasons. Firstly we wanted to experience the Australian lifestyle and what better way than living in a locals home in the centre of it all. Secondly, we wanted to have an apartment with cooking facilities and finally air bnb offers quality accommodation at affordable prices. Our studio apartment was located in Potts Point, east of the central business district. We met the host to check in and she provided us with a guidebook to the flat and local amenities. She also allowed us to check in early which was much appreciated after a 9 hour flight. The flat was a renovated studio in a an old building. It was beautifuly decorated with a quirky edge. The street it was located on was really quite peculiar, if we took a left out of the building there was fine dining restaurants with a chilled atmosphere, and if we took a right… it felt like you had stepped on to the strip in Magaluf full of backpackers.
Transport in Sydney
With our accommodation being so central, we mainly walked around the city. I would also recommend the opal card for public transport. The card itself is free but requires 10AUD initial credit. The card can be used for the train, bus or ferry. We used the bus to get to Bondi Beach, the journey took about 40 minutes and the bus dropped us off on the beach front. The card also came in useful as it provides unlimited travel on a Sunday for 2.50AUD. We used this to get a bus to circular quay and then the ferry to Manly beach which is definitely worth a visit. A ferry normally costs around 16AUD return. Therefore planning an adventures day on a Sunday is essential!
Sydney has so many amazing sights to see. On our first day we walked through the central business district and headed to Darling Harbour. The atmosphere at the harbour really represents the chilled Australian lifestyle. No one was in a rush, everyone was just enjoying the moment. There were so many business colleagues having lunch and enjoying a glass of wine. We then headed towards Millers Point. On the way we passed streets of abandoned houses. We were told by a local couple that due to development the residents had been evicted. The residents had left messages on the walls with slogans saying ‘whats the point in being rich if theirs no poor’ and ‘poor people matter’. We then walked through Barangaroo Reserve which is a new park area which boasts great views of Darling harbour and the harbour bridge. We were told by a the locals that Barangaroo was the aboriginal chief’s wife who used to rule the land.
On the second day we headed to the Sydney Opera house. On the way we passed the Royal Navy ship and Woolloomooloo Bay. We then walked through the botanical gardens and around Farm Grove which provided beautiful scenery en route to the Opera house. When we reached Sydney Opera House I couldn’t quite believe how relaxed It was. Considering it is the top tourist attraction in Sydney, it was not overpowered by tourists, there were only two police officers who soon disappeared and there were no companies trying to sell tours. The building is amazing to see in person, when you walk up the steps you can see in to the function rooms which look very glamourous. Next we headed to Circular quay where we had some lunch and then went on to The rocks, passing underneath the Harbour bridge. The Rocks was given it’s name due to the formation of the traditional aboriginal buildings made with sandstone. To this day the city’s architecure stands out as unique. Traditional buildings contrast with the new blocks of flats and skyscrapers, yet it some how works.
During my stay in Sydney we visited Bondi beach and Manly beach. The Iceberg swimming club has been a heritage attraction on Bondi for over 100 years. The infinity pool on the beach front allows members of the public to swim some lengths whilst looking out in to the ocean. There is also a Ferris wheel on the front with some restaurants and cafes. Manly beach on the north coast has slightly more to offer. The ferry port has a couple of bars and restaurants overlooking the boats on the harbour. When you walk straight down the main street to the other side of the coast there is a large beach with lots of surfers. The fish and chip shop on the corner is a good option for some lunch. There is also a coastal walk around to a smaller cove.
Sydney is famous for it’s coffee. There are so many independent coffee shops on every street. On our first day whilst waiting to check in we visited 3 in the space of 2 hours. One of our favourites was The Brotherhood Cafe in Potts Point. The cafe was modern with colourful artwork displayed all over the walls. My favourite restaurant we visited was an Italian called Macchiatos. I had a pepperoni and smoked ham stone baked pizza which was delicious. We also had lunch at the Eastbank restaurant on Circular Quay which provided great service and great views of the Harbour bridge.