So we finally cut a bit of slack on the budgeting and started doing a bit more touristy things in Sydney!
Took the public train from Cardiff Station all the way to Central Station (Sydney) – a good 2.5hr train ride. Love that it was so convenient and only cost about $5.80 to get to another city!
Lugged our bags around and took a bus to our next Airbnb apartment. We pretty much booked our accommodation last minute (again), with our host’s description being “I live alone”. We were sold with that description! Just kidding. It was affordable and was a good 10 – 15 minutes bus ride away from the city center. Convenience was such a huge factor for us cause we didn’t want to spend too much money on transport.
Highlights in Sydney:
- Farmers’ Markets
- Darling Harbour/ NRL Nation
- Sydney Opera House
- Melting at Bondi Beach
- Bush Walking
- Paddy’s Market
- Kaya king of Manly Beach!
- IMAX at the World’s Largest Cinema Screen!
Our preference for spending our mornings on the weekends? Farmers’ markets > brunch spots.
Carriageworks Farmers Market/ Eveleigh Market (3 Oct, Saturday)
Not too sure why they have two names for this. Made me pretty confused. It was in a really cool warehouse setting with so many stalls selling a huge variety of things – organic produce, free-range eggs, meats, sweets, honey, etc.
We walked around for a bit and pretty much admired all the things on display and soaked up the atmosphere. Held back in buying anything cause y’know, budget constraints. Plus, there were more farmers’ markets that we were going to check out!
Oh gosh. This was quite a disappointment. When we reached Taylor Square, there was tentage around but not much. We wandered around a bit before finally coming to a conclusion that those few tents were the market itself.
Perhaps cause we reached late (12++pm) so most stalls were already closed? Either that or Carriageworks set the standards of how big-scale a market should be like.
Didn’t bother taking a look at things cause we soon grew really hungry and it became our top priority to find lunch.
After having a quick bite at a Mexican place, we took a short walk to Darling Harbour to explore. I really love walking. I get to exercise, explore back alleys, and most importantly save on transport costs.
There was a NRL (National Rugby League) Nation event going on and we had to go take a look. Such a work hazard it was, specially with both of us having an events background.
Marrickville Market (4 Oct, Sunday)
Yet another beautiful day to explore another farmers’ market! We’ve gone to so many markets by this point of time that even though most items sold are pretty much the same, we still didn’t mind going to more cause of the different locations and each market is unique in their own way.
I like going to markets. They make me happy even if I don’t purchase anything.
Sydney Opera House
Tourist time! Took a bus down to check out the famous Sydney Opera House. Can’t officially say you’ve been to Sydney until you’ve seen the House! We blended in really nicely with all the other tourists and their selfie sticks.
So, doing what we do best with our touch-and-go travel style, we spent some time admiring the view, snapped photos, and left quickly out of the heat to explore other places.
Melting at Bondi Beach
Next tourist destination that we had to check out – the really crowded Bondi Beach.
I swear, the sun and the heat in Australia is extremely intense. Must be the hole in the ozone layer. One year ago, I’d jump at any opportunity to be out in the sun but now all I was concerned about was slathering on sunblock before heading out. Trust me, I love being outdoors the heat was too much for me.
Sat around for less than 30 minutes, people watching, after deciding to head to the mall and window shop.
Bush Walking from Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach (5 Oct, Monday)
Our Airbnb host was really nice to suggest places/ things for us to visit and do and he mentioned bush walking! That really appealed to me cause it meant exercising and we’d get to see a lot of sights whilst walking. XM was game for the idea so we did the Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach walk.
Walked for 2.5 hours (~6km; it felt way more) and covered these spots:
- Taronga Zoo
- Athol Hall
- Bradleys Head
- Taylors Bay
- Clifton Gardens
- Chowder Bay
- Georges Head
- Georges Heights
- Obelisk Beach (nude beach!)
- Middle Head
- Cobblers Beach (nude!)
- Balmoral Beach
Breathtaking views of countless bays and beaches. We were so relieved when we saw the beach cause it meant we completed the walk! Time for dinner!
6 Oct, Tuesday
We decided on taking a rest day after 20 consecutive days of getting out and about. It’s tiring to go out everyday. I don’t even go out so often when I’m back home!
Basically chilled in the apartment the whole day catching up on Facebook, news, stuff like that. It was good to be able to unwind for a bit.
EQ Village Market (7 Oct, Wednesday)
Always on the hunt for farmers’ market, I found one which opens on a weekday! It was of a smaller scale and most were food stalls.
Wasn’t exactly a farmers’ market, but boy did we go crazy with the grocery shopping in there!
The ‘market’ was located in a big building and it kind of felt like the night markets in Thailand, just in a more organised manner. The second floor was more of a clothes/ gadgets area whilst the ground floor focused pretty much of produce.
We started on the second floor and after awhile we just lost track of which lanes we’ve walked cause there was just too many stalls. We went downstairs and that’s when the jaw-dropping began. Vegetables were going at a really low rate!
The ‘cheapest’ asparagus we ever bought was 3 for $5 but at Paddy’s, I bought 3 for $2! (!!!) Mushrooms were like $8++/kg at normal grocery stores but Paddy’s were selling a bag for $2. INSANE.
Certainly had a very happy dinner that night with our fresh purchases.
Kaya king of Manly Beach! (8 Oct, Thursday)
We wanted to kayak the day before but due to gloomy weather, the company weren’t renting out their kayaks for safety reasons. We called them up again and thankfully the weather wasn’t too bad. Off we went for our own mini-adventure!
So we kayaked from Manly Wharf Beach > Little Manly Cove > Collins Flat > Store Beach > Quarantine Beach > Manly Wharf.
Good to have finally put our arms to better use and let the legs rest for once.
IMAX Movie – Everest
With Thursday being our official last day out in Sydney before we headed to Melbourne, we decided to check one off the list of watching a movie in the world’s biggest cinema screen (that’s what they boast). Seemed like a pretty cool achievement to unlock!
After cleaning up from kayaking, we headed back to Darling Harbour around 4++pm to purchase tickets for Everest. The show was at 9.10pm so we had quite a bit of time.
We went straight to the food court cause we were absolutely starving.
It was a first time experience for me, watching a movie in IMAX. I… didn’t feel the ticket was worth $35 (ouch). The only thing impressive was the huge-ass screen. Other than that, nahhh.
Plus I’m not a fan of wearing 3D glasses cause they’re known to give people a headache but it wasn’t too bad an experience for me this time.
I wouldn’t watch in IMAX again; a good one-time experience but watching a movie in regular cinemas is good enough for me.
Enjoyed watching Everest though! Especially with it being a true story. Quite a depressing way to end our last day in Sydney though, with the deaths in the show.
9 Oct, Friday
After spending a week in Sydney, we were finally making our way down to Melbourne! Bought a train ticket from NSW Trainlink again for the promotional price of $70/ pax. The train was departing at 8.30pm so we stayed in and left the apartment at 6.00pm.
Didn’t exactly do too much touristy things in Sydney but I felt a week was a tad too long. 6D5N would have been enough for me but then again, there’s never enough time when you’re travelling.
Will update in the next post about my time in Melbourne. Our days were packed with activities and we even met up with one of the friends I made when I was volunteering at an animal farm in Thailand a few months ago. She even brought us camping in the woods!