Tourists in Sydney – 8D7N

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.

Selfies anytime, anywhere.
Selfies anytime, anywhere.

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!

Farmers’ Markets

Our preference for spending our mornings on the weekends? Farmers’ markets > brunch spots.

Carriageworks Farmers Market/ Eveleigh Market (3 Oct, Saturday)

FOOD. FOOD EVERYWHERE.
FOOD. FOOD EVERYWHERE.

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.

Of people and dogs.
Of people, shopping bags, and dogs.
It was so hard to buy things cause I always kept comparing the prices to those back in Singapore. Such an internal struggle.
It was so hard to buy things cause I always kept comparing the prices to those back in Singapore. Such an internal struggle.

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!

Sydney Sustainable Markets

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.

Bye, market. Lunch beckons!!!
Bye, market. Lunch beckons!!!

Didn’t bother taking a look at things cause we soon grew really hungry and it became our top priority to find lunch.

Darling Harbour

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.

A stall for a team.
A stall for a team.
They were giving our free "helmets"! Definitely had to take a photo.
They were giving our free “helmets”! Definitely had to take a photo.
Damn right, I love to eat.
Damn right, I love to eat.

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.

FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD.
FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD.
Pony rides for kids.
Pony rides for kids.

This is cheap compared to the prices at the grocery stores.
This is cheap compared to the prices at the grocery stores.

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.

Mandatory "WE WERE HERE" shot.
Mandatory “WE WERE HERE” shot. So was the corella pear.

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.

Proof we were there.
Proof we were there.
Going all squinty-eyed from the sun.
Going all squinty-eyed from the sun.

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.

Image from www.mosman.gov.au (https://www.google.com.sg/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CBsQFjAAahUKEwih79CZn4vJAhVB6aYKHV2FCdk&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mosman.nsw.gov.au%2Ffile_download%2F388%2Ftaronga-to-balmoral-walk.pdf&usg=AFQjCNGvOjwHcLiEaMXmq8nH8YO2kjVR6g&sig2=F3mOOxB3PMtMwYS88qkdyg)
Image from http://www.mosman.gov.au

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
The start of the walk. We were heading towards Bradleys Head.
The start of the walk. We were heading towards Bradleys Head.
We were officially walking through some bushes.
Officially walking through some bushes.
So many yachts, so many rich people.
So many yachts, so many rich people.
Hello, Clifton Gardens! By this time, we'd already did 4km.
Hello, Clifton Gardens! By this time, we’d already did 4km.
Hot day. Need ice cream.
Hot day. Need ice cream.
Nearing the end unknowingly! Felt like we were in Jurassic Park with all the fences and enclosures.
Nearing the end, unknowingly! Felt like we were in Jurassic Park with all the fences and enclosures.
Genuine smiles of pure joy and happiness at Balmoral Beach!
Genuine smiles of pure joy and happiness at 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.

Freaking bowl of wonton soup noodles for AUD10?!
Freaking bowl of wonton soup noodles for AUD10?!
Settled on a cous cous salad + 2 chicken fillets for lunch. The chili given was exactly the same as chicken rice. I felt like I was eating chicken rice.
Settled on a cous cous salad + 2 chicken fillets for lunch. The chili given was exactly the same as chicken rice’s. I felt like I was eating chicken rice.

Paddy’s Markets 

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.

Not the cheapest but we were willing to spend on mangoes! They were so fragrant and sweet. Absolutely worth every penny.
Not the cheapest but we were willing to spend on mangoes! They were so fragrant and sweet. Absolutely worth every penny.
Any three bags for $5?!?! GIVE ME MY NUTRITION.
Any three bags for $5?!?! GIVE ME MY NUTRITION.
Heh heh. Gimme gimme gimme!
Heh heh. Gimme gimme gimme!

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!

Took a ferry from Circular Quay to Manly Beach (~40mins). Had a really good view of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Took a ferry from Circular Quay to Manly Beach (~40mins). Had a really good view of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Let's go! $85 - 3 hours for a double kayak.
Let’s go! $85 – 3 hours for a double kayak.
Yay, water!
Yay, water!
XM doing her own cliff jump.
XM doing her own cliff jump.
Hello.
Hello.
Penguin breeding grounds?! So cool to be own beaches only accessible by boat AND where little penguins breed! Sadly didn't see any.
Penguin breeding grounds?! So cool to be own beaches only accessible by boat AND where little penguins breed! Sadly didn’t see any.
Initially wanted to hire a kayak for 4 hours, but changed our mind after seeing the kayaking area wasn't very big.
Initially wanted to hire a kayak for 4 hours, but changed our minds after seeing that the kayaking area wasn’t very big.

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.

Stumbled upon a Night Noodle Market event while looking for a supermarket (Countdown).
Stumbled upon a Night Noodle Market event after dinner while looking for a supermarket (Countdown).

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.

Never been to London but it the station sure made me feel like I was there.
Never been to London but it the design of the station sure made me feel like I was there.
Overnight train; ride to Melbourne was about 11 hours.
Overnight train; ride to Melbourne was about 11 hours.

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!

NATURE.

Till then!


 

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