Sydney & The Blue Mountains, AUS

Sydney was one of three major cities we visited in Australia and was very different than Melbourne. I felt it did not have the same “bohemian” vibe that I felt in Melbourne however I always felt close to the water in Sydney and that made me very happy! Also, compared to Melbourne, there seemed to be many more visual landmarks such as the Opera House, Sydney and Darling Harbours, and The Sydney Harbour Bridge. I am probably committing a faux pas by comparing the two cities and I do not want to insult anyone’s pride in their city so let me just say that I found each city to be amazing and each had their own charm!

Sydney

We spent four days in Sydney which gave us plenty of time to explore the city as well as get out to the Blue Mountains. Sydney offered a variety of sights and attractions throughout the city. Our hotel was located at Darling Harbour which gave us the perfect launching point to get anywhere. Our plan was to visit the city for a couple days then head to the Blue Mountains to relax and finish with a recovery day in Sydney before returning to Melbourne. As usual, we had not planned anything in particular and spent most of our time wandering the different districts, enjoying the sights, and relaxing with some nice cold beers. The city was buzzing with people from around the world so it was difficult at times to get around however it was exciting as well! Some of the great districts we discovered were The Rocks, Woolloomooloo, Potts Point, Darlinghurst, Surry Hills…well, we explored many districts! If you are looking for a great breakfast in Potts Point, I definitely recommend Fratelli Paradiso…simply delicious!

We visited the Sydney Opera House however opted out of the guided tour. As we were getting information about the opera house, we noticed that the opera La bohème was playing that night. I had never seen La bohème and thought, what better place to see the opera than at the Sydney Opera House! So, we purchased our tickets (thought I would have to sell a kidney)! When in Rome as they say, well, when in Sydney…! The night of the opera was so exciting! We arrived in advance and enjoyed a glass of Prosecco before the show started. As the sun set, we were ushered into the theater and took our seats anxiously awaiting for the opera to begin. The lights dimmed, the curtains went up, and the opera began…I had chills! The opera was wonderful and the opera signers were amazing…it was a great experience and I would definitely recommend the opera or a show at the Sydney Opera house (just reserve in advance to get cheaper tickets!).

If you are looking for a break from the city, you don’t have to go very far; Sydney offers the Royal Botanical Gardens for FREE! We spent hours taking a stroll in the gardens and just could not get enough of the amazing sights.

Sydney is a beautiful city and I wish we had more time to visit. Some of the things we missed that I would do next time: Do the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb, go to Manly Beach, spend an entire day laying in the grass in the Royal Botanical Gardens.

BTW, still no deadly creatures!

The Blue Mountains

 

Blue Mountains - Three Sisters
Blue Mountains – Three Sisters

Getting to the Blue Mountains from Sydney is quick and easy. You can take a train that will take you directly to Katoomba station which is a five minute walk to the start of the trails. You can also take day tours from Sydney. We decided to take the train which allowed for more flexibility.

Many hikes and walking tours are available once you arrive in Katoomba and so it is only a matter of choosing how intense and how far you want to walk. We decided to take a longer walk that took us down into the valley away from the tourists. It took us the most part of the day including many stops for pictures, lunch, and breaks. There are beautiful cascades and falls along the path and we even saw a huge lizard! There are spectacular views from Echo Point to see the Three Sisters. If you are in Sydney and have a day to spare, head to the mountains! There are great restaurants as well to enjoy a nice dinner after a long hike before heading back to the city.

Sydney and The Blue Mountains was another amazing part of our trip and again, I am so happy we got to see these places. I love travelling and exploring new places, mixing it up with cities and the outdoors to get the total experience!