Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Researching Sydney

Sarah has been rehearsing like crazy this summer for Hair - the musical, which opens tonight on Granville Island. I'm very excited to go see the show, which promises to be amazing, and to cheer on my favorite hippie. But as she's been rehearsing/dancing/singing/hugging trees, I've realized the big trip is very quickly approaching. Time to plan. First port of call - Australia.

We land in Sydney first, and will probably pop in on my step-sister Shannon, the itinerant world traveler who always seems to pop up in the most fascinating places. I've been checking out things to do in Sydney and it seems be a lot like Vancouver - bustling city on the water with a strong outdoor orientation and a serious mix of populations and cultures. I'm excited to check out the exhibits on Aboriginal artwork, the Chinese Garden in Darling Harbor, and a little Bondi Beach.

I did check out and found some really nice, centrally located rooms for rent in people's homes (40-70/night), which is even cheaper than the extensive hostel network around Australia. I'm sure we'll get our fill of hostel culture over the trip so perhaps we'll stick with cheaper Airbnb alternatives (or just sleep in Shannon's hammock!)

We'll only have a couple of days in Sydney, so probably no time to do exploring around the region, but once we get down to Melbourne and hook up with Tanja, Joel, and Otto, there will be plenty of time to venture further off the beaten path. If you have thoughts on good hotspots in Sydney, we'd love to hear from you!


  1. We were in Sydney for about 4 days of our honeymoon and LOVED it. We stayed at a hotel in the Rocks. Highlights of our trip:
    1) The first morning we woke up at like 4am (totally jet lagged) and walked along the harbor between the Sydney bridge and the opera house (ending up at the opera house) - circular quay I think it was? We watched the sun rise and got some amazing shots of the opera house sans other tourists (a rarity).
    2) Sydney Zoo - boat leaves from the quay takes you right to the zoo. I love boats and was a nice way to see the city - I usually hate zoos (animals in captivity = sad), but this was a great way to see animals indigenous to Australia, plus the zoo is built along the side of a hill right next to the harbor, so some great views of Sydney as you wander the zoo.
    3) had an AMAZING lunch at the one of the museums near the rocks (heard about it via the loney planet guide book - so it should be in any book you have). Think it was this one...
    4) we didn't do this - but worth a read in case you care... :0

    Food in OZ reminded me of food from england, in other words it didn't do it for us, but then we live in SF. :) Great Indian though.

  2. Thanks Cristina! Sounds like you had a very similar kind of approach to Sarah and I - lots of walking. I'm also a big fan of checking out new cities by boat too - I took a boat tour of Copenhagan one time that was the best tour I've ever been on. Thanks for the recommendations (and the warning about those bangers and mash...)

  3. Hi Steve and Sarah! We're going to be in Sydney longer than we originally expected, which means that we'll probably be in town when you are! Please let us know if you have time to meet up.

    Regarding stuff to do, I definitely recommend the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. Bondi Beach is pretty lame IMO, but the coastal walk that stretches from the south end of Bondi to Coogee beach is fantastic. I wrote an entry about it last January- check it out:

    The Royal Botanic Gardens next to Circular Quay is (are?) a must see as well (,_Sydney). It's *free* and conveniently located next to the Opera House. Aside from being a cool park, there are wild cockatoos everywhere and thousands of bats sleeping in the trees.

    If you make it down to Melbourne and you have a car, you have to go see Raymond Island ( We went on a weekday, had the island to ourselves and saw over 20 koalas in the trees.

    Sounds like an great trip that you two are putting together!

  4. Hey Mike!

    Good to hear from you, let's definitely meet up in Sydney, it would be great to pick your brain on more good spots to explore and to eat in Sydney. We have friends from Vancouver who will are from Melbourne and will be there in early Jan, so we're going to swing by there first, then take the bus back up to Sydney around the 12th/13th or so. We take off for Bali on the 16th.

    Thanks for the great recommendations, I remember reading your blog post about that walk, sounds like a perfect activity for getting to know Sydney a little better. And koala bears! Awesome! Course I'll have to check Sarah's pack on the way out to make sure she's not smuggling one home with us...

    Look forward to seeing you in Sydney!


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