On a recent trip we opted to fly via Sydney and spent four days there. It was a great place to stopover; fun, family-friendly and full of sunshine! Here’s what we got up to and what we would recommend for adventure-seeking travellers. Lots of our ideas came from the fab travel blog of Wanderlust Aussies, well worth checking out their site.
Day 1: Sydney’s Iconic Harbour
We spent an entire day wandering around Sydney Harbour, past the Opera House and through the beautiful Botanical Gardens to the viewpoint at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair where you can get that iconic view of Sydney’s harbour bridge and Opera House. We ate ice creams at the harbour, enjoyed anniversary drinks at a pop up bar in the Botanic Gardens and soaked up the sunshine then strolled into Chinatown for dinner.
Day 2: Manly via Taronga Zoo
We bought a package deal from a kiosk outside the train station, which included a boat trip to Taronga Zoo, a gondola ride at the zoo, a boat shuttle on to Manly and another boat back to Sydney Harbour later that evening. The weather and the backdrop of the harbour were pretty spectacular. With the giraffe enclosure positioned just in front of Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, it was picture perfect!
Day 3: Bondi Beach
Bondi beach was a real highlight of this trip for Jeremy as he was quite literally in surfers’ paradise! Whilst he battled the currents with his long board, Sophia and I paddled and played in the shallow freshwater pool at one end of the beach. There were hundreds to surfers and body boarders to watch as we soaked up those rays and we spotted the occasional rescue boat operation when surfers got swept too close to the rocks.
After lunch we popped Sophia in her buggy and walked the 6km coastal path from Bondi to Coogee Beach. There were quite a few steps in places so it wasn’t particularly buggy friendly, but well worth it. This views were spectacular and the route took us past Bondi Icebergs swimming pools and Bronte beach, where we would have stayed longer but needed to get to Coogee before sunset…which we just managed! Playing on the beach in the dark was pretty fun though!
Day 4: Central Sydney
On one of the days when the weather wasn’t as sunny we walked around the city, we explored Darling Harbour, Chinatown, the Chinese Garden of Friendship, and spent a while at Tumbalong Park. We even heard a didgeridoo being played.
Day 5: Pylon Lookout
We just had the morning to explore before we needed to head to the airport, so we jumped on the train to Circular Quay station, strolled along to Pylon Lookout and soaked up those Harbour views for one last time before navigating back to our accommodation to pick up our bags and onwards to the airport.
Adventure on a budget.
We decided that we didn’t want to spend a lot of our holiday budget on accommodation (as we would rather spend it on day trips) so opted to stay somewhere cheap and cheerful….a backpackers hostel….with our baby! I know what you’re thinking. We probably should have done some research on which area of Sydney it was in (Kings Cross), but all in all, it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. There were actually a few other families staying there too. We got a triple room which had a fridge, a double bunk bed with a single on top and plenty of space for the travel cot. There was a shared kitchen and a rooftop bar with sun loungers and picnic tables (from which we watched the fireworks go of over Sydney Harbour bridge). Being up early for breakfast with a little one meant that we had the kitchen to ourselves, as everyone else only got in at 4am!
- Just in case you can’t connect to Wifi upon arrival in Australia, download Google Maps before you leave home and save the accommodation address. Better still, take a screenshot of the route from the train station to you accommodation address to avoid wandering around in circles trying to figure out where you are and which direction you need to set off in!
- Make sure to take advantage of the Opal Travel Card benefits on a Sunday. You can travel an unlimited distance on trains, buses and ferries for a total of $2.50 (except to the airport). If we had been here on a Sunday we would definitely have gone to the Blue Mountains, which is about 2.5 hours from central Sydney….for $2.50! Bargain!