After a lovely couple of days in London with my family, I hopped on a plane at Heathrow and landed at Sydney around 21 hours or so later.
I landed at Sydney at 8pm, headed straight through customs, grabbed my bag, bought an opal card and boarded the train to Central Station.
After getting out the wrong side of the train station and turning my two minute walk into a ten minute one, I found my hostel and checked in for the next two nights.
The first people I met were all long term stayers who knew what was happening in the hostel having been there 3-4 months or even more and had seen various people come and go already. Since a few of them were going out that night I met a few more people before retiring to bed. Little did I realise that it was freezing there and I ended up sleeping in my leggings to try stay warm!
After a pretty decent night sleep, the next morning I woke up grabbed a shower, proceeded to feel dizzy so I had another nap (whoops) but then I was ready to explore the city! I did try to be productive and set up phones and bank accounts but realised I didn’t even have my passport so when that failed I just explored.
I wandered around the main shopping areas and saw the buskers and which shops I could recognise from England.
I walked around the harbour and got a glimpse of the ever so blue sea, saw the tourist areas and then headed back into the city. Next I couldn’t resist wandering through Hyde Park since the one in Leeds at uni was one I would walk through pretty much every day.
Then I headed back to the hostel to grab some WiFi as I had tried to arrange meeting up with someone from my home town. They were heading for drinks in Manly and I decided to join them so I could meet a few people whilst also seeing a friendly face!
I made my way back to the harbour and had to take a ferry to Manly Wharf, going past the Sydney Opera House on the way.
I met up with my friend and his mates and it was lovely to be able to watch the sunset from the wharf and meet new people as I welcomed myself to my first night as an Aussie wannabe. Perfect.
I had to check out of my hostel Sunday morning and feeling ever so slightly hungover it wasn’t a great time. I was only heading round the corner so before I went I organised with an American guy I met in the hostel to go to Bondi beach together. I went checked in then met him at the station.
He rocked up with a surfboard trying to manoeuvre it through the crowds, and I thought great maybe this year I will actually learn how to surf…
Sunday, according to Google weather, was meant to be the hottest day, but after chilling for a while it was so windy and really not hot. Also I was still hungover but the beach is always a great cure! But no surfing today.
We went to a cute little pub for food and a game of pool and then some of his mates came who were also from England. It’s so strange hearing so many different British accents in the same conversation!
I was going to head out with these new friends that night for some bowling for his leaving party however I got back to my new hostel, checked in and just crashed for an hour. I woke up starving and the hostel was having a burger night so decided to get in on that and get to know my new roommate (also from England). Then proceeded back to bed with a plan for tomorrow.
With my new roommate, Simon, we went to go be productive and actually get bank accounts, it was a long process and we got mugged off by not having our bank fees waived like others had, but we got there, then went for lunch and then decided to head for the coastal walk Coogee to Bondi.
I was not prepared to love Sydney as much as I did, thinking it was mainly city and sea but this walk completely won me over. 6km of stunning coastal views that reminded me so much like being in America again!
As you can see for yourself it is stunning. The walk took about 2 and a half hours, we didn’t even notice because we were so amazed by every sight along the way. Stopping so many times to admire the view and get some cheeky pictures! There were about 5 little beaches between Coogee and Bondi, and I was just amazed the whole time.
Unpopular opinion: I didn’t actually rate Bondi all that much, it was probably the least prettiest of the beaches and I am guessing just because it’s probably the best place to surf it’s also the ‘coolest‘ to hang out.
That evening we got back to the hostel to rest our feet and met some girls in the room who were heading next door for Pizza and Schooner (NSW slang for a glass of beer) night. After a few, we went to Side Bar which apparently I have heard was the place to go for us travellers whilst we were there. With a mix of rnb, old school tunes and current chart music, it was nice to have a little dance and sing along. (I say little but I was just loving the music the whole night).
Another day, another hike. That’s the motto right? Nah, well it definitely should be mine. We recruited one of the girls from the previous night, and headed to Spit Bridge ready for the Spit to Manly walk.
This hike was a longer one, 10km, and what we didn’t realise was there were no stops for food along the way and we were starving!
Again, this walk was stunning! With a slightly different vibe to the last one, which was lovely. Started out with boats at the docks, then wandered past multiple, lizards and turkeys, walked across stunning sandy beaches, through sections of trees, had views of the city, admired all the rich fancy houses, etc!
After a few hours though we were soo hungry and found a cafe en route, and just made it in time before they closed! Then we finished at Manly, found a little Mexican restaurant next to Manly beach and decided to catch the ferry back.
I had been dying to visit the Blue Mountains and a group from the hostel were heading there Wednesday so I decided to join them. Since I hadn’t had a proper hike in such a long time, the thing I miss most about California, the one thing I wanted to do in Sydney was visit the Blue Mountains.
We headed on the train, after being told it was quite chilly there I had checked on my weather app and it said currently 5 degrees, but feels like -2 wtf. I only had a hoodie and a pair of leggings as my warmest pair of clothes so I thought that will do, just warm up on the walk!
We stepped off the train and was hit by a freezing gust of wind, what had we let ourselves in for!? Grabbed a hot chocolate and headed to the tourist information centre. Straight away you could see the blue mountains in the distance and I was buzzing.
We did the Prince Henry Walk and the views were incredible!
The hike definitely lived up to expectations, with gorgeous views, plenty trees, so many look out spots, a stunning waterfall and great company!
We even saw a crashed car on the trail that for some reason had been left there!
Thursday was my final day in Sydney, so I decided to have a little wander around the harbour again, and then planned my trip a bit more. I booked a few hostels and secured myself a place on the bus as I planned to do a trip up to Brisbane on the greyhound, stopping at some different places along the way for a few days in each place, and then on to Noosa where my American friend is currently staying.
Thursday evening I got the greyhound up to Newcastle to see what awaits a bit further north of Sydney!