After more than 24 hours of planes, airports and really bad food, we touched down in Sydney, Australia. Neither of us could really believe it, Australia was the stuff of movies, novels and old reruns of Facts of Life. For both of us it always held the status of a far away land that while we might see one day, it seemed somewhat unlikely. Yet within a few hours there we were, staring across Circular Quay at the Sydney Opera House. We had arrived.
We knew when planning the trip that we wouldn’t have nearly enough time in Sydney, just a couple of days, and that we would need to make them count. Luckily we stayed at the extremely well situated Holiday Inn – Old Sydney, in the heart of The Rocks and within sight of the Bridge, Opera House and everything we wanted to do. Staying in the thick of the action saved us a lot of time and money as we explored the city.
We began the first day with a walk along Circular Quay and a tour of the great Sydney Opera House. One of the most recognized buildings in the world, it was spectacular not just to see up close, but to experience the inner workings of the building as well. The tour lasted just an hour, but was an exceptionally well done overview of the history of the Opera House as well as the day-to-day work performed there. I honestly didn’t expect such a great tour.
After a walk around the historic Rocks district, we boarded a boat for a two-hour Captain Cook cruise of Sydney Harbour. This was a great idea given how pressed we were for time as it gave us a much better understanding of the geography of the city and just how expansive it truly is. We followed the various bays and inlets up to the Heads before sailing back to Circular Quay, passing the Opera House and Harbour Bridge along the way.
The second day was just as busy, I felt a bit pressed to get in as much as possible. We started the day with what is an absolute must do activity for any visitor to Sydney, the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. The three hour experience takes guests on a walk through, up and over the famous bridge. I have a slight (big) issue with heights but wasn’t bothered at all, it was a great activity not just for the views but for the shear thrill of climbing the huge steel structure and learning about its construction.
After soothing our achy feet, we enjoyed a quiet lunch and explored Darling Harbour and the Sydney Aquarium before returning back to the Rocks area for a little museum hopping. Later that evening we enjoyed a great meal along the waterfront.
On Saturday we board a plane to Alice Springs for the start of our exploration of the Outback and the Red Centre. Remember to follow the #ExploreNT hash tag for updates.
Have you been to Sydney? Do you have a favorite attraction or area of town?