SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE TOUR
I have to say I really liked the tour, but I think it was because my tour guide Camilla was awesome. She spoke with passion about each venue, and all the plays and events she's seen. She made me want to see every program offered by the Sydney Opera House. The history of the building was pretty awesome too.
|Concert Hall Interior - Sydney Opera House|
(Photographed with permission)
HANDA OPERA on SYDNEY HARBOUR
This opera was held outdoors across the cove from the Sydney Opera House. The venue at Mrs. Macquarie's Chair was beautiful and perfect for watching the sun set behind the opera house. This was my first opera ever and it was Puccini's Madame Butterfly. I loved the music; only the costume was underwhelming. I kind of knew the story already, but for some reason still hoped that the ending would be different. If you don't know the story, basically the main character suffered at the hands of a JERK! Regardless of which opera, do catch an opera or two when in Sydney.
This is a beautiful harbor flanked with a mall, restaurants, and old convention center (being rebuilt as we speak) on one side and part of the city skyline on the other. It is nice to walk up and down the harbor, catch a ferry from here, or eat at one of the seafood restaurants.
|The venue @ Mrs. Macquarie's Chair|
|View of the Docks Precinct from the Powerhouse Area|
|Campsite, Cockatoo Island|
(Available to rent)
I ADORED Cockatoo Island. In fact, it was my favorite of all the places I saw around Sydney and I'd put it on the "must-go" list! I saw ads for the Sydney Biennale and having another day to spend, decided to go to Cockatoo Island which was one of the sites around the city for the Biennale. The island used to be a shipyard, a convict living area, and was overflowing in romantic industrial beauty: cranes, warehouses, oxidized hardware, rust upon rust. You're free to roam around the island with few people around if you get there early. The island itself is free as long as you buy the fare for the ferry to get you there.
SYDNEY BRIDGE PYLON LOOKOUT
The Blue Mountains can be better enjoyed hiked, but with the extended summer weather I was glad that we only went to the lookouts throughout Scenic World, an old mining area turned tourist park.
|View of Sydney Harbor from atop the Bridge Pylon Lookout|
I didn't want to lose an entire day in Sydney doing the bridge climb, so I did the next best thing. I went to the top of the Bridge Pylon Lookout! It was no small feat in itself to get to the top (so many steps!) but the view was amazing.
This beach was underwhelming, especially considering all the beaches Australia have. Understandably, it'd probably be prettier early in the morning on a weekday. I just rather find a beach all to myself than a popular one.
|View from Bondi Beach|
|The Blue Mountains really are blue!|
FEATHERDALE WILDLIFE PARK
You can get really close and personal to the native animals here. You can cozy up to a koala, feed a kangaroo, see a wombat do his business, and more! It was a nice place to see much of the native fauna without going into the outback.
You can feed them, but watch out for greedy emus!
|Shirazamatazz and Lychee Martini|
This gelato chain is all the rage with locals. Their gelato is well-priced with seasonal flavors updated on their Facebook page. Their cakes are all super cute. If only it was my birthday....
- Sydney is not the easiest walking city, with slight slopes, non-parallel streets, and heavy pedestrian traffic during rush hour. Driving isn't a whole lot better either. Bus 555 is your friend. It is a free shuttle that goes from Central Station to Circular Quay by going up and down George Street.
- Taxi cabs suck at waiting. In fact, they charge for it. Sometimes, they even ditch you if you show up a few minutes late.
- Bring an umbrella. I was there in late March (which is late summer/early fall). It felt like summer the few days I was there, but it isn't like a California summer; Storms can take you by surprise.