We got home from Sydney late last night. We had a great time there. Sydney is beautiful and we both sort of wished we’d ended up there instead of Melbourne. Melbourne is cheaper to live in and the university was a lot less, so we picked the right place.
Getting around Sydney is super easy. We went from airport, to train, to ferry, to bus, to water taxi without having to walk more than 50 feet. Everything is connected quite nicely. The first day we took the ferry across Sydney harbor to Manly Beach. From there we took the bus and water taxi to the Pittwater Hostel.
Pittwater is gorgeous. There is a ton of coastline in Sydney and Pittwater is one of the bigger inlets, north of the city. Where we were going, although not an island, was only accessible by boat. There are lots of huge fancy homes right on the water with their own docks. It’s stunning.
The Pittwater Hostel was… let’s just say, if I thought about it as fancy camping instead of disgusting hostel, I was much happier. I think what mainly unnerved me where the spiders and spider webs that covered everything. Victoria is much colder and doesn’t have the large spiders all over the place that New South Wales does. It took me a while to get used to it. The hostel is also very rustic, but by the end of our stay, I was over my hibbie jibbies and enjoyed myself.
We spent 2 nights in Pittwater, so during our first whole day there we went on a little hike. But a “little hike” with Rob ending up being 15 miles. I’m not kidding, we mapped it when we got back. It took us 6 hours. We hiked down to a bay and to the end of the point overlooking a lighthouse. Along the trail were also some Aboriginal carvings and a hand print that was estimated to be 2,000 years old. It was neat. The weather was perfect and the sun was shining. It was fun but we’re still feeling somewhat sore, 3 days later. We saw lots of parrots and heard strange bird calls. We even saw a wild turkey, which I didn’t know Australia had. When we got back I noticed that Rob had a teeny tiny tick on his neck. The hostel hosts said people get them all the time and they gave him some ointment which killed the tick. Gross. We did a thorough check immediately. Thank goodness that was the only one.
The next day we reversed out trek to Pittwater and went back to Sydney. On the ferry back we saw a right whale, which I though was pretty cool. Later on the news we saw that some of them were coming into the harbor to have their babies, where the water is calmer. The Sydney Hostel was very nice and in the perfect location. It is in an area called The Rocks, which is in between the Harbor Bridge and the Opera House. We could see the Opera House from our room! That night we was a performance of Aida. We LOVED it. It was so much fun to get to go inside the opera, where some people were wearing tuxedos and full length fur coats. The opera was amazing, everything was beautiful, the costumes, the set, the performances. It was terrific.
On our last day we walked all over the place. We visited the botanical gardens, St. Mary’s Cathedral, the Domain (another park), the NSW National Gallery, the CBD, and the Contemporary Art Museum. We were exhausted by the time we got home.
Sydney is fantastic, and I think, a much better place to visit that Melbourne. Melbourne has plenty of interesting things to see, but Sydney comes out as the clear winner with the harbor and opera.