Our last destination on our Australia trip was Sydney. Greg and I had always dreamed of going to Sydney and finally arriving at the airport made us feel like two kids in a candy store. We took the airport train to Circular Quai, where our hotel was located, and saw the Opera House right away. It’s one the most beautiful structures I’ve ever seen and we both couldn’t stop talking about it. For our three nights in Sydney we stayed at the Four Seasons Sydney. We decided to treat ourselves to a room with Opera House views and it was incredible seeing the sun rise from our bed every morning. The hotel was in a great location, two minutes from Circular Quai, which allowed us to take ferries and buses wherever we needed to go. On the first night of our Sydney itinerary we enjoyed sunset by the harbor and got a bite to eat afterwards at our hotel.
The following day we woke up early, got breakfast at Pablo & Rusty’s, and met up with our friends to explore Bondi Beach. We embarked on the cliff top coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee Beach and took in the most stunning views. Seeing the water clash against the cliffs with the sun shining upon us was incredible. Half way through the walk we stopped at the Clovelly Bowling and Recreation Club to play Australian bowling. It’s not the traditional bowling that you think of because it’s more similar to boccia, with weighted balls. One side of the ball is weighted so depending on how you throw the ball, it will either curve to the left or the right. We played it for a couple of hours and it was so much fun catching up with friends, having a beer and enjoying the stunning views. We ended up being too exhausted to head back on the walk so we got a car to take us to a local restaurant in Coogee Beach.
Greg and I arrived back at our hotel in the late afternoon, got a workout in at the gym (who are we?) and treated ourselves to some room service for dinner. We love spending time in hotels when we travel – we both studied hotel management in college AND worked for Four Seasons – so we really appreciate and enjoy the amenities that come with staying at a hotel.
On our second full day of our Sydney itinerary we woke up early again to catch the ferry to Manly Beach. We had heard from several friends that it’s worth a visit and to make sure we rent bikes to explore the island. This was one of my favorite moments of our trip because the weather was perfect and the bike lanes weren’t too crowded. We rented our bikes from Manly Bike Tours and they are conveniently located right across the harbor. We wanted to explore the beach so we rode along the bike path one way and then turned around to ride all the way to Shelly Beach. Since we had gotten such an early start to our day, we got our second breakfast of the morning at The Boat House Shelly Beach. I highly recommend going there if you can. The interior was stunning, the menu looked incredible and you’re sitting a few steps away from the beach. It had all of its windows and doors open which gave it a free flowing restaurant vibe. Shelly Beach is really small and it made our brunch that much more intimate.
We headed back to Sydney in the afternoon, walked around the rocks neighborhood and got a different vantage point of the Opera House. At one point we laid in the grass to relax and simply took in the amazing scenery. Our next activity took us to Hyde Park as many of our friends had told us how beautiful it is. Our bus stop took us straight to the pool of reflection where we sat in the grass again and took in all the different types of birds walking around. We stopped in at the Queen Victoria Building for some coffee and a sweet treat and ended our day walking through the streets of Sydney. One of my friends gave us recommendations to go to China Lane for dinner and the food did not disappoint. Unfortunately however, they seated us all the way in the back of the restaurant and we didn’t have an attentive waiter. I was disappointed with their service but the food that came out of that kitchen really made up for it. Australia in general offers incredible Asian cuisine and it makes sense with it’s close proximity to Asia.
On our last morning in Sydney we ventured to Cabrito Coffee Traders and picked up our rental car. We were finally off to the Hunter Valley and could not wait to witness our friends wedding. It was truly the perfect ending to an incredible and unforgettable trip.