My host in Sydney had given me a never ending lists of things to carry. I was staying with this interesting couple, queen of opera and her darling husband, in a posh Sydney suburb, Hornsby. She was craving for some home made sweet and savory; and her mom had sent a bag full of yummy mummy stuff. Australia is very strict about food items and medicines being brought to the country. You are free to declare and go through screening and that’s the safest option. The fine is heavy , up to $5000, in case you miss out on declaring any food item. I looked at the Customs declaration at least 10 times, ticked every possible option and was holding my breath while going through Customs check. Had a separate bag for the food items and was very clear that in case any of the items aren’t allowed, I would leave the bag and walk away ( and then be at the mercy of my host for throwing away her mom’s hard work of weeks). The customs officer found that I had some round shaped, sharp edged items. My face turned pink, explained to him those are “chaklis” from India. Not sure what he understood, maybe my luck, but he let me scot free.
As a return gift maybe, she took me to Darling Harbor.. It is a darling of all harbors. It is one of most beautiful locations in Sydney and It was all dressed to party. The best time to visit is post sunset. We had a party at The Hard Rock Café which has a spectacular harbor setting, balcony dining and live music. Café in itself was disappointing but the view from the balcony is worth every penny. The Carousel outside at Darling Harbor will delight the young and old alike. You could just stand there at the balcony forever and absorb the beautiful Sydney skyline.
Next day morning, I decided to check out the CBD area. For visitors with limited time, perhaps a walk around the wider CBD area would be the best thing to do or take the free shuttle ( Bus No. 555). The bus route covers almost all the attractions in CBD; QVB and Martins place or even the China town. Hop on and hop off as you please, there is a shuttle every 10 minutes . I walked from Wynyard to Circular Quay. That way I could peep into the Hyde park, take some rest under the shade and get in plenty of oxygen. Head on to Opera House and on a warm day, with a clear blue sky, and watch the harbor bridge on the other side. To enter inside Opera House one has to buy tickets for a show. So I skipped going in.
If you are one of those selfies addict, walk down to the other side where you will find the Museum of Contemporary Arts and also get to check out the “Rocks” museum. The Rocks is historic Sydney at its best. It’s home to the oldest buildings, some great pubs and restaurants. Check out the Sydney Observatory and click your pics. There is no better place to be.
You can’t visit one of the best views in the world and not get out on the water! A great and cheap way to experience Sydney Harbor with stunning views of the city skyline, Opera House and Harbor Bridge is to catch the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly. It takes about 30 minutes and I recommend that you time it around the sunset. Take my word – This would be an unforgettable experience.
Vivid Sydney which happens every year around May – June is a light festival and has a free entry. You can walk-in free of charge and attend as many Vivid Idea events. The program features large scale light installations and projections (Vivid Light) and music performances (including Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House).The lights come on nightly at 6pm and end at 11pm. The weather outside would be freezing cold but that doesn’t hamper the spirit of Vivid at all.
Dee Why Beach & Bobbin Head
My aunt stays in Dee Why and she took me for a day outing to the northern part of Sydney. She lives in this beautiful villa , amidst a serene valley. The best part of Dee Why beach is this ocean swimming pool. It has a huge 50 metre pool and toddlers area right next to the beach. What a lovely picnic spot. Dee, It has a family-friendly feel. Parents can enjoy at the beach while kids are safe in the pool.
We went to Bavarian Café at the Manly for lunch .Overlooking the stunning Manly Cove, It’s an ideal place to sit back and relax and catch up with family as you take in the beautiful surroundings. My cousin treated me with some lovely Grill Fish and lemonade. The wharf is absolutely beautiful with Yachts overlooking the horizon.
In Manly, walk down the palm tree-lined Corso, hit the promenade on the beach for an ice-cream, walk around the picturesque beach, or grab a cold beer.
Next , we decided to check out the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Located inside, is Bobbin Head, a natural beauty, a great place to bush walk, paddle or go fishing; Bobbin Head is the perfect waterfront picnic spot.
It has lovely picnic tables, area for barbecues, and plenty of green space . There’s also a children’s playground that’s sure to be a hit with kids and you can pick up a coffee at the Bobbin Head Inn Café. We had some muffins and latte and kids had a great time too.
This is all that I could cover during the short time that I had in Sydney. It was a memorable experience and I enjoyed every moment of the Vibrant and Cosmopolitan Sydney. Its time to say Alvida…till we meet again..
Check out Sydney Part I Solo in Sydney