Australia was a whirlwind. I’m going to start by stating that I did not intentionally mean to visit Sydney when I planned by backpacking trip through Asia. In fact, the only reason I went (and extended my vacation) was due to the absurdly cheap tickets I scored on Skyscanner. I saved over $400 traveling through Australia on a very extended layover from Taiwan to Oahu. Who could say no to that?
Highlights from Sydney
I did Sydney on the cheap. Having already stretched my budget to accommodate an extra week traveling, I knew that I would need to be frugal, despite the extra savings. Off to couchsurfing I went! But as it turns out, I didn’t need to be quite as stingy as I was planning on, because I spent the better part of two days camping along the eastern coast 4 hours North of Sydney anyways. (Lots of Kangaroos there!)
1. Make sure you hit the Opera House
Even if it’s just an evening stroll along the waters edge like I did, make sure you take a sneak peek of the Opera house during the day and especially when it is all lit up at night. It’s quite a beautiful building to look at.
2. Check out the Koala Park
Not only can you hang out with Koalas (not Koala bears, as Koalas are marsupials, not part of the bear family. The more you know…) but you can also feed and pet kangaroos all day if you so please. There are also dingos, lots of birds, and other small mammals to enjoy at the Koala sanctuary. I enjoyed this park far more than any zoo I’ve been to.
3. Sunbathe at Bondi beach
Yep, it’s awesome. You’ve got lots of surfers to watch, plenty of beach-goers to enjoy with, and as much sun as you need to go around. The sand is so clean, it squeaks under your shoes. Perfect.
4. “Urban hike” through Sydney’s downtown
Why don’t you have a photo safari through Sydney’s Hyde Park, St. Mary’s Cathedral, the Observation Tower, the giant mall that runs through the downtown area, or even to “the rocks”.
The Rocks are remnants of the first settlement in Sydney, back when England used it as more of a far-away jailhouse. The rocks are simply the remains of a city that once was, a long time ago.
5. Do the bridge climb….or just walk over it
Yeah, I didn’t have a few hundred Aussie dollars to drop on a bridge climb. So I did the cheap-o way and walked along the pedestrian side. I think it was still just as exciting, without the need to spend gobs of cash on a tourist trap.
Have you been down under? I cannot wait to go back to Australia and explore more of what it has to offer. While rather expensive, I think the quality of people made up for the price of the city. What are your thoughts on Sydney?