15 June 2013

Seven Days in Sydney Australia

Here is my greatly-overdue Sydney post. The trip, which was last November, was one of the best trips I've taken in a long time. The variety of things to do, interesting food, good beer, great people; I was bummed to leave.

Lots of people asked if we were also going to visit Melbourne or go scuba diving, but I'm glad we spent the whole time in Sydney. We were there for seven full days, but it was essentially a nine day trip since getting to and from takes ages.

On the way over, we flew business class (amazing). We were in coach on the way back (not amazing). I invented a new sleeping technique where I wrapped my scarf around the headrest and hung my noggin in there like it was a sling... or a noose.

Sydney Trip Highlights: 
  • Turkish Food Tour (with Gourmet Safaris)
  • Trying lots of different food in Chinatown (not just Chinese)
  • N2 Extreme Gelato (see video)
  • Blue Mountains Tour (I went with Activity Tours Australia) and Featherdale Wildlife Park
    Monday = less crowded
  • Botanical Gardens (going before 8am = more tranquil, avoid crowds)
  • Spit Bridge to Manly Beach walk (I wrote a separate post about this experience).
  • This rad jewelry maker at The Rocks who has a pendent that looks like "the sparkely" from The Secret of Nimh

Not so Much
  • We should have stayed in a hotel with breakfast included. A very modest breakfast was $25 (two coffees, a pastry, muesli)
  • Opera House Tour the cheapest price for the one hour tour was $56AUS for two people. (booked online, first tour of the day)
  • You won't see any koala pictures, but they were at the Featherdale Wildlife Park. I just felt bad taking photos of them trying to sleep. Ironically, a flight attendent somewhere may have a pic of me sleep-hanging myself.

Jury's Still Out
Australia has spiders that only eat bugs, but have enough venom to drop a horse. You can see all the complete horror show of spiders, snakes, birds, etc at The Australia Museum. Not to worry though, everything there is harmless because it's deceased. 

Most of the museum's critters are behind glass, but in the children's area there are stuffed creatures out in the open. While I waited for Tom to make a head call I found myself mesmerized by this wallaby with bald spots on it from being overly-petted.

Which is why I now refer to The Australia Museum as The Dead Zoo.

We found a few places with cheaper eats
  • A Japanese Noodle place called Mappen on George St. It's cafeteria-style Japanese noodles. You can pick toppings and sides as you go along. For about $35 (total) it was the cheapest meal we had.
  • Another less-expensive spot was Pie Face. They have mini-pies and larger ones. You could get a meat pie for your meal and a mini-pecan pie for dessert. I hope they expand to the US one day.
  • Veg Yum Cha was not as cheap as the two listed above, but it had a nice ambiance under big trees with lights strung in them. You choose different dumpling combos so it can be more or less expensive depending on what you choose.
The six minute video below pretty much covers the rest. Oh, and if you have even a minor interest in Australia, do yourself a favor and read In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson. It's funny and informative. For example, did you know one of Australia's prime ministers disappeared after going for a swim in the ocean? He just vanished!

Okay, here's the highlight vid...


Cheryl Gilmore said...

A most excellent adventure. I loved Australia and glad I got to go before I cross the rainbow bridge. I enjoyed the northern part the best and the rain forest, Cairns, Port Douglas and that area. Glad you had a good time and excellent video.

Unknown said...

My cousin and her husband were just telling us horror stories of the prices in Australia. Of course they live in Perth, which is super isolated, so it's even more expensive. $16 per kilo for bananas. WTF? glad you had fun. Good to know some of these "cheap" spots if we make it to that side of the country!