Saturday, November 12, 2016

A Four-Day Family Friendly Sydney Itinerary and Budget Breakdown (Including Blue Mountains)

When my family from America came to visit us in Australia, I quickly planned a 3-week holiday with stopovers in Sydney, Adelaide, and Melbourne. We started the trip in Sydney. It was winter time and if you didn't know, winter here is between June to August. We had a 13-year-old and a 3-year-old with us so if you're looking to plan a Sydney trip suitable for the whole family, you've come to the right place!

Sydney Opera House at night
Day 1: Arriving in Sydney

Our flight landed a little after lunch so we rode a taxi straight to our Air BNB perfectly located in Ultimo. It was my first time booking with Air BNB and we had such a pleasant experience. We dropped off our bags then walked to Central Station and took a train to Circular Quay. (Our Air BNB host even left Opal Cards for us! These are what you use to ride and pay for public transportation in Sydney.) There we had our first sighting of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. We walked and found our way to The Rocks where we had dinner at Pancakes on the Rocks.

Initially, I planned on joining a free 1.5 hours walking tour at The Rocks where you can simply spot someone in a green "I'm Free" shirt in front of Cadman's Cottage at 6 pm. But by 6pm, we had already seen most of The Rocks by simply walking around and we all just wanted to eat. After that, we walked back to Circular Quay, watched the city lights, headed back to the train station and went back 'home'.

Day 2: City and Bondi Tour 

Now there are several ways to explore the city. You can walk (this requires a lot of time), drive (just don't though, parking is a pain), or you can ride a red Explorer Bus. Although more expensive, we opted to ride the Explorer Bus for convenience, as we did have a 13-year-old and a toddler with us. It was just so much easier to hop-on and hop-off on the tour stops.

We rode the Bondi Explorer first and started the day seeing Australia's most famous beach and of course, I had to take my own shot of Bondi Icebergs - for Instagram, duh! But really, we didn't do anything there. It's a private club with an entrance fee, and there's no way I would be swimming in the dead of winter. We then picked a place called Moo near Bondi beach where my brother-in-law had a kangaroo burger.

From Bondi, we hopped back on a bus and found our way to the Botanical Garden. I wish we had more time to explore the garden but we didn't, and it was raining. Expect rain in the winter in Sydney. So we rushed out and headed to Westfields City where we had dinner at Din Tai Fung and did some shopping at H&M (please come to Adelaide!). From there we rode a train, and walked back home.

Day 3: Blue Mountains

We started our day really early and took the 7:30 AM train straight to Katoomba which took about 2 hours. We then rode the 10:15 AM Blue Mountains Explorer Bus. While planning this Sydney trip, I had googled, 'Is Blue Mountains worth it?' or some search words of the same variety. Now here's my answer: yes! 
It was raining and extremely foggy which blocked our view quite a bit at the start but it cleared up slowly and it was beautiful. Also, they gave us free disposable raincoats which was quite helpful. Now, we basically followed Blue Mountains' recommended 1 day itinerary here but skipped some to accommodate our pace. Carrying a toddler and a pram/stroller up the mountains was no easy feat! So we started at Scenic World where we rode the skyway, railway and cable car.
Scenic World and Blue Mountains Lookout Points
After we had our fun at Scenic World, we hopped back on the bus and hopped off at our selected stops. We trekked the Honeymoon Lookout to Echo Point and the Three Sisters, then Leura Cascades and finally went to Leura Village. We caught the 5:23 PM train back to Central and made our way back home.

Day 4: Circular Quay to Manly

On our last day, we made our way to Circular Quay once more to catch the ferry to Manly because you can't go to a harbour city without seeing the harbour! At Manly, we ate at the famous Hugo's. You MUST eat there, they say. We had delicious gourmet pizza. Then we rode the ferry again back to Circular Quay, then back to Central, picked up our stuf at Ultimo, and straight to the airport!

Budget Breakdown

Of course, with every travel post here at Jeannie in a Bottle, here's your wallet friendly budget breakdown:
Flight fare - $200
Accommodation (total divided by number of persons) - $240
Train/taxi fares (total divided by number of persons) - $70
Food - $110
City Explorer Bus - $45
Blue Mountains Explorer Lyrebird Pass - $83
Approximate total for a 4-day Sydney trip - $748

Sydney Opera House
Of course, there are a ton more places to visit in Sydney such as the Sydney Tower Eye, Madame Tussauds, Sydney Sea Life Aquarium and Wildlife Sydney Zoo. But when you've been to a ton of large zoos, towers and aquariums like me, you'll want to skip those expensive stops.

Have you been to Sydney? What's your favorite place there?

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  1. Lovely photo diary, dear! Been wanting to visit the Blue Mountain! Hopefully I get to finally visit Australia by January next year!

    PS: The outfit is gorg! xoxo

    Sugary Fancies, Life and Style Blog| Instagram | Bloglovin' | Facebook

  2. Nice pictures, have a good day

  3. Wow, this is the first time I'm hearing about the Blue Mountains, and they're definitely a must see! I hope to see that when I get the chance to go to Sydney. Lovely photos! :)

    Melissa the Mermaid ♥

  4. Amazing pictures!
    Have a nice week-end!
    Gil Zetbase

  5. I would love to visit Sydney on day! I actually have family there =)

    xoxo Rina

  6. Magnifique !
    Kiss, Béa

  7. SO jealous of this trip!! It looks absolutely amazing!! xo

  8. Lovely pictures, seems like you had a great time in Sydney.


  9. Looks amazing! Definitely a place I would like to go.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  10. Great photos, you both look amazing
    Have a lovely day:)

    New Giveaway on my blog, good luck :)

  11. Lovely post!! Sydney looks so beautiful!!

    Thanks for sharing!


    Seize your Style

  12. What a cool trip! One of my dreams is to visit Australia. Thanks for sharing this amazing place. Lovely pics!

  13. Looks like you had a great time! Nice shots xoxo

  14. Nice post :)

  15. Love your pictures so much and you look so happy! :)


  16. Cuuuties, beautiful post ♥

  17. Sydney is such a beautiful place! I'm super happy you have a great time :)

  18. Sounds like a wonderful trip! Awesome shots!!

    All the Cute

  19. I love Sydney I want to go there!

  20. Thanks dear :D Yes, I'm totally agree :D

    Sydney seems to be an incredible place :o OMG, I want to visit right now :o

    NEW REVIEW POST | AA Hydro Algae: The Best Facial Nigth Cream Ever.
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  21. Amazing photos and it sounds like a great trip :)


  22. How I'd love to go to Sydney someday :)

  23. Wow...looks like so much fun! And I love that you broke down the budget for traveling!
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

  24. Wow sounds so good! Love your big checked scarf/poncho on one of the pics. Gemma x

  25. These are the places I'd like to see if I ever visit Australia.


  26. wow! this all looks like so much fun! what a great adventure!

  27. What a fabulous trip to have taken with family; I can imagine you'll have made some travel memories together that will stay with you all forever :) You look so pretty by the way, especially the last shot in the burgundy jumper!!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

  28. I wish I could visit those places! You are so lucky...
    I followed your blog.. Would you mind following me back? amna-tbhidc

  29. lovely photos!

  30. This was so helpful! Love how affordable everything was. Australia is on my bucket list! xoxo


  31. Dear let me say that I´m a little "jealous" of you. This is a great trip and I want to go too!
    Enjoy a lot! kiss
    Coco and Jeans by Marisa x My Instagram x My Bloglovin

  32. This is such a helpful info for family traveling around Australia.

    (◕‿◕✿) | Instagram | Bloglovin

  33. Looks like you're really making the best of your days. they are so full. Lovely pictures. Enjoy your time with your family Jeanne and have a great week :)
    Sauniya | Find Your Bliss ♡

  34. Looks like a great time!



  35. Looks like so much fun! I'd love to go to Sydney one day.

    Ann-Marie |

  36. How fun! I vacationed to Australia once, and I LOVED the Blue Mountains! Your photos are lovely dear! <3 -

  37. This looks like so much fun! I definitely want to take a trip to Sydney one day!

    Love, Lindsey

  38. wow beautiful location & great clicks!


  39. Fantastic photos! Looks like an amazing trip! =)

    - Cielo
    Mermaid in Heels

  40. It looks like you took your family to some of the best spots that Sydney has to offer! The Blue Mountains are so beautiful

    Rachel xx

  41. It does sound like an amazing trip. I would love to visit Australia one day:)

  42. This looks like an amazing trip. Sydney is definitely on my travel wish list & I´ll keep this post in mind once I make definite plans as this sounds like you caught almost everything that a tourist should see!
    xx Lisa | Following Lisa

  43. Your travelogue looks amazing!
    Nilu Yuleena Thapa
    BIG hair LOUD mouth

  44. It sounds like you all had a lovely time! :) xx

  45. Gorgeous views and looks like you had a great time!

    Stacey +

  46. Australia looks breathtaking. Its definitely on my bucket list for places to travel, although I always find the difference in season so skewey. In a cool way. Furthermore, that plaid shawl you wore in the 4th photo is intensely perfect. Just saying.

  47. I've been to Sydney many times but still haven't visited the blue mountains - I will one day! :) It looks like such a great place to see.

    I've done some of the other things - those explorer busses are great when you're short on time!

    Hope you're having an awesome week :)

    Away From The Blue Blog

  48. such a fun trip... seems you really enjoyed yourself...have a lovely day...xx
    would you like to follow on GFC, let me know on my blog and i will follow back asap

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  49. How exciting! I have family coming from the USA too straight after Christmas. Though they're only staying in Melbourne for three days, I've been trying to plan an awesome itinary for them. I'll pass this post to them too. I know they'll be keen on making the most of their time in Sydney


  50. Lovely photos dear! Looks like you`re really enjoyed! xoxo
    Vesna - Home Chic Club

  51. Love the photos...
    Sydney is definitely my favorite city of all...
    Thanks for bringing back my memories...
    It was pleasure reading this post

  52. Sidney seems like an amazing city.
    Love your photos;
    Thanks to share.

  53. It's nice to know you were here in Sydney, I remember you were writing that you're planning to come. It's good too that you've been to these popular places and enjoyed your time. Great writing!

  54. I have been to Sidney and the Blue Mountains, but with a camper and a lot more time. It was such an amazing time, I would love to go back there someday. Maybe when the kids are older and will enjoy that even more.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  55. What an amazing trip - I've had Australia on my travel list for years now!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  56. Lovely photos!

  57. Great post dear!

  58. I'm sooo jealous! Everything looks awesome, looks like you had a great time! :D

  59. Such stunning photos, it looks like you and your honey had a great time!
    New follower :)
    xo Annie
    New England Romance

  60. Great tips. I will definitely come back to this post when I head back to Sydney for another trip!


  61. Sydney is very high on my wish list. Love all your tips :)

  62. I love your photo diary, such beautiful pics :) xx

  63. It seems amazing. I was probably an amazing trip. Love it ♥

    n. //

  64. Stunning places- You two look so happy together.

  65. Wow this looks like so much fun! I love all the pictures. It warms my heart that you relished in planning for your family's visit, so sweet.

    Chanel | Je M'appelle Chanel

  66. How fun! This is one of bucketlist places for sure. Happy Friday!


  67. ohhhh i want to visit it some day :) so loely photos <3

  68. I def. want to go to Sydney one day. Sydney Opera House is one of the places I would love to visit and Blue Mountains seem like a lot of fun :) Too bad it was raining, but I bet it was still awesome !

  69. Wow, it looks like you had so much fun. It looks like you have an amazing time.

    March and May

  70. Beautiful photos.

  71. Sydney is at the top of my travel bucket list. How gorgeous is Bondi?!


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