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|
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!
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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