Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sydney travel review ; )

Well, of course I can only review the things we did but here goes.....

To get there we drove our own car to Melbourne airport and left it in long term parking ($99 for 3 days) but worth every cent when you are dragging around bags and a 2 year old. We flew Virgin Blue and I have nothing but praise for their totally cheap and cheerful service. We were able to take our stroller to the gate and the staff were all very nice to Moo, engaging her in conversation and even letting her say hello to the pilots in the cockpit when we boarded! I didn't think those things happened in our post 911 world..... The onboard refreshments were fairly priced and tasty. I even got my organic fairtrade coffee - woo hoo~ Our baggage was ready as soon as we got to the baggage claim and it was just like taking a bus!

When we arrived in Sydney it was 8am on Sunday morning. (FYI it was 18 degrees when we left Melbourne and 10 when we arrived in Sydney!) A friend picked us up from the airport. (Thanks Bob!) Although I'd heard horrendous things about Sydney traffic it was plain sailing straight from the airport to Bondi. (Something to do with it being the wee hours of Sunday? Probably!)

We spent the day with our Bondi buddies, enjoying the perfect weather and the beach. I wouldn't have gone to Bondi if it weren't for Bob and Clare but I'm so glad we did. It was just lovely! Moo loved the water and we had to really hold onto her because she wanted to run into the waves (and the rip!).

In the afternoon we made our way (again by car with no probs) to where we were staying on Pitt Street. We stayed at Meriton Serviced Apartments and I highly recommend this as a place to stay if you are travelling with a young family. It is right in the middle of things so it's not far to go anywhere (we mostly went on foot). Moo had her own bedroom and we had a kitchen, 2 bathrooms and a living area. Most importantly it had a washer and dryer so we could bring limited clothing which cut down on the baggage and it also had a DVD player so we were able to bring some chillout DVDs for Moo (and us!) We were able to prepare simple meals and take Moo swimming in the hotel pool to fill in some time. It was expensive but only compared to a backpackers! It was on par with a 4-5 star hotel but without the pokey space - I just coudn't imagine what it would have been like with Moo sleeping in the evening and Hubby and I whispering to each other in the dark for a few hours.....

To get around we mostly went by foot. Sydney is quite compact (it seemed) in comparison to Melbourne so it was quite easy. The streets are all well laid out and signposted (not like many cities I have travelled to!) We also took the Monorail (awesome! Expensive but fast and convenient), the train (expensive, dirty and with a Bronx feel) and the airport shuttle bus from the hotel (I thought we were going to die but hey, I'm still here!)

Now, I couldn't have a holiday without enjoying some food, could I?
Best: Buffet breakfast at the Sofitel. What can I say but, 'Mmmmmmm.'
Worst: Lunch at the Aquarium. The usual hideously expensive food courty type food. But Moo was asleep in the pusher and we had an airport bus to catch to we ate when we could.....
Most disappointing: Cupcakes on Pitt. The icing was YUMMY but the cake was too dry for my taste.
Where we stayed there were heaps of Korean shops and restaurants so I pigged out on the usual Korean fare. Much cheaper and authentic than Melbourne. Chinatown on the other hand is much better in Melbourne in my opinion.

Sights: Bondi beach, Darling Harbour (Opera house, bridge and ferries), Sydney Tower, Aquarium.
I loved our day at Bondi. The weather was lovely, the water was a warm 18 and it was, well, perfect! The aquarium was very disappointing - Melbourne's is much newer and nicer, I think. I wouldn't bother going to Sydney Tower (the entry fee is ridiculous) but it's a nice thing to photograph from the outside. I think Darling Harbour is my favorite place (not that I've been to many places around Sydney) because I love the water, the cafes and maybe because everytime I've been there the weather has been beautiful.

I did take some pictures but am being lazy about downloading them....... Next time.....


Julian Davis said...

Really an interesting blog regarding travel. Glad to know that you had a great day in Sydney.

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Sydney tourism said...

Its really interesting to read Sydney travel review..Please upload the images you took :)

Johan Donald said...

Great travel review. Thanks for this.
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