Hello! I can’t believe I only have a little over two weeks left in Australia- time really does fly when you’re having fun! Just to update everyone on what I have been up to since my last post:
Surf camp at Bendalong Beach was absolutely incredible. This was probably one of the highlights of my trip as we tent camped in a national park (which brought back a ton of memories) and spent the entire weekend hanging on the beach, playing with wild kangaroos and stingrays, sitting around a bonfire and just living a true Aussie lifestyle.
I went to my first Australian Football League game last week. This was unlike any sporting event I have ever been to as the sport itself is an odd combination of football, soccer and rugby. Nevertheless, I still had a great time and I was able to pick up the rules relatively quickly. I think I actually prefer watching this sport over anything else because it’s so fast paced.
Last weekend I travelled to Melbourne for the weekend. If I had to describe the city in two words it would be food and culture. Melbournians are known for their coffee and boy did they not disappoint. I think I was in coffee heaven as there were so many cute little cafes and food places. Additionally, the city itself feels alive. There is so much history and culture and it’s such a different vibe from Sydney, but in the best way possible.
Now that I have lived in Sydney for 3 months, I will tell you some of my favorite places to visit if you ever find yourself down under. Although there is so much to do in Sydney, here are (in my opinion) some must do’s…
Places to Visit
- Bondi to Coogee Walk– It’s not the most challenging walk in the Sydney area, but it’s one of the most popular – and for good reason. That coastline is spectacular, from every direction, and you’re in a pretty urban environment. The full stretch takes you by Waverley Cemetery. There you’ll fid the secluded nook that is Gordons Bay, a good place to swim and snorkel. And you’ll pass several ocean pools and local swimming spots – especially Bronte Pool, around the concreted Clovelly inlet and Coogee’s rock pools.
- Hermitage Walk– The easy Hermitage Foreshore walk is one of Sydney’s great coastal walks. Start at Nielsen Park and take in the views of Shark Island, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the grounds of Strickland House along the way. You can start the walk at either Bayview Hill Road or Nielsen Park and whichever way you walk, a stop at Nielsen Park is a way to spend some time. There’s a family friendly beach to enjoy, lots of grass for spreading out a picnic blanket and the Nielsen Park Cafe that offer coffee, lunch and snacks.
- Featherdale Wildlife Park- If you want to feed kangaroos and pet a koala, this is the place to be. Featherdale Wildlife Park is home to hundreds of Sydney’s unique, local animals. The kangaroos are hopping around freely so you are able to feed and observe them without being stuck behind cages.
- Blue Mountains- Hiking in the Blue Mountains is absolutely spectacular. You get amazing views and it’s a nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life. It is also easily accessible by train. My recommendation is to stop by Featherdale Wildlife Park first as it is on the way there.
- Opal Card – In order to use any public transit in Sydney (bus, trains, ferry) you need an Opal card. How it works is you buy the physical card and preload funds onto it. Then you will ‘tap on’ to the bus or train when you get on and when you get off you ‘tap off’. The amount that is charged depends on the distance you are traveling. I highly recommend traveling via public transit as it is very accessible, easy to use, and runs frequently.
- I’m Free Walking Tour– One of the first things I did in Sydney was go on a 2 ½-3 hour walking tour around the city. This is a great way to see all the historical sites and orient yourself in the city. To join a tour, simply go to Town Hall at 10:30am or 2:30pm on any day of the week and look for the people wearing a bright green ‘I’m Free’ t-shirt.
- Subscribe to Timeout Sydney– Sign up for a free subscription to Timeout Sydney, a magazine that will send you top places to visit, events happening every week, bar and food recommendations and more.
The adventure is not over yet! Over the next two weeks, and with finals season quickly approaching, I am trying to cram in my final must do’s before I return home. Until next time!