It is now week 11. I have 2 more weeks left in Sydney and I still cannot believe how fast this semester has gone. Looking back on all of the amazing places I have seen, I can say full-heartedly my top-three favorite spots are the Royal Botanical gardens, the Coogee-Bondi Coastal Walk, and the Palm Beach Lighthouse Walk. If you enjoy spectacular views, it is definitely worth putting these sites on your bucket list!
- The Royal Botanical Gardens
Located right next to Circular Quay, the Royal Botanical Gardens is a 30-hectare garden that is home to a variety of Aussie flora and many open areas for public events. The gardens are a great place if you want to get away from the city-feel and sit under the shade and enjoy the warm weather. The area is also located at Farm Cove and from here you can see the city skyline, Harbor Bridge, and the iconic Opera House. The Royal Botanical Gardens is a wonderful place to relax and have a picnic on any day of the week.
- Coogee-Bondi Coastal Walk
The Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk is a 6 km (3.7 mi) cliff top walk. The walk takes about 2 hours to complete and you get the chance to see many of Sydney’s stunning beaches: Bondi, Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly, Coogee). Especially on a warm-windy day, it is a perfect spot to enjoy the coastal breeze and revel in the ocean views. The walk is mostly flat and you won’t even realize time passing since there is so much to see in just one area of Sydney.
- Palm Beach Lighthouse Coastal Walk
Palm Beach is a suburb that is home to the beautiful northern beaches of Sydney. It takes about 2 in a half to 3 hours to get to Palm Beach, but public transportation is very accessible. The commute is also really nice since you get to escape from the city and see more of Sydney’s suburbs. The Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk at Palm Beach is a 15-minute trek up a steep rocky trail. Once at the lighthouse, you will be able to see Palm Beach on the east and Pittwater to the west. The lighthouse was built in the 1800s and is the northern-most point at Palm Beach and you can also view Hawkesbury River and Broken Bay. This was probably one of my favorite views I have seen while living in Sydney. In the wintertime (May – November) it is possible to spot humpback whales at the lighthouse as they are migrating south. I would recommend traveling early in the day to fully enjoy the area and compensate for the long bus ride.
Along with these 3 must-see sites, Sydney offers amazing food from all cultures. If you are in the mood for Asian food, Spice Alley is the place for that. The hidden alley is located in Chippendale, right next to Chinatown. Cuisines ranging from Thai, Malaysian, Chinese, and Singaporean are offered. Looking to enjoy some vegan options, Lentils As Anything is a pay-as-you feel price model offering unique dishes every single day. The restaurant is located in Newtown, which is a very quirky area with many local art and bars. Another amazing find is New Shanghai. The closest one to Oaks, my accommodation, is located in Westfield and here you can order exquisite and juicy Xiaolongbao (soup dumplings).
Tips and Recommendations:
My key recommendation if you are interested in studying abroad in Sydney is to balance every aspect of your life as best you can. 3 months may seem long, but time definitely goes by fast with all the traveling, internship, and schoolwork to take into account. I only have one more weekend left in Sydney and hopefully I can checkoff most, if not all, of what is left on my buck list!
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I am excited to return home to my friends and family, but until then I will appreciate all of what Sydney has to offer and take-in as much as I can to mentally look back on my time spent aboard.