Spending spring break in Sydney meant a week filled with beaches, ferries, coffee, banana bread, and $5 bottles of wine.
While our trip as a whole was filled with excitement, our spring break began in quite a dull manner. Friday morning Emily, Annabel, and myself took a six hour bus ride up to Christchurch from Dunedin. We arrived to Christchurch in the afternoon with our packs on our backs and 16 hours until our flight the next morning. We didn’t have a plan, or a hotel for the night, and it was raining. Not a terrific start to our big spring break trip.
Our day was spent hopping from cafe to cafe, exploring the art gallery, and then spending four hours sitting in a pub taking turns ordering small dishes and glasses of wine. We spent another few hours in the train station, until it was midnight and we caught the last bus headed to the airport. We knew that the airport had a strict rule against backpackers spending the night, so we had low expectations and even a backup plan of spending the night at the 24hour McDonald’s across the street.
We were allowed to spend the night in the reception area of the airport and by 3am were finally able to enter the airport and were on our way towards Australia.
Upon arrival Emily and I parted with Annabel as we headed towards Wollongong to stay with her friend, Alex, at the University there. We hadn’t slept in about 30 hours so while we were happy to see the beach at Wollongong, we were more excited about going back to Alex’s room to nap for a few hours.
We spent the weekend staying with Alex, meeting her friends and exploring in and around Wollongong. On Sunday we took the train into Sydney and spent the day doing the Bondi to Coogee Beach Walk and then the ferry to Manly Beach.
Some of the highlights of our day were the street art at Bondi, and surprisingly the graveyard that is along the coastal walk. It is without a doubt the most beautiful spot I have encountered for a graveyard and the three of us spent quite some time walking between the rows of headstones. Of course Bondi Icebergs Club was a highlight for me because I had seen photos of the rock pools countless times. I wanted more than anything to go swim a few laps in the pool but there was not enough time in the day.
When we took the ferry to Manly Beach from Circular Quay we had our first sight of the Opera House. The sun was just about to set so the bay was flooded with golden light.
By Tuesday Emily and I were saying goodbye to Alex and took the train back into Sydney to find our AirBnB in Elizabeth Bay. We were staying in a room in an apartment with a lovely woman named Ginger. She gave us plenty of recommendations for our trip, and once we dropped our backpacks off we were on our way again for the next adventure. We headed to the Botanic Gardens to catch a view of the bay as the sun was setting again. We had chips, salsa, and a $5 bottle of wine to accompany us.
Once the sun had set we were catching a bus towards Chinatown. It was there that we discovered the best place to buy our souvenirs. The prices were cut in half and the options were endless. Maybe the bottle of wine had something to do with it but we went a little bit crazy with our purchases.
The following day we had our goal set. We had to see koala and kangaroos during our trip. After meeting up with Annabel once again we headed to Featherdale Wildlife Sanctuary. I was beyond surprised that we were able to take a photo with a koala.
This little guy was sleeping the entire day as group after group took their photos with him and stroked his fur.
Following our animal adventure we took the train back through the city and across the harbor bridge to Luna Park. Luna Park is an amusement park but this day the weather was stormy and so the park was deserted. But I preferred it this way because it meant the park was abandoned and quite eery looking.
After this adventure Emily and I parted ways with Annabel and headed back towards our apartment. We ordered dinner online to be delivered and had Indian and (you guessed it) another $5 bottle of wine on the roof of our building, with a view of the city lights around us.
The following morning began at Bondi Beach in search of more souvenirs and Sydney’s best eggs benedict. By the afternoon we were with both Annabel and Alex once again for our whale tour. All of us agreed we could already see it that the day would be spent not seeing a single whale and the crew insisting that we must be quite unlucky. However, within thirty minutes on board and just outside the harbor, there was a large humpback whale circling our boat. He would swim from side to side and then underneath our boat as everyone on board ran from side to side to get their photos.
The next day was our final day in Sydney. We had a bit of a slow start seeing as the night before had been spent at Ivy, a six story club with a pool on the roof. But once we were out of the apartment and back downtown we realized that we had already hit everything on our to do list. The day was also filled with misty rain so we decided to just stroll around. We ended up jumping on a ferry and heading to Manly Beach once again, then googling “best sweet potato fries in Sydney.” And our final day ended with us turning in early, with Sydney’s best sweet potato fries (found at Chur Burger).