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Where We Are: Sydney, Australia

After four great days in Melbourne, we jumped back on a plane and made our way to Sydney, Australia! And let me tell you, in case you didn’t already know, Sydney is flippin’ GREAT! Like, bust-open-your-piggy-bank-and-book-the-flight-now great.

Look at this sunset!

Look at this bridge!

Look at this beach!

Sorry for the exclamation points. This city is just so gosh darn pretty, it’s hard not to get excited.

We’ve been here for two days now and have already started to appreciate all the things this city does well. Our first day was spent in the Central Business District, including the famous Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. We wandered through the Rocks neighborhood where we caught the Sunday Market, and then had the best vodka lemonade and nachos at a darling pub.

Seriously, have you ever seen more guac on nachos? They have a real love affair with avocado Down Under.

To contrast that urban view, we spent our second day running along the Costal Walk between Coogee Beach and Bondi Beach. From Bondi Beach, we watched the surfers, got swept up in the waves, and then had a delicious lunch at an open-air restaurant across the street. Could you ask for a more perfect 48 hours?

The Coastal Walk between Coogee Beach & Bondi Beach will blow your mind.

And we’ve got even more excitement planned! Our next few days include animal excursions, hiking in the Blue Mountains, and more adventures in the CBD.

First Impressions on Sydney:

  • It’s just as beautiful as I wanted it to be. Some places and cities look so beautiful on TV and in other people’s Instagram, but when I arrive, I can’t help be feel deceived. Sydney is not one of those places. Instead, Sydney is even more beautiful than I expected! Those gorgeous skyline views of the opera house and bridge? No one tells you that you’re taking those from the middle of this huge, gorgeous botanical garden! The coastal walks along the shoreline will leave you speechless. Everything here is just incredibly easy on the eyes.
  • It has it all. Sydney has beautiful beaches, a gorgeous urban CBD (central business district), luscious green mountains and a killer wine country all within an hour’s transit. It’s incredible. The only city that rivals its accessible diversity is Hong Kong. We love that we don’t have to commit to one activity here, and can do something different every single day.

    Passing through Gordons Bay on the Coast Walk

  • It’s a place to be, but also a place to leave. It reminds us a lot of Phuket in this regard. You set your base somewhere, probably the CBD, but then everyday you’ll find yourself wanting to leave to explore somewhere else. While some of these excursions are in the city limits (like Bondi Beach), some of them aren’t (like a visit to the Blue Mountains). While this bothered us more in Phuket, the public transit in the greater Sydney area is so great that getting around is easy peasy.

What you need to know — Sydney:

  • Population: 5 Million
  • Altitude: 92 meters
  • Exchange Rate:  1.29 AUD to $1 USD
  • Primary Language: English
  • Walking Tour: Yes! We took the I’m Free walking tour in Melbourne, and it was great. They also offer a Sydney walking tour, but we are going to take their evening tour which features stories of murders, muggings and mysteries in the Rocks neighborhood.
  • Time Zone: Australian Eastern Daylight Time Zone, UTC +10 (15 hours ahead of US Central Time)
  • Taxi: Yes
  • Uber: Yes
  • Public Transit: Yes — trains, trams and buses.
  • Emergency Number: 000
  • Running: Yes, and we actually ran! We did a nice run/walk 5k along the coastal walk between Coogee beach and Bondi beach.
  • American Football: No longer in season.
  • Starbucks: Yes
  • Local Starbucks Specialty: Strawberry Green Tea Frappuccino
  • McDonald’s Veggie Burger: No
  • Coffee Price: $5 AUD (~$4 USD) for a cold brew or latte
  • Beer Price: typically about $9 AUD (~$7 USD)

We had lunch at The Bucket List in Bondi Beach, and it was the cutest sea-side restaurant with lots of colorful lights and cool art.