Arrived in Sydney at 6.00am on April 4th after another sleepless night flight! We spent our first week in Sydney in Asylum Hostel in Kings Cross. When we checked in our room wasn’t ready so dumped our bags there and walked to Harbour area as had to see bridge and opera house to believe we'd made it to Australia! We headed back to the hostel to find our new digs were somewhat smaller than what we'd been used to in Thailand...very very basic as we expected, but talk about going from one extreme to the other! Our room did have a view of the bridge and opera house! Our stay in Kings Cross was an experience to say the least. Bed bugs, hookers, tramps, druggies etc! We had heard it was like this but was worse then we expected. We were regularly woken during the early hours by all sorts of noises coming from people walking outside our window.
We had fun in Sydney and managed to see lots of the city and its attractions. It did however pour with rain for 2/3 days, which was quite annoying, esp. over the bank holiday weekend where most places closed or reduced their hours. After these couple of days it was very bright and warm so we explored a lot by foot, walking miles and miles across the city. We did the Sydney Aquarium and Sydney Wildlife centre...saw all the usual animals & creatures...kangaroos, koalas, spiders, snakes, sharks etc. We also checked out the shops and lots of bars of course! We did a ferry trip around the harbour taking us to Shark Island, Watsons Bay, Taronga Zoo and Darling Harbour which is a beautiful little harbour full of trendy little bars, restaurants etc... we went here on more than one occasion. Here they have a Lindt chocolate shop, with the best ice creams ever!!! Deeeeelicious!
One day we caught the train to Bondi junction where we walked from Bondi beach to Bronte Beach. Check out our pics. On route we passed Tamara Beach too.
We left the city on Tuesday 10th April heading across to Manly by ferry. This is one of Sydney’s beach resorts. We stayed at Manly Bungalow, which was lovely. Our own clean, cosy room with kitchenette etc. It had a back garden too, which was nice for eating our dinner. The bungalow was 1 min walk from beach. The weather was really sunny and warm during our stay in Manly so most days we spent on the beach, walking and just chilling out. We managed to squeeze in a few early morning runs on the beach too…beats the treadmill any day! The beach is really nice and water is still warm so did lots of swimming and jumping of the huge waves!Friday 13th was Gem’s birthday. We headed across to the city for our bridge climb. This was amazing and would recommend anyone to do it and not miss out on this experience. It took a total of three hours to climb up and back down. The views were spectacular and it was so weird to think we were on top of Sydney Harbour bridge! Gem kept it quiet it was her birthday, until without her knowledge Rocky told the guide! Once at the top of the bridge the whole group sang happy birthday…Gem went bright red and was so embarrassed! Definitely a day to remember. Have a look at some of the pics we bought of our climb.Friday night we went out to celebrate Gem’s birthday to Ribs and Rumps, which is a steak house type restaurant on the beach front in Manly. Huge portions of steak, ribs and more steak! Meat eater’s heaven! Rocky not only managed to eat his own but also half of Gem’s steak and ribs! He loved it!!! Check out the pics of the food, which was served on wooden chopping boards!Saturday morning we had our first ever surfing lesson with a local guy called Paul. He took us down tot beach at 9am and taught each of us the basics before throwing us in at the deep end (not literally, we weren’t out very far!) to try and catch some waves. We loved it. Gem stood up and rode a wave first time…very jammy! Before having lots of wipe outs (like the surf lingo?!!!) Rocky also rode a few waves and we both had a great laugh. It’s so much harder than these surfer pro’s make it look. It’s very tiring and exhausting. Woke up the next day with aching arms from all the paddling you do before you catch the wave…ouch!Sunday 15th April we went to the Blue Mountains which was about a two hour drive from Sydney. We had a really good guide who took us to all the hot spots and saw some great views across the mountains. This was another experience we will never forget. The mountainous area is as big as Denmark, so for as far as they eye can see its pure mountains. We went to Kings table end where Rocky sat on the ledge with a shear drop below him…nutter! Gem stood well clear of that and took the pics! We then went to Scenic World where we took the cable car down the mountain, had a short bush walk, and then caught the world steepest train back up. Here we saw the Three Sisters rock formation. We then went to a village in Katoomba for lunch before heading to Glenbrook and the Wentworth falls, which is a waterfall on the edge of a mountain. Again amazing views. We also saw Kangaroos in the wild! At the end of the day we caught a ferry back along the Parramatta River into Circular Quay, Sydney. Very tiring day, lots of walking and climbing steps up the mountains!