Gosh - where to start with my time in Sydney - I seem to have done so much in a slightly shorter time than planned!
My first day in Sydney, I only had the afternoon (after catching up on some sleep and doing my washing etc) so I had a walk to the Sydney Aquarium which was amazing - they had underwater walkways with the sharks and rays and turtles, with some of them deciding to rest on the roof of the tunnel!
I then went back to the hostel and had a swim in the roof top pool - unfortunately the sauna didn't seem to be working!
The next day was my overnight trip to the Blue Mountains - we firstly drove to Wentworth Falls and did a 2 1/2 hour walk before lunch. The Blue Mountains (which are a plateau rather than a mountain range!!) are beautiful (the photo's really don't do it justice) and our guide for the day (Cactus!) was really good at stopping and showing us things and talking about the area as we walked.
After lunch we went to the Giant Staircase, which is about 1000 steps down to the base on the scenic railway. We then got the railway back up to the top, which is the steepest railway in the world (being at a 52 degree angle) - it was very scary!
I was then dropped off for my overnight stay and the following morning I walked to Echo point and then down to the Leura Cascades before meeting the bus again at 4pm.
The day after the Blue Mountains I went walking around Circular Quay to see the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. I also spent some time in both the Botanical Gardens and the Chinese Gardens in Darling Habour. I managed to sit next to a giant spider in the Botanical Gardens without realising. It was only when the trackless train went past and stopped with the guide saying "If you look to your right you will see a good example of the spider I was talking about earlier", at which point I looked right myself and then quickly gathered my stuff and scurried away!
The day after I took the ferry out to Manly and got amazing views from the harbour of the Opera House and Bridge. It was a really nice day and spent most of it sat on the main beach in Manly.
On the final day I had free I went to Taronga Zoo, strangely meeting some people I knew on the ferry ride out there (its a small world!). The zoo was brilliant and it was all set so that the Syndey skyline was in the back drop! I did have fun while eating lunch when a massive bird decided he liked the look of the chips I had left and landed in my chip bowl scaring me slighlty!
The last full day in Syndey was my Port Stephens day tour. We firstly went to the Australian Reptile Park which was good for an hour, then onto Nelson Bay for a dolphin watching cruise. We saw loads of dolphins on the cruise and they swam up close to the boat, it was brilliant!
After the cruise we went 4WD on some nearby sand dunes and then had a go at sand boarding - the slope was really steep and once was enough for me, but I had a go and it was really fun if not a little scary!
After that adventure we then headed back the 3 hours to Sydney so I was tired out by the time we got back.
The time in Sydney has gone really quickly, but have really enjoyed it here!