It seems in all of the last few blogs, Matt has said 'I will let Adam fill you in on the next bit...' So I suppose it is about time I waded in with an opinion, be it far right, far left or just plain wrong.
Sydney, the land of the opera house, the Sydney harbour bridge (albeit copied from a bridge in Newcastle!) and Bondi beach. As ever in a city the weather welcomed us with conditions nothing short of arctic, but, whose complaining, especially after hearing about the 'summer' in the UK! At least the excuse over here is that it is winter!
We flew down from Brisbane due to time constraints and us being flash packers and found a place smack bang in the middle of town (once you have walked for 20minutes....) and settled in. It was the cheapest place in town but was actually surprisingly nice, yes nice, so we decided to just stay for the 4 nights in one place. Again, as is now customary with us, upon arriving in a new place, we took to seeing the city by foot. Now, it might just be me, but Sydney is just like any other city, until you reach the harbour where it comes into its own. As one of the worlds greatest sights, according to the guide books, and one of Australia's most famous landmarks, the opera house had a lot to live up to. Did it have enough to make Sydney this great place, raved about by millions, even in the summer??
Not for me. Sure the building represents Australia and is one of the things you think of when someone mentions Australia, but in reality, on a cold day in August, it is just a slightly odd looking building, perched in what one could only describe as prime real estate! Maybe I am being to harsh. We took a trip out over to Manly and from the water, the Bridge and the Opera house do provide a view that is documented on peoples walls across the world, and yes, I cannot dent that in that context the view is somewhat special. We were also lucky enough to have dolphins jumping around as we looked back over Sydney, which definitely helped the view! I will come back to Manly as this was a few days into our trip.
One of the real treasures of Sydney, again the guide books words not mine, is supposed to be Bondi Beach. The golden sands, the beautiful women, the sea, sand and surf all combine to make this arguably the most famous beach on the planet. Not so much in the winter! Only the very hardcore were in the water, and they must have been tourists learning to surf, and the beach, as seen by pictures in my brothers albums where you struggle to find a spot, were empty. You could have landed an airplane on the beach and still missed anyone brave enough to be lying on the sand! Still, one thing we couldn't deny was that the view across the beach did make it look a little like Weymouth or any other south coast seaside town in Devon/Dorset! Funny really, you come half way around the world and still ending up wearing a jumper on the beach!! My goodness, it almost sounds like I am winging about being in Australia.... Please forgive me, it is solely because I am sitting in a little place called Kaikoura, in a hostel called 'The lazy shag,' on the east cost of New Zealand. Having spent the last two weeks traveling around the south island and being repeatedly reminded that New Zealand is an exceptional country. I am going to try and write about all we have done when I have finished this but, I might just go and sit on the beach and watch out for whales!
Anyway, we didnt really get a night out in Sydney, due to illness, fatigue(......) and laziness. I am sure the city has plenty more to offer and I will go again, in the summer and hopefully see what the hype is all about.
I think my favorite part of Sydney, although technically I am not sure it is still Sydney, is Manly. After watching the dolphins across on the boat, Manly, despite being only half an hour away on a particularly slow boat, seems a world away from the city. You are greeted by a little harbour and then by more cafes and bakeries than any town really could possibly need. The shopping precinct is lined with bars, eataries and 'trendy' (for lack of a better word) shops. Then manly beach itself and the beaches in the coves surrounding it, is clean, seemingly endless and had beach volleyball practice sessions on at regular intervals. We watched a few, I cant deny it, it was magical. Unfortunately due to us not really checking our flight times properly we only got to spend an afternoon in manly. Again I am sure it offers a lot more in the summer but, unlike the city, it keeps a charm even in the winter months. Yes I am sure the beach volleyball looks even better in the summer, for those who were thinking it!
So that was the end of our Aus adventure, again, I know it sounds a bit winy but after New Zealand its difficult to write about anywhere else. Prepare yourselves for enthusiasm, long energetic phrases and cheer in the up and coming NZ blogs!!!