When I first planned my RTW trip, the idea was to spend 3 months in Asia before heading to Australia for 2 months and then New Zealand for 1. However the more my trip progressed and the more I thought about my planned route and from talking to other travellers, I came to realise that I wasn't looking forward to Australia at all. The general consensus that I'd gathered was that people who start their trip off in OZ and then head to Asia/NZ LOVE Australia, however those who'd been to Asia/NZ first and then headed across to OZ don't tend to like it. I've heard different reasons, from it being plain and simply ridiculously expensive in comparison, to someone else explaining that travel in OZ just seemed too 'easy' compared to Asia and found it almost boring... I had a long hard think about all this and instead decided to extend my travels in Asia because I loved it so much (not to mention money goes a lot further!) and brought my New Zealand flights forward a bit. Although I'd save money in the long run by not travelling the east coast of OZ, I still had to pay charges as I was completely re-routing my flights, but I think I made the right decision. Instead of the original plan of flying in to Cairns, making my own way down to Sydney, and then flying out to Queenstown.. I was now flying directly from Singapore to Christchurch with a short lay over in Sydney before changing planes. I then decided that seeing as I had to stop in Sydney anyway, I may as well stay a couple days at least and get the generic Opera House and Harbour Bridge photographs ;) so that I did.
I was in Sydney for 6 days which was more than enough for a big city. I spent my time wandering around the city, walking across the bridge, visiting the blue mountains and the odd night out in Sydney's Kings Cross (which turned out to pretty much be the red light district!). It took a little while to get used to the cold and rainy weather again, but I took full advantage of the cool temperature and went for a couple of runs. It's so weird because back home I tend to run along the waterfront and the most impressive sight I see is Seacombe ferry!! Whereas I run along the waterfront here and I finish with a lap around Sydney Opera House. Pretty surreal!
The blue mountains were beautiful and I went with a French girl, a Maori guy from NZ, a German boy and a Canadian guy. It's ridiculous because tour groups and hostels offer tours to the mountains for around $80, but the Maori guy had lived in OZ for 8 years and caught the train there himself plenty of times so acted as our tour guide for free so therefore we only had to pay a $15 train fare!
To me Sydney unfortunately wasn't anything special. Yes it was amazing to see the opera house and bridge as i'd seen them so many times in pictures/tv etc so being there in person was pretty cool. However aside from that it just rained the whole time and there wasn't a whole lot more I could do with my pathetic budget! All in all it came across as a super expensive England, although it was nice to be able to pay the set asking price for things in shops rather than having to haggle my way through the day for a change ;)