Melbourne or Sydney, that is the question on both Australian nationals’ and travellers' lips. Melbourne was good... Sydney is better!
If you like London, you'll love Sydney. What you lose in history and number of grand, old, buildings, you gain in beaches, beautiful sunshine and tube carriages with two floors!
All amongst the bright lights, busy nightlife and loads of people, something that's been missing in some of the other cities. Obviously Circular Quay is a must. It was actually a bit surreal staring straight at the icons that are the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge after seeing them so many times in books and on TV.
I can see why they are such famous landmarks though, the Opera House is such a unique building (although the inside decor leaves much to be desired)!
|It's a hard life!|
I walked round the quay to Mrs Macquaries Point from which you can see the Opera House with Bridge behind it - really nice at sunset.
Walking back to the quay, I had a wonder around the botanical gardens, they were really pretty and full of bats, parrots and cokatoos.
Ferries arrive and depart Circular Quay to and from lots of places around Sydney. Apparently many lucky locals commute by ferry to work - can't be bad!
There are a number of sightseeing ferries but being on a tight budget I caught a ferry to Manly Beach and saw nearly as much for half the price. Manly is definitely worth a visit. The beach is huge, the surf is great and it doesn't get as busy as the more famous Bondi.
|"The bars where I chilled the night away were still a big cut above backpacker bars and had a lovely view of the skyscrapers reflecting in the water."|
Not far from Circular Quay, the less well known Darling Harbour is underrated in my view. On one side the playground for the rich, Cockle Wharf, looked great. Unfortunately for me I watched from the other side of the water as my backpacker budget didn't stretch that far!
But on the other side, the bars where I chilled the night away were still a big cut above backpacker bars and had a lovely view of the skyscrapers reflecting in the water.
Darling Harbour also houses the Imax Cinema (with screen 10 times larger than normal cinema screens), the maritime museum and Sydney's aquarium complete with shark tunnel - the closest I hope to come to sharks - ever!
A short walk through China Town took me to Paddy's Market, a bargain hunters paradise. You name it, you can buy it here! Missing the grand buildings of London, I got my fix next to Hyde Park where the Cathedral, Parliament House, the Library and War Memorial all are. It was far to easy to get sucked into Martin Place - an exclusive shopping area - from here though!
In stark contrast to ornate and grand buildings, we spent the evening in Kings Cross, the trashy neon red light district, as we'd heard there were some good bars. Walking out of the train station was a bit of a shock, but it didn't take long to find some good bars and live music.
In essence, Sydney had it all!
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