Our latest adventure was to travel 7 ½ hours Down Under to Sydney Australia. We both required a visa, mine was a very easy, just an online form to fill in and then it was emailed to me. Aida had to visit the Australina Embassy in KL but it was all quite surprisingly straight forward. It did help having a letter of support from our friends Gaz and Danielle who live in Sydney. Would it have been so easy without this letter? Not sure.
Our flight was at 23.45 but getting any sleep on an Air Asia flight is easier said than done. With the lights on and general constant movement, we arrived about 9.50am feeling quite tired. Waiting for us in arrivals was Stuart Savage, my mate from my hometown in the UK. He is now living in Wellington, New Zealand so booked the week off to spend in Sydney with us.
We got the train to Revesby, Sydney which is where Gaz and Dan live with their daughter Seren. Accomodation in Sydney is expensive so it was great to have a place to stay for our 8 nights, so a big thank you to the Ryder’s for hosting us. Staying in hotels can have their benefits but you can’t beat some good company (and a good feed) and thats what we all got. (Hopefully we get to return the favor in the future).
One of my main reasons for going to Sydney was to watch some Rugby League (I have been to Australia twice previously, 2002 for 3 weeks and 2006/7 for 6 months). However, with it being the play offs I couldn’t plan in advance, and as fate would have it, all three games when we where there where outside of Sydney; Townsville, Brisbane and Melbourne. We looked into getting flights to the latter two but the prices where pretty extortionate as it was the school holidays.
The week before we arrived the weather was glorious. The week after we departed was also lovely weather. The week we were there? Average of about 16 degrees with wind and rain to boot. The coldest was 13 and it was like being in the UK in winter. It shows how soft we have become living in Malaysia with an average of 32 degrees.
So what did we do when we were there?
The first weekend was actually quite pleasant so we headed over to Coogee and did the Coogee to Bondi walk. Although I had been to both Coogee and Bondi before, I had never completed the walk and it was a nice way to spend an afternoon.
We headed into Sydney quite a bit as Gaz and Dan where at work. The best thing to do is get an Opal card. It only knocks 10% off your journey but after 4 visits in one week, the rest of your travel is free. The cards don’t cost anything, you just add $10/$20 to the credit.
The iconic view in Sydney is of course, the Opera House and The Harbour Bridge. For even better views, get the ferry over to Manly which we did although with the weather, the ride was a little choppy as we got close to Manly.
Darling Harbour hosts all the bars and restaurants as well as the wildlife, aqaurium and madame tussards. We bought a $69 ticket which got us access to these three as well as the sea life centre in Manly and a ticket up the Sydney Tower. All five where ok, certainly good value for money buying this package, Aida got to see some real close up Aussie animals including crocodile, wallabies and koalas.
We also met my mate Mitch for a few drinks and food in Darling Harbour. Lots of people I knew where in the area.
On the Tuesday it was Aida’s birthday we had tickets to the theatre and watched a great performance of Les Miserables at Capitol Theatre.
We did some shopping as well, buying some NRL gear, jeans, trainers, all actually very good price if you shop in the right places.
The trip was certainly different from what we usually do. Yes there were lots of trains but these were into and back from the city. It would be nice for Aida to see more of the real Australia which I’m fortunate to have seen, so with that in mind we may well head back there in the future to either Melbourne (and travel around Victoria and South Australia) or head to Perth and see the beuaty of the West Coast.