In 2019, Brian and I joined family on a two week New Zealand cruise. This is a large part of what prompted our decision to take a year to travel full-time. We wanted to be able to see as much of that part of the world as possible. Therefore, we planned a six week stay in Australia and New Zealand. We truly loved just about everything in Australia. I often say that of all the places we have visited, this is the one place I could see myself living (if only it were not so far away!). The countries are quite clean, the people very friendly, the wildlife amazing, and the food delicious. It was also inspiring to see how they work together as a community to keep their space nice and help to make it better. It has been devastating to watch the impact that the current wildfires are having on this beautiful space and their incredible wildlife. As I write this, my thoughts are entirely with those affected by the fires. Although far, I hope to return one day in the not so distant future.
The first stop on our journey was Sydney!
Where to stay:
- Amora Hotel – This is a 5 star hotel in the heart of Sydney for a great price! You will be in the center of it all. Many shops and cafes are located in the shopping center directly next to here. You will also be only 2 minutes away from the Wynyard Train Station and walking distance from the Sydney Opera House.
Where to eat:
- 1 Abercrombie Lane Cafe – This was the cafe that first introduced me to my new favorite breakfast food, bircher muesli! I tried this dish all throughout Australia, and while all delicious, nothing compared to this first one. Everything here was wonderful though. We enjoyed our mornings sitting outside in the alley with their eclectic tables.
- Aqua Dining – A tasty Italian restaurant overlooking the beautiful harbor and the North Sydney Olympic Pool.
One of the many things I loved about Australia was they had gourmet coffee and tea basically anywhere we went. I was shocked when I asked about tea at a random park serving, I thought, only burgers and soda and was told that of course they have English Breakfast tea AND soy milk!
What to do:
- See a show at the Sydney Opera House – This iconic landmark is gorgeous to visit even if you’re not able to catch a show.
- Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge for some breathtaking views.
- Check out the Featherdale Wildlife Park – There are many zoos throughout Sydney and all of Australia for you to see their one-of-a-kind wildlife. We enjoyed this nature reserve where we could interact with and learn about many of the animals.
- Bondi to Coogee Walk – A leisurely, beautiful walk along the coast. You can take a short bus ride from Sydney proper to the beach. Here, you can have breakfast at one of the many boardwalk cafes, relax on a bench in the ocean air, or stroll along the coast. You might also watch the surfers catching waves.
- Manly Beach – This is a popular beach for tourists and locals alike. You can find some more advanced surfers or visit one of the public pools along the water. There are some great bars and cafes nearby as well. While here, be sure to check out the “secret” Wormhole.
- Visit the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney – A gorgeous venue for you to walk around and explore. Throughout the year, you will find events happening as well, so check out their calendar.