(Me at the Sydney Opera House)
We made our way to our hostel in the Rocks. It had been an exhausting day and we were thrilled when we finally found it and could stop lugging our backpacks around. I had picked this specific hostel because of its view of the harbor. It had a rooftop terrace that gave you a panoramic view of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House. We spent some time there every single day because it was just the perfect view. Our first night there we took a bottle of wine with us and sat at a little table soaking up the view. It was amazing.
(The Huz checking out the shark tunnel at the Sydney Aquarium)
We spent the next day exploring. We had a quiet breakfast at a little cafe where lorikeets landed nearby. We took a guided tour of the opera house (seriously, don't miss that, so cool!) and then walked through the Botanical Gardens. We had coffee at a little spot on the harbor that gave us a great view of the bridge.
(Petting a koala bear!!!)
We wandered around the city, checking out the Queen Victoria Building, and finally went to the aquarium, which was honestly pretty skippable. We took a ferry from Darling Harbor to Manly Beach and grabbed some food and drinks. That night we meet fellow book blogger Brona for drinks, which was just a blast.
(Sleepy koalas, feeding kangaroos, Tasmanian
devils and more at the wildlife park)
The next day we took a tour of the Blue Mountains. I wanted to get out of the city for a bit, but I knew our time was limited, so it seemed like the best way to see as much as possible without a car. We went to a wildlife park, which was really cool. It wasn't like a zoo, many of the animals were just wandering around in the enclosed areas and you could pet them!
We learned how to throw a boomerang and went to see the scenic views of the Blue Mountains. They were just lovely and reminded me a lot of the Grand Canyon and the Smokey Mountains in the United States. They are huge and there's a blue haze around them that apparently comes from the eucalyptus plants.
(Me at Lincoln's Rock)
We visited a little mountain town where I found a bookstore! It was called Megalong Books and had a really great selection. We also got to see the 2000 Olympic Park, which has a ton of unique structures.
On our final night in the city we went to dinner at the best seafood restaurant I've ever found. We had been rationing our dinners out, occasionally having picnics with grocery food, so we decided to splurge. It was a great way to say goodbye to the city.
(Our view from the hostel terrace of the Harvest Moon rising behind the opera house.)
Sydney was so much larger than any of the cities we saw in New Zealand, but it had its own charm. I loved the bustle of the harbor. We saw the white sails of the opera house in rain and shine, in the morning and at sunset. The building just sets the mood for the whole city. I'll never forget seeing it for the first time.
Photos by moi. Please do not use without permission.