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Harbor City: Our Trip to Sydney, Australia

  • Submitted by: Matthew Wright, United States
  • Submission Date: 03rd Oct 2008

Following a number of conversations about where to take our spring holiday, my now wife and I decided to see the sights of Sydney. Even though we live in the US, we both had a few weeks of vacation leave accrued, and neither of use had ever traveled to Australia. Because both of us love to travel to new places together, we decided Sydney would be the perfect place to relax and learn more about Australia. Also, we have friends took their vacation there in 2006 and raved about the city, so we figured we had nothing to lose!

Spending three weeks in Sydney would give us just enough time to explore the city and take in a show performed by the world renowned Sydney Theatre Company. With so many neighborhoods and outlying areas, we could have easily stayed for twice as long though. But, since this was our first trip, three weeks gave use a chance to learn more about the city and make plans for our second trip.

When we arrived, we went directly to our hotel. When planning our trip, we found many places that offered ideal accommodation using the booking website Wotif.com. From beautiful luxury hotels like the Metro Sydney Central to Sebel Pier One Sydney, we were very impressed by the selection. Even though we considered staying in one of the bed and breakfast establishments located near Sydney harbor, we ended up choosing the Metro Sydney Central.

This hotel is located minutes from major tourist attractions like Darling Harbor, Chinatown and Paddy's Markets. It's also located near some of the restaurants we wanted to try. After unpacking and settling in, we decided to take a walk around the neighborhood to get a better idea of where to begin sightseeing the next morning.

We didn't get very far. Not far from the hotel was an interesting restaurant call A La Purko Flame House. We decided to have dinner and spend the rest of the evening walking and talking about the types of sights to see during the next few days.

The next morning, we awoke and started our day of sightseeing. It was very easy to navigate through the city. We were able to ride the monorail around Darling Harbour. We got off the monorail and walked near the waterfront. For the couple of weeks we got up late most mornings and wandered. We visited Paddy's Market, walked to King's Street Wharf, took a ferry to Manly beach, went Taronga Zoo and saw so much more. It was so nice to be together without having to worry about the daily stress that usually exists when we're at home.

One the Thursday in the second week, we walked around the Sydney Opera House. Located in Sydney Harbour, it was a magnificent sight to see at nighttime – the Sydney Harbor Bridge looked so close, like we were walking in the actual harbor. The opera house was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007, so we knew it would be just as beautiful as it was in the pictures we had seen.

The day after we were exhausted. Walking through Darling Harbour and taking in a night of ballet at the Sydney Opera House left us with very little energy. Luckily, the hotel has excellent room service, so we were able to have a late breakfast and sleep in a little. 'How about we visit a few museums today?' my wife asked while we were finishing up our late breakfast. We decided to the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Powerhouse Museum. Both museums offered a variety of exhibits and guided tours. We both enjoy seeing artwork and learning about the past, so these museums were the perfect way to spend an afternoon in Sydney.

Before heading out for a night on the town, we dined at Avery's Restaurant and Bar.

That evening, we visited a few pubs in the neighborhood of Darlinghurst. We had so much fun dancing and meeting new people.

The three weeks really flew by. On our last day in Sydney, we had a few hours before we had to leave the Harbour City, so we took one last walk through Darling Harbour. We visited Chinatown again, and stopped at the World Square Shopping Centre to pick up a few gifts for family and friends.

Even though we had a wonderful time visiting Sydney, we wished we had had more time to explore the city. There were so many sights we wanted to see and just didn’t end up having time to do. But we did manage to find some great restaurants and see a ballet performed at the Sydney Opera House.

The next time we visit Sydney - something we definitely plan to do - we are going to plan our time more carefully. In addition to seeing more sights, we also want to visit some of the local wineries located just outside Sydney in the Hunter Valley. Award winning wines from regions like Upper Hunter and Southern Highlands would allow use to visit the countryside that surrounds Sydney. Of course, we would also like to visit some of the lovely parks and gardens found throughout the Harbor City.

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