A Day in Sydney

Taking you back to Sydney now, I had a pretty interesting day there back in late November. I actually had two days there, but the first day was solely about the Doctor Who Festival, so my other day was spent quickly doing as much of Sydney as I could in such a small amount of time.

For starters, the weather was bloody sensational! Around 25 degrees and sunny, I simply couldn’t have asked for better weather to explore the capital of the state just north of my own. I stayed at the Mecure Hotel – I had a 40% discount so I decided to treat myself and my wife – which was well located near central station. From there I headed into the CBD via the train.

Thought the train was pretty good. Melbourne and Sydney have a rivalry going against each other. Both believe they have the worse train system, however, I think the winner is clearly Melbourne there. Trains are much better in Sydney.

Sydney Tower.
Sydney Tower.

This got me pretty close to the Sydney Tower, and we began the day going up the tower and checking out the vista that is Sydney Harbour. It’s pretty gosh darned good. And that’s what is really amazing about Sydney, the location. The setting on the gorgeous harbour is hard to top. It’s surely one of the most beautiful settings for a city in the world.

Sydney Harbour from above.
Sydney Harbour from above.

At the entrance there they were selling tickets for multiple attractions for $70. Five attractions including the Tower, the aquarium, Sealife at Manly, Madame Tussaud’s and Wild Life Sydney Zoo. We went with it in the end, which changed the plans a bit because I didn’t have the time I needed to go to the Opera House and had to be content with pictures from the harbour instead. The Wild Life Zoo (not to be confused with Toronga Zoo, at a guess a far superior zoo) was the only one we didn’t look into.

sydney aquarium

Three of these attractions were next to each other, a ten minute walk from the tower at Darling Harbour. Here I was impressed by the aquarium (although I think Melbourne’s is a little better). The big fish there are amazing and there’s nothing like a walkway through and under water watching sharks and sting rays floating around and above you.

Watch out for the sharks!
Watch out for the sharks!
Rays at the Aquarium.
Rays at the Aquarium.
Ned Kelly in Madame Tussaud's.
Ned Kelly in Madame Tussaud’s.

Madame Tussaud’s was a bit of fun, but at normal price is around $40 for entrance and it doesn’t take that long (we zipped through in 30 minutes) and you’re really only doing it for photos, right? Having said that there was a feature on how the wax models of people are made and the history of how it all started back in the 19th century, it’s not a very big part of the museum but it was interesting.

Manly Beach.
Manly Beach.

From there we took the ferry to Manly, which most visitors are likely to do when in Sydney. Being outdoors on the ferry allows you to get some pretty decent shots of the bridge and the Opera House, and see the rich suburbs with their own little beaches of Sydney along the harbour coast.

Manly itself is quite nice, although we were there to see the Sealife attraction really and time was running out. We got there by 4.30 pm and maybe had 45 minutes there. It was much smaller than the aquarium and the highlight for me was the penguins. It was nice to walk back along the beach to the ferry terminal and head back to Sydney. We were back in Sydney, pretty worn out just after 6.30pm.

Penguins at Manly.
Penguins at Manly.

All plans to see more were scuttled by the fact that we’d walked quite a bit and were still suffering a little from sleep deprivation from the previous night before we’d flown to Sydney. But it had been a good day and we’d crammed a fair bit in. And walking around Sydney and using the train were also great experiences in themselves.

And that’s how my day in Sydney went down. Clearly more time is needed, probably another four days, in a city like Sydney. I’m sure I will head back there again someday. Have you been to Sydney? What were your highlights? Please comment below, and of course, May the Journey Never End!


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