A Sydney-side Short Stay

Well, it’s been a year of occasional domestic travel for me in 2022, and my most recent trip I am yet to write about so here we go! Yes, it was to the biggest city in Australia, the home to Aussie icons such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, the home of Bondi Beach and more… it was the city of…. (checks notes) Sydney!

I wasn’t really sure how to go about it at first. I booked my tickets not much more than a month before I went which isn’t far ahead for me. I knew I could only spare a short time and I am planning a big trip next year (I promise you’ll find out the plan – just not right now!) and so I wanted to keep my spending in check which meant I had to limit it to a couple of nights only and try to keep transport costs down.

So I started by booking a rewards booking with Qantas, and this time I chose Jetstar which I have basically sworn never to fly again but I thought for the basis of a flight review with a different airline that I would do it just this once. See More Information on Qantas Frequent Flyer HERE.

If you remember last Tuesday’s post I talked about the Qantas Frequent Flyer Program and the fact that many international destinations don’t appear as available until you click through on a multi-city booking on the second line. So with THIS flight Melbourne to Sydney I booked multi-city on the first line, then the second line I was able to book a flight at the END of next year’s trip for one city that doesn’t normally appear when you look for it on a standard points booking. I felt and still feel pretty pleased with myself on that, feeling like I beat the system somewhat there.

I planned to take the XPT (Express Passenger Train) on the way home and booked a ticket which was around $130AUD I think it was. So that would be great for a vlog and nice and comfortable too. Chose the Metro Hotel Marlow Sydney Central which seemed to give good value and was close to the train station.

Then I realised I basically had one day in Sydney. The train left at 740am so that was Day Three filled, and I was arriving at around 4pm I think on the Day One, so that left Day Two for sight seeing. Which was fine, I just wanted a short break and a chance to shoot a few vlogs.

Then a few weeks before leaving the first text message arrived from NSW Trainlink – the last four hours or so of the journey back would be on a bus due to track works in Melbourne. So that was a bit of a bummer. But still, something to look forward too!

Before I knew it the day had arrived and I took public transport to the airport again, which actually is not nearly as bad as I thought it was. Checked in before leaving home and bag drop at Melbourne Airport Terminal Four was super quick and easy, as was the security check.

The Jetstar Flight (too be reviewed) was actually pretty much hassle free, on time and I had no complaints, much to my surprise (although I did feel a very real sense of irony that the one Jetstar flight I bothered vlogging on was actually the best and easiest Jetstar flight of my life). It was completely full though and the flight before it had been cancelled.

The hotel was all it needed to be and not too expensive. And I had a whole day to fill in Sydney. To keep my budget in check I didn’t go out for a meal really – although I did have a pub meal at Bondi – I order Uber Eats and grabbed takeaway the other night from a place a few doors down.

Day Two was an exhausting day – I decided why not try a video where I see stuff in Sydney but only do free stuff. And apart from lunch and public transport, I managed that. There was industrial action on Sydney trains though and it meant that my train to Melbourne was now bus ALL THE WAY which was a real downer. But I figured after receiving the notification via text that it would still make for a good vlog.

On Day Two I managed to go to Bondi Beach, take the train to the far side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, walk down to under the bridge and see Luna Park (Sydney also has one!), walk across the bridge and then to Circular Quay, then past the Opera House, the Botanical Gardens to the somewhat underwhelming ‘Mrs MacQuarie’s Chair’. Then back past St Mary’s Cathedral to find a train back to Central Sydney. I did a LOT of steps that day.

Then well, the bus turned into a 12 and a half hour ordeal back to Melbourne on Day Three.

See Also –

Review of the Metro Hotel Marlow Central Sydney

Sydney 2022 Through My Lens

But still, I felt it was certainly a successful getaway and one that allowed me to keep to a strict budget. Over the next few weeks I will detail the flight, the bus and my big day in Sydney. But for now I will bid you adieu! Take care wherever you may be – and May the Journey Never End!

10 thoughts on “A Sydney-side Short Stay

  1. You have achieved a great adventure while staying at home. It’s too bad about the train, without the bullet train my stay in Europe would not be the same.

  2. What was the reason for the train turning into the bus? Just interested. I caught the train to Sydney 9 years ago. It left Melbourne at 8am and arrived at 9pm. The carriages were dreadful and the whole thing was a nightmare. It needs a serious update. Don’t know if that’s happened.

    1. Industrial action was the principle reason. i saw a review on youtube done this year… it seemed better than you describe. hopefully soonish I’ll get to do the rail journey actually by rail! thanks for reading!

  3. Andy, sounds like you have accomplished your mission of enjoying a day in Sydney on a budget and also beat the system when booking your next Qantas flight. We loved visiting Sydney a few years ago and have always said we would return one day.

  4. Sounds like you had a great time there! I’m impressed that you managed to do all free things, but I’m not surprised this (plus the short time you had there) accounted for thousands of steps! I would love to visit Sydney one day – though I hope I’ll stay a bit longer 😉

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