Weekends in Sydney

Here’s a few of our weekend adventures in Sydney.

Darling Harbour

One of our first forays into the city we decided to be proper tourists and hit the aquarium at Darling Harbour. Hoping for great things, lots of sharks and beautiful fish and we weren’t disappointed. After avoiding the screaming kids we then moved on for a few beers whilst watching the world go by on the harbour side. It’s a good spot for people watching, there’s a mixture of heavily made up girls and suited men for their nights out to boat loads of revellers heading onto the sea for the evening with a few families thrown in for good measure. For dinner we found a microbrewery in the city called Redoak Boutique Beer Cafe. Now I’m not normally a fan of beer, I’m much more of a cider or wine girl but even I found something to drink there, a dark ale with hints of cherry and chocolate, delicious. Jon had a tasting paddle and found many beers he liked! It’s not just a bar though and we had a couple of really tasty steaks. All in all a fun day out.

Opera house from the ferry to Cockatoo Island

Central business district from the ferry to Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island

Making the most of weekends is easy in Sydney as travel is unlimited on a Sunday for just $2.50 (around £1.25). We started to work through a list of boat trips we wanted to take as they are the more expensive modes of transport. The day of the Chinese New Year celebrations we headed to Cockatoo Island. An industrial island originally used by the European settlers as a prison for convicts who had reoffended in the colonies, it later became a shipyard. Unbeknown to us the island was host to a yoga/music festival the day we chose to visit. It was the last day so everywhere you turned there were hipsters in crazy print leggings packing up tents and carrying yoga mats with loud basey music blaring out. This made it difficult to appreciate the history of the island as the festival had spread into every corner. After we headed to Darling Harbour for the Chinese New Year celebrations planning on having a slap up Chinese meal before watching the parade. Best laid plans, funnily enough we weren’t the only people to have this idea and found Chinatown fit to burst. We had to settle for a fast food option in order to see the parade. After it was over we hot footed it over to the harbour to get a good spot for the fireworks. If there is one thing Australians know how to do and that’s a firework display. It was spectacular lasting for 20 minutes and even set to music! It was bizarre to see a nightclub dance floor overlooking the harbour full of people dancing away unaware of what was going on outside, very surreal.

Cockatoo Island

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

Coogee to Maroubra Walk

Most people know about the coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee beach (which we wrote about in this post), it’s a really popular walk with both tourists and locals. However there are many more coastal walks that are just as or even more enjoyable. There was a big swell one weekend and the waves were really impressive crashing on the rocks so we decided to walk along the coast path to Maroubra from Coogee. Fewer people on this path made it more relaxing than the walk from Bondi and the big waves and strong wind was exhilarating.

Fisherman on the cliffs of South Coogee

Maroubra Beach

View back to the city from Taronga

One of the best walks we’ve done was along the coast from Taronga Zoo to Cremorne. We got the ferry across the harbour from Circular Quay to Taronga, this was actually the halfway point of a much longer walk but as time had run away from us (as it so often does on a Sunday) we started here. For completeness we thought we would go to the exact halfway point at Bradley’s Head, we never made it there.

We stopped at Athol Hall for what turned out to be the tastiest cake and coffee we’d had since arriving. We sat on the balcony and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings of Athol Hall which overlook the harbour. We set off again and decided to skip Bradley’s Head and go towards our destination. Unlike the coastal walks we’d been on before the walk to Cremorne point skirts the edge of the harbour and is more enclosed with trees than the other walks we’ve doneThe path winds through small coves filled with different kinds of boat and the houses get increasingly bigger, it’s one of the richer parts of town.

White Faced Heron in Little Sirius Cove

Mosman Bay

Bondi

High on our list of favourites is a walk from North Bondi to Watson’s Bay, yet another coast walk! It was a slow starter as it began in a residential area and so we weren’t expecting much. Once we’d put in the hard graft through the streets we were rewarded with a spectacular view of the cliffs. The light was perfect and made the rocks look even more dramatic as the waves crashed below. It was a really fun walk and it ended at the pub which is always a bonus. We had a slap up fish and chip supper to end a lovely day!

View towards Vaucluse

Cliffs at Vaucluse

Paramatta

We took the boat from circular quay to Paramatta for another cheap Sunday trip. The boat winds through the harbour and then up the Paramatta river and it’s interesting to see city changing as you progress up the river. Founded in the same year as Sydney, 1788, it lies approx 23km inland. It was important for agriculture as the soil around Sydney wasn’t suitable for farming and the settlers in Sydney didn’t bring enough food to survive for very long. Nowadays Paramatta isn’t much to write home about, there is a large business district and not much else that I could see. From the boat terminus we walked along the river to a large park where the Old Government House which housed the governors of the New South Wales back when convicts farmed the land. It’s a museum but we didn’t go in as we were taken with the huge numbers of cockatoos everywhere and immediately embarked on a cockatoo photo shoot.

Cockatoo in Paramatta Park

Cockatoo in Paramatta Park

Rainbow Lorikeet on the balcony

Other than the view and enjoying the sunshine my favourite thing about having a balcony is the couple of Rainbow Lorikeets that come and visit us most days. As their name suggests they are beautifully colourful but what it doesn’t tell you is how noisey they are! For small birds they make a racket, but they are very jolly birds and you can’t help but smile when you see them hop along the balcony wall.

Rainbow Lorikeet on the balcony

More posts to follow soon!

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