Who doesn’t love to travel? That too if the destination is a far of continent which one dreamed about in childhood?
Well, when Mr.Bee and I decided to make a 2 week long trip to Sydney , we put pen to the paper and planned away! Since we also had family in Sydney and even the net is ever so friendly , we knew exactly what we had to visit in Sydney.
First things first, we decided the time of travel. Since our 1st wedding anniversary was in the horizon, we planned our trip so that we landed at least a week before the actual date, as we didn’t think being ‘jet-lagged’ on our anniversary was a good idea!
When we decide the destination of the choice, the first obvious thing to do is apply for a visa. We applied for Aussie e-visitor visa and we got it in a month’s time.
As soon as Mr.Bee got his leave approved, we checked the flight schedule and decided that flying on Thursday was best option to fly, since we would land in Sydney on Saturday morning. (We hated wasting our weekend flying!)
After lot of comparisons, we found out that flying with Air New Zealand was our best option. We had to take a transit at Auckland,NZ to Sydney,NSW.(I liked the idea of landing in New Zealand on the way to Australia. But this was a drawback.You will see why)
Even though Charlotte is a very beautiful and nice place to live, we have a small Airport here. Flying to Sydney meant we had to take a flight from Charlotte to Houston and then Houston to Los Angeles!
We could only board our International flight from Los Angeles. From LosAngeles, we flew with the Air NewZealand, landed in Auckland,New Zealand took another international flight from there to Sydney.
ON our return trip, we however had to cancel our Air New Zealand flights, because we didn’t have a transit visa for New Zealand! The lesson we learned in our trip was that if our final destination is Australia, we could land in New Zealand, without a visa. But , we couldn’t land in New Zealand, if we wanted to return to US. So if you are planning to take an international transit flight, check if the transit country requires a VISA.
Since in the two weeks stay in Sydney, we couldn’t get a transit visa for NewZealand, we cancelled our return flights and booked new ones, with Delta Airlines.
After landing in Sydney, we decided that some places were accessible by trains, some by buses, some by cars and some are so near our place of stay,we could walk.My sister in law and her husband live in the core of the city, that made things easy for me and Mr.Bee.
Day 1: We visited the beautiful Hyde Park , Domain Park, Supreme Court Building and the busy shopping complex. (we decided to return on a later date for shopping. Shops, offices, eateries , everything close by 5:00 p.m. in the evening.)
Day 2: We went in the bus to the Bondi Beach. The public transport in Sydney is very good. (Similar to New York in US). It rained for a bit when we were returning home. Lesson learnt: Provision should be made for a sudden change in the local climate.
Day 3: Visited Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay, Botanical Gardens, Woolloomooloo Bay area. All are close by, so we walked all the way, to all the places. (The recent fitness bug bit us, bit us hard! By the end of the day I had sore feet.) Lesson Learnt: Walking shoes are a woman’s best friend on a tour!
Day 4: Visited St.Mary Cathedral Church, Art Museum, Prison Barracks Museum, Martin’s Place. Walk, walk and more walk.
Day 5: Re-visit Circular Quay area, Sydney Opera House. This time, we visit the Quay area on a train. Easy does it! If you are in a mood and the weather permits, go on a ferry ride in the ocean and you will love it, just like we did. Watching the Opera House and the city buildings, Sydney Tower from the ferry is awesome. Later we visited the Mrs.Macquarie’s chair, went to complete our previous visit to the Art Museum.
Day 6: Visited the Darling Harbour area, where the attractions were, Madam Tussads, Sea life Aquarium, Wildlife Zoo. After all the walking , we had to take a break in the beautiful Hyde Park. (Hyde Park is so beautiful, you will see something more beautiful than the previous day!)
Day 7: Stay at home all the day, ‘time-out’. Day of the Anniversary and we had a dinner at the Sydney Tower. The deck rotates at a full 360 degree showing us the beautiful Sydney in the night sky and city lights. To and fro to the Tower in the very popular UBER!
Day 8: Visited Watson’s Bay, Sea Cliff Bridge, Helensburg Temple, Royal National Park, King’s cross, Sydney Harbour Bridge. Visited all the above places in a car. The only let down was rain, but we managed to forgive the rain-God!
Day 9: Visited Coogee Bay, Botany Bay, Kogara Bay in a car. Beaches in Sydney are so beautiful, we never got bored of visiting three on the same day! 😛
Day 10: We went to the most beautiful Victoria Building which was converted into a Shopping mall and the Town Hall building – by walk. (Shopped in the Victoria Building)
Day 11: Visited the Featherdale Wildlife Park on our way to the Chateau Elan resort. It was on the outskirts of the city, so we went in a car. The resort was one of the best things that has happened to us in Sydney. It was so beautiful that I can never forget it. (Chateau Elan, I love you!)
Day 12: Hot Air balloon ride – done in a hot air balloon as I said. Lovely experience. Do not miss this. Visited Palm Beach when returning home.
Day 13: Went to the Rocks, the Nurse’s walk and dinner at Indian Restaurant. The night walk in the Sydney streets is another memorable experience. I never knew even after a movie, I could enjoy the night with a simple walk!
Day 14: Visiting the Sky Tower, doing the Tower Walk and taking a late night stroll on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Need I say more? Beautiful! Awesome!
Day 15: Our last day of the trip. We visited the Chinese Garden of Friendship, Central Station, China Town. The Central Station is the biggest railway station in Sydney. Even the escalators were so long! We visited all the places on foot.
With a day to day itinerary plan, we could cover all the places worth visiting in Sydney. Our only plan which failed to take off was to visit the Blue Mountains. The weather didn’t permit us, since it rained heavily and driving on mountainous road is never a good idea.
Landed safely in Charlotte.
1. Overall, our Sydney tour has been a grand success. Though I never walked so much in my whole life, I enjoyed walking and visiting every single place in Sydney. Thanks to our hosts, we had a memorable time in Sydney.