Sydney in 12 Hours

I’ve read many many travel articles about one-day itinerary suggestions in popular cities, but I have never attempted to follow any of them. Many seems fun, but sometimes they also incorporate luxurious treats and stays or activities that I am not interested in.

When my three friends came to visit me, I had a problem planning how we should spend one-day in Sydney. Of course it did not turn out to be exactly what I wanted it to be, but I think what made it fun was the impromptu elements. So, here are what we did in one day:

7:00 am Cahill walk 

My friends stayed at Siesta Inn, a new hostel in town. It’s located close to Wynyard station and Darling Harbour, which makes it easily accessible. Since the hostel is new, the place looks clean and hopefully the management will continue to maintain it well. We left around 7 in the morning, and heading to Circular Quay. Last time when I took a friend to cross Harbour bridge, I accidentally found a stair entrance to Cahill walk on Macquarie Street. The view of Harbour bridge was really great from the Cahill Expressway, so I knew I wanted to go there again. A picture with Sydney Opera House on the background is also possible, but I guess the timing was not ideal because the sun was behind our back. Still I would recommend this walk to anyone who would enjoy great photo opportunity with two of the most famous Sydney’s iconic structures. (Later I read that one of the best spots to have both Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge on the background is from Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair at the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens). We ended our stroll at the Rocks with some banana muffins I made for breakfast.

Harbour Bridge from Cahill Expressway

Harbour Bridge from Cahill Expressway

IMG_9899

The Rocks

The Rocks

9:30 am Bondi Beach

Taking a bus from Circular Quay, we headed to Bondi beach, a popular beach which is only 7 km from the CBD. It was a clear Saturday although a bit chilly in the beach. We stopped by a shop to get another breakfast because one muffin didn’t have the capacity to stuff us. Then we continued our journey to the coastal walk. My plan was to walk along the coast from Bondi Beach to Bronte Beach, and if time allowed, Coogee Beach.

Breakfast by the beach

Breakfast by the beach

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach

Pool by the Beach

Pool by the Beach

Scenic Coastal Walk

Scenic Coastal Walk

Although I mentioned before that it was chilly, after commencing the walk, we were quite burned out by the sun. However, people we saw along the way were pumped up with their exercise. Some stopped at the fitness equipment stations to fully utilize the facility. Our walk from Bondi to Bronte probably took about 45 min to 1 hour, covering 3.8 km. It was not bad at all, but honestly I was exhausted and sleep-deprived. My friends later confessed that they were tired with the jet lag and sleep difficulty. I decided not to exert ourselves too much and went back to the city from Bronte.

 

1:30 pm Lunch around Hyde Park

Buses heading to the CBD usually stop at Hyde Park. It is a great opportunity to stroll around Hyde Park, which is the oldest parkland in Australia. However, we thought feeding ourselves to gain some energy were more important. My friends asked me what things they should try while being in Australia. I still could not find a satisfactory answer. Something very Australian may be Croc or Kangaroo meat, but we were not big in trying exotic food. Another boring answer that came up was Fish and Chips, which was originated from Great Britain, so I was not sure if it should be included in the must-have in Australia. We ended up dining at NaruOne Korean restaurant on Pitt Street. I knew that it is famous for its fried chicken, but never gave it a try. So, there we were, ordering boneless fried chicken (as recommended by the waitress because it was more convenient than having the ones with bones) and spicy soft tofu hotpot. We were stuffed and even had the remaining friend chicken for take-away.

50/50 Original and Spicy boneless fried chicken at NaruOne

50/50 Original and Spicy boneless fried chicken at NaruOne

3:30 pm Wild Life Sydney Zoo

Considering that we might not get a chance to see Australian animals, I thought Wild Life would be worth a visit. I had been there once before, and although I enjoyed my visit, it was not one of those that ended up with “WOW.” Wild Life is small, but at least it provides an opportunity to meet some animals live, such as Tasmanian devil, cassowary, wombat, wallaby, koala, and crocodile. We learned a thing or two about the animals, but one of the memorable ones was that a kangaroo mother can have a baby while having a joey in her pouch. So, she can  produce two type of milk: one with high sugar and the other with low sugar to meet the needs of two joeys.

View from Pyrmont Bridge

View from Pyrmont Bridge

Tasmanian Devil that looks bored and innocent

Tasmanian Devil that looks bored and innocent

Kangaroos at Wild Life

Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour

4:30 pm Paddy’s Market

Time for shopping! Actually none of us were big shoppers, but getting some souvenirs was a must. Paddy’s Market, open on Wednesday-Sunday from 9 am to 5-ish pm, is a good place to get your souvenirs. It is located in the Market City, near Chinatown. The price is also relatively cheaper compared to other touristy shopping places.

N2 Gelato

6:00 pm N2 Gelato

I wrote about this cool place before. I took my friends there, and we ordered:

  • Piña colada: coconut and pineapple with a hint of rum
  • Sour cream chocolate that doesn’t taste sour at all
  • Melbourne: chocolate and cauliflower crowned with saffron cream

Surprisingly chocolate and cauliflower tasted great together while sour cream chocolate was quite rich.

7:00 pm Sydney Eye Tower

Sydney Eye Tower is said to be the tallest building in Sydney, but keep your expectation low. Since it was open until 10 pm and we did not have much to do in the evening, we decided to go there. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, only two of us made it there. Before taking the elevator to the top, visitors were directed to the theater to experience 4-D movie about Sydney. The best 4-D movie for me is still Shrek at the Universal Studio, but this one was not disappointing. It would be great if they had engaging staff and provided a short history talk about the structure, which could be delivered through some recording when visitors were in their journey to the top. The rest of the things were quite typical: telescopes, information screens to guide visitors about some landmarks, and a souvenir shop. There is another attraction at Sydney Eye Tower that looked interesting – SKYWALK. People can walk on the glass floor viewing platform and look down to get a bird’s eye perspective of the city. Unfortunately, additional pass is required unless you buy it as a whole-package.

Evening view of Harbour Bridge

Evening view of Harbour Bridge

Hyde Park and St. Mary's Cathedral in the evening

Hyde Park and St. Mary’s Cathedral in the evening

 

That pretty much concluded what we did in our short Sydney trip. What about dinner? I was still full from our Korean lunch, and the only thing I ever wanted at that time about was getting enough sleep before commencing another adventure.

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