After a three hour flight from New Zealand, we landed in a rather wet Sydney. We hadn’t really considered finding somewhere to stay but thankfully there were some listings at the airport. We found a shuttle that took us to Base– a hostel we had staying in in NZ. The hostel turned out to be in quite a good location so we were within walking distance of most of the places we wanted to go.
After check-in, we needed a supermarket trip and for the first time in the almost a month, we bought actual food from Woolworths (a supermarket, not the one that sold toys and pick and mix) and then came back and cooked a curry! Food that costs nothing and the ease of tinned spaghetti on toast is appealing but once in a while, it is good to make the most of having a kitchen. Our Mango Chicken Curry was delicious. The hostel had its own bar and a quick, convenient drink quickly led to a pool game, something I am usually careful to avoid. I potted a few and didn’t hit anyone with the cue so it could have been worse but needless to say I wasn’t winning anything.
Our first port of call was Chinatown to find Paddy’s Market, which turned out to be closed that day, but we found a mall where we grabbed some lunch and both managed to find cheap going-out outfits, something we’d both been missing and in need of! When packing for a big trip, clubbing clothes are on the bottom of the list and nobody really dresses up but it’s still nice to have something you haven’t worn on a bus all day. The Powerhouse Museum was showing a fashion exhibit ‘Frocks Stars’, which we checked out before heading back out into the pouring rain. Finally, we made it back into the dry and went a cooked stir fry. We’d now cooked more than we had the whole time we were in NZ.
The next day the sun actually came out, so we were up bright and early (midday) and off the the Opera House via the scenic route of Hyde Park and the Botanic Gardens. After getting pictures of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, we, perhaps inevitably, ended up back in Chinatown and Paddy’s Market, after all, we do like a bit of shopping, even if it doesn’t involve actually buying anything. That night we tucked into our homemade Chicken Caesar Salad (we were on a roll with our cooking) and after a last minute doughnut run, we spent the night in the hostel bar for its beach-themed night- as it turned up noone else had really dressed up but thankfully we weren’t to conspicuous! Either way we got our free drinks and I embarrassed myself in a game of pool.
Amazingly, the next day was sunny too, so we were out in our dresses and sunglasses- whilst the locals were wrapped up in coats and scarves. We had heard word of a good zoo called Taronga but after discovering the slightly heavy price tag we found an alternative in Sydney Wildlife World in Darling Harbour. We found kangaroos, crocodiles, wallabies, butterflies, cassowaries and koalas. The place wasn’t huge but we managed to get a ticket that allowed as entry into the zoo, aquarium and the Sydney Tower. At the aquarium we found a smaller crocodile, a dugong, sharks rays and a lots of fish. Sadly we couldn’t spot the platypus. Afterwards, we found the Chinese Friendship Gardens; a very pretty and serene space. Then it was once again back to the bar after cooking another curry. Our night out didn’t really happen, but like my friend said: “why pre-drink when you can pre-doughnut”. We got doughnuts.
On our last day, we used our pass to the Sydney Tower, where we took the Oz Trek- a cinema with moving seats with a virtual tour of Australia fit into 10 minutes. It wasn’t bad but not good for my motion sickness. We then took some photos from the Observation Deck, although did not attempt the skywalk (I’d seen enough heights in New Zealand by this point, thank you very much). And, after one final round of cooking (stir fry) that was that, farewell Sydney!