We flew into Sydney on April 1st, 2016 after visiting 9 countries in South East Asia, here we stayed with our uncle for 10 days in the beautiful town Randwick where we got ourselves settled before finding an apartment in Bondi and jobs in Sydney CBD district. We both secured an apartment and work extremely quickly which was fantastic but also felt a little weird to step back into routine and normality after a crazy 6 months travelling South East Asia. The job searching and apartment hunting were the easy part, the most difficult was stepping back into a gym after 6 months without one single gym session and lots of bad eating and heavy drinking. However, after a few months, things did take a turn for the best and we managed to get rid of the beer bellies. Our working life in Sydney is a story for another time, anyone wanting any advice on moving to Australia and finding work then please don't hesitate to email us. Living in Bondi and working in the city we both got to know Sydney pretty well and did pretty much everything the city had to offer. The city is great and Sydney truly lives up to its reputation with many fantastic beaches, restaurants, plenty of bars and iconic buildings to visit. However, It is like any other big city, quite expensive with the main western brands and businesses.
Whether you're going to Sydney for the iconic views:
Or to catch an unbelievable sunset:
Or to check the number of different beaches:
Or just pretend to be James Bond:
Sydney has it all.
To do in Sydney (Our favourite bits):
Visit the city landmarks: The famous Opera House and Harbour Bridge will make your Instagram that extra bit special, but be warned it is an extremely touristy place, so do try and go early as possible. However, if you’re down there for a sunset the water sparkles like nothing you’ve ever seen.
Sydney Opera House: If you have time, make sure you get a tour or book a show in the opera house. We went to see ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and was a fantastic show. However, just being in the presence of this building is quite spectacular in itself.
A day out in Bondi: One of the many famous beaches in Sydney and is truly beautiful, with many fantastic restaurants and bars, only a short journey away from the city. Pack your swim gear and enjoy being on holiday. Icebergs bar & dining is a famous restaurant and pool area, highly recommended for food and a salty swim in their Olympic size salt pool. If you visit Bondi this is a must. #WadeTopTip – bring your Passport and you get free entry into the members club to enjoy some great food and exquisite views of Bondi.
Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk: It’s a steady 6k walk which takes you all around the coast of Sydney’s most famous beaches and really boasts the beauty of Sydney and a number of beaches the place has to offer.
Blue Mountains: A two-hour train journey west of the city into the mountains. Leave as early as possible and enjoy the more scenic side of Australia. There are many stunning waterfalls and long treks through the mountains, it is advised to maybe book a weekend here however if you're short on time, then you can choose a few locations within the mountains and get trekking. Do your best to avoid weekends here as it is full of tourists walking around with selfie sticks, not to worry though the hikes are enormous so you will probably lose them on one of the hundreds of trails.
The Royal Botanic Gardens: Because there is nothing quite like a family stroll through some beautiful gardens right? The gardens spread right around the city and the Harbour and are truly beautiful. If you have time, grab yourself a picnic, a shady spot under a large tree and watch the boats drift in and out of the harbour (Like Will did on a date, good date right)! Nothing quite beats the beauty and tranquillity the place has to offer.
Taronga Zoo: You can’t go to Australia and leave without seeing and learning about the different wildlife the country has. This is about as close as we got to a crocodile and thankfully it was behind a fence. The boat over to the zoo is a spectacular 15-minute trip, which gives you a fantastic view of the Sydney harbour (The trip itself is worth every penny). The zoo has so much to offer and you can even get up and close with Kangaroo Jack and Kuala Bears, which is fantastic. #WadeTopTip - Make sure to leave the park during sunset as you’ll capture a fantastic sunset right over the city.
Palm Beach & Barrenjoey lighthouse walk: A beach a little over an hour north of Sydney located in a beautiful little town. Spend the day here soaking up the sun and make sure you do the Barrenjoey lighthouse walk, despite the walk being pretty steep the views from the top are rather breathtaking and make it certainly worth it.
Sydney ranges from hostels, 5* hotels to air bnb's to hostels, whatever you’re looking for, Sydney has something that will cater for you. Just be careful when booking around New Year & Christmas as prices sky rocket and places become very full, very quickly.
Sydney is full of restaurants and amazing little eateries. If you find yourself in the centre of the city or strolling the beach at Bondi or Coogee then there are so many different health stands, burger joints and fish and chip shops that there is quite simply too many to choose from. So where ever you are within Sydney you'll find somewhere that tickles your fancy no doubt. Here are a few we highly recommend:
Bangkok Bites: Two restaurants in Sydney, one in Newtown and the other in Bondi. It is a traditional Thai restaurant which serves HUGE portions for an incredibly cheap price. The atmosphere is so lively it actually makes you think you're eating Thai in the centre of Bangkok.
The George: $1 wings like you've never experienced before, seriously! Not some rubbish cheap wings but the worlds biggest and best we've ever come across. Have them served with potato wedges and a pint of Hahn Superdry beer. One of the best cheat meals we've had!
Doughnut Time: These Doughnut stands are set up all over Sydney and dare we say it, better than Krispy Kreme. If you're ever walking past a Doughnut time, don't think about it, just get one, or two, or three or even a full box of 6.
Goodtime Burgers at The Eastern: Every Wednesday they do $5 burgers with fries. you have to go at least once and experience so much taste for such little money. The burgers are greasy and delicious just like they should be.
Harrys Bondi: North Bondi boasts some amazing little cafes and eateries and Harrys is certainly one of the best. Serving fantastic coffee and the food is also amazing. Most definitely worth a visit too.
Coogee Pavilion: Not only is Coogee Pav a hot spot for weekly drinks and weekend antics but also a great spot for breakfast. Walk the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk and finish off at the pavilion with your choice of fine foods (Recommend the French Toast and Salmon Bagel)......Then walk back again!
The Grounds of Alexandria: Some beautiful gardens with a small food market and some elegant restaurants. Go with an empty stomach and enjoy some incredible sweet treats and some amazing food in any of the restaurants within the gardens. Make sure you go on a Saturday or Sunday to enjoy the benefits of the market and its number of different stalls.
Now when we were living in Sydney there was a thing called 'Lock Out Laws', this is a government programme which has been put in place due to dangerous behaviour on nights out. It has pretty much ruined all nightlife and partying in Sydney. The Sydney lockout laws were introduced by the Government of New South Wales in February 2014 with the objective to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence. The legislation requires 1.30am lockouts, 3 am last drinks at bars, pubs and clubs along side many other strict requirements in the Sydney CBD area. But don't let this scare you too much as there are still some fantastic spots to enjoy some drinks and a good party.
The Baxters Inn: One of our favourite hidden bars right in the heart of the city. It's a famous whisky bar and is hidden through a mysterious alley way which leads you through a fire exit door and then into the basement bar. (A great spot for a date night too, we should know)!!
Bucket list Sundays at the Bondi pavilion: Whilst living in Sydney we spent many Sundays here through out the day and into the night. It goes fully off and is a great place to enjoy a few summer cocktails or in our case 'a jug' whilst overlooking Bondi Beach.
Beach Road Hotel Bondi: A busy spot where most of the travellers go for cheap drinks. Especially when there is a big boxing / UFC fight on, or just for a few pre drinks before heading into town.
Drinks at Circular Quay: If you're looking for some sophisticated drinks watching the boats and a fantastic sunset over the harbour, then head to Circular Quay and take your pick of any of the water front bars/restaurants.
Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel: A hot spot on the weekend of Watson's Bay. Here you can sip away your weekend whilst catching the most amazing sunset right over the city. There is also a few fantastic beaches here including a nudist beach, plus a nice coastal walk to the Hornby Lighthouse which makes great afternoons walk.
This is just a quick guide on Sydney. If you're in Sydney for a week or more, most of what we've recommended can be ticked off, however, if you're only in the city for a short stay, pick a few spots and make the most of them. Like we mentioned previously, we lived here for 10 months and made the most of it by heading to the amazing spots it had to offer.