Wednesday, August 1, 2018

2017 Australia: From Melbourne to Sydney & Places of Interest in Sydney

Day 1: Landed Melbourne and wandered around Melbourne CBD
Day 2: Riding on the Puffing Billy train 
Day 3: Road-tripping to Great Ocean Road
Day 4: Continue road trip to Mornington Peninsula and return to Melbourne CBD

As for the day 5, right after we had our breakfast in Naughty Boy Cafe, we went back to our apartment in order to pack and get ready to the airport. It's time to hit Sydney, again! Yes, again for the third time. They said the third time is the charm and I'm absolutely agreed on this. Why? I will share more on the next few blog post. 

FROM MELBOURNE TO SYDNEY 
Once again, we hired taxi straight to the airport from our apartment since each of us was carrying huge luggage with us. In case you are not pressed by time, you can consider to travel from Melbourne to Sydney via road by self-drive which takes about 8 to 9 hours, or even by train where the travelling time is around 12 hours. Due to limited of time, my friends and I can only opted to travel via plane. There are four airlines provide services from Melbourne to Sydney directly; Jetstar, Tigerair, Virgin Australia and Qantas. So far, I found Jetstar offers the cheaper deal and we got AU$97 for one way trip from Melbourne to Sydney, including 20kg of baggage allowance.

2017 Australia Melbourne to Sydney Via Jetstar

HOW TO GET TO SYDNEY CITY FROM AIRPORT
Sydney Airport is one of the airport that is super close to the city center. Situated around 9km south of the city centre in Southern Sydney, one can either travel via suburban train, local bus, shuttle bus or taxi. Previously I took airport train heading to Central Station that cost AU$12.60 per person, but considering this time around travelled with a group of four, I think it's best to take taxi straight to our hotel and our total fare cost us AU$63 by end of the trip. Divided into four, each of us roughly paid around AU$15.75 which is not that bad at all.

OUR STAY IN SYDNEY
We touched down Sydney Airport in early evening and from there, we took taxi to Lido Suites Kings Cross - the hotel we're staying throughout our visit in Sydney. It's a boutique hotel with a studio apartment-style which comes with kitchenette with microwave, glass wear and utensils. Location wise, it's short walking distance to Kings Cross station and surrounded by restaurants, bars, night clubs and supermarket. 

2017 Australia Sydney Lido Suites Kings Cross 2

2017 Australia Sydney Lido Suites Kings Cross 1

Date Stayed:
24th - 28th May 2017 (4 nights)
Room Rate: RM346 per night for a studio room without breakfast. But because I redeemed using points, so a room cost RM235 per night only. (Booked via Agoda)

Additional Info:
In case you are travelling with a tight budget, you can consider staying in Malaysia Hall Sydney - a Malaysian student's accommodation hall which owned by the Malaysian government but then, it's also open to those who are not students. Just that you need to check with them whether is there any vacant room on your travelling dates.

BEST PLACES OF INTEREST IN SYDNEY
Sydney is compact city and can be navigated around easily, with most places of interest within walkable distances from each other. It has been recognised as one of the world's most beautiful and liveable cities. That's explain why I never get bored even after my third visit to this state capital of New South Wales. Here are the few places of interest in Sydney which you should explore and experience if you are planning to go Sydney for the very first time. 

2017 Australia Sydney King Cross
Put the right shoe on and get ready to explore Sydney!

1) Soaking up the sun in Bondi Beach

2017 Australia Sydney Bondi Beach 01

Bondi Beach is one of the most popular beach in Sydney where you can visit all year round, regardless whether it's during spring, summer, autumn or even winter. The main highlight of Bondi Beach is the Bondi Icebergs Pool tucked in beach's south side. Open to the public all year round, this pool has been a historical landmark of Bondi Beach for more than 100 years. You shouldn't miss this place when going here. 

2017 Australia Sydney Bondi Beach 02
It's funny where my friends and I were in fully covered - we wore long sleeves and long pants while the rest of the visitors were in their hot pants and sexy bikini instead.

How To Get To Bondi Beach:
From Central Station, take a suburban train on the Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra line (stopping on Platform 24) bound for Bondi Junction and get off at Bondi Junction station. At Bondi Junction, find the bus signboard and wait at B stand of the connecting bus terminal and hop on the bus #333. After about 10 minutes ride, get off at Campbell Pde Nr Hall St (right in front of Noah's Backpacker) and the beach will be on your right side. 

2) Sydney Fish Market for fresh seafood galore

2017 Australia Sydney Fish Market 00

Frankly speaking, I don't into seafood but if I don't pay a visit to Sydney Fish Market, it's a sin to me. Sydney Fish Market is the largest market of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and the world's second largest seafood market in terms of variety outside of Japan. This is where you should head to if you are looking for the best seafood in Sydney. I went here twice for lunch break but of course, it's best to come early to get the freshest catch of the day. And also to beat the crowd especially after 10am onward. 

2017 Australia Sydney Fish Market 02
Donut or sushi? Well, it's a doshi - taste like a sushi but shaped in a donut style.

Unlike our own local market back in Malaysia, Sydney Fish Market is incredibly clean, dry and even equipped with plenty of tables and chairs for the visitors to sit down and enjoy the fresh and juicy seafood on spot. My friends and I ordered the ready cooked seafood platters to share. 

2017 Australia Sydney Fish Market 01
We ordered ready cooked seafood platter - comes with grilled scallops, oyster, BBQ baby octopus, king prawns, calamari rings and fries. We even added on cheese lobster which is a must try for seafood lovers. All these for AU$68 (approx. to RM222)

How To Get To Sydney Fish Market:
Light Rail Fish Market stop which is located across the road from the market.
General Opening Hours: 7am to 4.30pm

3) Dropping by Paddy's Market and Chinatown

2017 Sydney - Paddy Market

Paddy's Market is one of my favourite spot to be in Sydney - simply because for souvenirs shopping. Shopping always plays a major part of my trips but I don't shop at factory outlet mall, I prefer to shop at the marketplace instead. In Paddy's Market, you can find an eclectic array of goods such as souvenirs, clothes and other stuffs. Here, the souvenirs items are much more cheaper than Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market. So now you know where to go if looking to buy lots of souvenirs for family and friends in Sydney. 

2017 Australia Sydney Chinatown

Located in front of Paddy's Market is the hustle and bustle of Sydney's Chinatown. It is a colourful mixture of Asian culture, cuisine and shopping. The area's distinctly oriental architecture, street lanterns and archways confirm it as a showpiece for Australian Chinese culture. On every Friday night, there is a night market operating from 4pm until 11pm.

How To Get To Paddy's Market & Sydney's Chinatown:
Both are an easy 15-minutes walk from Central Railway station. Or, you can take light rail service operates from Central to Haymarket.

4) Ferry ride for Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House

2017 Australia Sydney Harbour Bridge & Opera House

Sydney is also home to the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, two of the most iconic structures on the planet. There are many ways and places where you can view these two well-known landmarks but for me, I would recommend to take the ferry ride. The ferry trip is an ideal introduction to Sydney's harbourside. It's like hitting two birds using one stone - enjoy the ferry ride and at the same time, taking stunning and spectacular view of Harbour Bridge and and Sydney Opera House.  

Day 1 - Sydney Harbour Bridge Day Time 01

Where To Catch The Ferry Ride:
You can catch the ferry from Darling Harbour to Circular Quay or vice versa

5) Admiring the Historical Buildings & Architecture 
Sydney possesses a wide array of beautiful historical and old architectural style. It also has a large amount of Victorian buildings which are standing strong and still until today, such as Sydney Town Hall and the Queen Victoria Building. The Queen Victoria Building is one of the excellent example of British colonial influences on Australian architecture. 

2017 Australia Sydney 1



2017 Australia Sydney 2
Sydney Town Hall

6) Cafe Culture for Breakfast 
While Australia's cafe culture may have its roots in Melbourne, Sydney has truly taken up the joys of producing a good cup of coffee and mouthwatering pastries. Most of the cafes are independent and locally owned. Just like when we're in Melbourne, we never missed a single chance to pay visit at least one or two cafes for our morning breakfast. I came across two most-recommended cafes from the Instagram; which are Black Star Pastry in Newtown and Bourke Street Bakery in Surry Hills

2017 Australia Sydney Black Star Pastry 1

2017 Australia Sydney Black Star Pastry 2
The main signature of Black Star Pastry is Strawberry Watermelon cake. One slice cost AU$8 and for your information, it is one of the most Instragrammable cakes ever. 

2017 Australia Sydney Black Star Pastry 3
One cake is never enough. Hence, we ordered another Raspberry Lychee cake.

2017 Australia Sydney Black Star Pastry 4

There are three outlets in Sydney currently:
Black Star Pastry - Newtown
Newtown Station under the line of T2 Inner West & South Line
Opening Hours: 7am to 5pm daily

Black Star Pastry - Books Kinokuniya (CBD)
The Galeries Level 2, 500 George St, Sydney.
Opening Hours: 10am to 6.30pm (Mon to Wed, Fri & Sat), 10am to 7.30 (Thu) and 11am to 6pm (Sun)

Black Star Pastry - Roseberry 
C1 85-113 Dunning Ave, Rosebery, NWS 2018
Opening Hours: 8am to 3pm (Mon to Fri) and 8am to 4pm (Sat & Sun)

2017 Australia Sydney Bourke Street Bakery 1

From humble beginning in Surry Hills, Bourke Street Bakery has grown to become one of Sydney's most iconic food destinations. When we stepped into this bakery shop, we're indeed having hard time of which pastries to choose from, cause each and every of them are equally mouthwatering and delicious. From refined bread to tarts, croissants, cookies, cakes and even sweet and savoury pastries, you will be spoilt for choice. Don't forget to pair with a nice and hot cup of coffee to start your beautiful day too. 

2017 Australia Sydney Bourke Street Bakery 2

2017 Australia Sydney Bourke Street Bakery 3

Bourke Street Bakery - Surry Hills
633 Bourke St, Surry Hills NSW 2010, Australia
Opening Hours: 7am to 6pm (Mon to Fri), 7am to 5pm (Sat & Sun)

7) Day Trip to Blue Mountains for The Three Sisters & Scenic World
 IMG_20170525_120703
Spare a day in Sydney to explore and experience Blue Mountains. This World Heritage listed wilderness area is located about two hours away from the west of Sydney, hence it is advisable to plan your journey well. Home to the Three Sisters rock formation, stop at Echo Point Lookout for the best and dramatic view over the deep valley through gouged out over millions of years.

Sydney Blue Mountains - Scenic World
The fun doesn't stop there. You can continue by taking the Scenic World's three thrilling rides; Scenic Skyway - the highest cable car in Australia, Scenic Railway - world's steepest passenger train and Scenic Cablecar - Australia's biggest cable car.  


How To Get To Blue Mountains:
From Central Station, take Cityrail Blue Mountain Line. Any train with the destinations "Lithgow", "Katoomba" or "Mount Victoria". Hop off at Katoomba Station. Catch local bus #686 from the bus stop in front of Carrington Hotel. The bus will stop at Echo Point/Three Sisters and Scenic World. 

GET AROUND SYDNEY USING OPAL CARD
Implemented in 2014, Sydney Opal card is a touch-and-go contactless card that you can preload with any value, very similar to our Malaysia's Touch 'n Go card. This card can be used on all modes of public transport including commuter rail, bus, light rail and ferry too. I'm not really sure how the fares are calculated but what I know there is a daily cap of AU$15 for each day, except for Sunday which the daily cap is AU$2.50. Therefore, try to grab this advantage by using Opal Card to visit Blue Mountains on Sunday cause the fares being charged are AU$2.50 only.

Sydney Opal Card

Guess what! Except for the cafe culture, I did and explore all the places of interest as mentioned above TWICE! I'm kidding not. This is because three of my friends visited Sydney for the very time and therefore, I indirectly became their tour guide to lead them the way.

So, anyone interested to hire me as your personal tour guide? 

2 comments:

  1. Nice boutique hotel in Sydney.

    Love the Sydney Town Hall.

    Strawberry watermelon cake? That is new and interesting to me. I would to try it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Doshi is so special, how creative they are to combine donut and sushi.

    Maybe you can organize a budget tour and be the tour guide of the trip :D

    ReplyDelete

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