We arrived around 12 noon (SYD time).
It was my first long haul flight and I was more excited than nervous. I think some travelers would agree that passing through immigration counters and customs can give you a slight panic. Usually, I don’t overthink about it but since almost all of my friends ‘warned’ me about Australia’s strict laws, I was kind of nervous to pass their counters. (I brought two bottles of rum in and it all went smooth, woohoo!)
Jennica went straight to the airport to meet me, yay! We booked an uber to bring us to our Airbnb so we can leave my stuff and start our ‘catch up’.
TIP: It’s cheaper to ride an Uber than the Airport Express.
After arriving at our place in McEvoy, Alexandria, I freshened up real quick and headed out with Jen. We hadn’t prepared a formal itinerary so we were open to going wherever. The good thing about our place in Alexandria is that buses stop right in front of our apartment. We also have a choice to either ride the bus or walk towards the nearest train station which is seven minutes away.
FIRST STOP: St. Mary’s Cathedral
Catch a train from Green Square to St. James. Just check which train from which platform you’re going to hop on from Google Maps. We alighted in St. James, made our exit from the station, and voila!
St Mary’s Cathedral is located right in the center of Sydney. They say it serves as a Christian statement of grace and beauty. The Cathedral represents the spiritual origins of the Catholic Church in Australia and is one of Sydney’s most treasured historic buildings and one of the finest examples of English-style gothic churches in the world.
SECOND STOP: Hyde Park
It’s right next to St. Mary’s Cathedral! Hyde Park is the oldest public park in Australia. It is a 16.2-hectare park in the central business district of Sydney.
Hyde Park is divided into two sections. The southern section contains the ANZAC Memorial building and visitor center, the pool of reflection, and numerous monuments and statues while the northern section features the iconic Archibald Fountain and various theme gardens including Sandringham and Nagoya Gardens replete with public artworks, monuments, and water features.
Aussies like their parks. They like to lie down the grass, have picnic, or do nothing. We strolled around for a while and decided to grab some lunch at Regents Place.
THIRD STOP: Regent’s Place
As per Jennica, it is where they (she and her engineer friends) bring the first timers in Australia. We had lunch at Oiden Rice Bowl Bar (because duh! rice!). After lunch, we decided to walk along Pitt Street and…
FOURTH, FIFTH: Town Hall and QVB
The Town Hall is like the ‘city hall’ in the Philippines but more palace-like. This well-known landmark houses the chambers of the Lord Mayor of Sydney, council offices, and venues for meetings and functions. Also, the train station is right underneath the building. There are some fancy shops too.
The QVB or the Queen Victoria Building is rich in history and is architecturally splendid. Basically, it is one of Sydney’s popular shopping center. It occupies the entire block on Sydney’s George Street and has over 180 of Sydney’s finest fashion boutiques, jewelry shops and homewares, cafes, and restaurants.
After a lot of strolling and some catching up, we ended at Central Station. It’s the largest station among all the other stations in Sydney. Jen had to meet her friends and I had to go and catch up with my group at Luna Park.
I rode the train from Central to Milton’s point where Luna Park is just a walking distance. I met with my group and we decided to grab dinner at Darling Harbour. Most shops and restaurants were already closed by the time we arrived in Darlo so we were left with fewer dining options.
After dinner, we went home in McEvoy, Alexandria and prepared for the next day…