I’m starting to regret a little bit now that I’m writing the sequence of events during my Sydney trip. But since I already started with Day 1, might as well finish writing about my Day 2.
Still on the high of finally being in Sydney, I woke up early to prepare my stuff. I was going to sleep at Jenn’s place that night. So I prepared all my things without knowing something…
Jenn picked me up at my place in Alexandria. All thanks to her engineer friend, Marvy, who was on his way home from a night shift of road work but decided to have brunch with us.
FIRST STOP: Grounds of Alexandria
It’s a walking distance from my place, about 7 minutes away. Grounds of Alexandria is one of the must-visit places I recommend when you’re in Sydney. It’s quaint and quite interesting.
They offer homestyle food and coffee, perfect for the brunch crowd. It used to be a former pie factory with brick walls and an organic garden. There are plenty of things going around the area, food stalls, drink stations, an ice cream or popsicle cart, a flower shop, and more.
The place was full when we got there so we just grabbed some hot doughnuts and coffee and decided to have our legit meal by the beach.
SECOND STOP: Coogee Beach
Coogee beach is a classic suburban beach which delivers a laid-back trademark of Sydney’s beach lifestyle. I think everyone knows how Australians love their beaches as much as their parks.
One of Sydney’s oldest beachside suburbs, Coogee, has a variety of cafes, bars, and restaurants. There are lots of things to do here, from swimming, surfing, paddling, snorkeling, even hiking/walking.
There’s an activity called Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk and you can either start or finish in Coogee Beach. It is a six-kilometer walk and you will be amazed by the picturesque paths and views along the shore. The walk includes the coastline from Coogee to Clovelly, Bronte, Tamarama, and Bondi.
THIRD STOP: Bondi Beach
For the information of those who still not know or haven’t read my previous post, the walk from Coogee to Bondi can take up two hours or more of your time. We were lazy and we pretty much have a schedule to follow especially when stores in Sydney close really early. So we decided to drive down to Bondi instead.
Props to Marvy (Jen’s friend) who dropped us off to Bondi before heading home.
Bondi is one of Sydney’s iconic beaches and closest to the city center, CBD. It is considered to be the city’s busiest beach and most visited by tourists.
There are several outdoor restaurants, cafes, and fish shops in the area. The Hall Street is mostly known as the homes to Bondi’s dining precinct. There’s a vast field/park where you can lie down, sunbathe (but it’s winter), or do picnic.
We strolled down the beach, amazed by all the murals and the people who were wearing bikinis and trunks with the temperature of 11 degrees or less. I can’t actually imagine how they were able to stand the cold breeze.
FOURTH STOP: Circular Quay (pronounced “key“)
Our original plan was to go to DFO or Birkenhead but we didn’t notice the time as we enjoyed the beach view and cold breeze in Bondi. If we went to either of these outlet shops, we won’t have much time to go around. So we decided to go to Circular Quay instead. AND YOU KNOW WHAT’S IN CIRCULAR QUAY! (It’s not the kind of beach you expect, but there’s the ocean, so technically…)
It’s the ever famous Sydney Opera House!
Many would say, you’ve never been to Sydney without a photo of the Opera House. It’s a cliche thing to do but I bet you will still do it.
I don’t know if it’s just me but I noticed that for the past months, visiting Sydney somewhat became a trend (like visiting Japan). It’s a good thing though, for the country’s tourism and its economy. But I noticed one thing as I scrolled down my feed for Sydney photos, I haven’t really seen enough good shots. I actually check other photos to find ideas on how to compose my photos or to make mine different or unique.
I was kind of hoping to see a good photo of the Opera House but there were only a few. Honestly, it’s hard to find a ‘good’ shot of any of the spots in Sydney.
Going back to the topic… Before I left for Sydney, (this is crazy if you think about it) I checked my friends and acquaintances who have been to Sydney particularly the ‘touristy’ places. And I’ve realized a pattern just by seeing all their posts. They’re not even related to each other but all of their photos and angles looked exactly the same.
So here’s what my eyes have seen and how I wanted you to see THE Sydney Opera House (not the typical tourist + background kind of photo).
Can you imagine it took 16 years to build this magnificent structure? It is Australia’s most recognizable building and is considered as an icon of the country’s creative and technical achievement. Located on Bennelong Point, juxtaposed to the harbour and right across Sydney’s Harbour Bridge, the Opera House is a dominant structure which can be seen and experienced from all sides and can be viewed by air, water, or land.
The Rocks, also located on Circular Quay, is a neighborhood of historic laneways in the shadow of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. You can find Sydney’s oldest pubs and upscale restaurants. If you’re into arts, you’d be happy to find the Museum of Contemporary Art along one corner but if not, a good meal at Pancakes by The Rocks could seal the deal.
The Rocks is just right across the Opera House and to me is one of the best spots to take a photo of the Opera House (there are plenty of viewpoints) especially if you’re feeling a little lazy or if you’re in a hurry.
The Royal Botanic Garden is also in Circular Quay. It’s the entire 30 hectares of land to the right of the Opera House where you can also find the Government House. It is the major botanical garden in the heart of the city and the oldest institution in Australia established since 1816. Aside from the fact that it is a home to an outstanding collection of plants from around the world, many people go there to do picnics and have quality time with their friends and loved ones.
After a loooooot of walking, we finally decided to go ‘home’. I was going to sleep over at Jenn’s because we decided to spend the next day shopping and we wouldn’t want to waste time. You see, I stayed in Alexandria while Jenn’s place was in Carramar, a suburb of Sydney about 30km away from CBD. We had so little time to ‘catch up’ that the moment she invited me to sleepover I said yes right away.
Before heading home, we dropped by Bankstown and did a mini-shopping spree at K-Mart (It’s one of the K-Mart branches which does not close early and we don’t have K-Mart in the Philippines, don’t judge).
After arriving at Jenn’s, one of her housemates was celebrating her birthday. I felt shy because I didn’t know they were having a party (party crasher). After the party ended, I made myself comfortable only to find out that they have no heater! I already knew that suburbs in Sydney are colder compared to the metropolis so the struggle was real. The temperature in Carramar dropped to 2 degrees during the evening and 0 degrees at dawn! I was literally freezing! Thank God for blankets, socks, and pajamas!
TIME TO SLEEP…