After a wonderful week in Bondi, I now had another week to fully experience Sydney together with my cousin that just arrived from Germany to visit me for three weeks and be my travel buddy.
Sadly, it wasn’t just Lisa’s first day in Down Under… it was also Meikes last day and I had to say goodbye to a wonderful travel mate, that I spend a lot of time with over the last month. Three days on the Great Ocean Road, one week in Adelaide and then we met again in Bondi.
But that’s also what makes travelling and backpacking so amazing! You meet so many great people and we will probably stay in touch forever and meet again for sure back in Germany!
So it was our first day in Sydney and it kind of was a special feeling to walk through its streets – I mean it’s Sydney!
As you only pay 2,70$ for the whole Sunday on the Opal Card (a prepaid card you need, to use the public transport in Sydney – in Melbourne it’s called Myki) we decided to go to Manly by ferry to make the most of the cheap fare.
The ferry drive was already a spectacular thing hence I really would recommend to take the ferry at least once from the Darling Harbour! We saw the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge from the water as well as the city skyline and it was an amazing view!
In Manly itself, we did the coastal walk along the shore which was truly beautiful and we saw so many colourful birds, flowers and lovely houses. Manly is really a great place to live in Sydney!
We went to the main beach and there were markets and lots of the popular shops in the pedestrian precinct.
For lunch we had super delicious sushi rolls with brown / black rice that I had for the first time and I completely fell for the black rice! It tastes so so good and I’ll for sure always eat that now when it’s available. It has so much more flavour (and it’s super healthy as well!).
We walked to Shelly beach as it’s meant to be the most beautiful beach in Sydney (I’m not sure if that’s really true tho :D )
Then we found these crazy Nutella filled Bombolinis and my cousin still declares them as the highlight of her whole vacation :D
After 28.000 steps we were completely exhausted when we came back home in our little apartment back in Surry Hills, but it was a wonderful first day!
On Monday we walked to the Royal Botanical Garden. There are so many different and beautiful parts and we probably didn’t even managed to see just half of them.
From the Mrs Macquarie point, we had a stunning view over the city, the harbour and the Opera House with the Harbour Bridge in the back.
It was crazy how many joggers were in the park and used their lunch break to run along the Botanical Garden – but I also have to say that this view even tops my running view in Bondi Beach!
We went to the Opera to see it from close up, but I have to say that it’s definitely more impressive from far away. We bought tickets for a behind the scenes ballet training for Spartacus and Cinderella which I was so so excited about! I really wished we would have been able to see one of them (or both) in a real performance, but sadly the tickets are super expensive…
For lunch, we had Sushi Hub (they sadly don’t have brown or black rice – you need to change that Sushi Hub!), which is always the cheapest and most delicious choice when it comes to eating out.
Afterwards, we walked over the Harbour Bridge and had a great view over the Sydney Opera and the skyline of the city.
Tuesday we went to Newtown and walked through the two big shopping streets there. I feel like you could compare Newtown to Fitzroy in Melbourne as both are very hipster and cool with a lot of vintage stores and many famous vegan restaurants, that I already knew from one of my YouTube favourites Bonny Rebecca, like Gigi’s pizzeria, Golden Lotus, Gelato Blue, Soul Burger and Lentils as Anything.
I really want to go back, to at least try one or two of them and have some more epic vegan food. Sydney hast (just like Melbourne) so many great options and places – I’m in heaven!
For lunch, I took my cousin to Lentils as Anything as I was so so in love with it when I was there in Melbourne. We had yummy vegan food and the great thing about it is, that you only pay as much as you want to. But I have to admit that the food in Melbourne was much better when we ate there for dinner… but it was still good!
Later on, we shared a Macadamia Brownie that was amazing, as well as three scoops of super delicious ice cream! It’s sad that the ice cream is so freaking expensive here, but it is also so so good!
When we came back home we just cooked some food and chilled in bed as our feed were completely exhausted again from walking so much.
On Wednesday we went to Paddy’s Market in Chinatown. They have a lot of souvenirs and other knick-knacks for very cheap prices but also fruits and veggies stalls that are super fresh, delicious and cheaper than in the supermarket.
I also bought some nuts for my porridge in the morning (nuts are so so expensive here!) and some apricot and strawberry squares with shredded coconut (they are a bit similar to bliss balls but without the nuts and much cheaper – a great healthy treat that is not too expensive).
In the shopping centre above Paddy’s Market, they have an IGA supermarket that mostly sells Asian food so we had a look around and I for sure buy tofu, rice, rice pasta or soy sauce in Asian markets only in the future as it is so much cheaper!
We bought some vegan Mango Ice Mochis that where made with coconut milk and they were so so delicious! I have never eaten Ice Mochis before and they were just amazing! If you don’t know what Mochis are: they are rice dough and filled with savoury or sweet stuff and in this case, they are filled with ice cream.
Afterwards, we had a lunch salad at TheSandwichShop which was super good! They also had amazing looking sandwiches but I craved some greens!
We walked past the Chinese Gardens and to the Darling Harbour into the city centre to stroll around the Queen Victoria Building and ended up at Jet- Bar Café where I’ve already been last week that have super yummy carrot cake for a fairly cheap price. Nevertheless, I tried their cheesecake which was amazing as well and as Lisa also loved the cake, it wasn’t the last time we went there!
For dinner, we bought frozen Dumplings at the Asian supermarket as we never had them and wanted to change that. I got mixed veggie ones and mushroom, pack-choi ones and they were super delicious! They basically are Asian Ravioli / Tortellini :D
The Blue Mountains are located in the west of Sydney, only one-and-a-half-hour drive away from the city and very famous for the citizens as a near nature-hiking-weekend-place and for tourists because of the beautiful nature and the famous Three Sisters.
We booked a Sunset Tour to go a bit hiking, learn something about nature and the wildlife there, have some amazing views over the mountains and see the Three Sisters for sunset. It was a great tour, even though it was very short, but it was still worth it as we really wanted to see that place.
On Friday I took my cousin to my favourite place in Sydney: Bondi Beach! We enjoyed the hot 37 degrees (Yep! It was HOT and it’s only spring :P ) at the beach with literally whole Sydney – it was so crowded!
For lunch we had sandwiches at ‘Cali Press’ and I ate the yummy Avo Smash Toast.
We also had the best Ice Cream at Gelato Messina and strolled through the shops for a bit.
For dinner, we had poké bowls that were very delicious and healthy. As you can already tell, my cousin and I share the love for good food so we ate out and spend a lot of money on food when we were together those three weeks :P
Saturday was our last day in Sydney for the moment and we went to the National Art Gallery of New South Wales which was great. I really enjoy going to museums here and there, even though I believe that you shouldn’t go to every sight and every museum as a tourist and better experience the city by walking through it and doing things that locals do.
In the afternoon we took the Premier Hop-on-Hop-off Bus to drive north to Port Macquarie. The Premier buses are basically the same as the Greyhound buses, but they are cheaper and less travelled (because they are not that popular for backpackers).
We arrived late at night and went straight to bed the hostel we booked for two nights.