The Asia/Australia Travelling Series
I’d visited Sydney before in 2014 and, even though I enjoyed it, I thought it was quite overrated. I found once I’d been to Circular Quay and seen the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, it was just like any other city. You can read the full extent of my initial thoughts here.
Looking back, I actually think I was rather harsh on Sydney; it definitely has a lot more going for it than I initially realised.
Here are the reasons why Sydney take two was better than Sydney take one:
1) I discovered the Opera Bar.
Yes, of course I walked past the Opera Bar upon my last visit to Sydney. It’s hard not to – it’s right in front of the Opera House where there are prime opportunities for photos!
However, last time around, my ex and I didn’t actually get a drink in there. We took one look at the menu, saw the mammoth prices and (being budget backpackers) ran off screaming in the other direction.
This time around, I thought my sister and I should treat ourselves. #YOLO! We picked the cheapest drink on the menu, a sparkling rose wine called Innocent Bystander, expecting it to taste of piss but it was actually SUPER NICE. So nice, in fact, that we went back to the Opera Bar for a second time later on in the week so we could have another! (Cheeky!)
Excellent views of the Opera House where we could take photos, sit out in the sunshine and sip our lovely, cheap Innocent Bystanders?! Opera Bar, you are a WINNER!
2) I experienced Coogee Beach as well as Bondi Beach.
Last time around, I just went to Bondi. With its fine, white sand and deep blue waters, it was – and still remains – awesome!
But, this time around, we were also told about Coogee (which is a little bit further down the coast) that I thought would be cool to check out.
It’s smaller with less tourists so it is quieter. Plus the actual town is quite quaint.
It was good to experience two beaches this time instead of just the one that every man and his dog goes to. Coogee, you are so cute and I LIKE YOU!
3) I went to Taronga Zoo.
Don’t ask me what I was thinking the first time around, skipping the zoo. Was I on something?! It’s a well known fact that Katie Davies loves the zoo. I’ve always enjoyed the zoo and believe you’re never too old to go to the zoo.
Anyway, I came to my senses this time around and made Nic come with me to Taronga. Not only is the zoo pretty awesome with some of my favourite animals (GIRAFFES, I’m looking at you), but it also has spectacular views of the city skyline including the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.
It’s GREAT and I’ve no idea why we didn’t go to Taronga back in 2014. But it doesn’t matter now because MISTAKE = RECTIFIED.
4) I was with my sister…
…and, most importantly, I didn’t have a giant stick up my arse.
This is not at all meant as a big ‘F YOU’ to my ex, but I genuinely believe who you travel with affects your general experience.
In 2014, my ex and I visited Sydney for a week at the end of a three month backpacking trip. By this point, I was tired, I was smelly and I was ready for home.
It’s no secret that my relationship was already breaking down at that point, and we stopped ‘doing the fun stuff’ like going out drinking on a night together. We popped in our hostel bar a couple of times, but we didn’t manage a big night out in Sydney – which I always regretted.
Travelling with my sister, who is currently in the same position as me with the same wants and wishes, meant that we could go out in Sydney this time around and let our hair down like I always wanted to.
There was one night where we spent a good few hours bar-hopping around Darling Harbour, drinking bucket-loads and causing chaos with our English accents – and it was honestly one of the best nights out I’ve ever had.
All in all, I genuinely feel I had a much better experience in Sydney during round two. I said at the end of round one that I wouldn’t feel the need to return to Sydney as I’d covered it all, but I was clearly lying to myself because I found new things to do during round two!
It was a fantastic week in a great city and, even though I wouldn’t be interested in returning, I would never say never.
Next and final stop: Bali.
(Have you been to Sydney? What did you think? Thanks so much for reading! Katie-xo)