See the Best of Sydney in only 5 Days
When planning my trip to Australia I wanted to make the most of my time and budget, so I bought a five night stay at a hostel and set out to do some serious sight seeing!
Coming on a night flight from California I got to Australia two days later around 10 am in Sydney. Being my first time traveling alone, I was a little frazzled and had no clue about Australia's public transportation, I took a taxi to the Hostel. This was my first big mistake. It cost me $40 Auzzie dollars just to go about fifteen minutes. Whereas, if you take the train from the airport the most it will cost you is about $15.
I stayed at WakeUp! Hostel right across from the train station. The staff was super helpful, and they have tons of social events to help you meet people, as well as free tours through the city. However they charge you for WiFi after the first day... So check out the YHA one just down the street, I've heard really good things from them!
DAY 1: Exploring
After I dropped off my things at the hostel I headed out to walk around the city! The hostel I was staying at gave me a map, so I followed it through to Hyde Park. The Very first thing I went to see was the Opera house, it was number 1 on my list & was stunningly beautiful to look at it from across the bay with the bridge in the background!
After I had taken my share of pictures I headed back through the botanical gardens and looked at all the exhibits there (They even let me into the photography exhibit for free!) It was really cool to see all the different types of plants and trees and animals that I didn't have back home in the US. I continued walking around the edge of the Royal Botanical Gardens and found myself in a mini bay and decided that I really needed to eat or drink something so I found myself at the Poolside Cafe. The girls there were really nice and handed me a bottle of sunscreen, because apparently I needed it haha. After I was done I decided to head back to the dorm and shower because it was 90 degrees with crazy humidity and I was burning! I walked back a different way and saw more of the city and of course took more pictures.
Once I took my shower I knocked out, it was only 4:30 but I was dead, so I decided to save myself so I could do more the next day.
Day 2: Bondi to Coogee
The girls in my room at the hostel all knew each other and it was their last day, so I was on my own. I wanted to make sure I kept busy because I only had a short amount of time to see so much and I didn't want to get homesick, especially so early in my trip. So I looked online and found a free day tour around the city that ended at Bondi Beach. That sounded perfect to me, what can beat a free tour? So I packed my things and met at Hyde Park. The first part of the tour was around the parts of the city I already explored yesterday, but it was nice to hear about the history. We then drove through Woolloomoo and Darling Point, then stopped at The Gap park and saw the suicide cliffs which were really beautiful then we ended at Bondi Beach.
I started walking with another lady who was traveling alone and we decided to do the walk to Coogee which was about 4 miles (6km). It took us a really long time to get there because it's just so beautiful that you have to stop and take pictures every 10 steps! There are plenty of pool, beaches and places to eat along the way so take your time and soak it in! It was easily one of the most beautiful walks I have ever done. Once we got to Coogee the lady I was with decided to catch a bus back to the city. I decided to stay and read for a little bit then I went to go check out Giles Baths that we passed on our way down to the beach. When the waves hit the rocks they made a huge splash that sprayed everywhere.
I wasn't quite ready to head back to the hostel so I said why not head back to Bondi and see the sunset? So i headed all the way back to Bondi Beach, making it there a lot faster now that I had already taken pictures of everything.
I grabbed some pasta, used the free public WiFi, and watched the sunset. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.
You can find the Free Bus Tour information here: ( http://www.freetourssydney.com.au/free-bus-tours/ )
Day 3: Opera House, Harbour Bridge, & Luna Park
I finally got new roommates at the hostel and they were from Germany and had never been to Sydney before so they really wanted to see the Opera house. This time we actually we up the stair and walked around the Opera house and down to the other side of the Harbor near the bridge. We grabbed lunch and decided to head back to the hostel because one of the girls wasn't feeling well, so we decided we would go out at night instead.
When we went back out we took a train to the Opera House and they had a Disney concert going on so we stayed and listened for a little while and grabbed some ice cream. I really wanted to walk across the bridge so we headed out to do so. It was stunningly beautiful, so of course we took lots of pictures!
Once we got to the other side we went to Luna Park! I had always wanted to go here as a kid from the Mary-Kate and Ashley movie and it was just as cute as I expected it to be. I got glow in the dark fancy floss (cotton candy) and we played a few games and took pictures with the fun house mirrors. And best of all it was free to get in if you didn't go on any rides!
Day 4: Manly Beach
On day 4 I set out to go to Manly Beach, it was on my list of things to see so I dragged the girls from the hostel with me to the ferry and waited in the long weekend line to go to Manly. It's a really pretty town with hundreds of restaurants and really pretty beaches. The day I went they were having a surfing competition so we got to see some good surfing as well.
( if you can see his speedo it says 'Manly' on the butt. ) It was a great day of swimming, tanning, and great food. Including many different types of Tim Tams!
Day 5: Blue Mountains
On day five I headed out to one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, The Blue Mountains. A girl from the hostel went on a tour the day before that was really affordable so I decided to give it a go. They picked me up at 7 from the hostel and we drove out (took a little over an hour).
The first thing we did was climb down over 1000 steps to the bottom of a waterfall. Speaking as someone with not so good coordination all the time, it was very scary. Once we got down there we were able to stand under the waterfall and take pictures before we had to hike all the way back up. It was worse than leg day! Those steps were really tall, and I do not have long legs! But regardless it was really fun.
We hiked around, grabbed lunch, saw some aboriginals preform a dance and tried and failed at playing a didgeridoo. Then we went and saw the three sisters and learned about the stories the aboriginals had about them.
We then hiked back through the forest and were able to choose from taking a sky-tram or the steepest railway in the world. And because there is nothing more that I hate than going up on a steep track I chose to do the sky-tram, and it was a gorgeous way to see hundreds of miles out into the mountains.
Here's the website to the tour I went on: ( http://barefootdownunder.com.au/tours/blue-mountains-tour-from-sydney/ ) HIGHLY RECCOMENDED !
Day 6: Relaxing & Packing
I went out to breakfast then spend the rest of my day editing pictures, doing laundry, and packing preparing for my early flight to Thailand in the morning.
Overall Australia is an amazing country with many things to see, especially in Sydney, with tons of nice people, and lots of great food. Definitely give yourself some time to explore it's beauty, but if you only have five days make a list of what you want to see and try to squeeze in as many sights in each day as you can.