Friday, March 16, 2018

Explore Sydney, Australia in 24 Hours

Our ANZ Trip last 2017 was our first long-haul flight ever and we were supposed to spend at least two (2) full days in Sydney, Australia if only we have double checked our flight schedule --we thought our flight was the day after but it was the night before! To make the long story short, we had to rebook our flight ASAP (goodbye hard-earned money) AND endure the 6-8 hour layover at Malaysia as a consequence. But hey, 24 hours in Sydney (not to mention in a tighter budget!) is still possible and you too can visit the following all in a day's worth.

1. Featherdale Wildlife Park - I specifically wanted to touch a Koala bear and spot a Kangaroo and Wallaby in Sydney and I know I will be happy and solved. Period. The original plan was to visit the Taronga Zoo but according to our research, the zoo requires ferry ride (tickets at Circular Q) and will probably need to allocate one (1) full day to explore because it's BIG and quite pricey too at AUD 52.5 or about Php 2,100 per person. So, we headed to Featherdale Wildlife Park instead early in the morning around 9 am and commuted via bus for an hour one way. 

We actually have no clue where exactly is the park located but you can always inform the bus driver to prompt you if it's time to go down Featherdale. Luckily, there were a lot of tourists in our bus at that time and we knew we've arrived at our destination soon as everyone else went down the bus. You should be able to see this big sign (see picture below) and just go straight the ticketing booth inside. 

Ticket for 1 adult is AUD 32.00 but we got additional discount because of a coupon I found inside a tourist booklet (TIP!!!) so we only paid AUD 25.6 or Php 1,024 per person. Children ages 3-15 is only AUD 17 and you can also have family discounts see price list here.

According to reviews, Featherdale Wildlife Park is a more "relaxed" type vs other big zoos.  Also, you are not allowed to carry Koalas here because it is against the law but you can pet and take photos of these furry friends with a price tag worth AUD 25.00 or Php 1,000.

How to get there?

From the city, ride the North Shore and Western line to Blacktown Station. Upon exiting the train, go to bus stand E just outside the station. Then, take the No. 729 bus for a 10-minute ride, which will drop you, right outside the entrance zoo. 
Address: 217-229 Kildare Road Doonside NSW 2759, Australia
Contact No.: +61 2 9622 1644
Operating Hours: Opens daily (except Christmas Day) from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

2. Sydney Opera House - This is the most iconic building and performing arts venue in Australia and probably the world because of its unique shell-shaped structure that has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage in 2007. The place is huge and all angles are Instagram worthy both day and night! We took so many photos for our DIY pre-nuptial photos near the theater and it was just lovely :) Interesting fact that I learned, that you don't need microphones inside because Sydney Opera House has perfect acoustics inside the theater! 

How to get there?

The fastest and most convenient way to go to the Sydney Opera House is via train. Just alight at the Circular Quay Station and you can walk towards the Opera House, the Circular Quay ferry terminal, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Museum of Contemporary and the Royal Botanical Gardens. You can spend the whole day just chilling at these places for FREE (unless you want to go inside the Sydney Opera House for a tour for about an hour worth AUD 37.00 or Php 1,480 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm) and come nighttime, grab some drinks overlooking the bay area.

Location: Bennelong Point, Circular Quay


The Sydney Harbour Bridge also known at "The Coathanger" by locals can be admired up close! Tourists can walk across the bridge to enjoy the different views of the Sydney Harbor (there is a walking path on either side!).  Although we were not able to do this because of time constrain. 

3. The Rocks District - This is one of Sydney's oldest historical areas and it is located near the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I personally like this place because of the artsy-romantic and hip vibe and the famous cobblestones. It's a great place to stroll, have coffee, grab some drinks, do some shopping, and learn its history at The Rocks Discovery Center. 


We ate our lunch here at The Rocks Center and tried a charming restaurant nearby. We ate avocado toast with cheese and tomatoes and of course paired it with some artisanal coffee. 
There are a lot of interesting shops here at The Rocks and I noticed that a lot of it has the word "Rocks" too! hahaha :)
4. St. Mary's Cathedral and Hyde Park- The St. Mary's Cathedral on College Street beside Hyde Park is Australia's longest church and in my opinion, the most beautiful in Sydney. The architecture is in Gothic style and the inside of the church is where you'll see the grand details of it. When we entered the church, I was in awe with the surreal golden light as if I was transported to Rome or instantly felt royal haha! It's also an inspiring and peaceful place to pray :)

How to go there?


St. Mary's Cathedral and Hyde Park is just 20 min. walk from the Harbour (pass by the main CBD). In case you are too tired to walk, you can take the train and alight at the closest station at St. James which is about 2 min. walk, 8 mins. from Martin Place railway station, and 10 mins. from Town Hall railway station.

5. Darling Harbour - Also walking distance from the St. Mary's Cathedral is the Darling Harbour--just 15 mins. away. The Darling Harbour is filled with so many activities for tourists young and old such as the large kids playground, Darling Harbour Carousel, Sydney Zoo, IMAX theater, Madamme Tussad Wax museum, the Convention Center, the Aquarium, and even shopping malls, restaurants, bars, cafes, and nightlife with a view. There's also a Chinese Garden of Friendship near the area where you can admire nature and find calmness in the water features and the Koi ponds. 



5. Bondi Beach - "Bondi" meaning "Water breaking over rocks or noise of water breaking over rocks" is one of the famous beaches in Australia (an Australian National Heritage in 2008) with about 1 kilometer long pristine sands and glistening ocean. So many locals and tourists visit this beach because it's a surfing spot. We went to Bondi beach early in the morning around 7:00 am because we have a flight to Melbourne in the afternoon and we wanted to see the beach so badly. Hence, we were not able to fully explore the area and all of the shops were still closed. 

How to get there?

Ride the train to Bondi Junction Station. Then, you will need to ride the bus number: 380, 381, 382, or 333 to get to the beach, which will take you around 30-40 mins one-way. We rode the 333 bus at that time and we stopped right across the Bondi beach (see photo below).

So many people were already surfing and jogging in this beach early in the morning. It was very very cold at that time and super windy that's why we can't even go near the ocean. Another must visit at Bondi is the Bondi Icebergs Swimming Club --an ocean pool which features a 50-meter Olympic pool and a kid's pool. This is open for members and non-members everyday from 6:00 am to 6:30 pm. Not sure about fees but definitely, this is not free. 


Bondi Icebergs' pool uses the ocean water so people can swim without the aggressive waves. Sometimes, when the waves are too strong, it crashes into the side lane and makes a huge splash. 

Bondi Beach has a lot of graffiti walls and if you can't swim or shop around (because we went there too early!), then might as well set-up that tripod and do a quick photoshoot against the colorful walls :)
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4 comments:

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  3. Hi, you mentioned about only getting single entry and then transiting to Australia on your way back to Manila from New Zealand. Did you apply for Transit visa to Australia as well? If yes, can you also post how to apply for it? Thank you.

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  4. We headed to Featherdale Wildlife Park instead early in the morning.
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