Living in Melbourne, and having family in Sydney means I travel to Sydney, Australia often – at least once a year (lucky me!). Flights between Melbourne to Sydney are frequent and affordable, and having family there means I always have free accommodation! When I’m in Sydney though, I often go to the same places – Bondi, Darling Harbour. Circular Quay, etc. During my most recent trip (I’m actually still here, at my cousin’s house as I write this), I decided to do to things differently and really explore what Sydney has to offer.
My first day was mainly spent at Sydney Harbour, or Port Jackson, if we wanna get technical. There are plenty of free things you can do. It’s certainly possible to only spend money on food and public transport. I’d also like to add that I totally did this on the fly! Meaning, I did not plan my day (like I normally would). I chose to get the train to Circular Quay and start my day at The Rocks… the rest of the day nicely flowed…
I’ve only been here once, in 2013, when I climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge (highly recommend!). Six years later, I went back only to discover it is super trendy! It is a really cool spot for a bite or a drink. I was a typical tourist and had Pancakes on The Rocks for lunch – but that’s because I reeeeeally like pancakes!
I did not know this existed until this exact day that I was out. Apparently, this spot used to be very industrial. But not anymore! It’s been transformed into a beautiful park with an amazing view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It’s quite easy to do a lap around Barangaroo Reserve, or you can walk up to Stargazer Lawn and chill on the grass.
Sydney Observatory & Observatory Hill
This was a pleasant surprise! The park is a lovely spot for a picnic or just to relax, and the Rotunda is gorgeous. From the hill, you can also get an awesome view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (I actually never get sick of this bridge). On the hill is the Sydney Observatory. If you like astronomy, then this is for you! I don’t think I’ve ever read anything about telescopes until I entered the Sydney Observatory. So even if you’ve never thought about astronomy in your life, this is a good place to start. The famous ball drop is situated here also.
This is a common destination, as it is the home of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is also a transit zone, as ferries regularly depart from here, and there is a train station. I decided to walk all around the harbour, passed the Opera House, and into the Royal Botanic Gardens. It really is a lovely walk, and if you wander all the way around to Mrs Macquarie’s Point, you will easily get one of the best views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in one shot/frame.
I achieved all of this in 4.5 hours. You could start exploring from lunchtime and stick around at Circular Quay for a beautiful sunset. And it’s all for FREE!!