A couple of stops along from us on a metro that puts the London Underground to shame lies the picturesque Sydney Harbour. Escaping to warmer climates during England’s winters months makes you feel like you received a very sweet Christmas present. I don't know whether it's the warm weather, the general nonchalant attitude of the Aussie's or the fact I was on holiday, but I really felt a greater sense of happiness here. The only downside, of course, is the continent lies the other side of the world from almost everyone you know and love.
First tourist stop, the Opera Bar – sat with a glass of wine overlooking the harbour and enjoying our first bit of proper sun in months. Visiting the central harbour is a no-brainer and it really does look as good as the pictures. Luckily the heat in Sydney is very dry, with a nice coastal breeze, so it doesn't feel unbearably hot. That being said, I was visiting at the corner stone of Australia’s summer, so the full force of Sydney’s sun is something I'm yet to experience.
Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk
Bondi beach is busy from 5 am with boot camps, yoga classes and people running - the appetite for exercise is insatiable. With stunning views and beautiful beaches at your doorstep, you can’t help but feel encouraged to get outside and go for a walk yourself. It's definitely a lot nicer than crawling out of bed in the pitch black English winter before work.
I wasn’t quite with the 5am club whilst on holiday, but we got up early to do the Bondi to Coogee walk whilst it was quiet. The walk extents 6 km in the east of Sydney, taking you along the coastal paths to Coogee beach. The walk takes around 1-1 ½ to walk if you don’t stop, however, there are plenty of cafes and viewpoints along the way. When you're on holiday you might not feel like going for a hike, but trust me, it's worth it.
Whilst we were walking we spotted these beautiful little Lorikeets...
When we got to Coogee we fueled up at the Pavilion, a beautiful open plan restaurant that converts into a rooftop bar in the evening. If you’re too tired to walk back at this point (like us), you can catch the bus from Coogee back home - or jump in an Uber.
Bondi Icebergs Club
Just off Bondi beach is the iconic Bondi Icebergs Club. The pool itself is used mainly for winter swimming, but it's perfect for anyone who is learning to swim or isn’t confident in Sydney’s waters (the waves can be a bit intense - but very fun). The Icebergs Club serves food and drink and is generally a cool spot to chill and overlook the beach. You can also check out my post on the best healthy brunches in Bondi here.
Bondi beach is something you have to do if you're in Sydney. If (like me) you love watching the Bondi rescue team running down the beach and telling people off for swimming near the rip tide then you'll love it.
Bondi beach's very own Batpug...
Venturing over to Taronga Zoo was something I'd been eager to do for months. The zoo sits on a hill which overlooks central Sydney and looks after a selection of wildlife, from farm animals to Australia’s native Koalas and Kangaroos.
Two giraffe's looking down on Sydney's skyscrapers
The zoo itself was nice enough, and I tend to love anything with animals, but we did find it was too spread out and hard to get up close to much. Plus, the bookings for holding the Koalas was completely full which really upset me (naturally). I think a wildlife conservation, where you get the chance to feed and hold the animals, would be much more exciting. It was nice to experience this time, but I would recommend visiting one of Australia's many wildlife conservation's, such as Featherdale Wildlife Park instead.
We caught this cute Wallaby munchin' away
Sydney NYE Fireworks
Seeing the Sydney NYE fireworks at the Opera Bar was a once in a lifetime experience. When I was kindly treated to tickets at the bar, I couldn't quite believe it. The fireworks are something I'd always seen on television at home, but something I never imagined I'd be experiencing less than a 100 yards from me. The whole bar had been done up in a beach vibe way, with frozen cocktails and palm trees. I liked the fact they didn't pack us in too much either. The drinks were fairly expensive, but that was to be expected and most places in Syndey are expensive if you're a tourist there. I definitely recommend trying this at least once if you're visiting over New Years. It was mental.
After an incredible trip it's safe to say I will be returning to Australia.
Thank you for reading!