FIRSTLY, I would like to wish a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the love of my life who turns 36 today! What an appropriate time to reflect back on our honeymoon together, a few of many more memories we will share together.
Feels strange writing this now.
I am sitting on the plane on my way back to America after almost a month away from home. This time two weeks ago I was in Australia, yet somehow that feels like a lifetime ago.
I told you I am going to share a little about each of the places Steve and I visited, but I do not want to make this into an hourly journal of every time I spent $1 or went to the bathroom. No one wants to know THAT much detail, so instead, I am going to share the places we visited in each location, the places we ate in each destination, and a few tidbits. This way, if or should I say WHEN you visit Australia, you can check these places out. I was so overwhelmed looking into where to try out, so maybe this will make it a little less stressful, especially if your taste in food is similar to mine.
As much as I would have loved to spend more time here (and the other locations), this was the only time we could squeeze in, so if you are crunched for time, here is my best recommendation to enjoying your time…..
Just a warning though, we definitely overdid it a little, and I take total responsibility for that. Steve and I burned out a few days in, and we ended up exhausted. I would recommend taking a little more time to relax, especially if you are on something like a honeymoon, which is supposed to be relaxing!
So lets start with destination one; Sydney.
We had 5 days in Sydney, although one of them was not actually in Sydney, but in Batemans Bay, 3 hours south of Sydney, where I was able to meet my great Aunt (88), and cousins for the first time (some of my last relatives on the Muir side!)
What did we do in Sydney?
Well, there was this minor attraction called the Sydney Opera House, you may have heard of it 😉
A wonderful beach called Manly, which you take a 40 minute ferry to get to. It is a very popular beach, but absolutely beautiful, and well worth the trip. There are also lots of little unique shops around there, and a great ice cream place called Royal Copenhagen that we loved!
The ferry also gave fantastic views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera house…although as you can see, a little windy!
The Royal Botanic Gardens offer lots of interesting and unique plants, great for a little stroll around after yet another breakfast leaving you feeling so full you might burst.
Of all the recommendations I was given of places to visit in Sydney, there was one that every person mentioned; fish and chips at Doyles in Watsons Bay.
Remember, I am English, so very experienced in my fish and chips, so I had some high standards to reach, and another 40 minute ferry away, this had better be good.
It did not disappoint, and there is something about sitting 10 feet away from a beach, looking at the skyline of Sydney that is sure to be one of the highlights of anyones trip to Sydney. It was one of our favorite moments, and if you get the chance, do it!
Darling Harbour is another adorable part of Sydney. It has almost unlimited options for restaurants, events, and it just has this energetic buzzing atmosphere that just reminds you over and over that you are on holiday (or vacation 🙂 ). Make sure you take a visit there, and go to Criniti’s for a pizza.
One of the best pizzas I have ever had, and Darling Harbour is also home to the Lindt Chocolate Café. Yes, it is very expensive, but an experience that we should all do once…..well, if you like chocolate that is…..and if you don’t….I am not sure we can be friends anymore.
We also ran along Darling Habour and over to the Sydney Harbour Bridge on our morning runs. Although the bridge itself was not as long as we thought, it was definitely worth going across, and was easy to access. One side they reserve for cyclists, and the others for walkers and runners (picture below is not it, but that’s nearby).
Bondi Beach is another famous part of Sydney, and although it looks to be a lot of stress through a train and bus ride away, it is really simple (as is most of Sydney when it comes to the public transport). Our visit to Bondi was not only enjoyable to play in the waves and see the beauty of the shoreline, but it was also the day we crashed from exhauastion, and for those few hours, we could do the relaxing on a beach thing that many honeymoons revolve around. Steve and I have never been sit still people, but Bondi can be that, but so much more.
You can also walk from Bondi beach to Bronte Beach and Bronte Beach to Coogee, which are stunning coastal walks. One thing we noticed about Australia was just how active people were, and with places like this to walk along, you can see why!
Both beaches have a strip of shops, ice cream places, and restaurants. In Bronte we chose Bogey hole for our breakfast, based on Roma’s (Chitta Wellness) Recommendation. It was a very “Tina” restaurant, and another thing we loved about Australia, were just how many hole in the wall, local bsuinesses, that you could tell the owners had poured their heart, soul, and personality into, which was great. We found another one in the heart of Sydney for our first meal on the day we arrived, called Social Brew. We had great burgers, and fresh chai tea, a great way to start off the trip!
I rarely got my phone out during our trip, so I didn’t get that many pictures of the food….focusing on enjoying the moment 🙂
On our drive down to Batemans Bay, we stopped in Wollongong for a night, which is a cute little town with some great views at the top of the mountain. It was nice for us to have a homecooked meal for the evening while we stayed with my family friend Sarah and her family. They took us to Kurtosh for a Chimney Cake, my first one, but will certainly not be the last!
We also loved our run in Wollongong the next morning as well as the Oceanside drive down to Batemans, which was very picturesque. We stopped a few times to soak it in, and check out some of the little towns, incuding stopping for lunch at Boardwalk Café in Ulladulla for a lovely view.
We did not have long in Batemans Bay itself, but we did go Kayaking in Broulee. Although there was incredibly strong winds, so strong that if we stopped paddling for even a second, we would go backwards(!!), it was beautiful, and one of those silly things that you cant help but smile about; hating it in the moment, but gives you a good laugh about after.
Sydney was a fantastic city.
To be totally honest, I am not sure we would ever go again though. The city itself was spectatular, but for us, it was kind of a one and done place. I would have loved to explore the areas north and south of the city itself, and only really getting to see the beauty of Batemans Bay, I can only imagine just how gorgeous some of the other beaches and towns are, but Sydney was just a little too touristy for us, and we can look back with a big smile, knowing we did it.
Okay, already written too much. There was me intending to make this a short and sweet post, but alas it is not. If you already know me, you would have expected it.
Favorite Attraction in Sydney?
Steve: Sydney Harbour Bridge
Tina: Darling Harbour
Favourite meal in Sydney?
Steve: Fish and Chips at Doyles
Tina: Doyles in Watsons Bay for Fish and Chips
One recommendation to anyone going to Sydney in the future?
Steve: Stay in Darling Harbour (we stayed at Park Royal)
Tina: Do not try to do everything there is in Sydney in a few days, you will never get around to it!
Next Friday I will share our Queensland part of the trip, including our favorite part of the honeymoon! Any guesses what it is?
What would you add to anyone intending to go to Sydney in the future?