Well, I’m back from Sydney and getting back into the swing of everyday life. I read somewhere recently that the third week of January is one of the more difficult ones for people, because for most of us, our holidays are over, the novelty of a new year has worn off, and the reality sets in that we have a whole year to go until the fun of the next festive season. Personally, I found this week a bit of a struggle, for all of the reasons above, as well as the fact that the weather is cold and miserable (must I remind you again that it is the middle of summer here?). Thank god for my little get away over the ditch last week, where the weather was in the 30s the whole time, otherwise I would be feeling severely sun deprived.
Anyway, back to the point of this post, which is to give you a little update on my trip to Sydney. It’s worth me pointing out, that we decided this would be more of a beachy, relaxed holiday, rather than a sightseeing trip, as we had both been to Sydney before and had done a fair bit of the touristy stuff. Where we were staying was in North Sydney, which is a beautiful area with beaches dotted all the way up the coast. We were lucky enough to be house sitting for family, and so we had access to a car and bikes, as well as beach gear like surf boards and snorkels, which meant we could fully make the most of our trip and explore the area (when we weren’t napping or laying on the beach).
I won’t give you a play-by-play, instead i’ll pick out my favourite things and list them below.
Palm Beach – North Sydney
We took a drive up to Palm Beach which is north of the Sydney CBD. This is an absoulutely beautiful beach, with some great cafes, but I’ve got to say, the main draw card for me was the fact that this beach is where the popular Australian show Home And Away is filmed. Whilst I don’t watch this religiously, I’ve been watching it on and off for years, so being able to see where all the magic happens was so exciting, including the likes of the surf club, the lighthouse, the beach and Alf’s bait shop. We had a delicious brunch at The Boathouse, which is built over the water, giving us some beautiful breakfast views. The exterior of the building, is actually the Home and Away “diner”, and if you watch the show you’ll recognise the surrounding scenery too. This is a must-visit location for anyone, but even better if you’re a fan of the show.
It had been years since I’d been to a zoo, and this one came highly recommended, so we checked it out one very hot afternoon. Note to self for future reference, sunscreen and many, many bottles of water are always required on a zoo day.
Taronga Zoo is situated on the side of a hill, looking over the Sydney harbour, and features stunning views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge (as well as amazing animals of course). Once you get to the bottom of the hill, you can catch a cable car back up to the entrance, so you don’t have to hike back up the hill after you’ve seen all the animals. This was ideal in the 30+ degree heat.
Surfing at Manly Beach
Manly is well known for it’s surfing, so a lesson at the Manly Surf School was a must. The guys who teach these lessons are amazing. So amazing in fact that they had me standing up on my first try (note that I had literally never been on a surf board before so this was a pretty big achievement). I am now hooked, and can’t wait to go for another lesson asap.
There was so much good food, that I can’t pick a favourite, so I thought I’d give you a quick list of my favs:
Jah Bar, Dee Why
This is a tapas restaurant in Dee Why, which was one beach north from where we were staying. The fish tacos were one of the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten, and I don’t even like fish that much. We were lucky to be there on Monday which is “Happy Day”, meaning that all day is happy hour, which means extremely cheap food and drinks. We also got a table outside, so we were able to people watch and look over at the beach which is across the road. Definitely check it out if you’re ever in the area.
Manly Wharf Hotel
Situated over the water, next door to the Manly ferry terminal, the Manly Wharf Hotel is the perfect place for a drink in the sun.We ordered a drink from the Jetty Bar which is built over the water, and enjoyed the Thursday special which was $10 steak. You can’t say no to that! If we had had more time in Sydney, I definitely would have gone back here.
Whilst heading back to Manly Wharf Hotel on our last night of the trip, we stumbled across Donny’s Bar. The sound of live music pulled us in, and it turns out that this is quite the popular spot for a Saturday night drink. We sat there for a few hours, enjoying a jug of Rose Sangria and the Barman’s platter. It was all delicious and the singer, whose name escapes me now, was singing all my favourite songs. Wine + live music = my happy place. So glad we found this place, it was the perfect way to spend our last evening.
So there you have it, a list of my holiday highlights. See a few of my snaps below.
What did you get up to over your holiday break? Comment below!