One for the requirements for our round the world plane ticket was that we stayed in Australia for at least 10 days. We opted for 14 days and my only gripe following out stay in Sydney is that we weren’t required to stay longer!
We were very fortunate to stay with one of Stephanie’s (Juliette’s sister) colleagues, Marilyn from her time working at Kambala school in Sydney. Marilyn and her husband, Jay, welcomed us into their home, treating us like family and it felt like we had known them for years. From the moment we emerged groggily from our 10 hour flight from Bangkok we knew we were in good hands: Marilyn took us straight to Bondi beach for a refreshing dip and coast walk – goodbye jet lag! The following day Jay, a passionate historian, took us on a fascinating tour of North Head, the Quarantine Station, Balmoral and Manly. Jay, a seasoned traveller who trod the hippy trail well before anyone from Lonely Planet did, told us stories about each area and knew more facts and figures than an encyclopaedia! Without Marilyn and Jay showing us around the City we would not have seen all Sydney has to offer or appreciated the warmth of its people.
Juliette with Marilyn and Harley
Jay inspired me to look at some facts and figures myself! Sydney is located on the East coast of Australia and is the state capital of New South Wales. The city surrounds the worlds largest natural harbour. The population of Sydney is about 5 million of which about a third were born overseas. Two of the best known sights are the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
Harbour Bridge – Made from stein 1932 transports trains, vehicles, bikes and pedestrians between Sydney’s Central Business District and the North Shore (1.5 miles long.) It is the worlds tallest steel arch bridge measuring at its highest 134 meters from its top to the sea level. Designed and built by a British firm based in Middlesborough. Known by locals as the ‘Coat Hanger’ due to its shape. Paul Hogan worked as painter on the bridge before he found better paying day jobs on TV and making Crocodile Dundee movies.
Sydney Opera House – Designed by a Danish architect – Jorn Utzon and opened in 1973 after work began in 1958. Became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007. Over 1.2 million people attend performances each year. If all parts of the roof were put together they would make a perfect sphere. Each one of the 10,154 Pipes of the Grand Organ in the Sydney Opera House are named.
Sydney from North Head – opposite side to South Head forms a 2 km wide entrance to Sydney harbour. Situated south-east of Manly and is 3.85 square km in area mainly comprised of sandstone. It is part of Sydney Harbour National Park.
The views from North Head National park
Cabbage Tree Bay – Shelly Beach is at the far right of the photograph was a great place to swims it is protected from the ocean swell by a reef that lies to the left hand side of the image.
Bondi Beach – 4 miles East of Sydney and 0.62 miles long, is one of Australia’s most visited tourist spots. The swimming pool above is the Icebreaker pool – originally used by the local lifesavers who wanted to keep fit in the winter months. The club was formed in 1929. Bondi Beach was the set for the Guinness World Record for the largest swimsuit photo shoot with 1,010 women wearing bikinis in 2007.
Manly Beach – situated in Northern Sydney, named by Captain Arthur Phillip after being impressed by the indigenous inhabitants ‘manly behaviour.’ Accessible by ferry from Circular Quay in Sydney. The ferry ride is beautiful and gives a great view of the opera house and harbour bridge. Operating since 1875, the Sydney Ferries carries over 14 million passengers each year in and around Sydney.
The city from the Manly ferry.
With our amazing and incredibly knowledgeable tour guide Jay.