Life has taken me through a few twists, turns and winding lanes and I have ended up in the beautiful city of Sydney. I arrived here 10 years ago at the age of 17 and it was not by my choice as my parents already lived here. Luckily I had 6 months to work and learn about the city before being thrown into the deep end of the pool known as University life. After a decade, I live here with my Aussie fiancé and work in the heart of Sydney and enjoy almost every single day.
Sydney never stops surprising me. Even after living here for a decade, whenever I go to the harbour or even catch a glimpse of it on my daily commute it fills me with awe. It is just so breathtakingly beautiful. We have amazing beaches that fill the coastline, and we will have arguments to defend our favourites. There are great bushwalks up and down the city that I take full advantage of on weekends, especially as a means to justify eating a lot of carbs and cocktails with my friends after. The outdoor relaxed lifestyle of this city is unrivalled. You can drive a couple of hours out of Sydney in any direction and find an amazing place to have a weekend getaway. Lastly, there is almost nothing as relaxing as having a beer with mates in an Australian pub in the late afternoon sunshine. Here are some of my off the beaten path recommendations for a tourist –
- As world famous as Bondi Beach is, take the time to visit some other beaches. In fact, I always take visitors via the ferry over to Manly Beach.
- If you wanted to do the bridge climb but it hasn’t worked out, the Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon Lookout will get you an amazing panoramic view of the harbour and city for less than $25. The Harbour Pylon bridge let’s you take your own phones and cameras which Sydney bridge climb doesn’t, so it is a bargain AND you don’t have to buy photos.
- Enjoy the cafes, Australian coffee is amazing and it is what I miss the most when I travel.
- Take a night time stroll around The Rocks, have a nice relaxed dinner and walk down to the harbour which is even more beautiful at night.
- If you eat meat, go down to The Australian Heritage Hotel and get a ‘coat of arms’ pizza that is half Emu and half Kangaroo. It makes for a great story.
If you are visiting Sydney here is what you will need –
- Buy an Opal card, it is used across trains, buses, ferries and light rail and will make your travel around the city easy.
- Always carry sunglasses, an umbrella, a light jacket and a bottle of water. The weather will turn, sometimes multiple times in a day. There is a reason Australians talk about the weather so much.
- Wear sunscreen! WEAR SUNCREEN!!
- Wear comfy shoes so you can walk around and explore.
The writer of this guest blog is my junior from school when we studied in the gorgeous city of Nainital. This school is a boarding school which meant that whether we liked it or not, we were stuck with each other for 9 months a year and for many years since most kids that went to such school only left once they graduated 10th or 12th grade so needless to say Ira and I are family of sorts.
Ira was born in Kathmandu to a multicultural and well-travelled family. She did her schooling in Kathmandu, Pune and Nainital. She pursued her Bachelors of Chiropractic and Masters of Chiropractic Science from Macquarie University and now works as a chiropractor in the CBD. Ira enjoys travelling (managed to get a visit to Philippines in before everything closed due to COVID) and loves trying new food and experiences. She loves learning new skills (most recently dress making and knitting), reading, singing and rollerblading. She is an avid believer of having a work-life balance.
Travel tips –
- Plan ahead, but leave empty time in your itinerary for spontaneous adventures.
- If you have a lot of friends you have to meet in a city (which most of us do in this global lifestyle) schedule ONE big lunch/dinner in advance and invite them all to it. Say ‘Hey I’m in town and will be here on this day for dinner, come let’s hang out’. Trust me. It’ll clear up a lot of travel time for you. This is my go-to when I travel back home.
- Take time to do your research and do activities off the tourist path. Ask a local. Look for activities on Instagram or on travel blogs.