26.01.2014 - 02.02.2014 29 °C
So Sydney has been our first stop in Australia... And wow, is it expensive!! It's also however an amazing city with lots to offer!
We planned a week here, and although beforehand thought this would be too long, we sooo could have stayed longer (or forever!)
Our first day, we met up with our travel pal Lucy, who we met on our China trip, which was lovely and lots of laughs!
We spent a very hot day exploring Darling Harbour, and seeing all the 'must see' sights like the Opera house and The Harbour Bridge. We also took a pleasant stroll through the botanical gardens.
This first day, we were so awestruck by the beauty of the city - it was a fab day getting to grips with it.
Our second day we decided to act the tourist, and visited the sealife aquarium and it's neighbour, the wildlife centre. Although both were good, they unfortunately did not meet expectations. The aquarium is sadly lacklustre, and doesn't even house a great white!
The aquarium did have some pretty fish tanks though.
Being a kid at the aquarium!
The wildlife centre captured our attention slightly more, as it's home to just Australian animals - we thought this was a cool way of learning more about them, especially Australias fascinating marsupials. Did you know a kangaroo can pause it's pregnancy?! She'll do this if she's already mothering two Joeys, or if in the wild, conditions aren't right to bring a baby into the world!
Wednesday, our third day, we ventured to Bondi Beach. A gorgeous surfers haven, with a lovely sandy beach and chilled out vibe.
Getting in some time with the Royal Playing cards!
Chilling on the beach.
Thursday, we visited one of Sydneys other beach attractions - Manly. We took the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly, which was something cool in itself, and gave us amazing views of the harbour from the sea.
Manly also had a nice relaxing vibe, and a lovely beach. As you can see from the pics though, both Bondi and Manly are really popular and are tourist and local favourites.
Friday was definitely our favourite day of the week - we ventured to The Blue Mountains for a day of hiking and AMAZING scenery. The mountains are protected within a national park, and start just approximately 60km west of Sydney. They only took 2 hours by train to reach from our hostel in central Sydney - the two landscapes couldn't be more different, so it's hard to believe they're so easily reached!
We took a hop on-hop off bus between the main sights, and did a few bush walks inbetween. One of our stops along the way was the small town of Leura. We stopped here for a delicious lunch. The town is absolutely lovely - really quaint and pretty, with lots of boutique homeware shops. Bens mum Barb would have loved Leura just as much as I did!
Our second stop, Gordon Falls.
The view during our 1 hour bush walk from Gordon Falls to Leura cascades.
The beautiful Leura falls.
On our trek to the bottom of the Katoomba waterfall.
Katoomba waterfall was absolutely beautiful and easily a highlight of the day!
The view of the three sisters from echo point.
After our busy day at the mountains on Friday, Saturday we got together with a family we'd met during our time at The Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai. They took us for a lovely, relaxing day out at Balmoral Beach before going back to theirs for a delicious BBQ - if you're reading this, thanks so much guys for your hospitality and a fab day!
So Sunday, we left the sights of Sydney behind for our flight up to Cairns. We've been here a couple of days and tomorrow we're snorkelling The Great Barrier Reef - très excited!!