Packed Suitcase | Itinerary: Two Days in Sydney
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Itinerary: Two Days in Sydney

Itinerary: Two Days in Sydney

I’m sitting on the plane en route to New Zealand, and after two days packed with exploring I finally have a free moment to reflect on my oh-so-brief time in Sydney.

Sydney is a really vibrant city! It has world-class beaches, tons of green space, beautiful coastal hikes and neighborhoods steeped in history within the shadow of the magnificent Sydney Opera House. It’s the perfect place to go for a weekend stay or longer. (3-4 days would be perfect if you have the time.) However, it’s expensive so come prepared to either shell out some cash, or find some creative ways to stick to your budget. (For a frame of reference, a small 6” pizza and draft beer was $24…yikes!)
Travelers on a budget should consider staying at the YHA Sydney Harbor hostel. It’s new, having opened in October 2009. Located in the trendy and centrally-located Rocks district, it’s just a hop skip and a jump away from the Harbor and the Circular Quay (pronounced “Kee”) transportation hub. Everything is clean and the amenities can’t be beat; they have a rooftop deck overlooking the Harbor, a café and modern cooking facilities.
For $46/ night for a room in a 4-person dorm room with an en-suite bathroom, it’s a little pricier than the average hostel, but when you really consider what you’re getting it’s the best deal in town. (They have family rooms and doubles if you’d rather have a bit more privacy.)

View from YHA Sydney Harbor

With only two days, and knowing that I was going to be combating some tough jet lag, I had to prioritize. My favorites?
The Coastal Walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach: Take the bus from Circular Quay to Bondi Beach and take the 3-hour walk along the cliffs with countless beaches and coves along the way. It is only slightly strenuous in parts, but the photo ops are amazing.

Try to stop at Bronte Beach, located mid-way though the walk. The beach is picturesque and not too crowded, and they also have the Bronte Baths- a natural pool built into the cliff side with the ocean water pouring in wave after crashing wave. When I was there, I couldn’t resist taking a dip in the unique pool… See my video of the Bronte Baths here.

Also, on the walk you pass the blissfully romantic Waverly Cemetery. Perched on the side of a cliff overlooking the ocean, it has to be the of the most beautifully located cemeteries in the world.

The ferry to Manly Beach: In Sydney, out on the harbor is the place to go to get up close to the Harbor Bridge and Opera House. Take the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly Beach, and enjoy the 30 minutes ride through the harbor, before disembarking at the fabulous Manly Beach for an afternoon of fun in the sun.

TIP: For the best views of the Opera house, be sure to sit on the right side of the ferry going to Manly Beach, and the left side heading back to Sydney.

• The Flying Foxes in the Royal Botanical Gardens:
As you meander through the Royal Botanical Gardens, you start to hear this noise that sounds like something between a chirp and a squalk, times a thousand. Look up and you’ll see the famous Flying Foxes- the huge bat-like creatures that hang upside down during the day and then at sundown fly off to feed. They’re eerie, but harmless, and they’re definitely unique!

Trying to find a cheap, tasty meal is hard to come by. Honestly, even the ramen noodles in the supermarket were over $3… no 5 for $1.00 ramen here! I had a pizza with duck on it… while it was better than it probably sounds, let’s just say that the food is NOT the reason to come to Australia. 

I loved, loved, LOVED Sydney. I met many other travelers during my trip who were from or who had visited other areas of Australia and now I can’t wait to go back and explore further!


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