Before we even flew to New Zealand, we were required to have an outbound flight due to visa rules. We ended up having to do this at 4:30am before our flight to Auckland, so made a quick decision that we’d come back to Australia after our time in NZ and explore Sydney since Shawn’s never been.
We arrived midday and checked into our Airbnb with our lovely hosts, Jessica & Ben and their amazing dog, Zoey, in the super hip neighborhood Erskineville. It ended up being the hottest day ever on record in Sydney (about 108/109°F!). We were a bit mad at ourselves to have not checked if our Airbnb had air-conditioning, which it did not. 🙁
So we did what any sane person does and went to find some air-conditioning. We had a yummy sushi lunch for the first time since being in Japan. Then went to see a movie, Nocturnal Animals, which was really great, but also really crazy (I liked it more than Shawn did).
The next day was not as hot (but still so hot!), so we went to see some of the big sights in Sydney. We hit up the Opera House and the Royal Botanic Gardens, and wandered around the Rocks. We also stopped at the Museum of Contemporary Art, which was great with free admission and air-conditioning!
That evening, we enjoyed a lovely “half-dinner” (we only had a few dishes) at a local restaurant in our hood called Bloodwood.
On our third day in Sydney, we had a yummy breakfast at this Israeli-owned cafe near our Airbnb, Cafe Shenkin. We highly recommend this place. We went there twice!
We then had a lazy day wandering around our neighborhood, taking care of a few errands, and visiting the local park (Sydney Park).
Our last full day in Sydney, we decided to go out to Manly Beach, which I loved when I first visited Sydney and wanted to share with Shawn. It requires a short ferry ride through Sydney Harbour, which provides excellent views of the city skyline.
Manly itself is a surfer’s beach, and there are often great white shark sightings there. There are tons of great bars and restaurants, and great shopping as well. As luck would have it, the second we arrived at the beach, it started to rain. We quickly walked to a cafe, where we had some tea to wait it out, but it ended up pouring for over an hour. We waited until it seemed like it might slow, but it didn’t seem to want to fully let up and we didn’t want to sit on the wet beach, so we decided to head back to the city. As soon as we got close to Sydney, the sun came out and it turned into a gorgeous day! We did manage to get some good photos of the city, but it was a bit disappointing of a day.
On the way home from Manly, we walked to the Great Synagogue, which we couldn’t enter because it wasn’t open to visitors that day. We did get some nice photos from outside, and we can only imagine how stunning it is inside.
Our final morning in Sydney was spent getting ready to head to Europe for the next big portion of this adventure. This included one final AMAZING Australian mango (the best mangoes in the world!) and a ramen lunch, because we have no idea when we’ll next have good Asian food (it did not disappoint!).
Next we’ll be checking in from Italy!