Seven Things to do in Sydney, Australia

What do you think of when you imagine Sydney? The opera house may come to mind for some, Sydney Harbour Bridge might come to mind for others. You might also think of restaurants, pubs, street markets and some of the world’s most poisonous snakes and spiders. Thankfully, I did not see any snakes, but I did see some spiders!

Three days in Sydney does not do this amazing city justice, but that’s all we had so we made it work. Our first stop was the Royal Botanical Gardens. This 74 acre garden opened in 1816 and is the oldest botanical garden in Australia. It is divided into four sections all with an immense selection of plants, trees and statues. You will also find a restaurant, cafe, bookshop, visitor’s center, and, of course, spiders.

We worked up an appetite at the gardens so we headed to The Hero of Waterloo for lunch. This hotel and restaurant located on The Rocks has been in business for over 170 years. In addition to food and lodging, they offer live music and ghost tours. The hotel and restaurant have a rich history including a trap door in the bar floor where unsuspecting drunks were shanghaied. The ghosts are blamed for the faint, distant singing you may hear, and for rearranging the furniture.

The Rocks is an interesting and historical place to visit. It is where the first group of ships moored carrying convicts from England. Many Australians still joke that they are descendants of criminals.

The Sydney Opera House is possibly the most famous landmark in Sydney. Designed by Jorn Utzen, construction began in 1959 and was opened in 1973.

Sydney Harbour Bridge is another famous landmark. The bridge opened in 1932 and is often referred to as “The Coathanger.” Climbing tours are available for a steep price. 🙂

You will find buskers along the waterfront, and in other locations as well.

During our visit, we spent some time with a young woman who had lived with us as an exchange student some years earlier. The three of us visited Manly Beach and took a ride on a ferry to Parrametta where we had lunch.

In my blog posts, I often talk about the people we meet along the way. My husband and I are outgoing and enjoy meeting new people; Australia is a perfect place for that. I was absolutely amazed by the friendliness of the people there. From my experience, I found them to be the most friendly and helpful people I have met in my travels.

I’m not sure I will have the opportunity to go to Australia again, but I highly recommend visiting, you will not be disappointed.

As always, please leave a comment below with your thoughts.

Happy travels!

Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens

The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, also referred to as RTBG, is located in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia and was a highlight of my time there. The Red Decker Sightseeing bus tour includes a stop at the gardens. This is the second oldest garden in Australia and dates to the early 1800s. The gardens include 35 acres of beautiful plants, so be sure to allow plenty of time. I visited in April, 2011, which is autumn there, and the colors were spectacular.

There are several restaurants there as well, where you can recharge after wandering through the gardens.

Have you visited the RTBG? If so, I would love to hear about your time there.

Kangaroos!

My husband took many business trips to Australia over a fifteen year period before the opportunity finally arose for me to meet him there, and it was well worth the wait. The people are amazingly friendly and helpful, the country is varied with breathtaking beauty, and the animals are incredibly interesting! I fell in love with it the moment I stepped off the plane. In all of his time there, however, he had never seen a kangaroo.

It was April, 2011 when I met him there, spring for us above the equator, autumn for those below. Since autumn is my favorite season, I was thrilled to experience it twice in one year. We arrived in Melbourne after visiting Cairns and Hobart. We have good friends there, and while my husband was working, MaryAnne was my tour guide and took me to many sites around Melbourne and the surrounding area.

One of our stops included the William Rickets Sanctuary at Mount Dandenong. It was a misty, rainy day, so we had the place mostly to ourselves. Willam Rickets was an Australian artist who focused his art on the Aboriginal People. The park is gorgeous, and filled with beautiful birds, as well as Rickets’ art which can be found tucked away in quiet grottos throughout the park, where one can contemplate his thought provoking creations.

The quality of this photo is poor, but I included it since I was amazed at the colors of the many birds we saw in the park.

We visited many other sites as well, including Yering Station Winery, Arthur’s Seat on the Mornington Peninsula, Sorrento, where we had a delicious lunch, and of course, we drove along the Great Ocean Road.

The view of Port Phillip Bay.

We were scheduled to leave the next day for Sydney, then on to New Zealand, and we still hadn’t seen any kangaroos. Rather than flying to Sydney, we took the train. It was a long ride, but the scenery was beautiful. The train made nineteen stops between Melbourne and Sydney Central, WHEW! Finally, between Galong and Yass Junction, we spotted some kangaroos hopping along in the distance. Unfortunately, we were unable to get a good photo, but it is clear memory for us both. This was my husband’s last trip to Australia. Better late than never!