So I met some Australians at a bar recently, and one of them went
“Hello, mate! That’s Sydney on your phone screen!”
So you could see, my mind’s still pretty much stuck in Australia right now (and it’s already been 2 months since I was there!). And yes, he really used “mate” after introducing himself as an Australian. #fallingintohisownstereotype The blue skies, almost perfect weather, and laid back environment; I could see why Singaporeans love moving down under. And here’s me behind my laptop screen, reminiscing my adventures in the outback as I follow up on my previous post on the top 5 places to go in Sydney. So here we go!
1. EAT AT THE SYDNEY FISH MARKET
If you’re a fan of seafood, you cannot let your taste buds miss this out. There’s a reason why Sydney’s (or Australia in general) fish & chips taste so good and fresh. Of course you don’t go to the fish market for just fish & chips, there’s a wide range of seafood to choose from – so make sure you go there with an empty tummy! I’d recommend you to have brunch there. 🙂
From the surface, the fish market looks really small and nothing compared to the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo. When we reached the premise, some locals just had their lunch at one of the restaurants and they came out telling us how awful it was, and we should just eat somewhere else. Imagine our disappointment! But since we were already there, we decided we should just give it a try. We eventually ate at Deep Seafood and Oyster Bar (food pictured above), and it actually turned out quite well! Satisfied, we wandered around again, and only to discover this huge seafood market! Sashimi, lobsters, and so many more stores – they even have a seafood school! My mum couldn’t resist the sashimi (my family’s a huge fan of raw fish), so we had round 2. Too good!
And I only discovered this back part of the market when we were about to leave! Doesn’t this place look so enticing to just chill at?
2. TRY OUT ALL FORMS OF TRANSPORT
And before all these, get yourself an Opal card. It could be used for all forms of transport in Sydney, and even the ferries! However, if you stay in the downtown area, say Circular Quay or Pyrmont area, you probably just have to buy one way tickets because most attractions are otherwise in close proximity. Of course, if you’re staying for a longer period of time, this card would be useful.
- DOUBLE DECKER TRAIN
It’s my first time seeing a double decker train – cool factor x a million. Singapore should totally bring this over because our trains are so crowded all the time (peak hour or not)! And the number of people taking the train in Sydney is so much lesser than us (since most of the locals drive). I really appreciate the amount of personal space I have, even within that short train ride. Such a good innovation for first world commuters, no?
- LIGHT RAIL
We took this light rail to the Sydney Fish Market. The price varies for single or return trip, and also the zone you’re going to. There will be a person coming to you to collect the fares one by one, so prepare your change! (I have no idea how they do this efficiently though, given the number of people boarding at one time). It’s quite expensive given a single ride but I should say it’s worth experiencing once while you’re there. 🙂
- FREE CITY BUS 555
Just like Melbourne, Sydney has their own form of free bus that cater very much to tourists to go around their city centre easily. I like this idea of Australia, and it kinda balance out their pricey public transport fares. And here’s their route map:
3. A ROAD TRIP
I definitely recommend you set aside a day on your itinerary to go on a day trip out of Sydney. There are so many islands and places to check out, and trust me it’s definitely worth your time. The central location of Sydney has made it easy for people to do day trips and they still could make it back to Sydney by dinner time. Here are two day trips I’d suggest you to check out. As my post suggest, it’s a 3 days journey, so choose 1 is good enough for a start. 🙂
- PORT STEPHENS
My uncle booked this tour for us, and he got us on with a group of Shanghainese (and some Hong Kongers), which was quite interesting. The tour guide himself is from Hong Kong, and our whole tour was in Chinese. Anyhow, I strongly recommend this day trip because it was so fun! I got to meet the koala bear and kangaroo for the first time, tried wine tasting, went on sandboarding (!!) and finally on a cruise where we also had our fish & chips lunch. It was one amazing day, I promise. More details on this day trip on a fresh post soon! 🙂
- BLUE MOUNTAIN
If you’re more of a scenery person, then go for Blue Mountain, which is another popular day trip destination among tourists. I was already set on going Great Ocean Road in Melbourne, so I thought Port Stephens was a better choice from Sydney for my trip. It’s up to you! I’m definitely heading to Blue Mountain on my next Sydney trip (hopefully next year!).
4. TRY AUSTRALIA’S BEST ICE-CREAM AT GELATO MESSINA
It’s voted as the best ice-cream in Australia for a reason. They pride themselves on using raw and the most natural form of ingredients to make their gelato, and therefore it is definitely less of a sin to enjoy a cup or a cone. They have also a wide range of flavours to choose from – you can even check out their signature flavours and top 10 famous combos on their website. So go try your scoop of healthier alternative where you’re there! 🙂
p/s it’s slightly on the creamier side, so while it’s supposedly the best, it may not satisfy all you picky taste buds.
5. BONDI TO COOGEE BEACH COASTAL WALK
This is quite far away from the city centre, so you may skip this on your first visit if you’re pressed with time. I decided to skip this because I was busy with family reunions in Sydney. At the same time, I was also going to Melbourne (you can read all of my Melbourne diaries and tips here) and had already planned to go to the famous Dendy Street Beach (Brighton Beach). Nevertheless, I’ve read so much about the coastal walk which seems pretty amazing, so I’ll definitely return to do this. 🙂
[EDIT: I’ve gone back to do this walk and it was absolutely stunning. Read more about it here.]
Here’s hoping this Sydney series would serve you well on your trip!