Catching the 12am flight to Sydney seemed like such a great idea- and to be honest, it was. Not all 5 & & 7 year olds could handle it, but ours had been broken into submission by now. The flight saved us the cost of a night’s accommodation and meant we could have an extra day sightseeing in the city.
The flight went well - no sleep for the adults, obviously but the children slept pretty much the whole 4 hour flight. Bearing in mind the time difference of +3 hours between Perth and Sydney we arrived at 7am fresh as daisies (that had been stamped on, but it could have been worse)
We had previously emailed our Air BnB host and asked for an early check in. He said he felt sorry for anyone travelling with small children so put the keys out for us the night before AND upgraded us to a more central location. We only bagged ourselves a dance loft in Potts Point. Boom!
The apartment was stunning and after sleeping the morning away we braved the rain and did the 30 minute walk to the harbour. We wound our way through steep alleys with row upon row of unique buildings, street art and plants trailing down ornate balconies. It was a world away from Perth and it’s clean, straight lines and anything else we had seen in Australia. We walked through the Botanic Gardens and saw the Opera House. Barely.
The rain was so hard we could just about make it out in the mist…!! We walked around to the harbour and even in the grey drizzle it was a beauty. The boys were desperate to look inside and as the tickets for the Christmas shows were fully booked up, I thought I’d try to gate crash what turned out to be the staff Christmas party. You can’t win them all.
The next day we met up with my lovely cousin for a coffee and then headed to the ‘Powerhouse Museum’. I had heard that it was a design & science extravaganza- but it was nothing as good as Scitech (Perth) or @Bristol. The write-ups of all the exhibits were wordy and too long, however we loved the zero-gravity simulator.
We left in the continuing rain to find Chinatown, embracing Sydney’s diversity like it was an old friend. A steaming bowl of noodles would be warming and cheap. Our Bill stated otherwise, and we realised on reflection that the prices are all probably standardised and regulated in line with any tourist attraction.
The next day we woke up to glorious sunshine! It was the last of our 3 days in Sydney and we were so relieved to get the sort of weather that we had heard was ‘normal’ for here.
We met up with an old University friend and had brunch at the Farmers Market amid many sharply dressed young professionals with their groomed dogs and bundles of flowers.
We got to the Ferry port and the Eldest got involved with a street performer from Staple Hill, earned $10 by throwing a fire club at him. First sunshine and now this…! What a time to be alive!
The Opera House was stupidly impressive, the Harbour was glistening and proud, showing off Super yachts, cruise ships and Skyscrapers whilst thousands of tourists bustled with their selfies sticks.
We went to the port and found out the 10 minute ferry ride cost $7 each and Luna Park was $60 per child for unlimited rides. Of course it was!?! You’d think we were used to the cost of everything by now. The children however were one step ahead of us and understood that they would have to go for the ‘taster ticket’ which allowed them only 2 rides each.
The ride across the iconic harbour was worth every penny as we moved across the bay, the full splendour of the Opera house and the surroundings unfurled. It is shocking to see a picture of a place so many times- to take it for granted that you know what it looks like, only for it to surprise you when you see it in the flesh. This is what I love about travelling.
At Luna Park, we purchased our paupers tickets and the boys were limited to the smaller rides without an adult- they didn’t mind though. Nor did they mind the nice staff that ‘forgot’ to scan their wristbands allowing them to have multiple rides for free. Whoop!
We happily hung out at the retro, sunny, frenetic place for the afternoon before Whooping our way home in a taxi; across the bridge this time. Still stunning for all of us the children were even shouting again! again! You could say we were all a bit taken with the place.
Being in such contrast to our Australian trip so far, Sydney was a breath of fresh air. Diverse, buzzing and beautiful; it was a feast for us and a we loved it. Melbourne; you've got a lot to live up to.
Where we stayed:
Dance Loft conversion in Potts Point Sydney. Air BNB 89 GBP per night (usually, but we got a free upgrade and paid less) Beautiful apartment, perfect location- we loved it. The boys had their own cubby to sleep in up a ladder. Perfection.
How we got around:
Metro station was very close to our apartment.
Ferry to Luna Park was not cheap at 8 GBP each return but worth it to see the iconic view.
Uber taxis are very easily available and cheap!