The second blog post in our three-part honeymoon series, and the second of three locations we visited, is Sydney, Australia!
To read Honeymoon Series Part I: Queenstown, New Zealand, click HERE.
Sydney, Australia was a “stop over” location for us, as we wanted a few days to chill before heading up to location #3 on the coast of North Eastern Australia (more on this in Part III!). Sydney is Australia’s largest city, and when you’re here, you can totally feel it. Sydney reminded me so much of Los Angeles - so many people, including many tourists from all over the world *raises hand*, chill beach vibes in certain areas, a lot of great restaurants and bars, and some pretty beautiful architecture to marvel at. Because we were here for just a few days, and were already pretty tired from exploring Queenstown, we honestly didn’t do much here other than walk, chill, and eat. And, that was really nice/needed for us at the time.
If you find that this blog post doesn’t really give you the whole view of what to do in Sydney (because it honestly barely scratches the surface), you can visit Sydney’s official tourism website here.
Travel Tip: You will need a tourist visa to visit Australia if you are a U.S. passenger. The visa we were approved for let us visit Australia, with in-and-out privileges, for 1 year total. Click here for more information and to apply.
Whenever we’re booking accommodations in a new place we’re visiting, we always set priority number 1 as location. We love staying someplace accessible where we can easily walk around to eat/explore. Then, number 2 is usually comfort, based on other traveler’s reviews. Both number 1 and number 2 priorities were definitely checked off by staying at the Shangri-La Hotel in The Rocks. The Shangri-La is a 5-star hotel and you can truly feel the luxury in every detail here (cozy robes and slippers, jet bathtub, champagne upon checking in to our room, spectacular views, nightly turn down service, you catch my drift…). When I was researching where to stay in downtown Sydney, I kept seeing The Rocks over and over again. After having stayed here, I now understand why. The Rocks is an awesome area to stay in because you can walk to many bars and restaurants within 5 minutes, it’s a beautiful and historical neighborhood of Sydney (cobblestone streets? Yes, please), and it’s only a 10-15 minute walk from the Sydney Harbor, Harbor Bridge, and Opera House. In the event we come back to Sydney, I definitely wouldn’t mind staying here again.
If you put the words “iconic” and “Sydney” together, what do you get? The Sydney Opera House! This is perhaps the most well-known piece of architecture in all of Sydney, and it’s even prettier in person than it is in the pictures. With over 40 show offerings per week, seeing a show here is on most Sydney visitor’s bucket list. We hoped to see a show while we were in town, but since we were here over the holidays, the options for us were limited. Next time! Even if you don’t get the chance to see a show, you’ll definitely want to walk down here around sunset or really any time of the day. It’s definitely very touristy and gets pretty busy during the afternoon time, but in the morning hours, it’s a little less hectic. It’s likely that anytime you visit you’ll be sharing the views with at least a few others, as the Sydney Opera House gets nearly 11 million visitors per year. Find out more about the Opera House here.
We happened to be in Sydney for Boxing Day, December 26, which we learned was one of Australia’s most popular sailing days of the year. When walking around the Sydney Harbor on Christmas day, we popped into a booking desk with Australian Cruise Group and asked for cruise options/rates for the following day. The man working at the desk became excited for us and told us we had to go on their Boxing Day lunch cruise to see the sailboats take off on the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Apparently, this is a big deal for Australians, as hundreds of boats depart on a days-long race from Sydney to Tasmania. We said sure, because we’re always up for an adventure, and I’m so glad we did! On our 3-hour cruise around Sydney harbor, we got to see so many Sydney views and sights we would not have seen otherwise. We also got to see hundreds of sailboats leave the Sydney harbor, which was pretty amazing. We enjoyed a delicious lunch, unlimited wine and champagne and beer, and even made some Aussie friends at our table that we’re now connected with through social media. This absolutely was my most favorite memory of Sydney!
Bondi Beach is the quintessential Australian beach. The sparkling white sand, crystal blue waters, surfers galore in the water, and relaxed loungers on the beach, make this one of the most well known beaches in Aus and definitely the most popular to visit in Sydney. Bondi also is home to many great restaurants, cafes, bars, and shopping. We dined at the uber-hip Icebergs Beach Club, and the picture above is the view from their bar deck. So gorgeous! Unfortunately, I was a bit under the weather when we dined at Icebergs so I didn’t eat much - but Diego loved his dinner! I would absolutely want to come back here if we were to visit Sydney again in the future.
Overall, Sydney was a beautiful, vibrant, big city, that to me, felt very much like Los Angeles. I truthfully likely wouldn’t go out of my way to visit again, but if I did make my way back here one day, I know it would still be a fun and memorable time. I’m learning that when I am on vacation, I prefer to visit a smaller town over a big city. So…the next place we went in Australia was my favorite location of the trip!
Click HERE to read our Honeymoon Series Part III: Hamilton Island & the Great Barrier Reef!
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WANDER BEYOND THE CITY LINES...
As much as I love to explore L.A., it's good for the soul to getaway every now & then. Join me as I escape from the city to explore new locations, both locally and globally!
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