Hey friends! How are you? I still have about a zillion more pictures to share from my parents visit, so I thought I’d highlight my favorite part of their visit first: our long weekend in Sydney, Australia. I can’t say enough good things about Sydney. Not only is it a beautiful city, but it’s also very clean, walking-friendly, boasts spectacular views, is full of great food, and offers tons of sight-seeing attractions. My Dad actually declared Sydney his new favorite city after only two days of being there, beating-out his all-time #1 city San Francisco, which I think says a lot!
My first trip to Sydney was last year, in July of 2012, before I actually moved to Australia. I was here visiting and Brandon brought me to see Carrie Underwood perform in the Opera House, which will always be one of my favorite memories!
Last year…wow time flies!
This trip, however, I was looking forward to seeing more of the city and learning more about the city, too. See and learn we did, and I loved every second!
We arrived at our hotel, Circular Quay Marriott, right before dinner time, so we were able to have a drink in the Concierge Lounge and then get dressed up for dinner. Check out the view from our room!
Dinner was eaten outside, overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge:
I’m pretty sure the best part about dinner was this dessert:
…Or maybe it was watching Brandon scrape his plate. Hmmm I can’t decide!
After dinner, we visited Opera Bar, located underneath Sydney Opera House. It’s by-far my favorite bar of all time. Not only does this bar have an insanely unique location (you can’t get better views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from here), but they also make such fun drinks… just look!
On Saturday morning, we woke up bright and early with plans to head to the Taronga Zoo. Each of us purchased a 24-hour ferry pass for around $30 to get there, which was a pretty great deal considering we got to be on the water in the sunshine, and take as many rides as we wanted. We spent over 6 hours at the zoo, and I loved every minute of it. We saw everything from koalas and elephants, to giraffes and monkeys.
The best part? The gondola lift leaving the zoo. You could see the entire zoo from up in the sky!
We were quite tired after our fun-filled day, but we managed to save some energy for that night! Once we returned to the hotel and cleaned-up for dinner, we took the ferry over to Darling Harbour for dinner and fireworks. Darling Harbour is full of restaurants, shopping, attractions and more. They host fireworks every Saturday night around 8:30 p.m. (at least at this time of year), and they were fantastic! A perfect end to the evening, along with frozen yogurt of course : –)
Fun on the ferry
Overlooking Darling Harbour
Frozen yogurt time!
On Sunday, we had two things planned. The first being a tour of Sydney Opera House and the second being a Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour. If I could recommend one thing to not-miss in Sydney, it would be the Opera House tour. Seeing it from the outside is spectacular in itself, but actually taking a tour and learning the history behind it was fascinating! It’s a must-do.
Purple carpet on the tour!
The tiles up-close.
The Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour was pretty great, too. One 24-hour ticket purchase brings you all-around Sydney, and it includes stops such as the Opera House, Bondi Beach, the Botanical Gardens, and much more. Plus, you can hop-on and hop-off as many times as you’d like in 24 hours AND you get a pair of snazzy red headphones, too! Haha, seriously though, we loved these!
We hopped-off at quite a few places, including the Sydney Fish Market, Botanical Gardens, and Darling Harbour, where we visited Star Casino.
The highlight of the casino? That would be the White Chocolate Salted-Caramel Gelato I had after lunch. If I could eat this everyday of my life, I’d be the happiest girl on Earth.
Please excuse the half-eaten cone…it was too good to resist!
At dinner that night, Brandon had an meat pie, which was unbelievable. Definitely a must-eat when in Australia. We snapped some late-night pictures at the Opera House, too!
On our last day in Sydney, we were able to make plans for the morning since we had booked late-afternoon flights, so we hopped on the tour bus and went to the Sydney Eye Tower. (I highly suggest booking later flights if you can because it helps prolong the weekend. We were able to leave our luggage with the hotel for the day free of charge, and picked it up before our flight. It was super convenient!) The Sydney Eye Tower overlooks the entire city and it is truly breathtaking. A perfect activity to close out a perfect weekend.
The plane ride home called for a cup of tea and a longggg nap. We were all exhausted after a whirlwind weekend, but it was SO worth it. I love Sydney!
Now who wants to come visit me?!
Have you ever been to Sydney? If so, what’s your favorite part? If not, what would you want to see?