Written by LenR on 19 May, 2010
220 Pyrmont Street,02-85845288Sydney is a beautiful city from any perspective, but one of the most interesting viewpoints is the one you get from a height! When you ride the Sydney Monorail that is exactly what you get to see – Sydney from a bird’s…Read More
220 Pyrmont Street,02-85845288Sydney is a beautiful city from any perspective, but one of the most interesting viewpoints is the one you get from a height! When you ride the Sydney Monorail that is exactly what you get to see – Sydney from a bird’s eye view but without needing to fly too high. The Monorail runs on a raised rail supported by steel columns. The rail is 5.5 metres off the ground and the 12 minute ride lets you get a great overview of the city centre area from Chinatown to Darling Harbour and everything in between. One highlight is when the monorail takes you over the Pyrmont Bridge so you get a unique perspective of a spectacular bay. The monorail winds its way above Chinatown, the Spanish Quarter, over Sydney's main street, George Street, and takes you through the shopping heart of the City. The Monorail then travels past the historic Queen Victoria Building to the entertainment and dining area of Darling Harbour. There are stations near some of Sydney’s best attractions. There is shopping at Galleries Victoria, the Queen Victoria Building and Pitt Street Mall, viewing from Sydney Tower, Darling Harbour for Sydney Aquarium, IMAX Theatre, Harbour Cruises and jet boat rides and the Cockle Bay and King Street Wharf restaurant and bar precincts. Also close to stations are the Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Entertainment Centre, Powerhouse Museum and National Maritime Museum, and Chinatown’s many exotic restaurants. The monorail is safe and convenient. For this reason it is ideal for both visitors and residents needing access to the city centre. You can take advantage of the many events held in the city centre parks or near Darling Harbour. You don’t have to worry about hassling with parking, crowds or hauling your purchases on foot through the streets as you walk to your car. The Sydney Monorail is relatively inexpensive. You can purchase a single ride, a multi-day pass, a multi-ride pass, or even a combination Monorail and Light Rail pass. Current fares are A$4.90 for a single trip, A$9.50 for a day pass, $23.00 for a family pass and A$15.00 for a 1-day monorail and light rail day pass. Family tickets are valid for 2 adults + 2 children or 1 adult + 3 children. The monorail operates 364 days a year (closed Christmas Day). Times are Monday to Thursday: 7am to 10pm; Friday and Saturday: 7am to 10pm; and Sunday: 8am to 10pm. Frequency is every 3 to 5 minutes. Veolia Transport Sydney is under contract to Metro Transport Sydney, owners of the systems, to operate the Monorail and Light Rail networks. Close
Written by LenR on 22 Apr, 2010
Darling Harbour is a good place to while away some time just enjoying the space, the water and the surroundings. There are some excellent views back to the central city and there are walkways and seating areas where you can always meet and talk with…Read More
Darling Harbour is a good place to while away some time just enjoying the space, the water and the surroundings. There are some excellent views back to the central city and there are walkways and seating areas where you can always meet and talk with locals and visitors. If you have more time or need to have more action you can visit some of Sydney's best attractions around the Harbour. For instance you can get up close to Australia's extraordinary undersea creatures at Sydney Aquarium, one of the largest aquariums in the world or take a walk on the wide side at Sydney Wildlife World.Sydney Aquarium is a must-see, and one of the better things to do in Sydney. You can take a journey through Australia's rich and diverse marine ecosystems and discover the world's largest collection of all-Australian aquatic life, with over 12,000 animals. Walk underwater and come face to face with dozens of fierce sharks; marvel at majestic giant rays as they pass overhead; confront Nancy our ferocious three metre saltwater crocodile; and be entertained and amazed by the playful seals, secretive platypus and adorable penguins.Despite being some 2000 kilometres from the real thing you can be enthralled by the largest Great Barrier Reef exhibit in the world and visit Nemo and friend's colourful coral home, while the interactive touch pools feel just like being at Sydney's sea-side rock pools. The aquarium is open daily from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm (closed Good Friday and Christmas Day). Another option is Sydney Wildlife World which features the largest variety of native Australian plants and animals under one roof, with over 100 different species, representing animals from across Australia. You can explore nine unique habitats, each authentically replicating a particular Australian ecosystem and featuring animals in their natural environment. It is a great chance to step into a world that's totally wild! Are you prepared to hold a cockroach as big as your hand, come face-to-face with a python or pat a koala? If you visit during the animal feeding and activity times you can see deadly snakes eating their prey or participate in one of the regular bird shows.Then there is the LG IMAX Theatre Sydney. See incredible 2D and 3D films on the World's Largest Cinema Screen. With the highest quality giant screen images and a range of diverse films - including documentaries and feature films – this IMAX theatre has something for all ages and interests. At shop 503 in Harbourside you can experience the thrill of flying a commercial airliner. Flight Experience offers you the opportunity of flying a commercial grade jet simulator based on the Boeing 737. Under the guidance of an instructor you will fly ‘hands on’ – from taxi to take off to landing. And no experience is required. In the same area M9 Laser Skirmish is an adrenaline pumping, all action laser experience that will blow you away! Participants are transported into another world with the latest and greatest technology providing an exhilarating atmosphere for kids and adults alike. Your mission: shoot your opponents to score the highest points for every successful hit. Close
Darling Harbour is a small inlet, ringed by attractions and pedestrian boardwalks facing the water. The Pyrmont Bridge is a wide pedestrian-only swing bridge that crosses the inlet, linking the two sides and forming a loop walk around the area. The area has fantastic water…Read More
Darling Harbour is a small inlet, ringed by attractions and pedestrian boardwalks facing the water. The Pyrmont Bridge is a wide pedestrian-only swing bridge that crosses the inlet, linking the two sides and forming a loop walk around the area. The area has fantastic water views, ice-cream, playgrounds, parks, fountains and often free attractions on weekends. Despite being on the water there is nowhere to swim, and you wouldn’t want to go into the water with the sharks and the pollution, anyway. If it is hot, feel free to run child-like under a fountain. Many visitors do and there are many options from quiet water to bubbling streams.During the day, the area attracts visitors, city workers, and exhibition and convention attendees, getting busy on summer weekends and school holidays. On weeknights it has a particular vibe, with popular restaurants by the water, and people just out strolling around. On Friday and Saturday nights, the place is populated by club goers and can be quite crowded. This is when you often find people ending up in the fountains.Tumbalong Park sits right in the middle of Darling Harbour with its beautifully landscaped park features fountains, a lake, a children’s playground, picnic areas and an outdoor amphitheatre. There are lots of fountains and water features at the southern end of Darling Harbour, and you will have to walk around them as you criss-cross the area. Some are quite large and there are few places to cross. If you notice people taking an apparently long route, and can see what looks like a quicker way to cut across Tumbalong Park, you will find that you have to join the main pathway to go around the fountains and water features unless you want to paddle.There are several conventional fountains with bubbling jets, a long water feature with sprays, a water curtain wall which turns on and off unexpectedly and a large spiral feature. Kids just love to take off their shoes and walk down the steps of this spiral shaped fountain located outside Darling Harbour Convention Centre Forecourt. Many adults cannot resist taking a photo with them in the centre of the fountain. Just be careful as parts can be slippery. Close
Written by c_rau on 07 Aug, 2006
Part dining experience, part nightlife and part boat tour, this was an interesting experience.
One of the things I wanted to do in Sydney was take a harbor cruise at night so I could see the city all lit up. After some online research, I…Read More
Part dining experience, part nightlife and part boat tour, this was an interesting experience.
One of the things I wanted to do in Sydney was take a harbor cruise at night so I could see the city all lit up. After some online research, I chose Captain Cook Cruises. They’ve been in business for 35 years and had several ships with many types of cruises. Their ticket office was also at Circular Quay, which I could find easily. Captain Cook Cruises offered everything from afternoon buffet and evening dinner cruises to week-long cruises up the eastern coast and even to Fiji. I chose the Sunday Twilight cruise, which started at 7pm and finished at 9pm.
There weren’t too many of us when the boat docked at 6:30 p.m., mostly couples, young and old, looking for a romantic evening out, perhaps celebrating anniversaries as some were quite well dressed. Formal attire was not required, although I did wear a nice outfit because I didn’t want to be perceived as an American slob. Funny thing, one of the couples was a young woman in a chiffon dress while her date?fiance?husband? wore ripped cargo shorts and a sports T-shirt with a ball cap. Way to go Romeo!
We were escorted to assigned tables on the second deck by a server while another poured champagne into glasses already on the table. There was a bass player and a pianist playing soft jazz which made for a romantic atmosphere. My server was a 21-year-old Russian girl. While talking to her she told me she had followed her boyfriend to Australia and hadn’t been in Sydney long enough to know much about the city. Obviously she was new to serving, but her pleasant demeanor and willingness to help made up for any missteps, such as forgetting my rum and coke.
For the meal, I selected a filet mignon, well done, which came with fresh vegetables and a mushroom sauce. Delicious. My pre-mail salad wasn’t anything special; the vinaigrette dressing was a little too sour for me. For dessert, my server offered my a choice of three items, but as soon as the words "chocolate" came out of her mouth, I didn’t bother waiting to hear what the other 2 were. The chocolate cake drenched in chocolate icing was so rich that despite my best efforts I couldn’t finish it.
Before the meal was served, the ship left the dock and did a small circle around the harbor before making its way under the harbor bridge. I thought we were going farther inland and was exciting to be seeing some places that I wouldn’t be able to visit. However, the ship soon turned into Darling Harbour and headed straight for a dock. How odd. After docking, a large group of Japanese tourist poured into the deck and sat at the empty tables. They were unbelievable loud. In 30 seconds, the romantic mood of the cruise changed to a party atmosphere as a Japanese woman in a red sequins dress came out with a microphone and began to sing with the two musicians. She sang song like "Let It Be," "My Way" and "On Top of the World" and even had a costume change during her "intermission." She made it a point to visit all the tables on the deck asking them if they were married and where they were from. She asked me where my husband was and was quite disappointed when I said I was by myself. I asked if she knew Margaritaville, but she said no.
The top deck of the ship was open to elements and a little chilly, but I remembered my jacket. I was finally able to see Sydney shine. I love cities at night. I took 2 rolls of film just barely getting it done before the ship re-docked at Circular Quay. Several of the Japanese tourists asked me to take photos of them in front of view.
I enjoyed my dinner cruise, but I have to admit the mood change when the tourists boarded was upsetting. It was such a quiet cruise until they boarded. The tourists themselves were friendly, but they all talked, danced and sang along with the singer. A complete 180 mood swing. Would I do this cruise again? Probably not.
Written by Adventures With Adam on 20 Feb, 2001
All sorts of good eating at reasonable prices can be found along Oxford Street through Darlinghurst and into Paddington. Check first to see if your choice of restaurant is “BYO,” bring your own beer or wine. If so, hit the nearest liquor store…Read More
All sorts of good eating at reasonable prices can be found along Oxford Street through Darlinghurst and into Paddington. Check first to see if your choice of restaurant is “BYO,” bring your own beer or wine. If so, hit the nearest liquor store (or “bottle shop” as the locals say) to select a bottle of Australian wine. The country produces some terrific, inexpensive vintages. The Capal Vale chardonnay was a favorite at my table.
Among the restaurants I’d return to on (or just off) Oxford Street are:
-- Thai Nesia, where I enjoyed outrageously good red curry chicken with pumpkin. (BYO)
-- Clove, neatly set in an old church on Crown Street just south of Oxford. Here, tasty Indian cuisine is served dirt cheap.
-- Kelly’s (further off Oxford on Crown) promises the “best steak in town.” Certainly, my rare slab of sirloin was as good as any I’ve eaten.
-- Roo Bar (also on Crown) is a good choice for breakfast, especially its filling pancakes and egg dishes. At the internet cafe in back, you can log on and check your e-mail.
-- Balkan Sea Food on Oxford grills up an excellent assortment of fresh fish. I loved the red snapper, though the John Dory is also a popular choice. Don’t miss the local oysters. Dinner includes a generous Greek salad. (BYO)
-- Cafe 81 offers great people watching at its outdoor tables fronting Taylor Square. It’s a solid choice for coffee, breakfast, or a light lunch. Close
Written by Carmen on 19 Jan, 2006
In my opinion, there is no other way to witness the amazing display of Sydney’s New Year’s Eve than on a boat in the harbor. I could see the number of people amassing in the other viewing spots, and was so glad not to have…Read More
In my opinion, there is no other way to witness the amazing display of Sydney’s New Year’s Eve than on a boat in the harbor. I could see the number of people amassing in the other viewing spots, and was so glad not to have to fight the crowds. (Though, I’d wager that Mrs. Maquarie’s Point is the best vantage spot for the action on the ground.)I’d done some Internet research to find a boat for New Year’s Eve. The Harbor Queen was reasonably priced ($350 per person included dinner, dancing, and a great spot in the harbor for the fireworks.) One of the reasons I booked the Harbor Queen specifically is that, through email communication, the staff agreed to help me get a good spot and set up my camera equipment to capture the night. I booked in August, and there were limited spots on all of the boats even then, so I recommend the earlier the better. New Year’s Eve in Sydney takes a bit of advanced planning.I was to meet the boat at the Casino Wharf in Darling Harbor at 7pm. At 6:50, the ship pulled into the harbor, but didn’t pull up to a dock – there was another boat there. There was a big argument between the captain of the docked boat and the administrator of the Harbor Queen. Apparently, there are assigned 15-minute dock time increments, and the other boat had snuck in. Police were called, but in order to get things moving, the other boat was allowed to finish, and we boarded at 7:30. Needless to say, the natives were getting restless at this point. Some new friends that I’d met and I rushed to board so we could get a table on the top deck. We got up there to find that they were all reserved (all of us had tried to book a table on top, but were told there were no reservations.) We all headed toward the outside seating area a bit miffed, but accepting of our fate. To add insult to injury, the food, as expected, was less than par. Plus, by the time I’d gotten down there (I’d watched the 9pm fireworks first), there were some slim pickin’s.I will say this: the staff of the Harbor Queen did keep their promise about setting me up for the photography. I was allowed out on the bow, underneath the captain’s nest, where only the staff were permitted. In addition, they were kind enough to allow me to bring my three new friends out there with me, so I wouldn’t have to be alone to celebrate. I also made friends with a very cute and very nice Sydney-born-and-bred crewman named George. He was as fascinated with America as I was with Australia!Funnily enough, most of the bad stuff didn’t really matter once the fireworks got going. I wouldn’t have been anywhere else.http://www.harbourqueen.com.au Close
Written by muluckylives on 03 Feb, 2006
With record cold temperatures in Sydney, I headed downtown to meet up with 66,000 of my closest friends to run (or, in my case, walk) the 14km City to Surf race. According to the organizers, it is the largest fun run in the world, and…Read More
With record cold temperatures in Sydney, I headed downtown to meet up with 66,000 of my closest friends to run (or, in my case, walk) the 14km City to Surf race. According to the organizers, it is the largest fun run in the world, and I would believe it. The staging area in Hyde Park was wall-to-wall people. There was a strange mixture of serious runners, mid-level runners, and the people like us who were just out for the atmosphere. Having never run the City to Surf race before, my friends and I were placed in the back of the pack, or, as I have named it, the party pack. Colorful and interesting costumes were all around, giving the feeling that these people were out for the experience more than the serious athletic competition. We saw gorillas, runaway brides, construction works, and windmills. Everyone was in such a good mood. There was an incredible sense of Australian pride as everyone celebrated Sydney for the wonderful city it is.The 14km route trekked through some of the most beautiful suburbs in town. Winding through the multimillion-dollar houses, I couldn’t help but think how the other half lives. I don’t want to write this article pretending that 14km, about 9 miles, was a piece of cake for me. Since I walked, it was easier, but I was definitely feeling a little fatigued by the end. The finish of the race at Bondi Beach looked more like a massive party than the end of a serious sporting event. There were people everywhere and food stands like you wouldn’t believe. I know I enjoyed some much-earned, guilt-free calories. Crossing the finish line gave me a deep sense of pride because I had both finished the race and taken part in a uniquely Sydney event. Close
Written by Chrissy1 on 07 Mar, 2004
Visit the city renowned for the most beautiful harbour in the world. Sydney is truly a magnificent city to live in or visit. It’s home to the famous Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, so you will not be short of things to do. Luna…Read More
Visit the city renowned for the most beautiful harbour in the world. Sydney is truly a magnificent city to live in or visit. It’s home to the famous Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, so you will not be short of things to do. Luna Park is the oldest theme park in Sydney fun rides for all the family, it is right on the harbour, it is situated in North Sydney you can see it from Circular Quay railway station which stop in front of the harbour bridge.
Take a ferry ride from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo -- it is a combined ticket that costs around $35, one of the best ways to see the city and the harbour. Take the cable car up to the zoo entrance and marvel at the views of the harbour on the way up. For the more adventurous and it does cost more, do the bridge climb walk to the top of Harbour Bridge attached to a rope you scale the pylons and go all the way to the top, wow what a view, unfortunately you cant take your camera with you, but can buy a picture from the company. A short walk from the quay is the Sydney Opera House -- at a closer glance, you will see that it is made up of millions of very small tiles. Visit Lady Macquaries Chair in the Botanical Gardens a short walk from the Opera House and, in the summer, take in a movie at the open-air cinema under the stars.
Visit The Rocks markets on the weekend this is found under the harbour brigde right on the water front wander from stall to stall -- it’s the best place to pick up a bargain and a handycraft or two. The next place to visit in the city is Darling Harbour. Take the train from Circular Quay to Town Hall station and walk down Market Street, or take the sky train. Here you can visit the Sydney Aquarium, which houses an array of underwater marine life that should not to be missed. For the sailor at heart, there’s the Maritime Museum. Or if you are looking for a good place to eat, there are many shops and restaurants in the domain area. Or take in a show and lunch at Star City Casino; lunch starts at $10 a head. Within a 10-minute walk, you will also find the Japanese Gardens or the famous Chinatown for a bit of Asian cuisine. If you want to see a 3D movie, you will find it in the world’s biggest IMAX Theatre, which is right in the heart of Darling Harbour. You can also take in the laser music show most nights in the summer.
The famous Paddy’s Market is close by and it’s a bargain hunter’s paradise. If you’re not tired yet, Sydney has a lot of pubs and nightclubs in Oxford Street and Kings Cross areas. You should take a taxi to this area from downtown -- it is known as the red light area. The famous Mardi Gras takes place every March in Sydney. If you have the chance to spend New Year’s in the fabulous city, you are guaranteed a fireworks extravaganza show at the harbour that you will never forget. Party on with travellers from all over the world who come to our town at this time.
For fun on the harbour, you can take many boat tours, including a jet boat adrenaline ride, a sail boat ride, or a ferry ride to Manly where you will find the famous North Heads Lookout and Manly Beach. You can also visit the Shark Aquarium there. Whatever you are looking for, you will find it in Sydney.
Last but not least, to visit the famous Bondi Beach, take the train from Town Hall to Bondi Junction and then connect by bus to Bondi Beach. The cost is about $10 and the trip takes about 40 minutes. Take your towel, sun block, and a hat, and prepare yourself for total relaxation and spoil yourself on Sydney’s hospitality. For other awesome beaches and places of interest, take the train on the southern line to Cronulla, a small, forgotten place with the best seafood on the beach, well worth the day out.
Written by ggcahill on 16 Apr, 2004
I was given a gift certificate for a Harbour Bridge Climb. Seems to be a popular gift. In a climbing group of 12 people 5 were doing the climb with gift certificates. My wife and I decided to combine the climb with a long weekend…Read More
I was given a gift certificate for a Harbour Bridge Climb. Seems to be a popular gift. In a climbing group of 12 people 5 were doing the climb with gift certificates. My wife and I decided to combine the climb with a long weekend stay in Sydney, and we were both free over the Easter break. We had been told to do the climb as a twilight climb, as this enabled us to see the view during daylight, watch the sunset, and then see the city lights. Sounded good, and it certainly was. To climb the harbour bridge, visit their online booking service at http://www.bridgeclimb.com.au I would thoroughly recommend the climb to anyone. It is not too strenuous, but by the same token is not for those nervous about heights! It is a long way up (and down!).
Once we had booked the bridge climb (done via e-mail) for the easter Saturday, we booked return flights to Sydney, hotel accommodation and tickets for the Lion King at the Capitol Theatre. All the bookings were done online through Qantas. This maximises the frequent flyer points, and e-tickets allow you to bypass the very long queues and go directly to self check-in.
We chose the All Seasons Premier Menzies opposite Wynyard Station, and paid a little extra for a park view room. We didn't spend much time looking at the park, but the room was comfortable and well sound proofed. The Qantas rate did not include breakfast, and we were able to negotiate a different rate that provided breakfast at a reasonable price. (Breakfasts paid for individually cost $23.50 per person. The package rate gave us breakfast for $19.00 for both of us. For those wishing to save money, there were a number of places offering various breakfast options. One guest was seen heading to the room with 2 McDonalds Cheeseburgers! We were not that desparate to save money!
The advantage of the hotel we chose was its central location. From the hotel we could easily walk to Circular Quay, the Opera House, The Rocks, Darling Harbour and the Theatre. (The theatre was the longest walk, but a bus service goes up George Street so that was always an option.) Public transport was also readily available with the station opposite and a bus service in George Street. We found, though, that things were close enough not to need to use Public Transport and we saw more of the city while we were walking. (I always hold my wife's hand when we are walking through strange cities.... when I let go she shops!)
Circular Quay was bustling. A spruiker dressed as Captain Cook got our business and we booked a dinner cruise on the basis that dinner on its own would probably cost around $40.00 each and for an extra $30 dollars we had a long, romantic harbour cruise. No kidding, there really is something romantic about being on a ship looking out at the lights of the harbour bridge and city. We did a second cruise with the same company. This time the much longer Coffee cruise in the afternoon. Coffee and cakes. Nice! The cruise ships were comfortable and sailed close enough to the shore for some good photography. Take note of the direction the vessel is sailing (look at the route map) so that you can be on the best side of the vessel for seeing the sights. On the coffee cruise its Starboard... um you know..... I think thats the right hand side looking towards the front!
Other points of interest we visited were Darling Harbour, the Opera House, the Rocks, and the harbour bridge pylon lookout (included in the bridge climb price.). As the bridge climb expressly prohibits the bringing of your own cameras on the climb, the pylon lookout provided an opportunity to take photos of Sydney Harbour from the bridge. The height of the pylon is close enough to the height of the bridge arch to make it a worthwhile vantage point! The historic rocks area runs a very good market on weekends, with a variety of craft items for sale. Worth a visit, as is some of the older buildings that are now stores. Argyle stores was particularly impressive. On the return from the climb we found a nice Italian Restaurant with tables outdoors. We could eat our meal and listen to the German band across the road.
I admit, we spent some time just sitting by the water at Circular Quay, watching the buskers and the people, but isn't that part of a weekend away? Just relaxing and taking it easy? This meant that we didn't get to see everything that was on our wishlist. Places we wanted to visit but couldn’t in the course of a single weekend were Fort Denison (breakfast and lunch tours available.) and the (now disused) middle head military fortifications. Next time! These can be booked through the Parks service which has an office in an old building by the water in the rocks. They also take bookings for Goat Island.
When planning the trip we collected a travel brochure from the local travel shop so that we had some idea about what to do and where to stay. The Sydney Public transport service provided public transport maps and prices. Good service, but unfortunately their prices were higher than the mini-buses for airport transfers. Still, at least we had information on pricing to help us decide how best to get to the hotel. So, do your research and then book online to save time and money. However you do it, you really must do the bridge climb one day. It was well worth it. A sensational view and a great excuse for a weekend away! Close
Written by Finu on 26 Feb, 2003
It was a beautiful and sunny bank-holiday Monday in Sydney and we were up at the crack of dawn to do the Harbour Bridge Climb. It was a fantastic experience. The bridge hangs 134 metres above sea level and the view from the summit is…Read More
It was a beautiful and sunny bank-holiday Monday in Sydney and we were up at the crack of dawn to do the Harbour Bridge Climb. It was a fantastic experience. The bridge hangs 134 metres above sea level and the view from the summit is spectacular: you can see the entire harbour, the Opera House, Botanical Gardens, North Sydney, and as far across the city as the Olympic Stadium (which is about 40 minutes by train from the city centre).
The whole climb took about 3 hours, including preparation time. The Bridge Climb organisation doesn't cut any corners here either and prepares you for all eventualities -- you'll be given a safety harness, analog radio, overalls, gloves, a fleece, a rainjacket, a cap, sunglasses . . . you even do a dummy run on a replica of the ladders you climb to get up the bridge.
At first it was a little daunting, walking across a narrow iron grid above six lanes of speeding traffic, two express trainlines and,
don't forget, the inviting-looking but lethal waters of Sydney harbour.
But once you get used to the harness, the ladders, and walking across iron grids and rivets, the
feeling is wonderful. There's the wind in your hair, the sun on your face, and a sense of being in a world of your own -- suspended as you are, far above the city. You just can't get the same views anywhere else. It's amazing how clear the water below you is. I'd highly recommend you do the climb when in Sydney -- what a way to overcome a fear of heights!
Apparently, during the construction of the bridge, seven people fell from the top -- six to their death -- the seventh was an Irish man whose only injuries were two broken ribs -- he was back at work on top of the bridge two weeks later!
Sydney's beaches, though not the finest in Australia, provide a handy break from city life. At first, I must admit, I wasn't too impressed by Bondi Beach. But, after sitting there for awhile watching the surfers and the size and power of the waves, it grew on me. The walk along the cliffs from Bondi to Bronte
beach is fantastic: the water is the most beautiful range of blues, greens, and turquoise, and waves crash against the rocks with tremendous force, despite the fact that there is barely any breeze on land. If I was to live in Sydney for good, I think I'd have to live by the beach.
Next day we had brunch at Watson's Bay, a really popular little bay in the harbour that's famous for one pub in particular -- Doyles -- which supposedly serves the best fish-and-chips. The place is swamped with everyone from holidaying families to gangs of hungover people dying to get something greasy to eat.
One of the highlights of the past few days has to be our trip to Palm Beach, aka Summer Bay from the soap Home & Away. Seeing the beach in reality after spending much of my teenage years following the soap opera was peculiar. We spent an afternoon padding at the beach and taking photos of the Surf Club. The beach is really beautiful: it's on one side of a long, narrow headland; the other side has a small sailboat harbour surrounded by forest-covered hills which are slightly reminiscent of the wooded areas of Hong Kong Island. Only the beach scenes of the soap opera are filmed here -- everything else is filmed in studio at Network 7 in Sydney.
Sydney nightlife has plenty to offer after a day's activities. The Horizon Bar is on the 36th floor of the Ana Harbour Grand, a city centre hotel. It has floor-to-ceiling windows so that you can take in the lit-up city skyline as you sip your cocktails. The dress code is very strict and the drinks are very pricey, but it's worth it for the view. CoHi at Darling Harbour also offers a great nighttime skyline view, albeit from a much lower vantage point, and the cocktails are cheaper and tastier than Horizon's.