City Explorations: Sydney, Australia

Elizabeth and I landed in Sydney just after 7:00 AM, local time, Thursday morning. While we were waiting for our room at the Holiday Inn Darling Harbour we decided to grab some breakfast. We settled on a nice little spot called the Tokio Hotel Restaurant.

Tokio Hotel Restaurant

Tokio Hotel Restaurant

During my trip I got the impression that Australian’s don't use the word “hotel” in the same context as Americans. I saw countless “hotels” that were basically restaurants and bars. Maybe someone from Australia could shed some light on that for us? Anyways, I had the traditional Aussie breakfast and it hit the spot.

Tokio Hotel Restaurant

After breakfast, and a few cups of coffee, we walked back towards our hotel to check out Paddy’s Market. I'd describe Paddy's Market as all things you'd hope for a tourist trap and then some. They've got every Aussie souvenir known to man plus a random assortment of cheap goods. It's definitely worth a walk through if you've never been. 

Paddy's Market, Sydney

Paddy's Market, Sydney

We walked around the entire market before our hotel room was ready to go. It felt great to get settled into our hotel and finally get a shower. After we were feeling refreshed and rejuvenated we hopped on the ferry to Circular Quay. Since it was our first day in Sydney I thought it was only right to go take a look at the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.

Someone's excited for a ferry ride!

Sydney's central business district

Mandatory Australian selfie

Sydney Harbour Bridge

We spent the afternoon exploring Circular Quay and trying to get a lay of the land.

For dinner that night we ate at Mamak, located in Sydney’s Chinatown. It was the number one restaurant on Yelp! in our area so we figured we’d give it a shot.

Mamak, Sydney

I don’t normally eat Malaysian food when I’m in the states, but on vacation I’m game for just about anything. I ordered the chicken curry and Elizabeth had the maggi goreng. We split one of Mamak’s famous satay’s too. I'm not even 100% sure what a satay is, but I certainly enjoyed trying one.

Mamak, Sydney

Mamak, Sydney

Mamak, Sydney

I know it sounds as cliche' as it comes, but I've found that the more I travel the more my tastebuds develop. Two years ago you couldn't have paid me to try Malaysian food and now I'm trying all sorts of cuisine throughout the world. Mamak was another great restaurant to expand my culinary horizons.

Our second day in Sydney was our beach day. We woke up fairly early so we could catch the bus down to Coogee Beach. From there we walked up the entire coast to Bondi Beach.

Coogee Beach to Bondi Beach coastal walk

The coastal walk has some of the best views in the entire world! You literally walk four miles along the Australian coast crossing different cliffs and beaches. My pictures hardly even do it justice.

Australian coastal walk

On the edge of the world

Australian coastal walk

Australian coastal walk

We arrived at Bondi Beach later that morning all set for our day on the beach. We checked out the cool graffiti wall, set up camp in the sand, and went for a refreshing dip in the Pacific Ocean.

Bondi Beach

Muggin

Bondi Beach

If only I knew then what I know now...

Now here comes a Public Service Announcement: WEAR YOUR SUNSCREEN! I applied SPF 30 probably twice while we were on the beach and I thought that would be plenty. I was gravely mistaken. They say the sun in the Southern Hemisphere is nothing to mess with and they mean it. I was so burnt later that night I couldn’t even move. There is no such thing as too much sun screen in Australia. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

After the beach (but before the sunburn) we grabbed lunch at the Bucket List. I enjoyed an authentic Australian beer and Elizabeth had a glass of wine.

The Bucket List, Bondi Beach

The Bucket List, Bondi Beach

We both ordered the cheeseburger and fries and I kid you not it may have been one of the best burgers and fries I’ve ever eaten. The Bucket List is a definite must if you’re at Bondi Beach.

The Bucket List, Bondi Beach

Elizabeth and I spent the rest of that evening bathing in aloe vera gel and trying not to move...

The next morning, we licked our wounds and got back on the tourist grind. I didn’t travel halfway across the world to lay in my hotel room all day. We had breakfast at Basket Brothers and once again I sampled the Aussie breakfast. It reminds me a lot of a traditional English breakfast minus the pudding.

Basket Brothers, Sydney

Basket Brothers, Sydney

After breakfast we checked out of the Holiday Inn Darling Harbour and took a cab over to the Park Hyatt Sydney. While we waited for our room at the Park Hyatt we checked out a nice little outdoor market located near by.

The Rocks Market

We grabbed some lunch at The Fine Food Store. This is another place I’d highly recommend if you’re staying somewhere in “The Rocks.” Elizabeth and I had a couple of iced coffees and some artisan sandwiches.

The Fine Food Store

The Fine Food Store

That evening we took another stroll around Circular Quay, this time passing the Opera House on foot and walking through the Royal Botanical Gardens. Here’s me striking one of my famous Deric Vs. Art poses.

Deric vs. Art

That night we had dinner on the Harbour at Searock Grill. We started with the avocado scallops, yes they’re as good as they look. It's a damn shame scallops are so expensive because I could've eaten about 20 of them. For the main course I had the salmon and roasted mushrooms and Elizabeth had the fish and chips.

Searock Grill, Sydney

Searock Grill, Sydney

On our final day in Sydney we got up and had breakfast at Pancakes on the Rocks. It’s open 24 hours a day and serves breakfast all day long. I had the pancakes with eggs, bacon, grilled pineapple, and grilled banana. So yummy.

Pancakes on The Rocks

Our next order of business was the Sydney Opera House tour. A lot of people think just going to see the Opera House from the outside may be enough, but I’d definitely recommend a tour of the inside. Our tour guide knew EVERYTHING about the Opera House and provided us with wonderful insight on all of the theaters and shows. I didn’t realize how many theaters actually made up the Sydney Opera House.

Sydney Opera House Tour

Sydney Opera House Tour

Sydney Opera House Tour

Sydney Opera House Tour

After we finished our tour of the Opera House we went downstairs to share a bottle of champagne at the Opera Bar. The bar runs right along the side of the Opera House and is quite the happening spot.

Opera Bar

Champagne at the Opera Bar

We decided to spend the rest of our day in Manly, so we caught the Manly Fast Ferry across the Harbour. Manly is more of a laid back beach town compared to Sydney. They have a great beach and tons of small shops along their beachfront. Unfortunately, we couldn’t spend any time on the beach due to my ailing sun burn, but we had a nice time walking around.

Manly, Australia

Manly Beach

Manly, Australia

For lunch we ate at a nice spot along the beach, but I can’t remember the name for the life of me. I had the swordfish burger and fries and they were both delicious.

Lunch in Manly

The big ticket for that evening was our dinner reservations at the Sydney Tower Eye. It’s Sydney’s version of the Space Needle and they offer a 360 dining experience at the top.

Elizabeth and I both had the three course meal. We started with an amuse buche.

360 Bar and Dining, Sydney

For my appetizer I had the scallops, again.

360 Bar and Dining, Sydney

For my main course I chose the kangaroo. You know what they say, "When in Australia.." I thought the kangaroo pretty much tasted like steak.

360 Bar and Dining, Sydney

Lastly for the dessert I had the chocolate.

360 Bar and Dining, Sydney

All of the courses were fantastic and the views from the top of the tower were amazing.

Sydney Tower Eye

After dinner we went back to the Park Hyatt for one final night before we started our long journey back home.

All-In-All

What a trip! Visiting Australia was the experience of a lifetime. I’d definitely recommend visiting Sydney if you ever get the chance. The city is beautiful, the people are friendly and the weather is second to none.

Take a look at my entire photo album here!

What's your favorite part about visiting Sydney?