(Continued from: Showing Friends Around – Part 4)
Our two German friends, from Bavaria, are on a tight schedule with barely five weeks in Australia overall. So far we have spent time with them in Melbourne and Victoria (including the Great Ocean Road), and Tasmania (Launceston, Freycinet and Hobart). Then they flew to Alice Springs for a week visiting the Red Centre, followed by a week visiting the Cairns area and the Great Barrier Reef!
Next, we meet up with them in Sydney for their last five days in Australia.
Expectations more than met
Having been so impressed by Melbourne, our friends were somewhat sceptical that Sydney could be more impressive. We had arranged various activities for them in Australia’s oldest city.
Mid-morning, the four of us catch up at Sydney Airport and catch the train to Circular Quay. From there it is a short walk to our accommodation in The Rocks.
Our hotel is right in the thick of things and we take a familiarisation walk around The Rocks and Circular Quay area.
In the afternoon we catch a ferry to Mosman Bay, diagonally across the Harbour from the Opera House.
We then walk from Mosman Harbour around Cremorne Point for one of the best distant views back to the city.
We return to the hotel by ferry, passing Kirribilli House. Late afternoon we catch a ferry from Circular Quay around to Darling Harbour.
Though weary from walking, after touring the Darling Harbour area we head to Chinatown to eat at a Malaysian restaurant for one of the few cuisines our friends had yet to experience.
The next day we head to Coogee Beach for the start of the spectacular ocean walk to Bondi Beach.
At Bondi we have a late lunch of Vietnamese rice paper rolls, a new discovery for our friends.
We head back to our hotel for some rest as tonight we go to see the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Opera House – which is less than a ten minute walk away.
This photo is from the SSO website. (Our hotel in The Rocks is in the cluster of buildings in the distance that can just be seen at top left of the photo.)
We head over early to have a good look around the Opera House complex. Despite the numerous bars and restaurants on the way, we have dinner in the Opera House bistro. That leaves time for us to have a drink of Aussie sparkling wine on the terrace looking out to the Harbour Bridge.
The concert in the concert hall is wonderful: most visitors to Sydney see the outside of the Opera House, but how many make it inside? If you have the chance to attend a performance, just do it. Here is a photo from the Opera House website of the inside of the concert hall.
After fish and chips on the main beach we find some harbour views.
Later, back in the CBD we explore some of the shops.
That night, dinner is at a Thai restaurant in The Rocks.
Next morning we head out to the Watsons Bay area. We walk out to South Head and along the clifftops to see The Gap.
We return from Watsons Bay to Circular Quay by fast ferry. Our friends love the ferries so much that they return to Manly that afternoon. Their expectations of Sydney had been more than met.
For our last evening together we begin a walk at Hyde Park with a stroll through the extraordinary avenue of fig trees. Here is a photo from the City of Sydney’s website.
We walk up Oxford Street then across to Darlinghurst, Kings Cross and Potts Point. We dine at a Middle Eastern restaurant. One of the dishes was a delicious egg tagine.
We didn’t ask for the recipe. However, the great food writer, Yotam Ottolenghi has a similar one. For his recipe, click here: Braised Eggs with Leek and Za’atar
After five weeks, it is time for farewells. We fly back to Melbourne, and our German friends fly to Munich – we will all meet up again in Bavaria in August 2016. Later, via email, they say the Australian trip was the best they have ever done, and this is from two people who are some of the most widely travelled people we know.