Australia Travel Blog: Sydney City Tour Harbour Cruise

Sydney Travel Blog: Part 7 – Sydney Harbour Lunch Cruise

Australia Travel Blog: Sydney City Tour | Bondi Beach

2-Day Combo: Sydney City Tour + Sydney Harbour Lunch Cruise and Blue Mountains Day Trip

We lost 2 tour mates on our way to Sydney Harbour Cruise; the couple failed to show up to catch the bus at the designated time. The tour operator called them and looked for them for a couple of minutes and then started the bus, leaving them behind.

Our next stop and last tour for day 1 is the Sydney Harbour Cruise. The cruise will be two hours with lunch provided.

The Cruise boat left from the marina in downtown Sydney. I found the boat in very good condition and it had 3 levels. The middle level was where all the tables were arranged for the lunch and that’s where I settled in. I got acquainted with some other travelers, so we all sat together.

The specious catamaran had lots of sitting space on the deck, but due to sun and humidity I stayed inside. I went up on deck a few times to get pictures and videos.

The boat passed some of Sydney Harbour’s top landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House, Fort Denison, Shark Island, and Sydney Harbour’s coastal residential areas.

About 15-20 minutes after leaving the downtown harbour area, I noticed lots of nice and upscale condos and houses nested along the coastline of Sydney. These homeowners have access to the ocean within a few steps from their home and a nice ocean view. There are a lot of foreign buyers, especially Chinese investors, snapping up real estate in Sydney, driving up the prices. I remembered not seeing residential housing in Auckland Harbour area.

Lunch was buffet style. There were plenty of items to choose from, including seafood. I chose rice, beef, mashed potatoes, broccoli, green beans, and salad. I ended my lunch with fruit salad and tiramisu.

Australia Travel Blog: Sydney City Tour | Bondi Beach

Sydney Travel Blog: Part 6 – Bondi Beach

2-Day Combo: Sydney City Tour + Sydney Harbour Lunch Cruise and Blue Mountains Day Trip

Sydney Travel Blog: Part 5 | Mrs Macquarie’s Chair

Only 8 km from the city centre, Bondi Beach is the most iconic beach in Australia and famous across the globe. Most likely, you have seen Bondi Beach somewhere in movies or pictures. Bondi is an aboriginal word that means “surf” in English.

Bondi Beach is famous for its pristine golden sands, glistering ocean, and its surf & seaside community that offers a laid back coastal lifestyle within a short distance from a big city’s hustle and bustle.

Bondi’s beautiful picturesque coastline offers easy-walk clifftops with tons of cafes and restaurants. Bondi Beach water looks very clean and the scenic stretch of ocean views are immaculate.

I was given 30 minutes to stroll the beach. This was a very short time to enjoy a beach, so I spent every second of it wisely.

The first thing I did was grab a coffee and a cake from a coffee shop in Bondi Pavilion, because I didn’t have any chance to eat anything till now. I finished the cake and 1/3 of the coffee sitting at the cafe and I took the rest to finish on my stroll along the beach and the waterfront establishment.

The weather was very nice in December. Hot, but not too hot. I was wearing only a t-shirt. I was laughing, thinking in Canada I would be wearing layers of clothes and jacket for below -20 degree Celsius cold.

I noticed open-air restaurants in the area facing the ocean that were almost full that early. People were enjoying the beach and the weather. Some restaurants had very loud music.

I noticed lots of condos and homes along the coastline with unobtrusive views of the beach and the ocean. Those who are living there simply have to cross the street to come to the beach.

I was running out of time, so I rushed back to the tour bus. The next stop was to return to Sydney for the lunch cruise.

Australia Travel Blog: Sydney City Tour | Mrs Macquarie’s Chair

Sydney Travel Blog: Part 5 | Mrs Macquarie’s Chair

2-Day Combo: Sydney City Tour + Sydney Harbour Lunch Cruise and Blue Mountains Day Trip

Sydney Travel Blog: Part 4 | Sydney Downtown

After completing The Rock tour, my tour bus started to pass through some of Sydney’s highlights. Points of interest were St. Mary’s Cathedral, Royal Botanic Gardens, Hyde Park, Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour, Kings Cross and so on.

I took some pictures and videos from the bus, but the bus was in motion, which made it challenging to take shots.

The next stopover would be Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, also known as Lady Macquarie’s Chair. This is a hand-carved bench made out of rock by convicts in 1810. This place is like a park (near the Botanical Gardens) overlooking Sydney Harbour and this is a point where you have a clear view of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge together.

Tourists are always flocking here to get a picture perfect, iconic view of Australia and Sydney. I took some great shots and videos here, although I had to sometimes maneuver to get to the edges of the cliff and sometimes climb a little uphill. But in the end, I was able to capture what I was looking for.

The reason this place is called Mrs Macquarie’s Chair is because Mrs Macquarie was the wife of New South Wales Governor Major-General Lachlan Macquarie and she used to come here and sit on the rock to watch ships coming from Great Britain.

Although it was a hot day, it felt cooler and nice by the ocean and I felt like staying there all day relaxing.  Soon enough, my time was up and I had to return to the tour bus. We will be heading towards the famous Bondi Beach.

Australia Travel Blog: Sydney City Tour

Sydney Travel Blog: Part 4

2-Day Combo: Sydney City Tour + Sydney Harbour Lunch Cruise and Blue Mountains Day Trip

Sydney Travel Blog: Part 3 | Sydney Downtown

The best part staying of in Devere hotel was that it was in the heart of downtown Sydney and steps from the Kings Cross station. I was expected to be picked up in front of the hotel at 7:25 by the Grey Line tour bus.

I took a combo tour that was a two-day tours. On my first day, I would visit the highlights of Sydney and then a harbour cruise. The second day of the tour would take me outside of Sydney to visit the Blue Mountains.

The big tour bus came exactly on time. I sat in the front section because the bus was still not full. We would still pick up more customers at some other locations.

The bus drove through some of Sydney’s most cultural and historic spots with narrated commentaries. Our first stop was at The Rocks. This was the historic place where Sydney was founded.

Next to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, this is where European settlers first landed in 1788. I wandered through the cobbled laneways and open quarters where the convicts, soldiers, and sailors used to live and sleep. It’s like open-air, outdoor quarters made of stones.

The Rocks is also famous for hosting Sydney’s oldest pubs, upscale restaurants with harbour views, the Museum of Contemporary Art, open markets, food stalls, and much more.

The Rocks is a vibrant, historic waterfront district where present and past collide. It is one of the must-see attractions to visit in Sydney to understand the city’s past and present.   

We were given a guided tour in The Rocks and then some free time to wander around. I took this opportunity to capture my Rocks visit with my camera.

Australia Travel Blog: In Sydney Downtown

Sydney Travel Blog: Part 3

Devere Hotel, Potts Point, Sydney

Sydney Travel Blog: Part 2 First Time Taking Sydney Metro Subway

My hotel, Devere Hotel at 44-46 Macleay Street, Potts Point, should be within walking distance. I asked a random person on the street for direction. I didn’t feel like opening my GPS. To my surprise, the guy walked me a couple of blocks just to show me where the hotel is, which was totally unexpected. That was my first experience of how friendly Australians can be right on my first day.

The hotel was rated 3.5 stars and very old. I was relieved my room reservation was still good, as I was a little late. There was only one person at the counter who checked me in.

I took a very old elevator to my room. My room description was “single room with view”. However, it was so small that I barely could move. I could not find any in-room safe box. I had my Chromebook with me and didn’t want to leave it in my bag, so I kept my laptop at the front desk safe-deposit box.

Also, I had to pay for the Internet, which I haven’t done in a long time. But I was able to get a deal after requesting it; sometimes just asking for things nicely does the job.

One good thing about the room was that it had a very nice view of the bay and the many sailing boats exploring its waters. The view made my stay in that tiny room OK. Everything in the room was too old and showed its age. Even the air conditioner was so loud that it found it difficult to sleep. It was so hot that I had no choice but to keep it on.