If you pay attention to any of the flight deal websites, you will know that there’s been a crazy sale on flights to Australia. I was one of the lucky folks that snagged a deal from Charlotte to Sydney via Qantas Airlines for only $650. This is great considering flights from Charlotte to Australia are normally twice that.
The flight flew from Charlotte to L.A. (with a very short layover to change planes. I literally almost missed my connector) then L.A. straight to Sydney. My total flying time was about 19 hours.
Lucky for me, I had a friend that lives in Sydney. So, I can’t provide much insight on accommodations.
What I can say is that you should invest in an Opal card before you leave the airport. The Opal card is the card you need for Sydney’s subway/public transportation system. If you purchase from the airport you will have to put $35 AUD on it to start. It’s worth it since the subway fee from the airport is higher than everyday train and bus rides.
I was pretty tired from flying so I didn’t do too much on that first Saturday that I arrived. It happened to be Mardi Gras (aka Sydney’s Pride Festival) that day, so my friend and I went to check out the parade and festivities.
It was pretty insane. I’m convinced the whole city was there to watch the 4-hour parade.
After getting some rest, my friend and I took the trip to Newtown. Newtown is a very artsy, vintage, hippie area of Sydney. You will find all of the vegan spots your heart desires, including a great vegan ice cream shop.
The main selling point of Newtown is its street art and murals. If you google the neighborhood you will find maps dedicated to solely helping you find all of the street art in the area.
The next morning I flew out to Cairns for my adventure of seeing the Great Barrier Reef. You can read more about that here.
I arrived back in Sydney on Thursday around lunch time. After getting refreshed, I decided to set out and explore on my own. I had a few things on my list and I wanted to make sure I would check them all off.
My first stop that day was to somewhat of a hidden gem, Green Square Library. I know what you’re thinking, what is so special about seeing a library in Australia? Well, this particular library has a popular Insta worthy photo spot in it. They have a wall of books organized by color that crate this really magical rainbow wall. It’s literally the “reading rainbow.”
The library is directly across the street from the Green Square subway station. It’s very easy to find.
Not too far from the library was a super cute coffee shop that was on my list. Social Hideout gave me all of the vibes of a Korean coffee shop complete with plenty of photo opps. I happened to get there right before they closed so I couldn’t take every picture that I had in mind. However, I did get the important one in front of the ‘Hello Gorgeous’ flower wall.
I still had to keep things pushing because I knew that my days were limited to see stuff. So I hopped back on the subway and made my way over to Circular Quay (pronounced Circular Key. Weird I know).
Circular Quay is literally the backdrop of all things Australia. Here you will find the best views of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and you can get up close and personal with the Sydney Opera House.
Because these are two of the most sought after photos for tourists, be prepared to fight crowds to get in your perfect photo. I managed to get in a few shots, thanks to some innocent bystanders willing to take my pics.
I decided I wasn’t quite ready to leave the area, so I took the Manly Wharf ferry tour across and back. I was able to use my Opal card to ride the ferry. It was a very peaceful and scenic ride. You can hop off once the boat gets to the Manly Wharf or you can stay on and simply ride back. The total roundtrip journey was about an hour.
(If you are vegan, you may want to skip this part)
It was time to eat, so I decided to go for it and try some kangaroo. Yes, you read that right…Kangaroo.
There are several restaurants around Sydney that serve the meat in various forms. I decided to try Wine and Meat Co.. There are a few locations around the area and the menus are all the same.
I opted for the kangaroo skewers and an activated charcoal lemonade. Kangaroo honestly tastes exactly like steak. I’m not going to hype it up because that’s literally it. SORRY.
As you can see, I had a VERY eventful day. I’m going to cut the post off here and add a part 2. As always, thanks for reading and leave comments if you have questions!