published on May 8th, 2009 · more from the blog →

Yup we've finally made it to Australia, we had a short 9 hour flight from Bangkok and arrived in Sydney airport just after 6am. We caught a minibus to a hostel called Wake Up which everyone has recommended to us and got ourselves checked in to a 4 bed dorm room.

After a short nap we joined about 30 other people from our hostel on a free walking city tour, this guy Joe took us to all the major sights in Sydney, we ate lunch on the steps of the opera house looking out to the Harbour bridge, it's a pretty cool place here. We also walked around the botanical gardens and saw a load of historical places and facts you're never normally get to hear about.

The weather had been alright - around 20c which is good for this time of year but freezing compared to the 35-40 we've been accustomed too.

After an earlyish night we were up and ready to do some exploring ourselves. We jumped on a short bus ride to Manly beach (a big surf spot with lots of yuppy apartments) we sat on the beach for a while and watched some very good and some very bad surfers do there stuff, I can't wait to try it myself!

That evening we were all over the place, we went to meet a man who was sailing up the coast for 12 days and was taking a load of backpackers with him on his 32ft Yacht, we were going to go but changed our minds after a nights rest, we wanted to spend a while longer exploring Sydney, and being all cramped on a little boat for 2 weeks didn't impress Rachel too much.

So after all that we decided to head to Bondi beach the next day, now don't get me wrong it's a very big, very nice beach, but I thought that Manly was nicer.

The next day we stayed closer to home and decided to visit the Aquarium on Darling harbour, there were some pretty amazing fishicles in there. Eels coming out of drain pipes all lit up was like a bad dream and the Crocodile was pretty mean looking, the sharks were amazing... You do not wanna be in the water with one of those fellas!
We also saw the Gougons, there are only 1000 in the world and 3 of them were in this aquarium, they are the animals thought to have been mistaken for mermaids by the drunken sailors years ago, how they could be mistaken I do not know but it was pretty cool to see them anyway.

Next day was the beach walk, we joined a load of people and Joe (from the hostel) for another walky tour type thing, we walked from Coogee beach for a few miles to Bondi, it was really good to start with then poured with rain towards the end and we got completely soaked. We met a nice Scottish couple who had just been in Thailand too.

The day after I hunkered down in the hostel and watched films and ate cookies all day, it was raining and Rachel had gone shopping so I just chillaxed.

1st May was Rachels birthday, 22 - so old! We got up late then caught the bus to the Botanical gardens for a picnic on the grass, I had bought tickets for Rachel and I to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge that evening so we headed over there about 4ish, climbing that bridge was pretty crazy. We had chosen to do the Discovery climb which means you walk between the steelwork with the road visible between your feet, the views of the city from the top are amazing, the city all lit up at night is something you have to see to believe, it's huge! looking into the harbour with the opera house and all the boats is cool stuff. It took about an hour and a half to get to the top, take photos, sing happy birthday to Rachel, then get back down again. So after that we were pretty hungry.
We headed to an area called The Rocks and found a nice little Italian restaurant where we sat outside and eat so much food we thought we may not be able to walk home, we had a fair amount of wine to drink too so that may have been the real reason.

On our last day I managed to get man flu somehow and woke up feeling pretty shitty, we headed out to another park for another picnic and I got myself a little nap on the grass. We snuck back in to the hostel to cook some dinner and hang about for our bus that left at 9. We have bought a ticket for Greyhound which is like a national express that you can hop on and off or up to 45 days, we're planning on travelling up to Cairns taking about a month to stop at places in between, we have also booked 2nights / 3days camping and 4x4ing around Fraser island then another 2 nights / 3days sailing on a Catamaran around the Whitsunday islands. It cost a bomb but sounds amazing so we're really looking forward to that in a few weeks time.