Hi, my name is Ann Jackson. I work on the Corporate Travel team in Fox World Travel’s Oshkosh office. I recently took a trip to Sydney, Australia. Although I am not a travel agent, I received expert advice for planning this trip from our Australia travel agents. I would like to share my unforgettable experience with you!
Our Hotel was the Travelodge Wynyard. It was an average hotel, but the location was perfect. They had a shower and bathroom in the fitness center, so we were able to shower and freshen up before venturing out to explore. We found out there was a charge for using the Internet at the hotel, but we discovered that it was free at the McDonalds down the block.
Sydney is one of the cleanest most beautiful cities that I have ever been to. There are parks everywhere, no wires above ground, and everyone was extremely friendly.
We were close to Circular Quay, so we decided to take a ferry over to Darling Harbor. An adorable little 9-year-old boy decided to be our tour guide on the ferry ride. We fell in love with his Aussie accent and wish he could have spent more time with us.
Darling Harbor was a wonderful area. There were shops, cafes, restaurants, outdoor entertainment, the Sydney Aquarium, and the Maritime Museum. We took in the atmosphere and then walked about a mile to the Fish Market. This was an awesome experience. There were numerous fish markets where you could purchase any type of seafood. They would cook it for you if you’d like and there was a large “food court” where you could sit and eat your meal.
On our second day we decided to take the “Hop-on, Hop-off Again bus” to become more familiar with the area. I have to admit that I was pretty disappointed. Rather than having a Tour Guide narrating, they played a tape which didn’t match up with where we were at. We were able to jump off at Paddington Market to do a little shopping. It is said to be the launching pad for many of Australia’s most famous fashion designers and the place to find quality contemporary art, crafts and fashion. The actual designers and artists are the ones you make your purchases from and talking with them was an awesome experience (and, of course, I could have purchased everything I saw. (“Only if…….”)
Our next stop was Bondi Beach to watch the surfers. The beach was beautiful. They don’t allow food or drink on the beach, so it remains very clean. We enjoyed watching children practice surfing in their bright colored clothing with endless energy. It was warm, sunny, and entertaining.
Today we decided to buy a 7 day pass. For a reasonable fee, the pass covered the train, ferry and bus. Basically we could get anywhere with our pass. With our newly acquired pass we jumped on a ferry to Manly. It was a beautiful ferry ride. Manly Beach rivals Bondi. As it got later in the day we walked across the street to an old hotel that now houses a bar/restaurant with live entertainment. We met some very nice people and enjoyed listening to a great band.
The next day we took a tour up to the Blue Mountains. Our Tour Guide really did remind me of “Crocodile Dundee”. Our first stop was a Nature Reserve which was a great experience. We were able to feed kangaroos, pet Koalas, and took pictures of beautiful birds and bat-foxes.
It also happened to be an extremely foggy day, so we were not able to see the “Three Sisters”, but we were able to walk through the rainforest in the valley. We also took the gondola over the rainforest. On the way back to Sydney we stopped in a small village and learned about the Aborigine culture.
The next morning we explored the Opera House and the Botanical Garden. We also had an exceptional meal at Mr. Wrong’s. There was a great mall right across the street from our hotel in the lower levels of a business high-rise. There were all sorts of ethnic foods and everyone congregated here to eat lunch.
The Rocks, Sydney’s oldest suburb and historic heart, was once a slum. We loved exploring some of the old pubs and listening to the bartenders tell us about the ghosts that haunted their establishments. From this area we could walk up to the Sydney Harbor Bridge, and walk to the middle of the bridge for a breath-taking view of Sydney.
On our last day, I didn’t think we could top our previous days. We decided to ferry out to Watson’s Bay to have fish and chips at Doyle’s, one of the oldest establishments in Sydney. The food was unbelievable. We spent the rest of the day walking around the Gap, a cliff-top path and outlook. We also relaxed on a quiet beach.
All in all this was one of the best trips in my life. The people were fantastic, the city was beautiful, modern and very clean, there was a great deal to see and the views were spectacular. I would highly recommend one of our Australia travel agents to assist you with your vacation planning. They were truly a great help!