Part 1: Vibe Hotel Sydney, Hyde Park, Watson Bay, Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour , Bondi Beach & Blue Mountains


Day 1

It’s amazing to be able to catch sun-set at Changi Airport while waiting for our flight

Arrived at Sydney International Airport  at 6.00 am by Qantas Airways from Singapore.

At the Sydney International Airport 

At the airport train platform waiting for our train

Immediately we took a train to Museum Station , then walked about 150 m to Vibe Hotel at Goulburn Street.

Walked with our luggage to our hotel

It costs us AUD 17.50. Could not check-in as the check-in time is 2.00 pm. So we left our luggage at the hotel and we walked about 40 minutes to Circular  Quay to explore. Visited the famous icon of Sydney, the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Relax and selfie at Sydney Harbour

Then we walked back to Hyde Park where we assembled at Archibald Fountain to follow the Free Tour Sydney at 10.30 am. Actually, there are two Free Tour Sydney, one is walking tour and the other one is bus tour. We opted for the later. The walking tour will take you around Circular Quay, Hyde Park, St Mary Cathedral , The Rock etc.

Archibald Fountain at Hyde Park

Mr Martin, the driver cum guide for the Free Tour Sydney busy registering the participants at Hyde Park

There were altogether around 40 of us taking the bus tour. The driver cum tour guide Mr Martin is very knowledgeable and humorous.  He spoke with a slang and gave a very comprehensive commentary on every site we visited. The 3 hours tour took us to many places around the city, Bondi Beach being the furthest  away from city. On the way, we visited  Watson Bay, Rose Bay, Paddington, Woolloomooloo, Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and The Gap to mention a few. It was really worth it as we need to pay only AUD 17.00 for bus maintenance and of course tips to the driver is up to individual.

St Mary’s Cathedral

Sydney Tower

Sydney Harbour viewed from Mrs Macquarie’s Point

Mrs Macquarie’s Chair

Cliff at The Gap, where according to the tourist guide, a lot of people commited suicide here!

Bondi Beach which is famous for wind surfing

Always want to try ice cream wherever I go. This one, one scoop AUD 5

We were back to our original starting point at Hyde Park at around 2.00 pm. We then walked to Golden Dragon Tour at Castlereagh Street to make booking to Blue Mountain the next day. Coincidently there was a promotion, we got a good bargain, AUD 10 per pax for transport only to Blue Mountain, otherwise it’s AUD 39!

Checked-in Vibe Hotel at Goulburn Street around 4.30 pm.  Then we walked to Chinatown to check the picking up point for Blue Mountain trip the next morning as departure time is 8.00 am and we were still unfamiliar to the place .  We also explored the Paddy Market nearby. This market is famous for cheap apparels, fruits and vegetables. We didn’t stay long as market closes at 6.00 pm. We had our dinner at Chinatown.

At Chinatown, Sydney

 Market City opposite Chinatown, Sydney

Paddy’s Market at Market City

Dinner at food-court Chinatown

Day 2

Today’s itinerary is supposed to be the highlight of our Sydney trip as we would be visiting the famous World Heritage Blue Mountains. A trip to Sydney will not be complete without a visit to Blue Mountains. After breakfast, we walked to Chinatown to get our transport to Blue Mountains. As we took the tour organized by Chinese from Taiwan, the whole bus was full of Chinese, mainly from mainland China.   The first stop was Featherdale Wildlife Park. We didn’t enter as we would be visiting the Taronga Zoo the next day. Moreover, this wildlife park only has mostly koala bear and kangaroos. So we waited outside and hung around the souvenir store.  Anyway, it’s only 1 hour.

Then we proceeded to Katoomba for the three rides and viewing of the famous three sisters. Blue Mountains actually is like the Grand Canyon in the US. Luckily weather was good, so we had a good view of the three sisters. Here you get to breathe in  the clean, fresh air with distant blue haze horizons overlooking the deep ravines, with rich green lush forest carpeting the valley floor. We also took the steepest incline railway in the world down to the hidden valley below. Then we walked on the valley floor boardwalk under a canopy of tall tree ferns and stopped at the Echo Point to get a closer look at the Three Sisters rock formation.

The Three Sisters viewed from the cable car

Closer view of the Three Sisters

The dinasaur tree.

Entrance to the abandoned coal or copper?? mine

Outside cable car station

Lunch was at the Chinese Restaurant, AUD 20 per pax.

Two other Malaysians who joined the same tour

Chinese food

After that we stopped at Waradah  Aboriginal Centre to watch the cultural show performed by the natives of Australia. It was not impressive, lasted only about 20 minutes for AUD 20 per pax.

The next stop was Wenworth Lake just to relax at the lake side to take some scenic photos.

Returned to Chinatown again at around 4.30pm and bought some fruits at Paddy’s Market. Then we took the light rail train to Darling’s Harbour for dinner.

We had pork ribs at Hard Rock Café, Darling Harbour. After dinner, took a casual stroll on the Pyrmont Bridge to enjoy the night life of Darling Harbour. In fact, this place is very happening and vibrant when night falls, a lot of night life activities going on. We hung around for about an hour before taking the train back to our hotel.

Very happening when sun sets

Day 3.

After breakfast, took the train from Museum Station to Circular Quay.

Reload the Opal card before boarding the train

Then took a ferry to Taronga Zoo. We bought the entrance ticket for AUD 25 from the tour agent, else will be AUD 41. From the jetty, we took the Sky Safari cable car to the entrance. The Taronga Zoo is built on hill slope facing the Tasman Sea. It is not very big. The animals there are mainly from Australia. We spent about 2 ½ hours  there before returning to Circular Quay. Anyway, it’s a good way to relax and unwind walking in the zoo.

At the ferry terminal Taronga Zoo

Sydney Harbour viewed from the ferry

Then we walked to The Rocks, just a few minute walk from Sdyney Harbour. The Rocks is more well-known for its heritage architecture and cobblestoned laneways. There are many modern stylish bars and restaurants. There is also the Rocks Markets selling handicrafts and all sorts of local products, including local snacks. The renowned Museum of Contemporary Art is also situated here.

The narrow laneway at The Rocks

Buying local snack at The Rock

Wanted to buy this doll for Kim. Alas, it’s not for sale. It is a model only.

We were back to the hotel at around 3.00 pm. Then met up with my ex-classmates, Yoon Fatt and wife Lee Choo, both from our high school at SMK Sultan Ibrahim, Sungei Petani, Kedah. They took us to Watson Bay and The Gap for a walk while enjoying the strong sea-breeze at the same time catch-up with each other after so many years!  We had dinner at Chatswood.

With Form 6 class-mate, Yoon Fatt

Actually this is a nudist beach. Too bad, didn’t find any nudist there on that day!

Another part of The Gap

We walked the trail in Sydney Harbour National Park



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About HP Lim

An experienced Form 5 chemistry teacher from Johor Bahru.