Sydney, Australia 5 Days (Summary/Itinerary) for Filipinos

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I had to close my eyes. The Opera House has become the most iconic place of Australia, and I still remember how Australia celebrated the Y2K in this area when I was 9 years old. Fireworks were popping out of the Harbor Bridge, creating a melody of lights. Since then, I’ve really looked forward to actually seeing this site.

Now, 16yrs from that time, I’ve made it happen. I had to close my eyes, and tell myself that I am not dreaming. The Opera House and Harbor Bridge meant a lot to me as these icons were more of childhood dream than mere destination.

One of a kind, I can say. You, what are your childhood dream sites?

Here is my Itinerary!

Day 1:

  • Morning to Noon: Flight to Sydney
  • Afternoon: Sydney Opera House, Opera Bar

Day 2:

  • Morning: Free City Tour
  • Afternoon: Harbor Bridge (Tower and Traverse), Sunset of Harbor Bridge and Opera House superimposed

Day 3:

  • Morning: Taronga Zoo [Yup, I went to a zoo!]
  • Afternoon: Bondi Beach
  • Evening: Meet Sydney people

Day 4:

  • Whole Day: Manly Beach

Day 5:

  • Morning: Market City (and purchase of souvs and cheap buys)
  • Afternoon: Coogee to Bondi Walk

Let’s go through it, day-by-day!

DAY 1:

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Walking down from the train station to the viewing point of Opera House, this old-school facade background caught my attention. They are actually pricey restaurants. Nonetheless, the total color pallet of the area is fantastic!
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Spent an hour or two just going around and inside the Opera House. I was surprised how big the Opera House was. It’s really bigger than what I imagined. The domes also have “scale-y” surface which usually is unseen on far views of the Opera House. They offer a tour, but I preferred not to spend my money on that.
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Opera Bar

One intersting find in Sydney is the Opera Bar which is situated beside the Opera House and the bay. At around 4pm, the bar becomes packed with corporate people mostly drinking wine. The mood is festive and everyone is talking loud, while being graced by the sunset. Got to try their wine and food!

Day2

The first day in Sydney was just really to put a big check on the Opera House. The first full day in the city must be spent on a city tour! What made this even more exciting is that it was kind of free! (Kind of because the tour guide indirectly asked for tip)

The tour started 1030AM at the George St. between Sydney Town Hall and St Andrew’s Cathedral. Between those two buildings was an open space with these colorful chairs. I thought it was owned by a group of people or organization in the city so I was a bit hesitant at first to sit down while waiting for the guides. But I read a note that the chairs were actually installed by the City government in its thrust to have a more livable city where people can talk and bond with each other. What a great idea!

The tour covered these places:

Sydney Opera House
The Harbour Bridge
The Rock’s District
Cadman’s Cottage
Hyde Park Barracks
The ‘Rum’ Hospital
St Mary’s Cathedral
Customs House
Parliament House
Macquarie Street
Hidden Bar culture
Queen Victoria Building
Laneways & Art

Pitt St Shopping Mall
Martin Place
Sydney Tower
Hyde Park
Circular Quay
Town Hall
Sydney’s Oldest Cemetery
Hilton Bombing
Underground Tunnels
St Andrew’s Cathedral
Museum of Currency and Notes
Australia Square

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Chairs were installed so people can chat with each other.
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The guide covered the history of significant sites in downtown Sydney. It was a great starter for the whole trip. From Sydney Town Hall, our grouped walked up to The Rocks/Harbor Bridge. He told the history of the building in context of how the Brits entered the Australian territory and built their life there (and its interplay on the original inhabitor  of the island).
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The Sydney CBD was definitely filled with corporate people wearing the usual long sleeves and corpo dresses. I really liked that it was more vibrant than that since it was welcoming to different kinds of people.
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St. Mary’s Cathedral
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At 12PM, we finished the city tour at The Rocks, a good view point of the Opera House.

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Spent the afternoon on climbing the Harbor Bridge Pylon. The climb itself was a step back to history since it had history tidbits as you climb the pylon. Reaching the viewing deck at the top was rewarding to the exhausting stair-climb. I had a good top view of Sydney’s harbor. After that, I traversed the bridge.
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Of course, I did not miss out the chance to have a view of the Bridge and Opera House superimposed with each other.

Day 3

My third day in Sydney was about trying to get farther from the Circular Quay/Harbor.

First, I went to Taronga Zoo, a destination to see native wildlife and rare exotic animals. I only had three agenda why I went there: Kangaroo, Koala and Tazmanian Devil!

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Road a boat going to Taronga Zoo!
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The Opera House blends well with the skycrapers of the city!
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The Giraffe would be like.. “What’s up Sydney?”
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Had a close encounter with a Koala! This encounter also cost me a bit much.
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Oh the boats and the city basked on blue and blue. (View from one of the viewing decks in Taronga Zoo)
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Sealed.
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On the way back, still not missing
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You can splurge your money and buy a unit in one of those buildings!
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The transport system of Sydney was quite confusing, but Google maps had a guide which gives somewhat precise timings of the bus schedule.
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On the way to Bondi, passed through Oxford Street which stands as the center of LGBT community in the city.
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Arrived at the Bondi Pavilion! Interesting to see that the flag at the middle is a “diversity” flag.
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The famous beach was well-maintained. You can’t bring food or drinks along the shore.
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As a regular Asian/Filipino, I did not take off my shirt.
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The view from the Pavilion.

In the evening, I met up with College pals based in Sydney!

Day 4

Spent whole day of my 4th Day in Manly Beach with my college pals based in Australia. Did not take that much pictures since we just spent the whole day talking.

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This is Lobs, 1-2 months in Sydney when I visited.
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The Harbor Bridge was just majestic even at night (shot while I was on a moving boat).

Day 5

In the morning, spent the day on ‘shopping’ at Market City. Bought Rayban for half the usual price in PH.

In the afternoon, returned to Bondi but did the famous beach traverse “Coogee to Bondi”. But since I was feeling a bit more exhausted due to the long walks in the morning, I only did the half of it: Bronte Beach to Bondi Beach.

They say you can’t leave Sydney without this traverse. So I reserved it before I leave the place.

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Someone’s breaking up.

How much did I spend?

Though it was a more backpack travel, I did not limit myself much on food. Total of 35K.

  • Flight – 7K (promo flight of CebuPac)
  • Lodging – 6K (1K per night)
  • Daily Food – 15 AUD/meal x 3 meals/day x 35 Php/AUD x 6 days = 9,450 (15 AUD is just to average the 10AUD and 20 AUD meals)
  • Train (Opal Card) – 100 AUD x 35 = 3,500
  • Entrance Fee, Random Food, Random Purchase, Drinks and Coffee – 9K

Where did I stay?

You have two options: Hostel or Airbnb. Both would be relatively cheap, but lodging in Sydney is generally expensive. When getting a place to stay, just consider being near a train station.

I stayed in an Airbnb house.

Tips:

[To be updated]

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