Sydney : the First Day

I landed in Australia on November 18th, 2016, in the famous Kingsford-Smith airport in Sydney. I stayed there about 10 days to get used to the heat and get over the jet-lag, before moving to Melbourne. But I can’t just talk about my life in Australia without mentioning my first ever day in Sydney. I got to do so many new and different things in just a few hours, it was so crazy it is to this day still one of my best days ever (yes I do have a list). Here’s what happened.

The Queen Victoria Building

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Queen Victoria Building

We got off the train at Town Hall and the very crowded George St. around 11 in the morning. I was ecstatic and ready to see and breath everything around. But everything just looked so different yet so close to what I knew. I honestly find Sydney to kinda be a sunnier version of London. (To me, some places in the city look just like most buildings around London and the UK. But like, with the more heat! It was really funny. So we went to the obvious Queen Victoria Building, or QVB. It’s one of the most beautiful shopping mall in the world, or so they say! It is indeed really beautiful and worth checking out, even if you cannot afford any of the things they sell hahaha.

When we arrived on Martin Place, I got to see the navy corp playing Waltzing Matilda. This was definitely the best welcome I could get to Australia!

The Rocks

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We walked along all the way to the Rocks, where i got to learn a bit about the history of the place.

The Rocks is one of the very first settlement of Sydney and was formed in 1788. It was mainly populated by aboriginals at first, and ended up being a pretty poor area. Parts of it got destroyed after a plague out-break, as well as to help building the Harbour Bridge!
In the 70’s, a group of people known as the Rocks Residents Group fought to keep alive what was left of it, and it is now starting to be gentrified, as it’s been kind of a victim of its popularity with tourists and locals.

After such a walk it was time for refreshments so we went to a bar on Argyle St called The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel and is an awesome place. First of all the food is good. I had wedges and they were really good. They also have a variety of craft beers. But mostly it’s the oldest pub in Sydney and has been built when Sydney got founded, by the convicts, and has been left the same since. You can still see on the walls the marks done by the convicts.

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Sydney Observatory

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Sydney Harbour

It’s a short walk from the pub up to the Sydney Observatory and has wonderful panoramic view of the harbour. You can also visit the Observatory, there is a museum. But if you’re on a budget the view is free and definitely worth it. It will give you a different view of the Harbour Bridge, and you can see around Miller’s Point and Barangaroo.
I loved the view and we sat there for a while, getting our breath back after the walk and taking in the sights.

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Millers Point

From the Observatory you can walk down to Millers Point, another historic part of Sydney much like the Rocks, but a bit more “recent”. It’s full of beautiful historic homes and close to the Barangaroo Reserve. The awesome view of the harbour is sadly going to change as they are building a huge casino in between Millers Point and the harbour. I guess we’ll see how that goes but it will definitely change the area! In the meanwhile it’s definitely worth taking a stroll around to admire all the pretty houses.

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Circular Quay and the Sydney Opera House

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We then kept walking around the Rocks, went under the Harbour Bridge, and eventually found our way to Circular Quay. That’s where I saw the Opera House “in real life” for the first time and honestly, as cliché as it may sounds, only then I started realising that yes I was finally in Australia ! I’ve dreamt six years of that trip. So you understand how overwhelmed I was when finally landing haha. Also, let’s be honest, jet-lag messed me up quite much the first day !! (and the two or six that followed hahaha).

Circular Quay is the place to go to take any ferry around the harbour. The ferries are super cute boats and you can board them with the Opal cards. Prices vary depending on where you are going, of course.

Other than that there is a lot to enjoy around there! The Opera House is obviously the main attraction, you can visit, and there is also a restaurant inside. Outside you can find the Sydney Botanic Gardens, as well as plenty of shops and restaurants, and the train station (that also as a view of the harbour worth checking out).

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Sydney Harbour Bridge

All of this walk took a good part of our day so we walked back to George Street from the Opera and called it a day (for the visit part at least). I definitely did enjoy that day a lot! As much as I don’t really like Sydney, it is still a very pretty city with a lot of secrets to discover as you go. But those places are definitely the most important to check out as far as Sydney goes, with a couple more but you can’t just walk there. If you don’t have much time or money to enjoy Sydney but still want to grasp its beauty it is a perfect walk to do.

Check out my portfolios for more photos of Sydney ! 😉

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