Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sydney , Australia

Hi and welcome all to my blog. When it comes to planning for a travel trip, I find myself to be the most conscientious person in the world for which ill spend countless hours planning in an eclectic way.

My trip from Brisbane to Sydney on 20th Nov - 27th Nov 2007 was filled with activities the most, I didn’t capture many pictures as I didn’t have this zeal to start a blog of my own back then. So anyhow, this is the best that i can begin with. When I travel, my aim is to get hold of as many tourist destinations I can, learn about the people, the history and basically anything of interest.

My friend suggested to purchase the "see Sydney and beyond" card ( which to me was an ultimate money saver. This card comes in different prices, you can get a one day two day or even three day pass. I got the one day pass which costs aud69 for a whole day adventure.

My advice when using this card is to plan your day so you won’t waste money. I managed to use it for six attractions which would have cost me aud197.50. Some of you might not have the chance to visit 6 attractions in one day if you go with a big group. to start with you should go online, look at the offered destinations and plan which attraction interest you the most and see if this card will help you save some $$.


1 » Sydney Opera house tour

To kick-off the day I started with the Sydney opera house tour. The tour costs aud32 for adults, but with the smart visit card its free. I got on the 9.30am tour, since this is the earliest to open amongst the other attraction using the card; I planned not to waste time. I would say this is one of the best value for money tour which lasted for an hour. We entered the performance theater, learn the history, learn the architecture of the building (if you are passionate about architecture and engineering you HAVE to take this tour) and not to forget the chance to snap some pictures inside the building.

TIPS:- if you are using the smart visit card its better to start with this so that you will have more time going to other places.

Opening hours:- 9am – 5pm daily

2 » Jet Cruiser sightseeing ride

This is a sightseeing ride plus some adventure. Without the card, the cost is aud50 per person and during this ride you will get the chance to view those million dollar houses along the river and the harbour bridge side by side with the opera house which is a spectacular view indeed. Don’t forget to bring along your camera to capture the moment.

Tips:- you can depart from circular quay or darling harbour. You don't have to hop off the same station as you departed. this will help you plan your trip better

Phone: (02) 8296 7333
Directions: Wharf 6 of circular quay or pier 26 near the aquarium at             darling harbour
Other Contact:

3 » Pylon lookout

If you think you want to view Sydney from up high and you are on a tight budget, instead of climbing the bridge which will cost around aud100+ you can view Sydney from the pylon. My third stop costs aud9.50 if you are not using the card. I would suggest this place if you visit Sydney as the chance to view Sydney from the pylon it breathtakingly amazing.

Tips:- I had a hard time looking for this place when Its actually a walking distance from circular quay. Ask the people at the information center if you are unsure. It’s really not that far.

4 » Sydney Jet (45 minute adventure)

This ride was replete with excitement. It’s Aud60 and free with the card. If you are looking for something thrilling that keeps your adrenalin pumping and your hair, face and your whole body soaked (Of course you will be provided with a raincoat), than this ride is for you. You will get the chance to pass some of Sydney's icons (harbour bridge, opera house) and If you're lucky you would get a chance to pass by the nudes beach . I was not wearing my contact lenses so I didn’t see anything : )

Tips :- A lady behind me vomited, so carefully choose who sits next to you . This ride is highly in demand, make sure when you purchase the card at the information center near the rocks you ask them to reserve the ride for you or you can even do it yourself by calling this number below.

Phone: (02) 8296 7366
Directions: If you are from circular quay, take a ferry to darling Harbor, stop at the aquarium, and walk for about 4 minutes.

5 » The Aquarium

Once you are done with Sydney jet which is located at Sydney harbour. You should visit Sydney wildlife world or Sydney aquarium which is also located at Sydney harbour. You will have to choose either wildlife or aquarium, I would have gone in both if we were allowed to. I decided to visit the seals and sharks because we were a little late in the evening and the people at the counter said the animal shows are done in the morning, so even if we went in, it wouldn’t be as exciting.

address : - Aquarium Pier, darling harbour
Telephone : (02) 9262 2300
Operating hours : daily 9.00am - 10.00pm

6 » Sydney tower and Oz trek

This was the last stop for the day using the card and my feet are screaming to take a rest. Even the battery for my camera went dead! I should ask you to bring extra batteries if you plan to do what I did.

7 » Round the blue mountain

After our one day fun and adventure using the 'see Sydney ' card. The next day we planned a trip to visit the blue mountain in Katoomba. The train ticket costs aud15.20 from Sydney city central, sorry i cant remember how long the journey was , maybe 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

I took the trolley tour package which costs aud33 inclusive of the hop-on hop-off bus tour, scenic skyway and Railway.

If you are taking the trolley tour, i would suggest you to start as early as possible in the morning, hop on the tour bus, have one whole round of the mountain, then plan where you want to stop on the next round.

This tour has two routes (red) and (blue). The red route covers one big circle of the mountain and the bus will only come to you every hour from each stop ( thats eternity) its worthwhile if you love tracking since this mountain provides many interesting places to track depending on the time you want. some routes offers a 25minutes track while others 45minutes. The second route is the blue route which overlaps the red and from every overlapping route stop you will get a bus every 30 minutes.

The bus service starts at 9.15am and the last bus ends at 4.20. Towards the end, we stopped over the choc factory to have that yummy hot choc drink

8 » Hyde Park Barracks Museum

this one was aud5 for concession and aud10 for adults, Its not a big museum but i did get useful information on the convict system in Australia and the chance to view archeology collection.

9 » Bondi Beach

A beautiful beach but we didnt swimm because it was cold that time of year. if you want, there are a number of shops that you can have a look at.

10 » City

We did a city tour on the fifth day and since we purchased the weekly ticket, we didnt have to worry about transport costs.

11 >> Lakeemba

On my last day, I visited my mom’s friend in lakeemba which is in the green zone so I had to pay aud2.50 for my transport because I’m out of the red zone. Majority Muslims live in lakeemba and that’s where I got to eat Mc Chicken and sundae ice cream from mc Donald’s which I have been craving for ever since I reached Australia .


Getting around Sydney: I bought a weekly ticket which includes traveling on bus, train and ferry and i find it an ultimate money saver. i got the red zone ticket for aud35 which covers mainly all the tourist attractions around Sydney. Even if you need to travel in a different colored zone (like to the blue mountains), inform the ticket master that you have the red zone ticket they would cut around aud2 from the original ticket price. That’s not much but what the heck : )

You can purchase the ticket at the tourist information center at circular quay.

To travel back to my house from Brisbane airport i took Coachtrans Australia which costs me aud12, they drop us down to at the city and we took a bus back home. Instead of paying for the taxi which would cost me aud30 just from the city back home, not from the airport. we thought of taking the train but since we arrived at night, we missed the last train.


Even though it’s nice and sunny in the afternoon but at night it does get a little cold. Bring along your jumper an essential I would say.

I wore my converse shoes to travel for 5 days and it hurts : ).... not a good idea.


Paddy's market: save the best for last

This market has two locations with over 100 stalls. Most of the stalls sells souvenirs, you do get people selling facial products, clothes, electrical appliances, toys etc. you come in empty handed and you will surely come out with something : ).

How much you spend will depend on how shopaholic you are. Me not being one spent around 50aud.

You can take the monorail; it will stop directly in front of the market. Or if you get lost, once again, you can ask the people at the information counter.


1 - kebab at wharf 6

If your main concern is to eat halal food , you can find it here at wharf number 6. Just be careful when you purchase the fries and potato wedges at the same cafe because they fry it with pork. The kebab is at the corner of the shop, not the same owner as the fries.

If that is not your main concern, by all means enjoy all the food : )

2 - Pancakes on the rocks

I didn’t get to try pancakes from this restaurant, but I heard that its a must try when you visit Sydney.

3 - Fish Market

If you are a seafood lover, you have to visit this place. There are restaurants after restaurants selling prawn, lobsters, fish, calamari etc. because we were tired walking around the whole day, when our food was served we found that we have a voracious appetite : ) .

Tips:- They call it a seafood market, me being careful with what I consume asked the sales person if they sell meat, their reply was Kilpatrick oysters are cooked with bacon. They do cook it separately and are willing to change Kilpatrick with other seafood of your choice.

Do add in extra information that i might have missed