3 Days in Sydney

Sydney Opera House

First Impressions

Sydney is a modern city, vibrant, clean and organized, cosmopolitan, with a beautiful architecture, and also an excellent public transport system. Many people walking on the streets, of all ethnicities, speaking several different languages, tourists, executives, beggars, urban athletes, Aboriginal people playing dijeridoo. The geography is also one of the strengths of the city that has lots of water and despite the size has several deserted little beaches, many boats, and many houses with beautiful views.

Day 1 – City Centre

Getting there
Our first day was a bit of a rush, our intention was to take an overview of the city centre and see some sights. We had breakfast, got our day packs and walked to Manly Warf to catch the ferry. There we bought a day tripper ticket which is one day pass for how many trains, busses and ferries you want and costs AUD 16 per person. The ferry from Manly to the City Centre takes around 30 minutes and we spent most of this time watching the beautiful scenery of Sydney.

The Rocks
Our first destination in the Centre was The Rocks, the historic part of the town. There we saw a bit of colonization history and old buildings. It is a very well preserved area.

Opera House
The Opera House is the symbol of the city. It is almost impossible to come to the centre and don’t go through here. It is probably one of the most important architectural projects of the world and certainly the most important of Sydney. The curious thing is that the entire surface covering the Opera is made of ceramic tiles.

Darling Harbour

One harbour after the Circular Quay (Centre) is a place with beautiful gardens and tourist attractions like the Chinese Garden, Wildlife Centre, Sydney Aquarium.

Bondi Beach
Bondi beach is the most accessible for those who live in central Sydney but still not that close. We took a train to Bondi Junction (the train and bus station) and then a bus to Bondi Beach. The beach is beautiful with a few salty water swimming pools but it’s still winter time, the was a strong cold wind and we didn’t spend much time at the beach.

How much (in AUD per person)

  • Day-tripper: $16
  • Fastfood: $7
  • Supermarket the night: $29

Day 2 – Northern Beaches

After a day running around, on the second day we relaxed and spent it enjoying the northern beaches of Sydney.

Morning in Manly
We were two blocks from the beach and it was a super blue sky this day, there was a cold breeze but the sun was warm and enjoyable and there also were some good waves, 4 feet with good formation but not very strong, I spent around 2 hours surfing only for fun. While I was surfing Cris was on the sand enjoying the sun, watching a beach volleyball game, and people passing by.

Tour to Palm Beach in the afternoon
That day Fernanda borrowed us her car and suggested we should go to Palm Beach, a quiet beach in the northern coast. We drove and stopped at each beach, Dee Why, Curl Curl, Avalon and Palm Beach all very beautiful with golden sand and good waves.

How much (in AUD per person)

  • Gasoline: $10
  • Little lunch we prepared at home: $2
  • Ice creams: $3
  • Box with 8 cans of beer: $20
  • Pizza the night: $12 (for both of us including drinks)

Day 3 – Museum

Australian Museum
On the third day we did a cultural programme, we went to the Australian Museum to learn a little more of the history of the country. There we saw an excellent exhibition on the history of Indigenous Australians and European colonization, and there we saw a slightly darker side of colonization and how they dealt for many years with Aboriginal People, so unfair but fortunately heading for reconciliation and harmony. We also saw an exibition about minerals, wildlife and prehistory.

As we exit the museum we decided to walk to Chinatown, which really makes justice to its name. All plates, products, restaurants and people are Chinese, there were people offering us products speaking Chinese everywhere in the streets.

How much (in AUD per person)

  • Day tripper: $16 each
  • Museum Entry: $12 (both – we got a free ticket because we had the day tripper ticket)
  • Fast food: $9 (both)


Leave a comment
  1. CRIS!!! Are you wearing that backpack in front? bad! bad!! don’t be the obvious tourist…

    Anyways, I loved sydney….it was wonderful! I’m glad you had an equally good time there. Isn’t the opera house everything it’s supposed to be!!

    Are you going to Western Australia? You can’t miss it! It’s way better than the east coast!


    • Cris says:
    • 15 September, 2008 at 4:28 am

    @Matt – wearing in front?? Nooo, of course not, where did you see this?
    The Opera House is beautiful, there was a Bossa Nova concert while we were there, but we couldn’t make it. =(
    Yeah, we went to WA, we’ll write about it soon.. but I have to say.. Sydney is still on the top for me.


    • Barbara says:
    • 15 September, 2008 at 7:32 am

    Nossa eu adorava passear por Darling harbor, e tb ir pra piscina de bondi no verão, aii que saudades!
    aproveitem muito sydney e nao esqueçam de conhecer a vida noturna da cidade, vale a pena.


    • Cam says:
    • 15 September, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Looks like an amazing trip so far, It was great to read a post first thing Monday morning.

    Felipe, surfing in warm water must have been a welcome change from Lyall Bay..

    Cris, I know I’ve asked you a million and four times but who did you get your insurance through?


    • Cris says:
    • 15 September, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    @Barbara – Sydney foi super legal mesmo, pena que já acabou.. saímos um pouquinho à noite, mas nada muito pesado, tínhamos pouco tempo e queríamos aproveitar mais o dia mesmo.

    @Cam – the water in Australia is very cold too… you still need a good wetsuit, and it’s still winter time! But here in Bali the water is awesome. 😀
    We are insured with World Nomads, and we did the whole process online.


    • Camilo says:
    • 24 September, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Sydney é realmente incrivel. vi em um dos comentarios q vcs tinham q experimentar a vida noturna. Alias, isto foi algo q me chamou muito a atencao. Além de ter opcoes de bares para todos os gostos ainda tem 4 ou 5 bons shows todas as noites. Este acaba sendo o meu maior medo em relacao a Sydney… acho q nao sobreviveria muito tempo indo a gigs todas as noites 😛 E como vcs sabem sou meio maluco mesmo…
    Saudade de vcs. Grande bjo e abraço.
    Ahhh, acabo de chegar de 1 semana viajando com a minha coroa, para variar lembrei de ti quando cheguei em fiordland. Cris, caso nao saiba a primeira imagem tua q eu vi foi de uma foto tua lá. 😛


    • Bianca says:
    • 23 May, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Olá! Muito legal essas dicas! Gostaria de saber quanto tempo demora de carro de Manly até Palm Beach, estou querendo fazer esse mesmo trajeto que você escreveu! Obrigada!


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