For years, I was dreaming about travelling to Australia to explore its vast landscapes and different lifestyles. This is my Sydney photo diary from the first week of my stay.
During the first week of my two-months solo trip around Australia, I walked the streets, went on coastal walks, waited for the sunset at Circular Quay or on some of Sydney’s best beaches.
Sydney Photo Diary – Beaches, Cafes and so Much More…
I always try my best to experience a place like a local, to see it through their eyes and to understand what it is to live there.
Sydney has many suburbs and they all have their own atmosphere and lifestyle. Manly is laid-back and feels like a summer holiday resort. While CBD is the business heart of the city but also the place where the suits mix with tourists from all over the world. Balmain is chic and colourful and Alexandria is peaceful but very close to the city centre.
Best Coffee in Sydney: Haven Specialty Coffee
Also known as Haven tailoring coffee joyously was one of my coffee-snob finds. Located next to the Central Station, it is one of the best places to have a well-brewed coffee and a delicious meal. It is also loved for its social, young vibe. In general, Australia’s cafes offer great coffee.MY TIP: Wherever you travel, search in Google for ‘best coffee’ in the area to find the ones that will not disappoint you.
Sydney in Pictures: Terrace Houses
On the first day of my arrival, Sydney’s terrace houses captivated my attention. These are tiny detached houses built in an early Georgian style. They are a popular home option because of their central location. Some feature abundant jungle-style front gardens while others look abandoned. The filigree wrought-iron balconies are the main feature that makes these houses so beautiful.
The best collection of terrace houses in Sydney is in Paddington.
The Royal Botanical Gardens are one of the top tourist attractions and one of the best place for locals to have a picnic lunch break.
In the middle of the tropical flowers, I found a beautiful statue. So simple and yet so powerful. The name is ‘I wish’ and the author is the Czechoslovakian-born artist Arthur Fleischmann.
Aussies have a terrific sense of humour! You meet all the time people on the streets joking with each other. But what I love the most in Aussie people is the ability to see the funny side of everything. It is even in the marketing messages. Here is an example on a brown sugar packet.
Christmas in Australia
Christmas in Australia is … summer. Christmas decoration in Sydney is somewhat invisible. It just lacks the contrast between the sheeny garlands and the white snow. It doesn’t feel much festive, at least to a European like me. The Aussie way to celebrate Christmas is different. Go to the beach and have a barbeque! Who needs the cold anyway?!
In the Heart of Sydney
Circular Quay, the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House that form a sort of triangle, are the very heart of Sydney. It is also the busiest of all Sydney localities. During that week, I saw some of the biggest cruise ships on dock. The ferries connecting Circular Quay with Manly are also a large part of the public transport system of Sydney.
The nickname of Sydney’s Harbour Bridge is The Coathanger. I find that the Coathanger is the most photogenic bridge in the world! It frames the landscape between Sydney’s Central Business District and the North Shore. It looks amazing from all angles and it is an integral part of the best known New Year’s fireworks in the world. I joined one-million others in the celebration of New Year’s Eve and although I hate crowds, it was a wonderful experience. Next time though, I will either attend the Opera Gala or get on board of an all-inclusive cruise boat. As I enviously observed last time, they had the best vantage point!
Finger Wharf is one of the emblematic buildings in Sydney. Today, it houses a hotel, restaurants and cafes plus residential apartments. Historically, it was the staging point for troops deployed during World War II as well as the disembarking point for the new immigrants arriving in Australia. In that particular hot summer day, it was a great pleasure to walk around the sculptures, part of an exhibition inside the Wharf, and to have a light lunch under the ceiling fans.
Sydney has plenty of beaches and they all are different. On many, you will see varied in colours and forms rock formations. On some beaches, the rocks look like a rusted iron sheet. You can’t make the difference! On others, these formations look (or maybe are) the fossils of marine forms that lived millions of years ago.
Bush and Coastal Walks in Sydney
As many are the beaches around Sydney, so are the bush and coastal walks.
I spent one day walking from Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach. Its well-marked path takes you through abundant vegetation. The trees are so tall and beautiful that you will find yourself admiring their artwork-like barks at each step. This walk gives shows off some of the best views of the Harbour Bridge.
At the end of the walk, I met my first Australian snake. It was non-venomous (as boards along the path informed us), green snake and like most of these creatures here, it hid quickly in the bushes when we approached.FUN FACT: Many of the Australian living in the cities never have seen a snake!
It has been just one week since I arrived in Sydney but I already have my favourite spots in the city. Tonight, another of the must-dos will be checked off my bucket list. The Harbour Bridge will be lightened up by the most famous New Year’s Eve fireworks in the world as it was since 1996.
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