Goodbye UK and hello Australia! One of the (only) perks of having parents who live on the other side of the world is having the opportunity to take some time out and travel 32 hours (hello mental breakdown) to hang out with them for a while.
My parents are based in Brisbane and my big bro in Sydney so, we all flew down there after landing in Brisbane.
A couple of close friends of mine also live in Sydney too. There’s a lot to be said for having friends who live in another city - you get that a more authentic experience (shouts to anyone who can come up with a less dickish way of saying that), which can include however many or few tourists attractions you like, beaches that are more beautiful and less crowded and bars where every other person isn’t on a gap year.
I whittled my week long stay down to some of my favourites that will fill a solid 72 hours in the city, all shot on my Huawei Nexus 6P - with a 12.3mp lens that's built to shoot beautiful photos in even dismal lighting, there was no need for a DSLR.
What better way to start your time somewhere than taking it all in, 134 metres up.
Kitted in a grey and blue jumpsuit, which to be honest wouldn’t look out of place hanging in my wardrobe, and attached to the bridge with a harness, you walk along the catwalks of the bridge.
With nothing but a metal gauge between you and the river below, this was probably the bit I found the most ropey. Obviously, there’s no need to look down while you ascend to the top but what would be the fun in that?
After what seems like no time at all, and having fought off any vertigo or visions of slipping through imaginary cracks, you’re at the top and any fears are suddenly forgotten as you take in the sights of Sydney.
It turns out that a couple got married on the arch of Harbour Bridge on May 4th last year. I pictured a bride trying to keep her balance climbing the bridge. How did they attach her harness? What shoes did she wear? Our guide then told us they were both dressed in bridge climb jumpsuits and that was that - all of my ridiculous questions were put to rest.
What goes up must come down and after a quick photoshoot at the top, we began our descent.
The bridge climb was one of the most best tourist attractions I’ve encountered to date. There’s something very fulfilling about having to climb your way to the top.
1pm | Micky’s Cafe, 288 Oxford St, Paddington
I worked up quite the appetite on the bridge climb and an appetite is exactly what you need when heading to Micky’s.
The food in this place is so good that within a few days, Sophie and I were back for a second round.
The menu offers up such a huge variety of food. You can eat clean - there’s the option of huge, healthy salads and smoothies - or as dirty - think meaty burgers, thick chips and even thicker of shakes - as you like. Both times we were too busy eating to take any decent photos of what
My first visit was with a few friends and we shared some small plates, chips and guac with salsa and bruschetta in a booth. I had a malteaser thick shake and the girls had lychee frappes. The ingredients made all of the difference - what could have tasted like any other burger joint left us all feeling fit to burst but in the best way possible. To explain it simply, when food is made of shit, you feel like shit and this is anything but the case with Mickey’s.
3pm | Paddington & Oxford Street
While in the vicinity, it makes sense to check out the shops that Paddington has to offer. Incu and Parlour X hold labels such as T by Alexander Wang, Celine, Chloe and many many more. Much to my dismay, my bank balance is missing a few too many 00s to be able to properly enjoy it though, obviously.
If you head down to Oxford Street, you’ll find a variety of vintage shops and independent boutiques that are full of handmade gems and revived designer labels. It’s a little easier on the wallet too.
If you head past Opera bar and down the side of the Opera House, you’ll find yourself at the Summer Playground, a bar located in Sicily by the Italian rivera. Kidding.However, along the Western Broadwalk, there is a beautiful pop up bar, which has been inspired the Italian Riviera, drinks and food and scenery alike - a few glasses away from the crowds with some spectacular views of the Harbour Bridge. Go on then.
Sophie and I were invited down by the Sydney Opera House to do just that. We sipped back Moet in the Playground before heading in to watch the a showing of Blanc de Blanc, the Opera House’s new vintage, glamour cabaret.
Without giving too much away, acts caused many mouths to drop to floors. It was wonderfully wacky and completely distasteful in the best way possible. Would I go and see it again? Absolutely.
An hour and a half away from Sydney, you’ll find the Blue Mountains. Hour long trails up and down the mountainous region offer up idyllic and breathtaking views.
We walked the trail down the Three Sisters, a group of three rocks that stand tall solitarily together, where you can cross a bridge to a small cove formed in one of the sisters. There were certainly some shaky legs and everyone seemed to lose it a little bit walking down but if you ever get the chance, you’ll soon understand why.
We headed for lunch in a neighbouring town and then to chase some waterfalls.
All in all, the Blue Mountains are well worth a trip out of Sydney - especially if you’re a bit of a nut job like Amy and I were and claimed over some barriers because #instaopportunities, am I right?
Where do I even begin with Mr Wong. From a local rugby team causing a stir on the first floor to the mouth-wateringly delicious ducks hanging/cooking in a glass window of the open kitchen to the feeling of utter gluttonous satisfaction as we rolled home to bed, this place was is everything and more.
We had dumplings to start, aromatic duck to start again and for mains we ordered a variety of vegetable dishes such as garlic broccoli, chow mien, aubergine that had been fried in a thin batter, some delicious mushroom thing, etc.
I’d been told there was fried ice cream on the menu for dessert. having never eaten such a thing, I wasn’t about to let such the small inconvenience of being fit to burst stop me.
The friend ice cream ball looked like what I imagine a dinosaur egg would look like - absolutely fucking huge. A few mouthfuls of deep fried, battery ice cream and it was time to tap out.
Mr Wong, you are my hero.
As fun as Bondi seems, I’d really rather spend a day on one of Sydney’s less crowded and more beautiful beaches such as Balmoral. Soph did one better than that though, of course. She suggested Palm Beach, which you can find an hour north of Sydney.
Call me anti-social but there’s nothing I enjoy more than an empty beach. Bar the two of us, who were mainly prancing around taking photos for my holiday fitness post, there were about three other people i.e., my dream situation.
I don’t know what your dreams contain and as I’m sure you haven’t realised yet (lol, jk), good food is a constant occurrence of mine.
On the side of the beach, the Beach House stands on stilts that back into the ocean with a small pier at the back. It was one of those places you’d see on a postcard, if you know what I mean.
My only fault with the Beach House was stumbled upon our arrival. The menu board is to the right and found to the left was a long-arse queue where you had to decide what you want and then head to find a table.
I hate bloody queuing - how very unBritish of me - and especially queuing for food with the pressure of having to decide what I want to eat while doing so.
Anyway. The smoked salmon and quinoa salad was the bomb. Each mouthful was an explosion of flavours. Being us, we obviously ordered hot chips - that’s what they call them here FYI and you’ll do so to if you don’t want to unexpectedly be served a bowl of crips.They were the sort of chips that were so chunky and lightly fried that somehow we convinced ourselves they seemed relatively healthy. A win some, win some situation tbh.
Moonlight cinema in Sydney is open from December until March, showing cult classics, new releases and advance screenings.
We were invited down to see an advance screening of Sisters but unfortunately for us, it happened to be on one of those few days of summer where it decides to piss it down and our screening was cancelled.
Luckily for me, I'm heading back to Sydney for a few days before I come back to the UK so I'll get a chance to head and see Star Wars next Friday.