Our first stop in Australia is Sydney and I’m so excited to be back. Our home away from home, Fred. Olsen Cruise Line’s Black Watch, arrived into Sydney in the early morning hours before we awoke. We docked at White Bay Cruise Terminal around 6:45 am and that made our arrival official.
Preparing for Our Day in Sydney Australia
After getting dressed and ready for the day, Danielle and I made our way to Glentaner Restaurant on deck 6 for a quick breakfast. Since we were going to have to pass through immigration and customs in the port, tour guests were permitted off the ship first. Then each deck was sent down. First starboard side or odd numbered cabins followed by port side or even numbered cabins. The lines were long but they did move fairly fast and soon we were out and looking for our ferry. Unfortunately we only had a day here, we’d love to have found some good sydney cbd accommodation deals and settled down for a week or so, but our ship was sailing and we couldn’t miss it!
Taking the Ferry Into Sydney
Now why a ferry? On previous trips to Sydney, I docked at the Overseas Passenger Terminal right in the CBD. This time, however, was different as we were now at White Bay Cruise Terminal, which is far outside the city.
The ferry was only a few minutes walk from the cruise terminal with scheduled departures every 30 minutes.
We had just missed the last one and the next one arrived late but what could we do?
While there were a few different boats used for the ferry service, all were clean and easy to use. The ride over was less than ten minutes total.
After the quick ferry boat ride, we finally arrived at King Street Wharf. From there we walked over to Darling Harbour to collect our Big Bus hop on, hop off tickets that we were planning to use day 2 of our stay in Sydney. Then I turned on my Tep Wireless device so I could navigate with Google Maps over to Circular Quay.
Once we got to George Street, I recognized where I was and was able to navigate the short walk over.
I was excited to see Danielle’s expression when she first caught a glimpse of the Sydney Opera House. The first time I saw it, it reminded me of seeing the Grand Canyon. It was something I had always wanted to see, but was far better in person than any pic or video could ever capture. She thought it was smaller than she expected. Crazy girl!
We walked along the water and took pics of Sydney Harbour including Cunard Queen Elizabeth and Sydney Harbour Bridge.
And, of course, we also needed to do a few selfies.
Several photos later and we were now walking up to The Rocks. On the weekends this area is filled with all kinds of vendors selling goods, but we were here during the week so that wasn’t happening unfortunately.
Instead, we looked for other places to shop inside at The Rocks like Spirit Gallery. That meant a morning full of shopping complete with boomerangs, jewelry, t-shirts, and more.
Lunch at The Ship Inn
Our next stop was lunch at the Ship Inn. The past two times I’ve visited Sydney, I’ve walked right past this place and yet, I’ve never entered it.
Danielle noticed they had pizza and salads and it seemed like a perfect place for lunch. For her lunch, Danielle ordered a chicken pizza with spicy peppers (capsicum) and caramelized onions but without the chicken or the capsicum and extra mozzarella.
I ordered a pizza with pumpkin, arugula (rocket), pine nuts but no cheese. We were so hungry we were head down in our food and devouring pizza with very little to say to one another.
Off to Bondi Beach
After lunch we had planned on utilizing the Big Bus Hop On, Hop Off passes to get from Circular Quay to Bondi Beach. But after careful consideration, we decided it was easier to get an Uber and get directly to the beach instead of going on the bus for maybe an hour each way. In the end it cost us about $20 AUS each way so I say it was well worth it.
As soon as we got to Bondi Beach, I knew we made the right decision. The sun was hot, the view was spectacular, and I couldn’t wait to dip my toes in the water and the pristine sandy beach.
People were sunbathing, swimming, and surfing and I so wanted to join them. Danielle was insistent that there were sharks in the water, but with lifeguards nearby, I knew it was safe for sure.
We walked along the beach, took some pics and videos, and then walked back up to the boardwalk.
Here we saw a few street artists completing their own artwork among the murals. The art was pretty incredible and it even made me stop and have my pic taken in front of one that looks like my mandala tattoo.
Bondi Beach Shopping
Our next stop was shopping, of course. I definitely wanted a Bondi Beach t-shirt and I ended up with a super soft pink tank. I’m thinking ahead to future ports of call like India when I’m melting like cheese (as Putu in the Lido Bar said I would). Danielle and I also stopped at a convenience store where I picked up some Tim Tams to take home and a souvenir store to see if we could find anything good.
Finally, the heat was getting to us so we decided to get an Uber back to King’s Wharf so we could get the ferry back to the ship. Along the way we ran into a friend, stopped for a few drinks, and then climbed back on the ferry to Black Watch.
A quick shower, clean clothes, and fresh hair and makeup and we were ready for a night out in Sydney. It was a beautiful night to be out and we enjoyed meeting new people and checking out the Sydney nightlife. But for the fact that our Uber wasn’t allowed in the port and we had to walk from the gate to the terminal at White Bay Cruise Terminal on our own, it was a really good night. Oh and we hadn’t eaten any dinner but for a bag of crisps each, which really wasn’t good for either of us, but that’s what you do when you wing it.
Day Two In Sydney Australia
Wednesday, 28 February 2018 was our second day in Sydney and we wanted to back out there again. We missed breakfast and decided we would try to grab food upon arrival at King’s Wharf. However, with a vegan in tow, finding suitable food for two hungry people isn’t always easy. We walked along Darling Harbour and couldn’t find anything. We decided to retrace our steps from the day before to Circular Quay as we had passed many restaurants along the way.
After walking and checking out menu after menu, Danielle and I both felt like we were going to pass out. But then we stumbled upon the MetCentre on George Street and the most wonderful food court. Can you believe Danielle and I agreed on the same place? We both chose Mad Mex for lunch and it was so good, fresh, and tasty. I had three soft corn tortillas with veggies and black beans, pico de gallo, and guacamole (no sour cream or cheese) and a watermelon Jarritos soda. We sat across from a Vietnamese restaurant and I so wanted to order the tofu bao, but just didn’t have any room left.
More Shopping in Sydney
After lunch we wandered around the MetCentre as I was in search of a new pair of jeans. We stopped in one store and I tried two pairs on. The first was a pair of high waisted jeans that pretty much came up to my boobs so they were a no go. The second pair were a pair of boyfriend jeans much like the pair I had on so I liked them. But they were cut strangely as the calves were super tight so back they went as well.
Danielle and I decided to walk over to Birdcage Alley, somewhere she had discovered online. It’s on Angel Place and it’s an art installation of 50 birdcages with piped in bird sounds of birds that are no longer around. Guess it’s a reminder of what once was so if you get to visit “Forgotten Songs,” it’s well worth a visit.
Even More Shopping in Sydney
A little more souvenir shopping and then Danielle and I decided it was time to consider catching the ferry back to the ship. We stopped at the Sea Life Center store in Darling Harbour where I couldn’t resist another purchase. There was a pair of black and blue Australia flip flops I just had to have. Danielle picked up a few things and shortly thereafter we were back on the ferry to the ship.
Back On Board Black Watch
Once on the ship, we had a few hours to prepare for our sailaway out of Sydney. I decided to try using the time lapse feature on my new GoPro Hero5 Black. I set it for 1080p and every 10 seconds.
TSG Tip: Always test out new features in advance. Or you will be so disappointed you won’t stand yourself.
We headed up to deck 8 to stake out our share of the railing and to attach our gorilla pods to them. Then we waited for the ship to move. I turned the GoPro on, turned on my iPhone and prepared for sailaway.
My iPhone hasn’t backed up since I left the US and it’s now telling me regularly it has no more disk space. So much for talking pics or video on my phone. After sailaway I excitedly checked the GoPro to see I had all of three second video for over a half hour of footage. Aargh. Hoping I can stretch it out once I get home and put it on my desktop.
But luckily someone named Mrs. T captured the entire sailaway on the Sydney webcam. Here you can see the beautiful Black Watch in all her glory in Sydney Harbour.
And that’s all she wrote from Sydney. It was a wonderful two days and I really enjoyed my time with my BFF, Danielle, and just being back in Australia. Next post of call is Brisbane so stay tuned!
Have you visited Sydney? Can you suggest other destinations in Australia that you found equally exciting? Leave your comments below. Discover some other great destinations and travel ideas here on the Travel Shop Girl website.
On my new SPONTANEOUS TRAVEL SCALE of 1-5, with 1 being super easy and spontaneous and 5 being you better plan far in advance, Sydney scores a 1 for spontaneous travel since it’s open easy to navigate, the people are amazing, and there’s always something to do.
While Demon Doll Clothing provided me with samples, as always all opinions and photographs, unless otherwise noted, are my own.