Australia March-April 2016 Trip Report, Part 2 - More Sydney

Hello everyone,

In part one of my Australia trip report I shared with you Jon and I's experiences around the main downtown core of Sydney, our hotels, the airport and Luna Park. In this next part I am going to tell you about our adventures further afield (but still within the Sydney area), including Bondi Beach and Manly.

On one of the days we were in Sydney we started the day by taking a bus out to a place called Coogee, which is on the coast. In my previous part I talked briefly about the public transportation in Sydney, and I'll add to my positive review of that, by stating here that it was really very easy for us to get the bus out to Coogee.

Once we arrived in Coogee, we got breakfast at a cafe on the corner of the street near the beachfront, called Little Jack Horner. As with all our food experiences in Australia, it was really very good.

The plan from here was to take the Coogee to Bondi Walk, which is a well known coastal walking trail that runs for approximately 6km up to Bondi Beach.

There were some stunning views along the way, which I'm going to share in the photos below.

A little more of Coogee beach:

Some views along the trail after Coogee:

Gordons Bay:

A big spider we saw after Gordons Bay!

More along the walk:

Clovelley Beach:

More along the coastal walk:

Bronte Beach:

More along the walk, before arriving at Bondi Beach, including some amazing rock formations:

Finally we arrived at the world famous Bondi Beach! The walk was amazing, and took us about two hours. The views were stunning, and the weather was perfect.

We grabbed a light lunch at a place called San Churro, which seems to be a small chain in Australia. Again, it was really good food.

There was a lot of street art, which, as we found out, was legal and monitored by the city. I thought this one was especially funny:

After lunch we took the bus from Bondi Beach up to Watsons Bay and the Hornby Lighthouse. It started to get overcast in the late afternoon, but it was still really warm, and we enjoyed walking around taking photos.

On a separate day in Sydney we took the ferry out to a place on the other side of the harbour, called Manly. Really, there wasn't much there, but it was another place to see, to say we've been there.

Now I want to share some other random things that I saw while in Sydney, that didn't really fit into the categories above or in my previous report.

First of all, some random buildings that I thought were neat looking.

Sydney are really hot on litter dropping, and there were many signs about it all around the city, including these, which I thought were hilarious (I think you have to be British or Australian to really appreciate the meaning here):

Along similar lines, in Manly we saw this sign, which, while a little gross, was a smart idea:

This crushed car was in the middle of a roundabout near the Sydney Observatory:

We checked out Starbucks, and ended up buying a few exclusive Starbucks Australia items. I took these photos of the exclusive mugs:

I am a fan of the Hard Rock Cafe, and always check out the store whenever we see one. The Sydney location had some exclusive pins, which made me happy. The sign in the window was particularly funny:

While wandering around one day, I spotted this billboard, advertising the arrival of the Disney's Aladdin Broadway musical, coming in August this year to Sydney.

While walking around the city, we found a hotel called the Shark Hotel, which made me chuckle. We also found a comic book store, which, of course, we looked around in. One of Sydney's museums had a LEGO exhibit while we were there, but we didn't have time to go see it, sadly. There were also some really funny ATMs - branded GAYTMs, which were in support of the LGBT community, by one of Australia's major banks, ANZ.

Australia has its own Target stores, and while this might not come as too much of a shock, since many American brands are international now, I want anyone who knows Target to really look at the photo below. Now, at a glance and first thought, you would think it is the same company as the US, right? Well, it isn't. They aren't owned or operated by the same companies at all, and they never have been! What is even stranger is that they both share similarities beyond just the logo and name. Target Australia, like in the US, sells toys, clothes, housewares and more. It was quite a surreal experience!

Food is a really important part of any trip we go on (you may have gathered that already!), and being vegetarian we are always worried about the challenges we may face when travelling overseas. Australia really surprised us though, and I mean in a really big way. Not that I had a negative view before having even visited, but I just didn't expect to find what we ultimately ended up finding while there. Nearly everywhere in Australia is super vegetarian friendly. We had no problem at all finding something very good and substantial to eat at practically any outlet, even when driving through the more wild parts on our road trip (as you'll discover in later parts of my report).

In Sydney there are a couple of places that I want to specifically mention.

Caffe Tiamo was a good, affordable place - very friendly with some great breakfast and dinner options. We ended up there twice!

Mother Chu's Vegetarian Kitchen I think speaks for itself. An Asian based vegetarian restaurant, which, if we had found on our first night there, we may have gone to every day we were in the city! Again, food was excellent and the service was great.

Finally for food, on our last night we found somewhere a little more "up scale", just to treat ourselves, called Baia, in Darling Harbour. In reality, it didn't end up costing very much because they had a before-7pm "sunset" menu that included 3 courses and a drink for only AUS$30 per person, which really wasn't bad at all.

After our meal at Baia, we managed to time it perfectly, and walked outside to get a space for the fireworks, which happen every Saturday night in Darling Harbour. A perfect end to a perfect visit!

That's all for this part. In my next part I'll be sharing our adventures from our epic road trip up the east coast of Australia!

Have a great day everyone,