We finally made it to Australia!
This was our mostly unplanned itinerary for our recent trip to Melbourne and Sydney, as our main aim was to visit our friends in the 2 cities.
Each day, we would google for what looked interesting. Some days, a spur-of-the-moment thought or a sudden craving might make us decide to walk 30 minutes to go in search of it.
The weather in Sydney was way better than in Melbourne where daily temperatures could go up to 22 degrees. We didn’t have to wear our thick jackets at all in Sydney.
Our serviced apartment at Meriton Serviced Apartment Campbell was also way better than the Airbnb in Melbourne but of course, it cost a lot more too. 🙂 We do highly recommend it if your budget allows. 🙂
Day 9 (16 Aug 2016 Tue) – Flight VA849 took off at 2pm from Melbourne and reached Sydney at 3:25pm, bought Opal Cards and took a train to Central Station and walked to serviced apartment, chillax in our serviced apartment, dinner at Chat Thai, drinks at My Sweet Memory.
Day 10 (17 Aug 2016 Wed) – Pre-breakfast at Harry’s Cafe de Wheels, breakfast at Paramount Coffee Project, roamed around CBD, early lunch at Sydney Pork Roll, caught Aladdin musical, snack at Huang Taiji, dinner at friend’s place (take out from Sofrito).
Day 11 (18 Aug 2016 Thu) – Grabbed a cup of matcha latte from Cafe Cre Asion, breakfast at Joe Black Cafe, joined the 10am I’m Free Walking Day Tour, lunch at Fratelli Fresh, tea break at La Renaissance , checked out Queen Victoria Building (QVB), Apple Store, chillax in serviced apartment, dinner at Sydney Madang Korean BBQ Restaurant.
Day 12 (19 Aug 2016 Fri) – Grabbed a cup of latte from Workshop Expresso, strolled to The Rocks Friday Foodie Market, had Pancakes on the Rocks for pre-lunch, met friends at Sydney Fish Market, coffee and cronut at Brewtown Newtown, went to Paddy’s Market, went for 6pm I’m Free Walking Night Tour at The Rocks, dinner at The Orient, explored Circular Quay and Sydney Opera House, and witnessed Pokemon craze 😮
Day 13 (20 Aug 2016 Sat) – Grabbed a cup of skinny latte from Edition Coffee Roasters, breakfast at bills, strolled to Paddington Markets, dim sum lunch at Marigold Restaurant, quick look at Chinatown and tried ONE piece of Emperor’s Puff, strolled to Glebe Markets, coffee at Well Co. Cafe, Tim Tam shopping, dinner at Pho Pasteur.
Day 14 (21 Aug 2016 Sun) – Ferry to Manly, breakfast at The Pantry Manly, strolled along Manly beach, visited Manly weekend markets, ferry back and checked out The Rocks Weekend Market, grabbed a bite at Baker’s Oven, walked to Sydney Fish Market for late lunch, coffee at Deus, dinner at friend’s place.
Day 15 (22 Aug 2016 Mon) – Checked out of our cozy apartment, breakfast at CJ’s Central, train to Sydney Airport, flight SQ232 departed at 11am and we reached Changi Airport around 5:20pm.
- If you are holding a Singapore passport or one of the countries with e-passport, use the Smartgates instead.
- Note that on weekdays, 7am to 9am & 4pm to 6.30pm is considered peak period for Sydney Train stations, while 6am to 8am & 4pm to 6.30pm is considered peak period for NSW TrainLink Stations. Fares are more expensive during peak period. Get the Opal card (it’s free!), and top-ups can be done in multiples of A$10 at train stations or convenience stores.
- In Sydney, excluding trains to and from the airport, there is a cap of A$2.50 on Sundays when you use Opal card for public transport, provided you tap on and off correctly. This includes the ferry ride to Manly (not the fast ferry, and there is no need to tap off for the ferry).
- It is a complicated process requiring an Australian bank account number for refund of both myki and Opal cards. So plan your trips carefully to minimize the amount of stored value at the end of the trip. Or you can try to sell/give them to the other travellers at the end of your trip.
- Try to do the free walking tours as early as possible, for they give a great overview, and help you get yourself familiarize with the cities and history. We did 1 in Melbourne, and 2 different ones in Sydney by the same company. We would make return trips to certain places that we found interesting, but did not have sufficient time to look at them in details or take photos during the tours. They work on tips basis, so do remember to tip them at the end of the trip.
- Drinks seem to be more expensive in Melbourne, with coffee usually costing at least A$4 in cafes, while coffee in Sydney cafes starts from around A$3.50. There were a lot of good coffee places in Melbourne, and they usually sell chocolate and chai tea drinks as well, while we found that there were more non-coffee alternatives in Sydney. All places that we went to, serve tap water free of charge.