Traveling to Australia – Qantas A380
Park Hyatt Sydney
Sydney – Spice I Am, Watsons Bay, Manly Beach, Cafe Paci
Sydney – The Opera House Black Star Bakery, The Rocks, Sake
Emirates Wolgan Valley – Part One
Emirates Wolgan Valley – Part Two
Kangaroo Island – Southern Ocean Lodge, Part One
Kangaroo Island – Southern Ocean Lodge, Part Two
After our first day and a half in Sydney exploring suburbs such as Manly Beach and Watsons Bay, Mr. Feather and I decided to venture a little closer to our “home”, starting with the Sydney Opera House, which we had the pleasure of looking out at each morning. We decided to take a tour of the building, which we’d highly recommend.
Arriving in front of the Opera House – I was very amused by these “Walk” signs for reason, maybe because I’m an immature American.
From afar, the Opera House looks white – but as we got closer, we realized it was actually a combination of cream/ecru type tones. While we were on our tour, this was confirmed by our (fascinating!) guide.
Photos were banned on our tour, but Mr. Feather snuck in a few. I loved learning about the Opera House – both about its history and all of the different materials and woods used for the interior. It must be such an amazing feeling to be able to perform here. We were able to peek in on a Sydney Symphony rehearsal, and you felt privileged to be able to stand there in such a small group and listen to great music.
After our Opera House tour, it was time for a snack. So we hopped on the metro and headed to our next destination – the suburb of Newton. Isn’t the Circular Quay station so picturesque? I thought that the background almost looked fake, it was so “perfect”.
What was in Newton? Food of course – specifically, Black Star Pastry.
I had heard of Black Star Pastry from a local friend and after seeing some photos of their famous cakes and savory pies, I knew we had to go. When we arrived, there was a long line and rain, but I was undeterred. Actually while we were waiting in line, I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around to a face a slightly embarrassed looking young Chinese girl behind me. “Do you speak Chinese?” she asked me in Mandarin.
When I said yes, she asked, “Do you know what this store sells? I just saw a line…so I got in it.” When I told her it was actually cakes and savory sandwiches and pies, she was very happy as she was apparently hungry! In case you didn’t know, Chinese people will get in lines for almost anything so this was totally normal behavior for me.
Anyway…take a look at some of the beautiful cakes!
And of course, the famous watermelon cake. Layers of cake with fresh strawberries, rose cream, and of course slices of fresh watermelon. Perfection!
After some moderate gorging, we headed back to Sydney and walked back to the Park Hyatt.
We passed a “strangler” tree along the way – a common sight throughout Australia.
We also passed by many groups of seagulls. Mr. Feather was obsessed with these gulls while we were on our trip, and I kind of was too. They had the brightest orange beaks and legs and looked so incredibly clean! The ones near our hotel and the Opera House were used to people and could get quite up close, as they attempted to swoop down to snatch up food.
After a short walk, we were back at the Park Hyatt for a really cool complimentary activity offered by the hotel to all guests – a tour of the local “Rocks” district, the earliest European settlement in Australia. Since it was raining, we were the only two guests on the tour and got to have a private session with our guide/Park Hyatt concierge extraordinare Jonathan, who grew up in the Rocks community.
Right outside our hotel, we walked by some of the other waterfront businesses in Sydney Harbour. I thought that it was a really lovely area and the historical details had been nicely kept up and restored.
From the harbour area, we walked into some of the local neighborhoods…it had just been raining so the streets were pretty empty. Isn’t the smashed car with the rock on top in the middle of the roundabout cool? Apparently it was created by a local artist.
There was a local food market going on in the area selling goods from local artisans as well as all kinds of delicious foods – we were so sad that we had stuffed ourselves at Black Star Pastry, and vowed to come back on another trip.
And finally, after a few hours of meandering through the Rocks, we reached our last point – a little lookout where we could see a beautiful view of Sydney. It was gorgeous! Actually, since it was a Saturday, we saw at least four brides just at this location taking advantage of the view for some photographs.
After our tour was over, we headed back to the Park Hyatt where we were greeted with glasses of champagne. Not only that, but a few hours later while we were in our room relaxing, there was a knock on our door. Jonathan had taken a photo of us while we were on the tour, and the hotel had printed it out and had it framed.
Again, I have to remind you that this was all via a free activity offered by the Park Hyatt – isn’t that amazing? So if you ever find yourself in this wonderful hotel, make sure to sign up for the Rocks Tour, and tell Jonathan hi from Kat!
For our dinner, we decided to stay again in the Rocks area. We knew that later in our trip we’d be in for some heavier eating, so we decided to take it easy that evening and go with Japanese. Jonathan the concierge recommended a local Japanese restaurant Sake, which had a great fun ambiance and delicious food to boot.
After we finished our dinner at Sake, we strolled around and admired the beautiful sights right in front of our hotel. Stunning!
And with that, I’m concluding my overview of some of our favorite sights in Sydney. We loved this city and added it to the “places we could possibly live if we weren’t in the Bay Area” list – one including London, Vancouver, and Cape Town. After experiencing a bit of Sydney, I can see why residents feel so lucky to live here.
Thank you as always for reading along, and next time I’ll be taking you away from the city, and into the Australian outback!