Hi everybody, I am back from my Sydney and Gold Coast trips. First of all, let me say a "BIG THANK YOU" to those TA who had taken their precious time and patience in answering my questions and also giving me lots of valuable suggestions and advice.
Though this is not a smooth trip because some unpleasant things had happened but it did not affect our holiday at all. Firstly, my brother-in-law had lost his mini laptop in the amusement park, the next day, he lost his branded sunglasses in the ferry to the Manly beach and also got himself spilled over his shirt and pant with coffee while trying to open the cup cover. Next, my nephew nearly got lost while we were at the Circular Quay in the evening, it was very dark at that time and I, accidentally erased all my 1st 3 days photographs, luckily my son has his own camera too, otherwise all the effort would be wasted.
We landed at the Sydney Int'l Airport on Friday morning at around 10am. Collected our luggages and was about to leave when we were approached by a lady to purchase a prepaid SIM card. It cost about A$10 and it can be used anywhere in the Australia. You can top up the card if the amount is running short. We bought 2 cards from her. Used for 8 days, but still couldn't finish the first A$10 because the chargeable rate is only A$0.15 per min (if I'm not wrong). The counter is near to the entrance / exit.
We took the maxi cab to the hotel (Travelodge Sydney, Wentworth). The taxi fare came up to A$58.05 but we rounded up the figure and gave him A$60. He was a nice and friendly guy. The first time when I saw the taxi, I thought it was a police car, haha! Luckily, there is the word "cab" or "taxi" printed on the car.
We arrived too early for the check-in (around 11am) but the staff is very friendly, she told us that one of the rooms is ready (we booked 2 rooms) and we could check into that room first. So we left all our luggages in one of the rooms first and went out to explore the city. Though the room is small but it is clean. Surprisingly, the room has a washing basin and an oven too. The only inconvenience thing is that the shower in the bathroom is fixed, it cannot be taken down. We are not used to have the water splashed down from so high especially for the kid.
Though some people said that there are slopes around this hotel, but it is really not that bad, even my 72 years old mother-in-law who has a leg problem can manage too.
While we were wondering where to take the free shuttle bus 555 to the city, a gentleman approached us and offered his help. We were so impressed by his helpfulness and friendliness. This gives us a very good impression that Australians are very friendly.
At last, we managed to take the Bus 555, the driver is friendly too, he greeted us and also announced the name of every stations. We alighted at the Circular Quay and took some photos. It was a sunny day but we had a good time there. We took our lunch at the Chinatown Dixon House, there are varieties of asian food and some vegetarian food too. At night, we went to Chinatown night market which open on Friday only. IMO, there's nothing much to see except we tried some of the food, like grilled chicken, dim sum, squid etc. I like the grilled chicken because it is so tasty.
Day 2 (Saturday). It was raining heavily, we were supposed to go to Chinese Garden, Botanic Garden, The Rock and Mrs Macquaries, in the end, we have to give up because it rained througout the day till the evening.
We took the Bus 555 to Market City, didn't find anything there, so we went ahead to Paddy's market. I love Paddy's market because I love souvenirs. There are so many different types of Koala soft toys, key chains, T-shirts, display items etc etc. We bought a lot of Koala Bear and Kangaroo soft toys, Koala Bear bags and tissue boxes, display items etc because it was cheap (IMO).
After the Paddy's market, we took the lightrail to the Fish market. It cost A$5.90 for a return trip. It is really a good experience to see something difference from the normal market. We had our lunch there, we ordered half lobster set, fried prawn and fish. After the lunch, we proceed to Star City Casino to have a look and then took the lightrail back to Paddy's market and Bus 555 back to hotel.
Day 3 (Sunday). It was a sunny day. We bought the Family Funday Sunday ticket at A$2.50 each at the Museum Station, It is really worth it. We took the train to Circular Quay, then ferry to Manly Beach. Before that, I thought Manly Beach is nothing but just a beach but I was wrong, it is actually a small town with some shops on both sides. We bought some souvenirs there, but later came to realise that Paddy's market also have the same things that I bought in Manly Beach and the price in Paddy's market is actually half the price that I paid for.
We had our lunch at Manly Wharf . The white plain rice was expensive, A$3 per bowl and the fried rice cost A$3.50, 50cts different only. After the lunch, we took the ferry back to the Circular Quay and Bus 555 to Paddy's market to have a 2nd time shopping. This time, we bought Nougat, we bought 7 packets (1 kg) at A$25 per packet and 1 packet (500 grams) at A$14 per packet. It was actually very cheap as compared to Gold Coast, we saw it at one of the shops in Surfer Paradise, it cost almost A$50 per packet (1 kg). We were shocked to see the price, luckily, we bought it over here in Paddy's market.
Later, we took a bus (couldn't remember the number of the bus, because with the Funday ticket, we can take any bus) to Circular Quay again for a night view. We took the ferry to the Darling Harbour at about 6 pm. The wind was very strong and chill. At this time, the Opera House lighting started to light up, wow, so beautiful. It has different colours and different patterns.
At the Darling Harbour, we could'nt do and see much thing because it was getting dark, so we took 7.10 pm ferry back to Circular Quay and train to Museum Station, then go to Chinatown to have our dinner at one of the Chinese Restaurant. It cost A$87.80 for 4 dishes (chicken, pork, tofu, vegetables, 2 pots of rice and tea) for 8 people, after the dinner, we went back to the hotel to rest at around 9pm.
Day 4 (Mon). Raining Day. My husband and my brother-in-law went to collect the rental car from Hertz in William Street at about 8.30pm. We have pre-booked it in Singapore at the price of S$116 per day (24 hours).
We drove all the way to Featherdale and bought the tickets but paid for 4 adults only. Before that, I had printed out the discount coupons from one of the websites (Buy 1 get 1 free of equal value). We took photos with the kangaroos and Koala Bears and because it was raining, the floor was very muddy. Overall featherdale is not too bad. IMO, go there only if you are on the way because you can see the Kangaroos and Koala Bears at Dreamworld too but you need to pay to take the photos with Koala Bear while Featherdale is FOC.
After that, we proceed to Blue Mountain, what a day, it was raining very heavily and it was very very cold. We went to Leura Village to have our lunch, hopping that the rain would stop, but it didn't. No choice, so we still proceed on to the mountain. The fog was very thick, couldn't see anything, even the cable car disappeared in the mist. We waited till 4pm, wanted to give up but realise that the fog had gradually dispersed. At last, we managed to snap some photos of the 3 sisters and waterfalls. We took the last ride of the skyway but was not allowed to go down to the trail because the staff told us that it was late and he was going to lock the gate, so we could only take some photos from the cable cars. After the blue mountain, we drove back to our hotel, journey about 1 1/2 hours. Everybody was tired.
We drove the car to the Wilson Parking and took a ticket, then we proceed to the hotel counter to buy the night parking at A$22 for 24 hours. Actually, we don't intend to buy the parking tickets from the hotel because we don't require 24 hours parking but the signboard at the Wilson Parking was a bit misleading, don't really understand. It stated " Mon to Fri - flat rate A$10 - Enter after 6pm, Exit before 5am the next day (ok, this sentence, we understand)" and the next statement is "Flat A$18 - Enter 7.30pm - 9.30pm, Exit between 4pm - 7pm the next day", max penalty A$56. Don't quite understand, so better don't take the risk because we entered the car park at around 9.15pm and need to go off at around 8am the next day.
The next day, we checked out the hotel and drove to the Sydney Domestic Airport (T2) to return the car, the Hertz man came out to check and told us that we could go off. We went to the Terminal 2, to realise that we had to do the check in ourselves, a new experience again. We were looking for a trolley which later we realised that we had to pay A$4 for a trolley, of course, we didn't pay, haha!
Okay, I think that's what I can think of for Sydney trip, a long old grandmother story, hope that all of you won't feel bored after reading it.
We were going to continue our next journey in Gold Coast.Edited: 09 June 2010, 18:36