Here´s what is ahead of us:
Sydney – Wollongong – Batemans Bay – Merimbula – Lakes Entrance – Phillip Island – Melbourne (+ part of the Great Ocean Road to 12 Apostles)
Day 1&2 – Sydney
In case you haven´t planned it yet, consider it done and take your time to stay in Sydney at least over the weekend. The city of views is well worth it. Whatever it is you are expecting or seeking, you will find it in New South Wales´s capital – history, nightlife, sports, culture, arts – name it & you´ll get it.
Harbour Bridge & Luna Park
Chinese Garden of Piece
QVB (Queen Victoria Building - the most beautiful shopping centre I´ve ever seen)
Bondi Beach (See the pool with natural sea waves? Genius!)
Except the obvious landmarks above (Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Sydney Tower, Royal Botanic Gardens, Luna Park, Taronga ZOO, Bondi Beach, multiple museums…), consider to include these highlights:
- Darling Harbour
My advice, book your hotel in this part of CBD, you will not regret it. Great shopping, entertainment, plus a range of dining options (more than 5 restaurants and cafes with a beautiful view on the harbour) await for you here at every corner.
Don´t forget to go to visitor information centre placed next to the IMAX theatre. You´ll get useful maps for free, especially those you´ll use a great deal while travelling from Sydney to Melbourne along the coast – ask for Cartoscope maps. Also while travelling there are loads of these information centres in almost every town you´ll visit. They will gladly give you hints where to go in the surroundings as well as provide with detailed maps if needed. And that all with a pleasant smile on their face, patience and the most legendary sentence “No worries, mate…” Right then, just don´t worry :)
- Chinese Garden of Piece – like a dream in the middle of urban area
- Chinatown – look for market with cheap souvenirs and mouthwatering food on every corner
- Sydney Aquarium – if you like sharks etc.
- St Mary´s Cathedral – reminds me a lot of Notre Dame
- IMAX Theatre – with the biggest IMAX screen in the world!
- Sydney Wildlife World – koalas, kangaroos & co.
Another great places near Sydney:
- Manly – place, where you´re only “7 miles from Sydney but a thousand miles from care”
- Blue Mountains National Park – spectacular views of foggy mountains
One last advice for Sydney visit – use ferries while moving around the city. Buy 1 day ticket (valid for ferry as well) and make a circle around the harbours. There is no better way to travel around this city. And be carefull – the ticket is valid only on the day you buy it (not from the time you use it!) and you can buy it directly on the ferry stop, so don´t fret about getting it beforehand.
And if you are planning to drive a rented car for travelling along the cliff-hugging scenery, don´t forget to get your international driving licence before you leave the country of your origin. We did forget and paid much more to get it certified in Sydney instead. Oh, and did I mention that Aussie people drive on the left? The sooner you get used to it the better ;) Truth to be told, when you rent a car and collect it somewhere in the city centre, be mentally prepared for a shock the first minutes in the traffic and its numerous traffic jams aaaand that all on the left side! :) So prepare to sweat a little at the beginning if your usual driving side is on your right.
Now let´s drive away!
Day 3 – Sydney to Wollongong
Just when you had enough of Sydney, start your true trip along the most beautiful coast (at least according to me) in the world.
We drove south out of Sydney (our first day of driving was a short one as we headed from Sydney just aroun 4 pm and traffic jam was crazy. Then we finally drove through the Royal National Park to begin the Grand Pacific Drive. Take in stunning coastal views from the cliff-tops. They are everywhere! Drive over the 455m long Sea Cliff Bridge and enter the scenic city of Wollongong, where you can stop and sleep over as we did.
That´s it for today. Hope you enjoyed this little travel advice and wait a little for the next chapter as there is definitelly more we´d like to share with you.
To be continued…