I'm sure you all know that you can't go to Australia and not visit Sydney. It is the most populous city of Australia, the capital of New South Wales, and holds the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Alongside those structures is a ton of nightlife, mouth-watering foods, adorable markets all throughout town, and views that are out of this world. Around 5 million people currently reside in the Sydney, and 40% of those people are from outside of Australia. Even though this was my third time in Sydney since being here, it was our first time actually getting to spend time in Sydney, and boy was it a great first time.
Everytime we travel, we leave from Sydney since it is the closest airport to us. Sydney is a 2.5 hour train ride from Newcastle, and costs $5-8 AUD on our bus cards to get there which is very, very cheap for Australia. We left Friday morning and took the 8am train which got us to Sydney around 11am. Upon arrival, we went to put our bags down at the hostel so we could explore the beautiful city. It was 70 degrees, Friday morning, the sun was shining on the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, the birds were chirping and people flooded the streets filled with markets and great shops. I was in the greatest mood possible because I knew we had a fun-filled two days coming up. That same day of arrival, we were going to visit the Opera House, the Sydney Aquarium and then out to a nice dinner followed by a renowned night club called The Argyle. It's funny because in Newcastle, we go to The Argyle every Wednesday for Uni night, but we got to see the classier, more upscale version of it in Sydney.
The Opera House was absolutely breathtaking. I am still in awe that I got to climb the steps, and see the many different views of it that I saw. I mean come on. The SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE! So many famous people have performed there, and it is the most iconic architectural structure of Australia. When people hear "Australia," they think of those flawless white points. Seeing them up close and personal was a surreal experience that I will forever remember. (And I have another great story about it coming up later on too).
We had to take a ferry over to see the Sydney Aquarium which was located on the Darling Harbour. (This is how the Aussies spell it and I feel like I'm misspelling the location if I don't include the 'u'). The Darling Harbour included a mall, a bunch of restaurants, the Sydney Aquarium, a wax museum, an IMAX theatre and much more. It was filled with things to do, and luckily we had the whole day. We went to the Sydney Aquarium because we had heard it was one of the best in the world. Tickets were $20 AUD and it was self-toured through the aquarium. I wouldn't say it was one of the best in the world, but it was definitely very cool. I also haven't been to an aquarium since I was probably seven years old, so I got to feel like a kid all over again. We walked through tunnels contained with sharks, manatees and countless varieties of fish. Other animals included were turtles, seahorses, jellyfish, penguins, starfish and coral too. There was a Great Barrier Reef exhibit, explaining how within the next 20 years it is going to disappear because of the coral dying; which is so sad because it's so beautiful. The aquarium was a great start to our time in Sydney, and I am always up for anything related to sharks so it was a win-win situation.
Friday night was very... interesting. The group had a dinner filled with laughs, pineapple & vodkas, and strange pizza. After dinner we went on a ghost tour, led by our study abroad advisor's husband. I swear they are the most fun people. We really wouldn't want to have anyone else as our study abroad advisors or our mentors. Jason (her husband) took us through the area we were staying in called, The Rocks and explained some myths and stories about ghosts haunting the area. We even visited a room where 13 people were murdered. After the ghost tour, we then headed on over to The Argyle. I was super excited about the night, had my wedges and red lipstick on and ready to go. Until I fell down a flight of stairs in the club and my wedges BROKE in half. I was actually pretty upset about it so I went back to the hostel with Megan to change my shoes. Getting to the hostel, I was still super annoyed that I broke my shoes and busted my butt in front of a bunch of people, had a major headache, and wanted to stay behind. Then I thought of the blog post I wrote earlier, "8 Things To Tell Yourself While Studying Abroad," realized that I'm in Sydney, Australia and needed to get my ass back out there and make some memories.
I headed back to The Argyle with Megan and tried to have a good time there. There were several of us all there together, but I was just not feeling it. Luckily, Jonah asked if anyone wanted to go to the Opera House to chill and see it at night. That sounded so perfect to me at that very moment. The girls were all having a great time, so Jonah and I walked across the harbor to the Opera House, and sat at the Opera Bar for a little while to order a few more drinks. After those many few more drinks, we climbed up the steps to the Opera House and soaked all of the gloriousness in at that moment. "Life was too good right now," was all I could think. So we decided to be a litttttle bit rebellious and hop the 'No Access' ropes and climb the steps higher to see a better view. Sorry Mom & Dad, but these are the kinds of things you have to do in life. You have to take risks, make memories, and live in the moment. Bad decisions do make the best stories. (Not really, but this one did). The view was insane, and we were having such a great time up there. We had already conversed with the security guards and they were very friendly, so we weren't too worried. We figured that people do this all the time and that it wasn't harmful. It was risky, but the experience was so worth that risk. And I mean, now we can say that we saw Sydney lit up at 2AM from the top of the Sydney Opera House because we snuck up there. Not many people can say that. This entire day and night was one I will remember for the rest of my life.
It's The Cliiiiiiiiiimb...
1 WEEK UNTIL BALI. OH MY GOSH. FREAKING OUT.
3 WEEKS until I get to meet my Great Aunt and all of my cousins in MELBOURNE!!
26 DAYS until Listen Out
54 DAYS until Oktoberfest in Sydney (21,000 people attending)
And a trip to New Zealand, the Gold Coast and the Outback to plan for November :)
Stay posted mates & thanks for reading. <3