Welcome to the land down under: Sydney, Australia

Welcome to the land down under

Isn’t it horrible when you get given your boarding pass and realise you are sat in one of the middle seats on a night flight? My journey from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney wasn’t the most pleasant as I was stuck between an Indian man and an Asian women who both fell asleep meaning I was unable to move for the entire eight hour flight. I entered the country on a working holiday visa which meant the prospect of having to work for the first time for newrly a year was looming.

Butter coffee from Ruby’s in Bondi Junction

I was only in Sydney for just a few days so I allowed myself to indulge like a tourist yeeyha! I spent my first full day in Australia in Ruby’s Diner after hearing about a new coffee trend to hit the country – butter coffee. Made with oil and butter, butter coffee is supposedly good for you but it sure didn’t taste like it. It was nice but the consistancy far too oily for me. I like my coffee with a kick and this just didn’t live up to my regular flat white. After a productive day blogging, I met my friend Sam and headed to Bondi where there is plenty of trendy bars and restaurants close the to the beach. We hadn’t since each other since June when we briefly caught up for a few hours in Bangkok so we had a lot to catch up on over a couple of beers and pizza.

Although sunny it wasn’t all that hot so the following day I decided to take embark on a walk along the Eastern coast from Bronte Beach to Bondi which in my eyes is a perfect way to clear your head or simply enjoy the good weather. That evening we went to the Night Noodle Market, an annual week-long event in major cities across Australia as part of Good Food Month, where you can pick all sorts of Asian food and sit with a beer whilst listening to live bands. This is a great place to come with friends after work although get there early as by the time we arrived around 7/7:30pm the queues were ridiculously long.

Sydney’s beautiful Botanical Gardens

As Sam was at work, much of my time in Sydney was spent alone but I didn’t mind one bit. I enjoyed a walk from Bondi Junction to Darling Harbour and around iconic Circular Quay to the Botanical Gardens. Walking is the best way to see and city and far more interesting (and cheaper!) than catching the train. I fell in love with some of the quirky little cafés I saw on route, especially Rupert and Ruby a pop-up in Icon Park where I stopped for a delicious iced coffee.

The perfect shot of Sydney

I also picked up a three scoop gelato come from Gelatissimo because my “holiday” was soon to be coming to an end and I am going to have to go back to the real world. Sam had football that night (men eh!) so I met up with my friend Jess who I met backpacking in Europe in 2011.

Jess and I in Italy in 2011

It was so good to see her after all these years and she chose the best place to eat, a quirky cocktail bar and American-style diner called Hello Sailor in Darlinghurst. It was here I had my first taste of crocodile since my last trip to Australia in 2009 and it was extreme tasty and something I will be having again. Croc bites rock!

Overly salty breakfast salad from Nelson Road Tuck Shop
 Sam kindly took Friday off so we could enjoy a typical Aussie brunch in where I had a breakfast salad full of kale which I had read is the latest superfood to be raved about. Sadly Nelson Road Tuck Shop in Bondi Junction used too much salt on theirs and it wasn’t very nice at all but I polished the lots anyway because I’m a foodie and that’s what we do.

Sam and I at Bondi Beach

Sam and I hit Bondi Beach, where else in a glorious sunny day? After hearing so much about Messinia, Australia’s finest gelato, and I generally believe it is (I’ve only tried a handful of places so far…), I just had to have some.

Messina gelato – the best I’ve had in Australia (so far)

I like Bondi, especially for people watching but I have to admit I do feel a little ugly in a neighbourhood full of tanned, toned beauties walking around in their gym wear. Something, after ten months of travelling and a shed load of beer and cake I’m certainly not!

People watching on Bondi – love it!
Friday night we hit the suburb of Newtown which won me over completely. This was certainly my kind of place and I hope to god Melbourne has the resemblance everyone says. I particularly loved the sushi restaurants where I tried sake for the first time. Have you dared to try the “local” alcohol in Asian restaurants or do you go straight to the wine list? I usually do but Sam’s friends suggested we try it and good job they did as it was lovely – a must try for sure! Now a beer drinker (who would have thought!) I also fell in love with the brew Young Henry with this particular one found only in Newtown. The night ended with some well mixed Disaronno and whisky sours from Corridor Cocktail Bar

Oh the ferry to Manly beach
Saturday I was on my own again and terribly hungover. I had to force myself to get up and catch the ferry to Manly as I hadn’t yet to venture there and though’t I’d ought to. I didn’t feel like being on my own and Sam was playing cricket so I got chatting to a couple of people on the boat over and ended up spending the day with them and their friends, most which were on their working holiday visa. I had a great time with them, even though the weather did cloud over leaving us no option but to head to the pub – oh dear! It just goes to show what can happen if you make the effort to speak to strangers and smile to everyone that passes your way.
Hanging out with awesome new friends in Manly
Sunday was another scorcher which made me sad at the prospect of leaving that night. What if Melbourne doesn’t experience days like these? I don’t think I could cope without a bit of sun and 30 degree heat in my life. Sundays or should I say sun-days in Australia calls for an ice cold beer in a beautiful pub garden near Clovelly beach. Now this is what Australia is all about!
Waverley cemetery on a stunning day
I had a fantastic time with Sam and his friends in Sydney and could certainly see myself living there but I have planned to move to a Melbourne because of the food and coffee (what else!) so off I went to catch another flight. However, I couldn’t resist a cheeky couple of days stopover in Perth to see my friends Mel and Sarah before hanging up my backpack for a while and integrating myself into society once again which unfortunately means getting a real job- boohoo. Chin up I told myself, I’m in for another summer!
Living life, loving travel,
H x

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