Trip Start Mar 03, 2007
Trip End Apr 2009

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Saturday, April 5, 2008

After we had finished exploring the blue mountains it was time to take to Sydney. Now we didn't have the use of a GPS system and only the dodgey Lonely Planet map to guide us into Manly where we were staying, which caused us to have a few tense moments in the car. Having caught my first glimpse of the mighty Harbour Bridge, I had pointed the car in the right direction thinking I was heading in the right direction, but one wrong turn and suddenly we were cruising round some unknown suburb completely lost. It took roughly an hour or so for us to get our bearings and make our way over to Manly Beach.

Manly beach was to be our home for the next week or so staying with a friend of mine, and it has to be said that Manly deffinately has it going on, by far my favourite suburb in Sydney. We picked "ginger" up as he was just finishing work and he took us back to his pad and after a quick bite to eat, a few wines and a welcomed shower we were back off down to the beach front for a few beers. Nathan took us to his local which was the Manly Wharf Hotel that we would venture back to on a number of occasions. The massive classy bar and resteraunt as it name suggest is situated on the main wharf giving it one of the most prime positions in the area.

We spent the saturday and Sunday catching up with another old friend from our time in the U.K. staying over at their house in a lush area on outskirts.

Our first outing into central Sydney was via the excellent ferry service that departs frequently from Manly, bringing Circular Quay right to your doorstep. I really enjoyed the approach by boat as we floated by all these iconic sites. We jumped off the ferry and headed around to explore the Opera House. From here we headed into the Royal Botanic Gardens and then after a brief shower headed back over the Quay to an old area known as the rocks. Here we visited my old assistant manager who was working in a very trendy bar called The Argyle. From here we headed in and around the local shopping area and china town and the crossed into Hyde Park visiting a few stops on the way.

On Nathans day off he took us on a bit of a walking tour for the day, heading to Darling Harbour first. This redeveloped industrial area is now a tourist mecca and is actually quite a funky place to stroll around. From here we headed to China Town to have a feed at one of the awesome eateries, before walking making over to Hyde park and then finally onto historic Kings Cross. Here we spent the best part of the day playing pool in one of the local bars until we eventually headed back to Manly and then hit the bars again.

After yet another hangover day Mark and myself made a late start to the day but after finally getting underway headed of to Bondi Beach. After all no trip to Sydney would be complete without a trip to the aussie icon. I didn't find the beach itself to be that fantastic, much preferring the beach at Manly. However the beach was still packed with loads of tourists. We took a walk along Bondi Bay and up to the headland which afforded a nice panoramic view over the area. From here we ventured further south down to Coogee bay, which was just as nice and less crowded. Here there were a set of calm ocean rock baths on the point and the memorial to the Bali bombings.

On the last night I decided to venture back into the Sydney C.B.D. as there were a lot of photos that I wanted to get during twilight, my favourite time to take photos. During the course of the next few hours I snapped away happily getting some really good shots of the Bridge, Opera House, CBD and also taking a walk over the bridge to North Sydney to Luna Park the iconic old school amusement park. It was a really satisfying night and really capped off my time in sydney and as the ferry taking me back to Manly rounded the point I caught my last glimpse of the stunning skyline.
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