After lots of day trips out of Sydney, we decided to go a little further afield for our first Australian camping trip, heading a few hours south along the coast, past Jervis Bay, to Meroo National Park. Setting off on Saturday morning, we hit the road early in the hope of avoiding the worst of the traffic from the routine weekend exodus from the city.
With just a short breakfast stop in the picturesque little town of Berry, we arrived at Meroo campsite mid-morning and immediately began setting up camp. With the campsite well into the forest, and just a small number of fellow campers, there was a great remote feel to the place.
We made the trip with our friends Becki and James, who let us use their spare tent, as well as bringing a stovel and even more importantly – a hammock!
With Rachael’s working well outside of Sydney, she has been fortunate to receive a company car – a very sporty looking white Kia Cerato Sedan.
While making her commutes considerably easier, this has also meant we have been able to do lots of exploring outside of the city, without having to rely on the public transport network. With a ton of things to see and do within a two hour drive of Sydney, we have been trying to join the crowds heading out of the city at least one day every weekend.
One of the most popular weekend getaways for Sydneysiders is the Royal National Park, which is located just 29km south of the CBD. The Park was founded in 1879, and is the second oldest in the world (after Yellowstone). We made the short journey from Glebe and spent a day exploring the vast and beautiful park.
Our recent Sundays have been spent making the most of Transport NSW’s generous offer of unlimited travel all day for just $2.50 (£1.60). This includes all trains, buses as well as Sydney’s extensive ferry network, making it a great, cost effective way to explore more of the State.
Cockatoo Island, the largest of the seven islands situated within Sydney Harbour, is just a short ferry journey from Circular Quay, and seemed a great place to spend a Sunday morning, ensuring we took the early ferry to avoid the crowds.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Island has a lengthy history (for Australia anyway), and was opened to tourists only as recently as 2007. Much to Rachael’s excitement, after the colonisation of Australia, the island was originally used as a prison, housing convicts transferred from the overcrowded Norfolk Island. Continue reading
It was recently announced that Sydney has dropped out of the Economist magazine’s global top 10 liveable cities, plummeting all the way to 11th out of the 140 cities surveyed in 2017. However, despite this terrible result (London came 53rd) we still couldn’t be happier with our choice to live here!
Our first few months in Sydney have mostly been spent exploring as much of the city as possible. It has been a very mild winter (according to the Aussie’s in my office anyway), and we have tried to make the most of winter sunshine by enjoying lots of coastal walks.
After spending our first four weeks in Sydney living in Bondi, we were sure to revisit the famous Bondi to Coogee coastal several times. Although we had walked the route already while travelling, it was great to do it again, especially with it being so much quieter on weekdays, and the early morning lighting made the views all the more impressive. Continue reading
So after our slight change of plan, we are now well settled into our new life in Sydney and it has begun to feel like home far quicker than expected. Unfortunately it has been a little more difficult to keep the blog up to date, as the last six weeks have consisted of us both starting new jobs and finding somewhere to live. However, hopefully I will have more time to write in the coming weeks, with lots of exploring to do in Sydney and the surrounding area.
We spent the first three weeks in Sydney staying in our friends amazing apartment in Bondi, which was a great place to begin life in a new city. While we enjoyed living so close to the beach, we decided to look for somewhere closer to the CBD for our own flat. Continue reading
With the campervan gone, our travelling around Brisbane was a little restricted compared to what we had become accustomed to. We found the public transport to be fairly limited compared to other cities, with the river making it even more difficult to travel around, despite the ferry network. However, we did still manage to make a few journeys out of the more central suburbs during our week in the city.
We decided not to bother with public transport at all for our trip to Teneriffe, a suburb on the east of the city. Instead we again made use of the CityCycle bike hire scheme, cycling all the way along the north bank of the river from the CBD, making use of the great cycleways. However, as you travel further away from the centre, the bike stations become more sporadic, and we very nearly went over the 30 minute limit for each individual journey on several occasions.
The journey itself took us around the area of New Farm, including the large New Farm Park and the nearby Brisbane Powerhouse. The imposing former power station has been converted into a cultural hub, and now hosts a variety of plays, concerts, exhibitions and other events. Continue reading
Having very reluctantly given back the campervan with no issues, we checked into our AirBnb which was in East Brisbane. On arrival, our hosts Mike and Anna gave us a great suburb by suburb guide to the city, and lots of great ideas about where to visit during our stay.
After enjoying sleeping in an actual bed for the first time since Hong Kong, we were feeling refreshed and ready to start exploring the city. Brisbane is dominated by the huge river of the same name, which winds and bends its way through the city. We therefore decided to start with a ride on the free CityHopper ferry service, and were soon in sight of Brisbane’s imposing skyline, as the ferry slowly chugged its way towards the CBD.