Sydney, Day 4. 1st October 2008
We took it easy on our last morning in Sydney. We had to check out, so after breakfast we packed up & cleaned our room. After we’d checked out, we left our bags in the storage locker again and headed towards the CBD. We spent the morning doing a little shopping. I think one of our main destinations that day was Haigh’s Chocolates!
For lunch that day, we’d been recommended a little pub in The Rocks, with the strong suggestion that we go up to the open rooftop to eat. And a great suggestion it turned out to be. This little pub, with cheap food, had a fantastic view of the Opera House.
We enjoyed the view for a while, and then made our way up many more sets of stairs, until we were on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. For a number of reasons, we couldn’t do the Bridge Climb, but there is a pedestrian section of the bridge that anyone can just walk across. So that’s what we did. And then we got even better views of the harbour & Opera House than we had at lunch. One of the pylon towers is open for people to climb to the top of, but it was $9.50 just to go up a few flights of stairs, and as we already had a great view, we really didn’t feel the need to pay just to get a little bit higher.
The bridge takes a good 20 minutes to walk across, and doesn’t have much shade. After we had crossed it, we found a little grassy park to have a shady rest in, before we walked to Luna Park at around 2pm. Once again, living in South East Queensland means that you will be disappointed by some of the things that Sydney offers. The first one was Bondi Beach, and the second main one was Luna Park. The Gold Coast has a lot of major theme parks and living near them means that you get annual passes at cheap prices, so a park without even a decent roller coaster, such as Luna Park, is a bit of a let down. And, unfortunately, expensive. We looked at going on some rides or at least into the fun house, but felt that we couldn’t justify the price to ourselves. Still, it was nice to have a look around such an iconic place. And, being on the harbour, it really can’t be too bad as you’ve always got the water nearby to relax you. We caught the ferry back to Circular Quay and headed to the botanical gardens. Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music is decorated externally like a castle, so we stopped to have a look at that.
We hadn’t actually been through the botanical gardens yet, so while we were there, we decided to ta ke a look around. It really is big. Especially if you’ve been walking all day, haven’t noticed how big it is, and don’t look at the maps to make sure you don’t get lost. Unfortunately, it was 3.30 by the time we made it to the gardens, and by the time we realised there were some indoor special exhibitions on, they had closed for the day.
After wandering for an hour, we found the ‘inner’ part of the gardens, where it overlooks the harbour (and the Opera House & bridge). I wish we’d known about it in advance, it would have been a nice place to eat one day. Somehow, we got fairly lost after that, and spent nearly 20 minutes trying to work out how to get out of the park, but in getting lost, we also saw the naval yards. So who says getting lost is a bad thing?
We hurried back towards the hostel and went to eat an early dinner in a great little Italian place that was just a few doors up from the hostel. Very cheap, and with great portions and so tasty.
I was getting a little anxious at this point, and kept urging the others to hurry up. We ate quickly and went back to to hostel to get our suitcases from the storage cage. And not a moment too soon – as soon as we’d stepped out of the hostel door, the shuttle bus turned up. It took a lot longer this time, we were on a very early shuttle, 6.30pm I think it was (and it showed up very early), but we went to many different hostels and hotels to pick up others. And it was a good thing we were early and that we hadn’t missed it – if people weren’t waiting out the front, they didn’t get a second chance to get the shuttle.
By 9pm we were in the air, on the way home!