Australia Trip 2008 – Sydney

Day 1: Singapore to Sydney

IMG_1282.JPG by timtam9191.

Flew on Qantas in the afternoon, reached Sydney at around 8pm. With all the construction happening then, it took me 1/2 hour walking and searching for the the shuttle bus to Sydney from the airport. At the end, manage to find the shuttle bus,  which is on the extreme left hand side of the airport (when you exit from the airport). There are many shuttle buses from different company.  At the end, just decided on the first one that offer the price that I know is fair – AUD$12.

A word of advise, don’t book online for airport transfer… There are many company that offer the services in Sydney. No point looking high and low for your pre-book airport transfer. These airport transfer will not greet you on arrival. You are require to look for the bus. (ref:

There are 12 passanger in the bus and I was the last to be alighted. Anywhere, I took it as a free night tour for me, going to different places dropping passenger. Most of the drop-off are either budget hotels or Backpacker lodge. After an hour in the bus, I finally reached my destination at BIG Hostel (aka BIG on Elizebeth) .

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Guess which bed I am sleeping…

I stayed in a 4-bed dorm room and I paid AUD$20 a night. My room mates, were …

  • – A lady from England, working as a nurse in Sydney, moving on to New Zealand.
  • – A guy from Finland,  working as a tax advisory worker in Sydney.
  • – Another ah-moh guy who I do not really know where he is from and what he is doing…

I believe I am the only one who is having a pure holiday. The rest are all working holiday…

BIG Hostel – Very good location near Central Station and Chinatown and about a 15 min walk from Darling Harbour.  Decent communal kitchen if you prefer to cook your own meals.  I would gladly recommend Big Hostel to anyone looking for budget accommodation in Sydney. The dorm rooms are spacious. They even have a TV and a toilet for each of the dorm. The rooms are kept clean and people are very friendly.  Overall, it was a positive experience.

BIG Hostel, 212 Elizabeth St | Surrey Hills, Sydney 2010, Australia

Sidetrack: During my departure in SG, Purchase a mineral water for $1 and the salesgirl seal it up for me so that I can bring it on flight… 🙂 I am surprise the willingness to go through the trouble for me just for a bottle of $1 mineral water..

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Day 2: City, Museums, Friends

ecided to wake up late this morning, and have a lazy walk around for my itinerary today (since this is my 3rd time to Sydney). All my room-mate all gone when I woke up. OK, not too bad, at least I do not need to rush with them to use the toilet. If I did recall, there was a mad rush for the toilet while I still lying on the bed.

Once I woke up, went to the nearby provision shop to get some groceries. Kitchen was quiet, so I have the entire kitchen to myself to prepare my breakfast. Not bad on waking late…

After breakfast, I went to the nearby internet cafe to have a quick chat with my darling wife before taking a lazy morning walk to Paddy Market. Since I am not a shopping person, I soon left the place for Darling Habour for a pleasent walk, enjoying the sight and the tranquility of being along with occasion passer-by.  Went to visit the Australian National Maritime Museum, since entrance to part of their exihibits are free.  Spend a good 1.5 hours there. For lunch, I had a Macdonald meal. I missed the auzzie burger… 🙂

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View from Darling Habour

IMG_1293.JPG by you. I was once offered a job in one of building in the background.

After my lunch, decided to pay Australian Museum (opposite Hyde Park) a visit.  Entrance is AUD$12. It was a money well spend. I spend the whole afternoon in the museum, joining a highlight tour of the museum at 2pm. The museum is rather interective, allowing you to touch the various diverse collection of exihibits. During my visit, there were special exihibits on Dinosaurs, which was cool. I also manage to catch a glimse of a mummy – which is a resident exihibit in the museum.

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After my visit to the museum, spend my rest of the afternoon reading book at Hyde Park, which is across the museum.

At 7pm, caught up with my friend Edwin and Xiao Jie for dinner. Being with them really bring back memories of my days as a student in QUT(Brisbane). We have a good time talking and chatting away. After dinner, we took a car ride to Bondi Beach for a cup of coffee before taking a walk along Bondi Beach… My only regret is that I forgot to take a picture with them on that day…. :(. Now it is only memory of the wonderful evening that I had with them.

Day 3: Sydney Explorer, Bondi, Observatory

Today decided to catch a Sydney Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing bus. There are 2 company that provided this kind of service in Sydney. Generally, they are the same. The only reason why I choose this is because, it is unique & cheaper. The other company is Sydney Explorer. I believe Sydney Explorer brings you a further route out of the Sydney. However, I did not regret taking the fun double decker bus. I believe it is sufficient for a day tour.The route route has been planned to take sighterseers to the best attraction across Sydney and Bondi.

Sydney and Bondi Hop-on Hop-off Tour

The bus stop at Central station and this is convinient to me, since Central station is just across the road where I am staying.  IMG_1319.JPG by you.

Me on top of the bus… taking my own picture…

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View from the bus..

pretty much just enjoying the view from the bus for that morning. Around late morning, decided to transfer the bondi-bus to pay a visit to bondi beach. The journey there was pleasant.

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Reaching Bondi Beach…

Upon reaching Bondi Beach, decided to take a public bus to Bondi Junction – Bondi Shopping mall. After asking around, it was not difficult to catch the public bus to Bondi Junction. Spend 2 hours hoping to get my wife a gift. Manage to find a pink pullover for my wife in Kathmandu. With the in-store sale, I thought the buy was good. In mid afternoon, took a bus back to bondi beach for a picnic lunch – my home make sandwich…

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Bondi Junction

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My lunch at bondi beach

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One last look at bondi before departure…

That was pretty much for the day. Went back to the lodge for a rest and have an early dinner. During dinner, manage to have some small chat with a Taiwanese teacher who is brought his class to Australia for a year-end holiday… What a lucky group of students. Pitty their parents though.. as the holiday is paid by their parents…

As for tonight program,  I am going to visit the Sydney Observatory. I miss visiting the observatory the previous 3 visit to Sydney. Thank God, manage to get a slot. You have to pre-book the night tour to visit the sydney observatory. Tour is not expensive at AUD$15. Maximaxing my hop-on hop-off bus, I caught the last trip of the bus from Central Station to the ROCK, which is the nearest stop to the sydney observatory…

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The tour starts at 8pm and I am the Rock at 6.30pm. Well, spend the rest of the evening strolling… before going up to observatory hill..

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View from Observatory Hill

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At 8pm, after a long 1 hour wait under the stars, the gate opened and the long awaited tour started. The most exciting part of the tour is no other then the visit to the observatory… 🙂 The observatory is rather cool… everything is electronic and computerized. Even the shifting of the dome is computerized.

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I really saw Saturn…through the scope..

The tour ended at 9.30pm and I took a long and satisfied walk back to my lodge…

Day 4: Lazing

Nothing much on Day 4.  Last day in Sydney and feel like lazing around. Did a morning walk in the city before returning back to the lodge. Occasionally, I will pop by the internet cafe to have a chat with my wife. In the internet cafe, bought a pre-paid bus transfer to the domestic airport in the evening.

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Spend my rest of the day hanging around the lodge, reading my book, pondering my time in Sydney and getting excited for my next phase in my holiday – MELBOURNE.

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