Sydney is one of those iconic cities that you can instantly recognise as soon as you get near. For me that meant seeing the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge for the first time as my train from the airport arrived at Circular Quay. But, there is a lot of hidden charm in the city that often goes understated, and it certainly isn’t all central. By making up the distance either on foot, on the bus or by ferry, I made my way around Sydney exploring the quieter, ‘scenic’ route.
As I mentioned, most journeys tend to being in and around Circular Quay, and mine is no different. My first port of call being to find the hostel I was meant to be staying at. This in itself ended up with me walking the winding cobbled streets and getting a feel for what seemed to be the quietest part of a major city I’ve ever been to. Excluding Adelaide on a Sunday morning.
The interesting point I remember most, aside from the cobbled walkways, is that I came across a ‘warning sign’ to tell me that there was artwork ahead. It made little to no sense at this particular point in time. Though if you look in the background you’ll notice what it intended to point out.
Or for a better view of the smiley faced rock crushing a car
It’s not what I’d call traditional art, but it’s far more thought provoking and just downright hilarious than most of the island sculptures we have over in England. We get statues of random stuff and some really dodgy sculptures, and Sydney gets rocks crushing cars. I know which I prefer.
After checking in and dumping my single backpack, I headed all the way back to Circular Quay. This time, I was planning to catch one of the Big Bus Tours which is conveniently a hop-on hop-off deal for $50. That made getting around the city a lot easier, and meant I could spend the travel time on the open top roof getting a few sneaky snaps and listening to the guided tour to learn about the various sights.
Not gonna lie, I may have also stopped for a Maccas breakfast to fuel my day, but shortly after I was ‘on tour’.
Depending on which route you take, the bus brings you quite a distance out of the city. There is a reason for it, but I’ll get to that shortly. What it also does is allow you to get a feel for the size of the city, and just how big that bloody bridge actually is!
So after a while I made it to the famed Bondi Beach. Time to get off the bus and go for a walk.
There’s a decent walking trail near the beach which isn’t too long or too short, and it takes you further around the coast and back on yourself. I’d recommend wearing something a bit more suitable than thongs/flip-flops, but the end of the walk being at the beach makes it well worth it.
In this picture, although you can’t see it, the route takes you around the outside of the coast. Behind me, is where you’ll find Bondi, a beautiful gem of a beach.
Fast forward a few hours and I’ve jumped back on the bus ready to check out the next few stops. The bus takes you through the city, and past a few of the lesser known landmarks. By lesser known, I mean not the major two or three. I’m not going to go into detail for all of these because you really should go and check it out yourself, but the pictures should give you a decent hint of the kind of places you’ll go to or pass.
Having jumped on and off the bus a ridiculous amount of times, I found myself back at the ever present Circular Quay. I decided to call my exploration for the day and find a nice chill place for a well deserved ice-cold beverage.
The point to all this, is that Sydney is a huge place with a ton to see. I found it to be cost effective to get a day pass for the bus, and with a bit of walking, managed to get around to all the places I really wanted to see. If you plan your trip properly you can save a fair few dollars just by utilising the different transportation networks in the city.
Hopefully this might inspire a few more people to see everything Sydney has to offer.
If you’ve done a similar trip, please share it with us in the comments!