Made my final interstate venture to New South Wales and after 11 months managed to reunite with a familiar face at beautiful Bondi Beach. How else does one begin a reunion? With brews on the beach, of course. As the ultimate surfer’s paradise, beach goers flock to Bondi’s shores to catch some rays, hike the cliffside, and shred the gnar.
Bondi Beach is also home to a Buvarian Bier Cafe. A quaint pub equipped with a great happy hour, good draughts, and a foosball table (on which I kicked Joe’s behind 10-0*).
A 30-minute ferry ride from Sydney’s Circular Quay will take you to Manly Beach, known amongst surfers for its waves. From its sandy shores, one can watch townies running the boardwalk, pros and amateurs taking to the waves, and school-aged students training for the Surf Life Saving Club.
Also located in Manly is a marine sanctuary, home to stingers, little penguins, and reef sharks. The sanctuary works to rescue and rehabilitate sick and injured marine animals found within Sydney Harbour and surrounding waters.
Sydney CBD is just that–a central business district. Fully equipped with tall buildings, banks, and bustling businessmen. The highlight of venturing into the city was walking up the steps to the Sydney Opera House (because let’s be honest: Did you really go to Australia if you didn’t visit the Opera House?).
While Darling Harbour houses the zoo and aquarium and I was ecstatic to see dugongs and a crocodile stalk a lorikeet, Sydney just did not do it for me. A day is more than enough time to take in the numerous “parks” (large grass patches amongst the concrete), the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, and the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Would I be me if I didn’t take the time to snoop around the nearest library?** In regards to style the New South Wales State Library differed drastically from those of Victoria and Queensland, but it did not fail in terms of education. Aside from the many shelves of books, Australian State Libraries have exhibits that offer an intimate view into Australia’s past–this year specifically from the eyes of military personnel because 2015 was the ANZAC centenary.
While I would have preferred to spend all four days in NSW basking in the sun on Bondi Beach, I am grateful nonetheless to have had the opportunity to visit such an iconic city.
*While yes, I am undefeated in foosball, Joe and I found a billiard table in a Sydney bar and he beat me 3-0. Still sulking, but a rematch has been scheduled.
**Shoutout to Joe for being a good sport and entertaining this passion of mine.