Recently, we made a very brief (less than 24 hours) trip to Sydney. The particulars of the trip involved us driving rather than flying which was a big frustration as the roads between Brisbane and Sydney were not what we would ever have anticipated between two of Australia’s biggest cities nor did we have the time to explore places along the way.  We had planned to return to Sydney in December for a portion of the girls summer break but that is not looking very likely at this point in time so I will share what we did see, let the pictures do most of the talking and dream of taking the girls back some day.

We arrived in Darling Harbour early afternoon and our hotel was really great about letting us check in early!  We would highly recommend the hotel we stayed at (the Ovolo) and the location if you have limited time in Sydney.  It was an easy walk to the ferry stop so once we were settled in we quickly made our way to the ferry so we could see the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House from the water during the day  We got super lucky that it was a perfectly crisp and sunny winters day!
our hotel sydney darling harbor
Our hotel in Sydney…

Darling Harbor Ferry Stop...
Ferry ride to the Opera House stop…
It really is hard to put into words how extraordinary this piece of architecture is..  We have always been moved by photographs of the Opera House but to see it in person was next level.  It truly took our breath away!  It is hard to believe there was so much controversy over it’s construction.  I think it shows how shortsighted politicians can be when it comes to art, architecture, and beauty.  Can you imagine Sydney without the Opera House?
From the Opera House, we walked through the city a bit to get back to our hotel.  It was a slightly further walk than we realized but also gave us a chance to see what we might someday want to come back and check out!  I don’t have photos but driving into the northern suburbs of Sydney felt like driving into a neighborhood in our former city of Atlanta, GA.  It is probably not fair to say on such a short visit but I felt like I was back in the US more than I have at any point in time this past year and it was really nice!  Some days I really miss home…certain things about home anyway!
susan sydney sculpture
sydney animal sculpture
We were thrilled to find out upon checking into our hotel that Vivid was going on in the evenings in Sydney!  We booked spaces on one of the boats taking people out into the harbor for the evening show.  Again, it did not disappoint.  It was crowded for sure but nothing could dull the experience of the lightshow. It is said that Vivid is best experienced on both boat and by foot so someday we hope to be able to do just that!  It is impossible to capture how very cool Vivd is with an iphone camera but hopefully this will give you a taste and inspire you to come visit!
IMG_0950 2
opera house vivid green leaf
vivid opera house black and white
And, my very favorite…
sydney opera pinstripe
The drive from Brisbane to Sydney is no longer than the regular trips we used to make in a single day from Florida to Arkansas in the States but  the roads here were unknown and the driving more stressful so we stopped for the night both ways to break the trip up a bit.  On the drive down it rained heavily much of the day.which made it seem much longer than it really was. We spent the night on the way down in Newcastle, NSW and would really like to go back and explore it a bit more one of these days.  It had history and it felt like it is in a bit of a renaissance phase as well.

On the drive back home we went up the north beaches to see Manly Beach and a place called Pittswater that Lawson had read a lot about as it is a popular sailing community.  It was a cold, overcast day so the photos are a bit meh but the beauty still comes through.  We stopped for the night in the coastal town of Port Macquarie on the trip back home.

Manly Beach…
bondhi beach swimmer
pittswater sailing
The trip seemed extra long  because a huge portion was two lane roads and there was road work with the speed changing constantly between 30 to 80 to 110 kilometers per hour and signs everywhere that your speed was being monitored.  We were stressed out, worrying constantly that we might have missed a speed change sign.  It was the most I have driven in one shot since we have been here so it was good practice.  In spite of the two lanes, we passed some lovely sugar cane fields and caught this lovely rainbow on the way down to Sydney!
sugar can nsw
rainbow over sugar cane fields nsw

As always, thanks for joining us (somewhere over the rainbow) on this expat adventure!  We hope our journey is inspiring you to come visit us and this beautiful country!


6 Comments on “Sydney

  1. Hello all ! Living the blog ! You’re so open with your experiences which makes it so much more interesting to read ! Hope you get back to Sydney again soon , the photos are wonderful !

    • Aww, thanks so much Trish! Some would say a bit too open..haha! Yeah, us too! We are super disappointed that things fell through for Christmas but we will go back first chance we get! Come visit sometime! It is worth the painfully long plane ride! Hope the renovations are going well!

      • Definitely love to visit ! Our youngest is thinking about doing her college placement and summer break in NZ next year , so that would be a good excuse Renovations are still going …. kitchen goes in on Monday so hoping that signals the start of the return leg ! Enjoy the weekend xx

        • Yes! If she comes to NZ please plan to hop over for a visit! We love having guests! You are in the home stretch once the kitchen goes in! We have spent much of our marriage renovating some portion of a house so know how disruptive it is….your almost there! Thank you, you too!

  2. Enjoy reading about your Australian adventures and seeing your beautiful photos!!!

    • Thanks so much Lisa! Loved that beautiful photo of you at Petit Jean on faceobok!

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