Sometimes when things are flat out at work, it is hard to take time off and have a holiday. One thing I have became extremely well at is squeezing a diverse holiday into a quick getaway. With our company going national and expanding to the east cost of Australia, I have been in and out of New South Wales on business trips and on my last one, I decided to take two days off and have a 4-day weekend exploring Sydney and the coast. Here is my way to do Sydney in 4 days.
The Sydney Opera House
A must see when you’re a tourist in Sydney is obviously the Sydney opera house. Someone told me that the Sydney Opera House was designed to look like sails. It turns out that is not the case at all. When designing the building, the design was thrown out for being too extreme, but a judge voted to reconsider it and after it was predicted to take 3 years and cost $7 million dollars to build, it ended taking 16 years and up costing over $100 million dollars. In my opinion, worth every penny.
The Opera Bar
The Opera Bar is like nothing I have seen before, taking waterfront bar and bistro to a whole new level. We stumbled across it accidentally while visiting the Opera House and I am glad we did. On a late Friday afternoon it is jam packed with workers, treating themselves after the work week has finished. The vibe is great, there is live music and the views are picturesque. A great place to cool down in Summer and enjoy a beer or a glass of bubbly.
Dinner at Darling Harbour
For dinner we headed to Darling Harbour which is a nice, relaxing spot in the heart of a busy city to enjoy a nice meal. We had the choice of a variety of places to eat and we chose to enjoy some seafood at a restaurant called Blue Fish. After dinner, the Darling Harbour is the perfect place to go for a night stroll to burn off the food and enjoy some beautiful night views of the canals and the city.
When we were leaving the Sydney Opera House before dinner we noticed an enormous smiling face across the river so after dinner we headed to Luna Park and walked straight through the smiling faces mouth as the entrance. The park is actually free to get in and a good place to go for some rides, games and fun.
See Sydneys Night Life
Sydney has over 2000 pubs and bars so it isn’t hard to find somewhere to find a beverage. We visited a few different small bars and pubs and experienced an extremely diverse range of venues and styles. I found that the bartenders all take pride in their jobs and love it when you tell them to surprise you.
Book a Hotel Overlooking the City
The city Sydney is like no other in Australia. The skyscraper buildings and hotels span for almost an hours worth of driving, so by grabbing a hotel just out of the CBD, you can find yourself overlooking the amazing city lights.
Hire a Motorhome
I am naturally more attracted to being surrounded by land and water, rather than houses and buildings, which is why I try not to spend too many days in a city when visiting it. I had an idea of exploring New South Wales’ beautiful coastline, before stumbling across a website called Camplify. It is like Gumtree for hiring out private motorhome and caravans, which I thought was such a smart idea as I always see so many parked up at peoples homes.
Go Exploring the Coastline
On Saturday we woke up and went and picked up a motorhome that we had booked off a couple living about 20 minutes out of the city CBD and we headed on a journey driving north along the coast.
The Entrance - Central Coast
We headed to the Central Coast for a late breakfast before parking up at The Entrance. When the tide is low, you can walk through the water from one side to the other along the sandbar and relax in the sun. A good place to relax for an hour or so before we kept heading north.
We arrived at Nelson Bay in the afternoon and decided it was a good spot to park up and stay at. Trying not to spend too much of the holiday driving, Nelson Bay was exactly what we were looking for. A small beach town with a good variety of places to eat, things to do and beaches to visit. We booked a spot at Halifax Holiday Park for the motorhome for 3 nights and decided this was the place to stay.
Climb Mount Tomaree Lookout
We woke up early, chucked on our sneakers and climbed Mount Tomaree. It is roughly 160m high and takes about 30-40 minutes but it well worth the climb. A beautiful view of Port Stephens from up in the clouds, I highly recommend to give some perspective into how beautiful nature is.
This by far was my favourite place on our trip. For myself, it ticked every box you can tick for a relaxing beach spot. We spent Sunday afternoon here and came back and spent the day here on Monday.
We then spent Tuesday driving back to the city of Sydney and dropping the motorhome off to the owners. If you are like myself and like to see a lot of a place in a short amount of time I highly recommend exploring the coastline. Next time I might take a few more days off and venture up to Byron Bay or explore to south coast. In a wrap, Sydney is beautiful, amazing and full of special hidden gems.