Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Sydney - On the Waterfront

Coogee Beach, Sydney
For many people, one of the big attractions of Sydney is that it is a coastal city, with lots of harbours and beaches. Bondi is of course the beach that everyone heads to, everyone except us that is.

We're not beach people, so whilst we might have just popped along for a quick look, the idea of spending time on a crowded beach just because it is famous, didn't appeal.

Coogee Beach, Sydney
We did, however, get out to Coogee Beach, a little further along the coast. Nic has a friend from his old work that lives out here, so we came out to meet up with her and her family.

Manly, Sydney
The Taste of Coogee food and drink festival was on while we were there, which is only small, but meant that it was quite busy. Most of the people here seemed to be locals rather than tourists, which is definitely a plus for us.

Manly Beach, Sydney
We even made it out to a second beach destination - the suburb of Manly. We took the green and yellow ferry boat, which is quite a pleasant journey out past the Opera House and East of the city. Manly has a nice looking ferry terminal, but aside from that it didn't especially appeal to us.

Manly Beach, Sydney
There is nothing wrong with it, but the focus here is again about the beach, and it is one of those places that, much like many of our UK coastal resorts, seems to have prioritised mass tourist appeal over quality and individuality.

Sydney Harbour
On another day, we took another ferry over to the suburb of Balmain. This ferry goes the other way out of Circular Quay, so passes under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and past Luna Park, opened in 1935, and just one of many amusement parks worldwide that were based on and named after the original 1903 Luna Park on Coney Island, New York.

Luna Park, Sydney
Circular Quay, Sydney Harbour

Balmain, Sydney
Balmain is a rather more genteel suburb than Manly. There isn't a great deal to do here, but it was interesting to walk through it and see one of the earliest settled suburbs in the city. The architecture is an interesting mix of old workers cottages, more upmarket properties and of course newer buildings. There are a number of nice pubs and cafes to stop off along the way.
Balmain, Sydney
Sydney Harbour Bridge

Daring Harbour, Sydney
We took the bus back the last stretch downtown, and ended up in Darling Harbour, which is big, brash and busy, with lots of chain restaurants, and very touristy. This is also home to the Aquarium and Maritime Museum, which we didn't go to, but are supposed to be good. If you go a little further up the peninsula, there are more restaurants in King Street Wharf which, when we were there at least, had fewer tourists and more business suited locals. One of our favourite downtown bars is around this area too, The Lobo Plantation rum bar on Clarence Street.

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