After visiting Melbourne, we set off on a drive to Sydney. Yep…its a long way….like, really really long way. We travelled along the Hume Highway, and I can safely say it’s probably the most boring road I’ve ever driven.
We stopped halfway in a tiny little place called Talangatta and stayed at gorgeous Air BnB farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. Thankfully it had no internet or TV…so we all had to talk to each other instead, brilliant! The only thing that scared us a little was the smell of smoke just before we went to bed. Clearly, being out in the countryside we were also getting closer to areas of bush fire. None of us slept peacefully that night, not knowing how far we were from the nearest fire.
In the morning the air was getting thicker with smoke so we set off as soon as possible to continue on to Sydney.
Driving into Sydney, across the harbour bridge and catching my first glimpse of the opera house was a magical moment. I just never thought I would really have the opportunity to visit Australia, so I was pretty excited to see the famous sights I’ve only see in photos.
A few days after we arrived, on Boxing Day, we got to have a proper walk around the city, starting from Luna Park, which I was desperate to sketch the moment I saw it.
From the park we walked across the bridge (at street level, not over the top which is possible too if you book in advance), down to the opera house – I was so excited to see it in real life and from every angle – you just can’t appreciate its form until you see it in real life. This was a real highlight of the trip for me. So, yes, of course, I sketched it…I want to try many more sketches but this is the first and only version currently. We went over to the botanical gardens to feed electric eels by hand and then took a hop-on-hop-off tourist bus around other parts of the city just to get a quick look as we only had the day. We jumped off the bus at the Chinese Gardens, such a serene haven in the midst of the city – so peaceful. Highly recommend visiting if you go to Sydney.
We finished the day off with a ferry ride across the harbour back to Manley…and to the pub!
On a separate day, we took a drive to the most northern part of the city, to Palm Beach. We parked the car near the beach and took a walk up to the Barrenjoey Head lighthouse. As you climb the hill you can look down at the coastline and the distinctive hammerhead shape of the land. The whole Palm Beach area is very nice…the houses (mansions with ocean views) are incredible, this is certainly where the richer inhabitants of Sydney live!