Exploring Sydney

A few top things to do in Sydney

Koala x

Darling Harbour

Darling Habour is a great location to base yourself while in Sydney, picturesque with an assortment of good hotels to choose from. With many attractions right at your doorstep including Madame Tussauds, Sea Life Aquarium and the National Maritime Museum. It is a short walk into the city over the Pyrmont Bridge, which still opens at times during the day to allow ships and harbour boats to pass through.
And , well  …  you never know who you might run in to …

Jonny Depp 2 x Giant Koala x

Winter Festival
Winter Festival


Harbourside Shopping
Harbourside Shopping

The Thai Foon restaurant in Harbourside

This Thai restaurant in the Darling Harbour shopping  complex serves delicious food with special offers available through ourdeal.com. We took advantage of the ourdeal.com.au special, which included a three course meal for two and a bottle of wine for $50. (wow). For Our Deal special  offers go to  www.ourdeal.com.au.

Thai Foon chandelier

Thai Foon chandelier

John Chen Gallery

While in Darling Harbour complex I was drawn to the John Chen Gallery, run by John and his brother. John, who studied in Shanghai, has been working as an artist in Australia for the past 22 years. Displaying a feast of works, from portraits, charicatures and pets through to celebrities, street scenes and seascapes, you are bound to find that special work of art or have your portrait done. It only takes a few minutes. To see some of his stunning works visit his website at www.johnchengallery.com

While there John did my portrait in charcoal – see below

Charcoal drawing by John Chen.
Charcoal drawing by John Chen.

Sydney Tower Eye Westfield

A great place to visit is the Sydney Tower Eye, completed in 1981 at a cost of twenty six million dollars, and is well worth a visit with 360 degree stunning views over the city and surrounds. It’s the tallest building in Sydney, with 1504 steps reaching 309 meters to the spire. I took the elevator which only took 40 seconds to reach the top. You can also take a guided walk outside around the top of the building if you are feeling adventurous.

Sydney Tower
Sydney Tower

Victoria Tea Room

In the Westfield building we discovered  Victoria Tea Room Salon, above Market Street and Pitt Street Mall.  Surrounded by a curved picket fence, where they serve fine tea (and coffee) in fine bone china, this is a great place to retreat from the bustle of the city. High tea is served on a three tier cake stand and includes an assortment of ribbon sandwiches, scones and cup cakes and sweet treats.  There are three different levels of high tea including a Sparkling high tea option, which includes champagne (I like it a lot).

Victoria Tea Rooms
Victoria Tea Rooms



Excuse me - I think my wine glass needs refilling ...
Excuse me – I think my wine glass needs refilling …

Taronga Park Zoo

A trip across the harbour on the ferry takes you to Taronga Park, where you will find the workers – staff and volunteers alike, just love their jobs, understandably in such an amazing location with spectacular views.  You can catch one of the bird shows, where the birds are so well trained they fly in and out on cue doing all sorts of tricks along the way. And on hearing the word rubbish, a cockatoo swoops in picks up the rubbish, dropping it in the bin.

view from Taronga Park zoo xView from Taronga Park x

The Blue Mountains

When visiting the Blue Mountains, there are a few things you shouldn’t miss, including the Cultural Centre in Katoomba, which celebrates the environment, history and culture of the region.

Echo Point – the lookout overlooks the famous Three Sisters and the Kanangra-Boyd Wilderness. Ride down the incline railway or take a cable-car ride across the Jamison Valley. The Blue Mountains and the Australian bush that covers them is best discovered by bushwalking. We took one path that was only about 3 or 4 kilometers and I thought “a piece of cake” How wrong I was … what I didn’t realize was how steep the terrain was – it was all down hill (about a thousand steps) through the rain forest and picturesque waterfalls. I became acutely aware of all my leg muscles for the next couple of days.

Echo Point - The three sisters
Echo Point – The three sisters

Choc factory xPicMonkey Collage 1

While that is a few highlights, Other things to do include:

Sydney Harbour Cruise

The Rocks and Opera House tour

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb

Sydney and Bondi Hop on hop off tour

The Hunter Valley

 Happy Touring






  1. Thanks for this terrific post Ingrid. We were in Sydney last Christmas, but judging by your photos, I can’t say we were really there. There’s clearly so much more to see and do. I’ll be checking in with you before our next trip. Bravo!

  2. What a great time you had! Loved this fun post from the pic of you with the Koala to the great tips and things to do. Envious of you meeting up with Johnny 😉 and I hope that wine glass was filled for you 😉

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