Sydney, Australia – Spectacular Spectacular!

18 Feb, 2016

Sydney, Australia – Spectacular Spectacular!

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View of Sydney Harbour from a North shore garden
Sydney Harbour – view from Wendy Whitely’s Garden

There is so much to absorb on a first visit to Sydney, Australia – the views, the sunshine, the food, the stunning architecture. Fortunately, even on a short visit you can enjoy the city from many angles for free!  Many residents and visitors often complain about how expensive it is to live in Sydney, so while we only spent a week touring there we tried to find as many activities and vistage points for free as possible.

A day’s walking tour in Sydney

Of course the best value way to visit a holiday destination is to secure free accommodation either through house-sitting or visiting friends through networks like We were fortunate on this occasion to visit with family in Neutral Bay, on the North Shore. However, if you have pet and homecare experience you can also find a housesit assignment to secure free accommodation for your trip.

Victorian style house with iron balustrade in Sydney
Victorian House – North shore, Sydney
Garden gate and lovely garden leading to house in Sydney
Garden entrance – Neutral Bay, Sydney

As we walked the neighbourhoods and spacious roads of the city and its environs we saw some period and modern homes that were full of character reflecting the history of Sydney. In fact as a visitor free Sydney can be simply stunning.  The city of 4.6 Million people, 25% of the total population of Australia, is actually built on a very human scale.

We were stunned to find that walking around the harbour was incredibly easy and the most breathtaking scenes quite accessible on foot. Here is a short description of some of the things we were lucky enough to enjoy.

On a Sunday walk around the harbour shore we came across the home of Australian artist Brett Whitely, and the garden cultivated as his memorial by his wife. Wendy’s secret garden is charming and a beautiful retreat from a vibrant city.

Sydney – A feast for the eyes

Abstract painting by Brett Whitely
Brett Whitely abstract Australian artist
Garden cultivated by Brett Whitely's wife as a memorial
Wendy Whitely’s secret garden

Walking is a fabulous pass time in Sydney we discovered. We toured on foot all over the city, across the bridge, through the Rocks (oldest part of the CBD), Hyde Park, and we took the ferry to various beaches and suburbs around the city.  We travelled to Milson’s Point for breakfast at Ripples on the North Shore.

Once in the Central Business District (CBD) there was a great choice of places to enjoy the views of the city for free. In the Rocks we climbed the International Passenger Terminal tower for an obligatory selfie! It was a great place from which to view the latest docked cruise liner at close quarters.  We also stepped into abstract views of the city in the Ken Dome Gallery in the Rocks which was free to enter.  His iconic abstract views of his native city are world famous.

Sydney Habour Bridge by abstract Australian artist Jim Dome
Sydney Harbour Bridge by Ken Dome

Sydney – stimulating all the senses

Later that same day we took a trip to the Sydney Fish Market which was lively and buzzing with people even on a Sunday. We toured a number of the stalls which were crowded with all manner of shoppers and families selecting produce from a vast array of seafood and crustaceans. Bright red crabs, shrimp the size of fists, star fish, squid of every shape and size was available to buy and eat.  We later had an inexpensive meal at Doyles in the market.

Oysters, Red Snapper and chips - Aussie style
Oysters, Red Snapper and chips – Aussie style

The ferries are an easy way to travel and reasonably priced. It felt like a real holiday every time we boarded a boat. Using an Opal card (the equivalent of an Oyster card in the UK) the price of ferry travel was only $2.60 per adult per trip, compared to  £2.40 – £6.50 per trip depending on the length of your journey which is significantly more than Sydney. In both cities you need to buy the card first for a modest sum. But honestly, what a great way to commute in Sydney, above ground and with this spectacular harbour view! …

view of the Sydney harbour bridge from Milsons Point Sydney
Breakfast view at Ripples – Milsons Point, Sydney

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