Whoohooo – we made it, half way around the world into the Southern Hemisphere. Surprisingly, we felt good after flying 18.5 hours to Sydney. Fortunately, we slept most of the way in Delta’s beautiful new A-350/900. The flat beds and little private rooms are fabulous. Definitely the way to travel! We were so excited to explore this amazing and unique place: a country; an island and a continent! Here are a few of our favorite places.
Hyde Park Barracks: This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the heart of historic Sydney. The Barracks is an extraordinary living record of the penal colony and early colonial Australia. Built in 1819, to house convicts (50,000 over 30 years), the Barracks also served as an immigration depot, asylum and court of law. Today it is a cutting-edge museum. This is a fascinating, immersive experience for all ages. You don’t just walk through this history…it’s so well done, you feel like you’ve lived it.
Queen Victoria Building: This is Sydney’s most glamorous, prestigious and popular shopping center. It is rich in history and architecturally stunning. The Queen Victoria Building (QVB) occupies an entire block on Sydney’s historic George Street, and has over 180 of Sydney’s finest fashion boutiques, jewelry shops and delightful cafes and restaurants. The QVB was built in the late 1890s and named in honor of Britain’s beloved Queen Victoria.
Royal Botanic Garden: Goodness gracious, I had no idea Sydney would be so green and lush! For over 206 years locals and visitors have enjoyed the beautiful “Royal Botanic Garden.” It’s in the heart of Sydney covering 66 acres. What a location – it’s on the shores of Sydney Harbour and right next door to the epic Sydney Opera House. It’s always open to the public and is free! There’re so many green spaces around this city that show off Sydney’s lush landscape and many dramatic massive trees.
Wildlife Park at Sydney Zoo: Australia is famous for so many animals and reptiles that are only found on this continent down under. It was an adventure and fun experience getting up close and personal with many of them – especially the adorable Koalas at the “Koala Encounter.” These cute marsupials do not look real. The Koala and the Kangaroo are both only found Down Under. We also saw and learned so much about Kangaroos, which is the National Icon of Australia!
National Australian Maritime Museum: It’s the world’s largest in-water fleet of historic vessels and is very impressive. We experienced this amazing fleet and climbed aboard an Australian Navy Destroyer and a Cold War era Submarine. We walked through an exact replica of the ‘HMB Endeavour’ like Captain Cook sailed while mapping Eastern Australia. We also toured the ‘Dukfken’ an exact replica of a Dutch ship from 1660 that first discovered Western Australia. This Maritime “MuSEAum” has so many exhibits and intriguing stories to tell from sailor’s journals, daring rescues and immigration by sea. A full day here is hardly enough. All this and more is located by the Pyrmont Bridge on the waterfront of Darling Harbour…one of Sydney’s most beautiful and popular areas.
Blue Mountains: What a fun train ride to the town of Katoomba – just 2 hours west of Sydney, are the beautiful ‘Blue Mountains.’ This ancient land has been the home of the Aboriginal People for thousands of years. Dramatic, sheer sandstone cliffs offer a spectacular view from Echo Point…even with low clouds and fog rolling by. The Blue Mountains National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Queen Elizabeth has even visited here. We did a lot of walking and hiking through the Blue Mountains, but seeing warning signs for leaches was a bit concerning. It was lush, damp and vast. We felt like we were in a scene out of the movie Avatar as we were ‘bushwalking’ in this dense, wet, wilderness land of the Aboriginal People!
There are truly so many unique things to do and see in Sydney…and this is just one slice of amazing Australia! Check out my YouTube Travel Channel to learn more. And follow me on Social Media as I blog giving a recap of the top highlights of my travels around the world. ✅ Please, like-follow-subscribe: Travel with Terri from Texas at YouTube, Face Book and Instagram.