Sydney: Wild & Majestic

Sydney serves both worlds: it serves those who love the bustle of city life and those who love nature. I found this to be true when I went to the Blue Mountains on Day 2 of Sydney. I left the city and all it’s busyness and chaos in exchange for the calm and mindful. Today, Sydney showed me that blend of busy and calm amidst the world that forces us to press that “forward” button. Follow me as we travel to Taronga Zoo- the highlight of my day. Together, let’s press “pause” and admire the opulent beauty of the animals.

Need to catch up on my first 2 days in Sydney? Click this link: https://wp.me/p7CuSQ-3I

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Day 3 itinerary: Taronga Zoo, Paddy’s Market, Chinatown

Day 4 itinerary: Bondi-Coogee coastal walk

One of things I want to see in Australia are the animals that are native to this place. So, I’m off to Taronga Zoo, which is an 11-12 minute ferry ride from CQ. Buy your zoo tickets online ahead of time for $41 or at the ticket office at the wharf for $47. You could also buy a combination zoo ticket plus an unlimited ferry ride for the day for $59. The economical side of me chose the ticket only and I topped off some money on my OPAL card.

It’s a rainy day so I’m prepared with boots, umbrella, and warm clothes. Thanks to the Marriott for their courtesy umbrellas! Upon arrival to the zoo, you take a gondola/cable car up to the top leading to the zoo entrance. After you get a hand stamp, the day is yours really to explore. Grab a map and check out every path or trail for it might surprise you or, if nothing else, put a smile to your face like it did me. I think the giraffes, gorillas, and chimps were my fave. The kangaroos were pretty awesome even if they didn’t hop for me.

The rain stopped and blue skies graced us with its beauty and crispness but it didn’t last long before it got a bit cold again. But it was a perfect time to watch the giraffes munch on leaves.

I took the gondola/cable car for a round trip before catching the ferry back to CQ.

I am back at Paddy’s Market and spent a few hours exploring a few stalls and their food court.

From here, I retraced my steps from last night and followed the path to Darling Harbour. Just past the entrance to Chinatown, I was intrigued by the people lining up for cream puffs. So I stood in line to see what’s the big deal.

Warm custard-y treat for $1AUD for 3 pieces. It kind of hit the spot but not really. It was, however, worth the wait and the hype. Get in line and your own cream puff!

The walk back was nostalgic as I had been on that same path last night, whilst the rain. The place is busy, crowded, and noisy. People were everywhere trying to get somewhere: a cruise, a dinner, or to meet for drinks. Everyone had something planned.

The ferry ride back to CQ made a quick stop at Milton’s Place where Luna Park is located. From the boat I saw people preparing for tonight’s Vivid Sydney. There’s a big Ferris wheel and the place has a boardwalk type feel. I didn’t leave the boat to check it out. Maybe next time or maybe I’ll just have other people experience it.

As I prepare for my last full day in Sydney, I am reminded about several words ending with “-fullness”: gratefulness and mindfulness are two words that comes to mind. The two cannot be mixed for each one serves a different purpose. Each one entitles you to receive and give something. Each one gives light to the other. But together it creates a path for you to explore yourself and the world around you.

Day 4:

The OPAL card challenge begins at Wharf 2 in CQ. On Sundays, you can go anywhere and ride any transport mode for $2.50AUD. Today, I want to challenge myself by walking from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach. According to the few blogs, it takes 2-2.5 hours to finish this 6 km walk.

*photo courtesy: Pinterest

This supposed coastal walk is beautiful. Actually, the bloggers are wrong: it is not beautiful, it is magnificent.

The rain came while waiting for the bus 380 at Watson’s Bay. You can take the ferry to this point from CQ then the bus to Bondi Junction. Alternatively, you can take the train to Bondi Junction then the bus. While waiting for the bus, I learned that you could also take bus 324 then a train then another bus to Bondi Beach.

This is a view from the lookout near the bus stop. The train and bus combo seemed like too much work so I patiently waited for the first 380 bus (arrived at 11:16). My patience was rewarded with a rainbow:

The bus 380 came and it took about 15 minutes before reaching Bondi Beach – or the start of the coastal walk. From here, buckle up, hope that you dressed for the weather, and hope that you have the right pair of shoes. The entire walk was about 1.5 hours. Take a look at these magnificent views along the way:

Check out this ocean pool, which you can see less than a mile from the start of the coastal walk. Magnificent, right?

About halfway through the coastal walk, I found myself in the Waverly cemetery and learned that the landslip was damaged from the storm of June 2016.

Finally! I’ve reached the end- there were a few steep, wet stairs that was kind of challenging but the beauty of the ocean and the sound of the crashing waves was my reward! The wind was also competing with the rain so I was more cautious with every step, particularly climbing the steps. Push your body and your mind will bend with it.

Coogee Beach has been reached! After a few minutes of rest on the steps facing the beach, I saw a bus leaving with CQ on the front. Winner! So I caught a bus (by chance) to CQ. This bus 374 took 45 minutes and I was more than okay not doing the coastal walk on the return trip.

So I didn’t really take the OPAL card challenge seriously. And I’m perfectly content with that thought. I did the Bondi-Coogee coastal walk and that was enough challenge in one day. How about you? Will you take the challenge?

Before I end this post, I was kindly reminded by the care we should take of our earth, our planet, our environment. Take heed and help!

Lastly, here’s the Wild and Safe foods I ate in Sydney. This smoked mackerel was served at the Executive Lounge at the Marriott every morning. It is super delicious, if only I had white rice to go with it. The passion fruit was experienced for the first time, but it’s too sour for my liking. The yogurt next to it was quite delicious, not too sweet. And if you want a wild meal, perhaps a kangaroo burger would satisfy your meat craving. I have been meat-less for 2 months so this didn’t interest me. I found this poster in Leura.


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