Australian Adventure Part 1: Sydney

Australian Adventure Part 1: Sydney

It would be impossible to sum up our trip to Australia in one post. We honestly had the best time traveling across three states (just over 4,000 km!), seeing so much diversity, meeting so many amazing people, and eating lots of good food! 

It truly was the trip of a lifetime, as many have called it. But the hubby and I are already talking about how we need to make it a goal to go back in this lifetime. We have to go back so we can visit with all the incredible people we met! 

I’ve decided to break our trip recap chronologically up into four parts. So stay tuned for more Australia goodness to come! 


The first thing most people bring up when we told them we were going to Australia was THE FLIGHT! That dreaded flight! Historically, San Francisco to Sydney was of the world’s longest flights. Since then, destinations like Dallas to Dubai or Africa have taken the cake. 

Regardless, our flight to Sydney from San Francisco was 15 hours. It helped we boarded the plane late in the evening so we were fed supper (or dinner) shortly into the flight and then could go to sleep. Honestly, I didn’t think the flight was all that bad. Maybe our trip to Singapore two years ago prepared us well for this flight.

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 preset

I’ve shared a couple of my World Traveling tips on the blog before, but I will share a few more.The hubs and I made sure to pay a little extra for Economy Plus on United and we also checked our seating arrangement using the United app to ensure there was nobody next to us so we had plenty of space. On both flights to and from Sydney, we were lucky that there were plenty of Economy Plus seats that passengers could move around and spread out. 

I also highly recommend investing in a good eye mask, I bought a Holistic Silk lavender filled one which I love! I also highly recommend packing along a neck pillow! I am not a very good plane sleeper mainly because I get AWFUL pain in my neck from sleeping in awkward positions. I found the best thing for me was to put the neck pillow on backwards and rest my chin on it. This position kept me comfortable enough to sleep nearly a total of 7 hours on our flight! 


We arrived in Sydney on a Friday morning around 8:30 AM, nearly two days after we left the U.S. thanks to the time change! We didn’t feel too awful bad for it being morning. We picked up our rental car, yes we drove while there… almost 4,000 km on the other side of the road! We rented a Volvo XC60, it was a great little SUV for us while we were there almost two weeks. 12778858_10100977208977470_2305699502337222703_oThen we were off! My hubby and I braved the Sydney traffic to our hotel in a district of Sydney called The Rocks. One wrong turn allowed us to drive over the Sydney Harbour Bridge which was neat! We stayed at the Rendezvous Hotel in the Rocks District. It was clean, super accommodating, and good sided rooms. But you were without a doubt paying for the view! We had a view of the Harbour and could even see the Opera House when there wasn’t a huge cruise ship in port. A quick change of clothes and freshen up, we were off exploring.

12719663_10100977850980890_5289729047311442905_o Australia - Sydney & Manly-6 Australia - Sydney & Manly-12 12783601_10100977292070950_5158019815312924103_o Australia Collage Sydney Australia - Sydney & Manly-2 Australia - Sydney & Manly-10 Australia - Sydney & Manly-9 Australia - Sydney & Manly-8

We spent most the day being tourists and just wandering around. We enjoyed lunch at Circular Quay at a hip craft beer bar called Buckley’s. They had a great selection of beers and creative bar food, I enjoyed their pork belly sliders with apple slaw, grilled pineapple, and sriracha dressing served with “chips” which are fries in Australia. Fries come with everything there!

Buckley's Sydney

That evening we dressed up and headed to a nice supper out at a place called The Cut. As you can imagine, it is known for its’ steaks and prime rib, which sold my husband instantly. The place is actually located in the cellar of an old building and the interior is fantastic. A wonderful mixture of masculine, rustic, and modern. I was literally freaking out over the cow-hide chairs all over the place. The waiters all wore these awesome suspenders too! 

The Cut

We both had the prime rib which was EXCELLENT. Our waiter was wonderful and gave us lots of great suggestions about what to try on the menu and even helped my whiskey-drinkin’ husband find a scotch to try. We ended our night super early as I was exhausted and made some plans for the next day. 


The next morning we started our morning off at Pancakes on the Rocks. If I had to compare it to something in the States, it would be a smidge classier IHOP. Of course, they are known for their pancakes so I ordered their Macadamia nut pancakes, which were divine. The hubs enjoyed an Aussie Sunrise Breakfast which consisted of grilled banana, grilled pineapple, bacon, eggs, and pancakes. 


After breakfast, we hopped on the ferry to Manly Beach. The ferry ride was awesome, we got to see some great views of the Harbour and all around the Sydney coast. All around Sydney (and up and down the coast) there are tons of awesome beaches to stop and check out. A friend suggested we go check out Manly as there are lots of fun shops and good places to eat. While we were there in Manly, there was the Australian Open Surf competition. We watched for a little bit as we strolled down the boardwalk. 

Australia - Sydney & Manly-16 Australia - Sydney & Manly-17 Australia - Sydney & Manly-18 Australia - Sydney & Manly-19 Australia - Sydney & Manly-20

We enjoyed some beers and ciders at Hotel Steyne right on the boardwalk and eventually had some lunch as well. We really enjoyed Manly Beach, it reminded me a lot of San Diego. The atmosphere, the little shops, the open air bars and restaurants. 

12804610_10100978458897620_2678379106990772052_n Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 2.25.05 PM


That evening we had booked tickets to go see a play at the Sydney Opera House. The hubs wasn’t super thrilled, but it is like going to NYC and not going to a Broadway show. We enjoyed supper at the Searock Grill in Circular Quay. Mark had to try the Kangaroo Fillets, they were actually really good. I had their pork special of the evening. 

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 2.25.19 PM 12814739_10100978458937540_13802141431820470_n (1) 12821425_10100978459077260_4314546769672107278_n (1) 12806160_10100978459221970_6674229683322600527_n (1) 12804693_10100978459251910_4476471060296560309_n (1)

At the Opera House, we saw Romeo and Juliet. It was a great rendition. After we got out, it was later in the evening. We enjoyed the walk along the Sydney Harbour and came across a hoppin’ pub called Fortune of War. Apparently it is Sydney’s oldest pub with quite the history! We enjoyed some live music there before heading off to bed.

The next morning, we got up and headed up the coast towards the Gold Coast! But that adventure is for another blog, stay tuned!! 

Have you ever been to Sydney!? There’s so much to see and do! What was your favorite part? 


  1. March 24, 2016 / 7:46 pm

    Your trip brought back so many memories for me! And I agree..Manly beach is fantastic!!

  2. April 22, 2016 / 9:07 pm

    Welcome to the land downunder. It is wonderful reading about your travels to our Australia. I’m so glad I come across your blog this morning, and am going to enjoy following you.