This section of the blog will go into detail about our time in each location. It will be more of a journal than anything else and will include things we enjoyed, as well as any aspect we might do differently if we were to plan it again.
The journal for Sydney is going to be a bit different as our days were pretty much gym, work, sleep, repeat, however I will talk about some of the highlights from our month here.
Firstly though, a huge thank you to Joe and Beth who let us crash with them for a whole month! We loved our time with them and really appreciate them putting up with us for so long!
For the majority of the time we were in Sydney (well, during January) we took part in Veganuary, meaning we could only eat vegan food for the whole month. Check out Our Veganuary Experience blog or head to our YouTube Channel to watch the vlog.
The plan was to get a job for a month to replenish the funds, however we were messed about a bit and only managed to get two weeks selling big books to Kindergartens. Although we were given a car, the money was a lot less than we had expected and, quite honestly, the boss was a complete nightmare! Nevertheless, we plodded on in the hope the small wage we earnt would get us up the east coast and back down to Melbourne.
As well as the day job, James also took up UberEats driving on a bicycle. Whenever he could, on an evening and weekend, he would collect food from local takeaways and deliver them to hungry customers near and far. I think he enjoyed the exercise and the extra income was a bonus!
Day 152 – Friday 4th January
Unsure how many days off we would get (little did we know it would be a lot!) we set off for a bit of sightseeing around the city. Our first stop was St. Mary’s Cathedral, a beautiful building opposite Hyde Park.
Next was the Botanical Gardens and Mrs Macquarie Park where we had spent New Years Eve. It looked very different in the daytime and was much quieter, but the view was still as insane!
We followed the gardens around to the Sydney Opera House which was surrounded by tourists taking photos with the iconic landmark. Of course we joined them!
After a spot of shopping for work clothes we ventured to our first vegan/vegetarian restaurant, Peace Harmony, for lunch. The Asian restaurant substitutes meat for tofu and, surprisingly, we really enjoyed our stir fry! (Yes, even James!)
We strolled down to Darling Harbour, the perfect place to wine and dine on a weekend. Unfortunately there was no wine for us as we were taking part in Dry January!
On to the Sydney Observatory where we had incredible views over the city. It was a red hot day so we welcomed the breeze on the hilltop as we watched the world go by.
Our last stop of the day was the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which was just immense. Once again we couldn’t really believe we were standing here, right underneath it!
After our busy day sightseeing we were absolutely shattered, but really pleased we had managed to see so much of Sydney in a day!
Waterfall to Heathcote Hike
Day 158 – Thursday 10th January
As we were due to start work the following Monday we decided to make the most of our last few days of unemployment so took the train out Waterfall and began the 11km hike to Heathcote via the Heathcote National Park. Of all the days we picked to go for a walk we couldn’t have chosen a greyer day!
We followed the Uloola Falls Trail to Uloola Falls, but it had been so dry recently that there was no water in the falls at all, it was bone dry! Except the slow drizzle coming from the sky. It still made for a pretty view out over the National Park and it was great to rest for a while.
Towards the end of the hike we came to Karloo Falls. It wasn’t much of a falls, more like a pond, nevertheless, James decided he fancied a dip, despite the chilly weather! He spent a while floating around in the pond while I stayed nice and warm on dry land.
By the time we reached Heathcote we were shattered so, after getting James a bicycle helmet and other stuff ready for his start as an UberEats driver, we took a train to Beverly Hills to watch the new Aquaman movie at the cinema.
Coogee to Bondi Walk
Day 161 – Sunday 13th January
With the alarm blaring at 4:30am we dragged ourselves out of bed to attempt the Coogee to Bondi walk, a 6km walk along the coastline on the outskirts of Sydney. The view was incredible as the sun came up over the ocean. We were glad to have started the walk early as by the time we arrived at Bondi Beach it was already red hot and it was only 8am!
Day 168 – Sunday 20th January
As we had the company car we headed further afield towards the Mermaid Pools where we’d heard was a lovely place to take a dip in the heat of the day. After parking the car there was a bit of a walk along the river to the pools but it was well worth it!
There was a massive cliff leading to a huge pool of water. Visitors were leaping off the cliff into the cool water below then climbing back up an old rope. The jump was around 15m high and James was determined to give it a go. I really wanted to but my legs just wouldn’t take me off the edge!
Three young lads decided the ledge was far to tame for them and climbed higher, to about 30m to jump off. They threw huge rocks into the water to break it before they plummeted in.
James jumped in a couple more times and we spent a while relaxing in the sun and watching the daredevils try to challenge each other before have a swim upstream and finding a metre drop for me to jump off!
Day 177 – Tuesday 29th January
As we had now quit our job we took a train then a bus out to Maroubra Beach for the day. We spent a few hours sunbathing, swimming and body surfing before taking ourselves on a walk around the Malabar Headland National Park to Magic Point.
We debated continuing around to Malabar Beach but as we’d already been with Joe and Beth we decided to head back to Maroubra. We had a fantastic day out but it had been another scorcher of a day and James hadn’t put much (any) sun cream on his back…
Figure 8 Pools
Day 178 – Wednesday 30th January
With another free day to explore we got up at 6am and set off to Otford to find the Figure 8 Pools. Unfortunately it was a bit of a gloomy day but it was still hot and the 12km round trip was tough!
You have to time your visit right because when the tide is in the figure 8 pools are underwater! We got there before the tide began to come in and managed to cool off in the pools along with a few other visitors.
A poor little sting ray was stuck in one of the pools until the tide came back in. There wasn’t anything we could do but hope it didn’t get too stressed out in the small space.
Day 180 – 182 Friday 1st February – Sunday 3rd February
The Rugby 7s was being held in Sydney while we were there and my mum had got us tickets for the weekend for James’ birthday. All three days we were sweltering hot and we felt like we were melting the whole time, but that’s what we expected from Australia so we can’t complain!
The weekend was fantastic, with some excellent matches and England coming in third place! We even got to meet some of the players! I would definitely go to a Rugby 7s weekend again given the chance.