Jennifer Tice's Blog

Archive for the ‘Sydney’ Category

After four months of living in and exploring Sydney, it’s time to leave it all behind. It’s crazy how fast the time has flown by, and another leg of the Australia journey is complete. It’s also amazing how much more stuff we have to pack up this time!  After putting down roots for four months, things start to pile up. I already have one whole bag of clothes and books to donate to goodwill. Luckily, we’ll have a car for the next several months to tote around our new belongings.

Last Dinner with our Room mates

Last Dinner with our Room mates

The hardest part of leaving Sydney is having to say goodbye to all the friends we have made over our stay here. It is one of the hazards of continuously travelling; you meet so many great people, and just as you are starting to go to the pub regularly, it’s time to move on again. Luckily with Facebook and email these days it makes saying goodbye a lot easier knowing we can keep in touch online.

So for now its back into the unknown, just me, Andrew and our new car. Back to showering with flip-flops and living out of a backpack again with no plans other than heading north up the coast to wherever we decide is the next place to call home.

We’re getting geared up to get back on the road again to see the rest of the east coast of Australia. Step one, buy a used car that will take us (hopefully!) all the way  Cairns over the next 6 months.

1994 Holden

Our New Car!

We turn to the trusty gumtree.com.au, similar to craigslist.com but more popular here in Australia.  With a major airport located in Sydney, it’s a great place to pick up a used car from other backpackers who are leaving the country after their travels. Many people are even selling the gear they have picked up along the way such as backpacks, camping gear, snorkeling gear etc. so there are lots of great package options available.

After a few test drives we decide on a 1994 Holden Commodore. It’s in great condition with low kilometer’s, and most importantly it is still registered until mid July which means we don’t have to worry about re-insuring a car while we are here.  Just one more week to enjoy Sydney and then we are back on the road again!

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

On every list of the top 10 things to see in Sydney, is a show at the iconic Sydney Opera House. With only 10 more days left in Sydney, we have saved one of the best sights for last. Cheap tickets sell out fast, so be sure to plan ahead for your night out if you are on a budget.  There are a number of different genres of shows, so if Opera isn’t your thing you are bound to find something else you would enjoy. The show, Optimism, was selling half priced tickets for youth under 30, so we were sold.

Outside the Opera House

Outside the Opera House

This show is definitely not for everyone, but we kept an open mind as we were just happy to be seeing any show at the Sydney Opera House. It is described as a, “classic satire of enlightened insanity”, with a focus on the insanity part I think. But with a few glasses of wine, any production is enjoyable.  A great night out and a good excuse to get dressed up for once.  Be sure to check out Opera Bar pre or post show.  It’s a great spot to enjoy a drink overlooking the harbour.  With live music nightly, you might enjoy it even more than the show!

Open Air Cinema

Watching the sunset at the Open Air Cinema

The sun is setting over the harbour, and with a glass of wine in hand we watch the lights from the opera house and harbour bridge illuminate the cloudy nighttime sky above.  All this and more is included in your admission to the St. George Open Air Cinema in the Sydney Royal Botanical Gardens. If you are looking for a romantic first date that won’t break the bank, this is the place. Click here for a panoramic video of the cinema. Pre-ticket sales for the season sell out as soon as they are available, but tickets can still be purchased the day of at the venue.  There is lots to eat and drink, best to arrive early and grab yourself a table before the show begins.  As luck would have it, half way through the movie the heavens decided to open and pour down on the roughly 500 people in the stands.  Luckily free ponchos are provided, and we all have a good laugh as everyone scrambles to get theirs on as quickly as possible.  Even the rain can’t spoil the mood here. With an hour to go in the movie, and the rain pelting down on our ponchos, it was still one of the best nights out in Sydney.  After all, it’s not everyday you can sit outside in the rain, with a glass of wine and watch a movie over the harbour.

Jen & Natasha

Natasha & I showing our Aussie Pride

Australia Day is here and what better way to spend it than relaxing on the beach under the sun with friends. Walking over to Circular Quay to catch the ferry it seems the entire city is out celebrating. People are decked out in Aussie gear from head to toe and heading out into the city. The ferry terminals are packed, it feels like we are in a sheep corral as we board the ferry to Manly beach.

A short walk down from Manly and we arrive at Shelly Beach.  The tunes are blasting, BBQ’s are everywhere, games of beach volleyball line the sand and everyone is out having a great time.

Shelly Beach

Shelly Beach

Shelly Beach has a protected marine reserve area which is great for snorkeling as there are very few waves and tons of fish. Andrew and I spend over an hour just floating in the water with our snorkel gear amazed at all the tropical fish below.I am definitely considering getting an underwater camera to capture some of the beauty down here.  We watch the sunset over the beach and then grab some Thai food before catching the ferry back.  It’s the kind of day where I truly appreciate our choice to spend the year travelling around Australia, making new friends and spending our days relaxing on the beach.  Sometimes the simplest things are the best ones, or as Robert Brault said, “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”

Australian Museum

Outside the Australian Museum

Today we’re off to check off another attraction on our Sydney “to-do” list, the Australia Museum.  Located just across from Hyde Park, the Australian Museum is a beautiful old building that has been completely renovated inside with all your modern comforts. The Museum is currently showcasing the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit, with the winning and runner-up entries showcased in 16 different categories.  As our luck would have it the winning entry entitled, “The Storybook Wolf” was disqualified officially as of today and the photograph was removed from the exhibit! What drama! But with 10,000 pounds up for grabs, the competition is taken very seriously. The photos in the exhibit are absolutely breathtaking – no photography allowed in the exhibit due to copyright of course – so you’ll have to check this one out for yourself!

Me vs. the T-rex

Me vs. the T-rex

Next off to the dinosaur exhibit – Andrew and I are both fans of dinosaurs. This exhibit features a number of life-size models and skeletons as well as sound effects to complete the mood. Lots of information on the different eras and games to interact with for the kids (or in this case for Andrew and I!). There are a ton of other great exhibits including skeletons, surviving australia, insects, what’s in your backyard and rocks/gems.  Even after 3 hours here we still didn’t see everything. Snacks and comfortable shoes recommended.

The Terrace

Steak Dinner at The Terrace

3 years ago today Andrew and I decided to “go steady” if you will, and here we celebrating in Sydney Australia.  To celebrate, we have tickets for Mamma Mia playing tonight at the theater in the Star City Casino, located conveniently about a 5 minute walk from our apartment.  A bottle of champagne at home with our roommates to get the night started, then we head out for dinner before the show to The Terrace on Kent, a steakhouse overlooking the north end of the wharf. It was a great find, food is reasonably priced for Sydney, and they have a nice quiet back room that looks like it has been recently renovated.  The steaks were great, but I would pass on the desserts.

Mamma Mia

Mamma Mia!

Next off to the show! We arrive just in the nick of time (they lock you out if you are late, so make sure you get there early!).  The show is wonderful and we are singing and dancing along with the audience by the end of it.  Great show for families and kids as the songs are easy to sing a long to, and the story line is simple. A great night to remember, I can’t believe it’s already been 3 years! Looking forward to celebrating many more years together!


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