The title says it all, but if you’re looking for beautiful DSLR shots of Sydney, this is not the post for you. Instead, this Sydney travel diary is comprised of nothing but iPhone photos.
As mentioned in my Manly Beach post, this trip was of the spontaneous nature so I didn’t give much thought to packing my usual menagerie of cameras. Instead I relied on my iPhone 7 and M’s iPhone X, uploading a few pics to Instagram along the way.
It was surreal being back in Sydney – so much has changed since I was there as a pre-university gap year 19 year-old – but having already ticked off a lot of sights then, I didn’t feel under pressure to see EVERYTHING. Instead I went to pilates, enjoyed sniffing out the best breakfast spots and generally just having a wander around, revisiting familiar places like Manly and Bondi Beach, making new and updated memories.
First stop was Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge with M on our first day. As it was a work trip for him, this was our only full day together so we wanted to make the most of it, even if that meant eventually falling asleep at dinner later. After checking out those two iconic Aussie landmarks, we hopped on a ferry to Manly for oysters and beach time before heading back to the city for a wander around The Rocks and dinner in Potts Point.
Later in the week I also went on a whale watching tour. Unfortunately, there weren’t many whales about (I *think* I saw the back of a tail very briefly) but it was fun to be out on the ocean and get a view of the city skyline on the way back to land.
There’s nothing I love more on holiday than eating like I’m auditioning for Man vs Food, and Sydney did not disappoint. I had fluffy ricotta pancakes at The Little Kitchen, a delicious brunch of sweetcorn fritters and avocado salsa at Bills, and some seriously tasty Game of Thrones-inspired ‘Red Wedding’ ice cream from Gelato Messina. Australia shares many similarities with the UK, and my personal favourite is the abundance of fish and chips. I ate had three fish and chip dinners in the space of a week and I don’t feel a hint of remorse.
I like to try to retain some semblance of exercise when I travel – normally just by walking lots – but in Sydney I also tried a local pilates class, went for a freezing cold swim at Bondi Icebergs, and enjoyed a three-hour hike from Coggee to Bondi. I think on average I was clocking up around 21,000 steps per day, so that balances out the aforementioned ice creams and fish and chip dinners, right!? The day with the hike was possibly my favourite, as the coastal route takes you past beautiful coves and beaches, and even through a cemetery.
On my first solo day I took myself off to the Museum of Contemporary Art to see exhibitions by Sun Xun and Australian Indigenous artist, John Mawurndjul, along with the permanent collection. While there I got chatting to a lovely employee who recommended some more galleries and museums, including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, which I particularly loved. A couple of days later I geeked out at the James Cameron exhibition at the Australian National Maritime Museum. I also made time to explore the vintage shops of Crown Street and the many boutiques dotted along Oxford Street.
Before I knew it, it was Friday morning and were on our way back to the airport, so it was a short but sweet visit. During my gap year I also travelled around New Zealand and Fiji, and would love to go back, particularly to New Zealand. It might take juuuust a little while to save up that though…