Our bosses (Trevor & Berry) packed the days with trips to Featherdale, the Blue Mountains, West head, Circular Quay, the Botanical gardens, Darling harbour, Manly beach, Watson Bay, the Rocks and the harbour bridge pylon museum to give a really good flavour of all Sydney has to offer.
It was great to get out and about and show the family all our favourite spots in Sydney although a couple of times it became a bit stressful having so many people relying on our (limited) knowledge of the city
. On one of the days 14 people had planned to go into Manly to get burgers and knew where they wanted to go as they had been promised they were the best burgers in town (not by us). However when the 14 of us turned up, the place was completely full. Disappointed, hungry and still wanting burgers they turned to me and wanted to know where they could get awesome burgers, but weren’t too expensive and could accommodate 14 people. The pressure was on and everyone was full of misplaced and foolish confidence in my knowledge of Manly… this was my time to shine, my big moment. (Have I built up the drama of the situation enough?) So anyway, my first thought was McDonald's but that wasn’t quite what they had in mind and the confidence levels took a dramatic hit. Fortunately I half knew of a place which sells gourmet burgers to takeaway, so I bravely led the troops through Manly. We trudged around losing people along the way as they decided to disappear into random shops. To make a long story short (too late), the burgers were awesome and we sat and ate them on the beach in the sunshine. Sydney really played it's part by having awesome weather the whole time the visitors were here and we had a great time catching up with the family.
In particular we really enjoyed the trip to Featherdale Wildlife park as Paige could feed the wallabies, although she got annoyed with all of us taking a million photos of her
. We also had a good trip to the Blue Mountains. It started off as a bit of a disaster, the day was a bit overcast and our first stop was to the botanical gardens which has amazing views over the mountains. When we climbed the hill we could clearly see we were climbing into the clouds and our amazing view was completely grey, we couldn't even see a few metres ahead of us. Still we plowed on to Scenic World and decided that despite the lack of a view we would go down into the mountains since we'd driven all that way. It was the best decision ever as by the end of the day the fog lifted and we could see all of the stunning views including the 3 Sisters. Scenic World has an amazing cable car, vertical train (scary) and a sky way over the dramatic Blue Mountains scenery... it was brilliant.
It was great for us to see how many of the sights and activities we have done in our time in Sydney and could therefore tell other people about them. There are very few tourist places that we haven’t been to and moreover we have done a lot of the 'off the beaten track’ activities too so Sydney feels like a second home to us now.
Proof of our expertise was when we went to 'The Rocks Market' with my Aunt and cousin. One of the sellers was talking to a couple on holiday from the states and he said ‘Can I give you a tip that not many tourists do when they’re here? Go to Watson Bay for fish and chips, and go to the pylon lookout museum for great views of the harbour
My Aunt turned to me and was pleased that her tour guide had already taken them to all of those places.
It was a great couple of weeks and very sad to say goodbye to the family but lots of fun and exciting travels still to come!
One of the main reasons we had planned to be in Sydney for New Year is that my Dad was getting married at the start of January in Manly. Some of the family were due to fly in for the occasion including my sisters and my niece who we haven't seen for 6 months. In total there were 18 of us, all in one 4 bedroom house which in itself was an achievement, and during this holiday time we became tour guides for the visitors.