Four days in Sydney: beach, surf and sunshine

We arrived from Melbourne at 8pm and got to the flat at about 9pm after doing a quick shop for breakfast at the nearby supermarket. We met our Airbnb host, a nice guy from the Netherlands that showed us around the lovely flat on the 17th floor of a tower block, with a beautiful roof terrace overlooking Sydney. We soon felt at home and fell asleep very easily!

Day 1
To start well our four days in Sydney we had a lie in since we felt destroyed from the past few days, then had breakfast and ended up leaving the place at about 1pm. We went straight to the Opera House with Uber (works so well here!) and decided to try and get some tickets for the evening to see a performance in the main concert hall. We were lucky since the main concert hall (the biggest) still had some tickets available, and not too pricey. We went for the cheapest ones of course which were £35, the show was Haydn’s creation with both orchestra and Choir. Excited for the evening we then started a nice walk around The Rocks, the old quarter of Sydney near the harbour. I jumped lunch while Brucey just had a quick sandwich that looked delicious and made me a bit jealous but I stayed strong.

After that we got back towards the Harbour and continued walking around until it got dark. We then went home and got changed before our posh evening at the Opera House. We had dinner near our place in Darlinghurst at a Vietnamese restaurant called Bay Hong, very tasty ossobuco curry and meatballs. We then got an uber to the opera house and enjoyed every second of our night there. The music was good especially the choir was very powerful, and the concert hall was majestic. We also loved being able to get outside on the terrace during the interval admiring the Harbour Bridge. Such a great night that we will never forget!
Got back at 11pm and skyped family back home, then were ready to sleep before our surf lesson tomorrow and visiting Lucy Shannon in Manly!

Day 2
We had breakfast and left a little bit late, our uber messed up a bit and couldn’t find us and we were late for the ferry which I thought only went every hour. But once again my googling wasn’t accurate at all and there were other ferries available which meant there was no need to panic. We got on the ferry to Manly beach at 10am, the ferry journey was beautiful especially since the sun was shining for us. So amazing to see the harbour and the opera house slowly fading away in the horizon over the sea. We got to Manly and followed the surfers towards the beach. The surf school is towards the other end of the beach from the ferry, and we got there in perfect timing at 10:50. Put on our wetsuits and we were ready for our lesson at 11. I was so happy when I found out the teacher was Italian, from Liguria Genova, it was such a treat to speak my first language while trying to stand on the board. I enjoyed every second of the 2 hrs lesson and managed to stand up a few times and even curved left and right a couple of times! Brucey also did well and managed to stand three times (for about 3 seconds!) , but we were both destroyed at the end since we used muscles that we never used before. It was such great fun, and the perfect day for it weather and waves wise. So much fun, I wish I had more time to practice.

After the lesson we were starving and ended up having a tasty tapas lunch at The Jellyfish just next to the school (ROB it was quite cheap so we didn’t get stung 😉 .
After that we walked to Lucy’s place who very kindly hosted us for the afternoon and evening. We had a nice cup of tea and caught up, and met the lovely Oscar and Lily (their 4 and 1 years old kids). We then had a drive towards the view point and a secret beach with amazing views and a natural waterfall… Under which a young girl was having a guy taking semi-porn photos of her topless… Bruce was quite happy about that extra surprise at the secret beach, even though he couldn’t look for too long because I was ready to attack when he was looking!! (ROB – I was looking at the lovely waterfall!)
After the beach we were dropped by Lucy at Shelly beach (a small beach just after Manly) where we had a nice sunset walk back to their house. So pretty and another great day with fantastic weather. Soon after we got back to Lucy’s her husband Jeremy got home.  It was great to meet him and to have a delicious dinner with them catching up and chatting away with a few drinks! At one point little 4 year old Oscar said to me, “can your daddy push me on the swing?” meaning Bruce – hahahah! We got the night ferry back from Manly at about 11pm and got home at midnight. The views were still stunning in the evening, even if it was a bit too cold to stay outside.
Thanks a million to Lucy, Jeremy, Lily and Oscar for a lovely day and night!

Day 3
Another lie in even if unplanned this time… I ended up going to the shop before breakfast to buy some ham that I was craving probably due to the mild hungover from last night. I also had to buy some medicines since Some things will be harder to get when we are in South America. By the time I got back and we had breakfast it was noon. We got a bus to Bondi beach which took half an hour and we started the day by having a coffee (from another Italian!) and a chilled walk on the stunning beach, watching the surfers and admiring their skills. We are seeing them in a totally different light now that we tried surfing. They make it look so easy!

We then started the beautiful coastal walk to Coogee. Such a breathtaking walk, with interestingly carved sand stones, lookouts over the coast, gorgeous beaches and again lovely sunshine and perfect temperature.
So randomly we met Rosie, Ian and Rachel’s daughter during the walk, our friends that we met in Vietnam during our trip there. You’d never expect to meet someone you know in a city where you know only 5 people! Everyone is super fit and healthy in Sydney which makes you want to put more effort into exercise and workouts – here is How to Get A Full Body Workout When Traveling.

Then we had a drink at the Coogee Pavilion and then went to Alex’s for dinner. Alex Peebles is from Oxford, and Bruce knows him since childhood although they haven’t seen each other since they were 17… so more than 20 years ago! It was great to meet him and his lovely wife Debs who have a friendly little boy called Harry who we met briefly before he went to bed, and they are expecting a little girl too. Their place was so nice and their company so warm we will always remember the good night spent together! Thanks again for feeding us delicious food, really hope we can return the favour in Milano some time soon 🙂

Day 4
On Saturday we woke up at 8am and left the house at about 10:30. We walked all the way to the opera house, passing by Hyde park and St Mary’s Church. The park was so relaxing, with live music, sunshine, a pretty fountain, families with kids playing, and a guy that was making big bubbles which made all the kids laugh and have fun. It was such an idyllic and perfect little moment, one of those in which the world looks like a perfect, happy place. We had a walk in the pretty botanical gardens, taking in the view of Harbour Bridge and the opera house from Mrs Macquairie’s Point. After strolling through the park, and sitting down on the grass in the sunshine for a bit, we then had lunch in the harbour – a fixed menu with one main and a glass of beer or wine for £13 – with a beautiful view. In the afternoon we walked through the Rocks again, exploring some markets and shops, and then ended up walking back through the main shopping road – called Oxford Street funnily enough. We got home to start getting stuff sorted since we are leaving for South America tomorrow. In the evening we had dinner and beer at MAD Pizza – one of the best pizzas ever! – and then went for a walk in Darlinghurst to check out the nightlife. Had drinks in the noisy but cool Low 304 Bar and then went home where we started researching and booking Argentina (the last piece of the puzzle) until 3am to try and work on our jetlag a little bit. Tomorrow we leave the flat at 9:30 and fly at 12 to Santiago, 12 hours flight, and we will arrive at the same time we left, of the same day. Very confusing jetlag! We loved our four days in Sydney, and were blessed with sunshine, friends and lovely food. The city is a must, and we could never get enough of walking around the opera house and the Rocks, we liked the vibe, and the chill out feel on the beaches in Bondi and Manly, with the amazing coastal walks and incredible views. We can definitely see why people migrate here, if only it wasn’t that far! Thanks to everyone that made our stay special, Australia has given us many unforgettable memories.


  1. This is such an interesting blog with lovely photos. Glad you had such a fun time in Sydney and managed to see Alex, Debs and Harry.

    Holly in Oxford

  2. Thank you Holly, Rob sends his love! Hopefully I’ll meet you some time soon in Oxford 🙂 have a nice week, Mati & Rob X

  3. So pleased the weather improved. It was lovely to see Sydney away from the usual sights. You can see the influence of the original settlers. Thanks for a great blog again. Love Jenny.

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