1999 - SYDNEY


Things to do & Old Memories




Sydney is the prime Australian tourist destination.  And no wonder, with its fabulous harbour, Opera house, Bridge, Taronga Zoo and lovely city skyline.
In 1999 we drove back across the Nullarbor to Sydney as my mum was sick and we needed to look after her.  This blog is all about old memories as well as things to do in Sydney along with short holidays outside of Sydney.  As usual, I will place links on some of the headings for you to check out if you are interested.

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MEMORIES

I moved to Sydney from Brisbane when I was 16.  Mum and dad were getting older and wanted the family to be closer together.  My brother and his family lived in Sydney and I think dad was getting tired of the drive at least once a year from Brisbane to Sydney.
Sydney was where I met hubby. 


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Hubby and I bought our first house at a place called Kincumber on the Central Coast.  We both worked in Sydney so that meant long days travelling 1 1/2hrs each way on the train. It was pretty cool having our first house, even though we couldn't afford to carpet some of the rooms.  

Living near the beach was great too.  Avoca and Copacabana beaches were the closest.  Our daughter Kelli was born here at Gosford hospital. 

Things were going pretty good until the interest rates went up to 18 3/4 percent.  That killed us and we had no quality of life, just stress.  So we sold up and moved on for a much simpler and happier lifestyle. See my 1990 Nimbin blog.

These days we are much happy to rent which is so much cheaper.  The extra cash allows us to live more comfortably and subsidises our travel addiction.










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Aussirose last day at work in the Freight Department of Sydney Railways in an office above Central Station




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Things to do in Sydney

In no particular order.

CENTRAL COAST


The Central Coast is a good getaway from Sydney.  There are a number of beaches that add to a great summer holiday.  Click on the link above to check out all of the things you can experience around the Central Coast. 

Our favourite beaches were Avoca and Macmasters.  And for secluded beaches, head to Bouddi Beach in the National Park or Killcare Beach.  The beach at Bateau Bay has nice big rolling waves without the rippy whitewash.  The entrance is nice for buying fish and chips then walking across the road where the beach meets the estuary for a picnic.  Terrigal is nice for an afternoon swim and then dining at one of the fabulous restaurants.

Our favourite place to eat close to home was Hardys Bay Club.  This is where we took our VT friends on the big Virtualtourist meet in 2016.  See my blog.

If you are driving to the Central Coast, I suggest that you take the longer detour and drive via Wisemans Ferry.  It is a pretty place.  Years ago we would go to Wisemans Ferry to go horse riding.  A lovely place along the Hawkesbury River.

Speaking of the Hawkesbury River, it's worth making a stop here as well.  If heading to Gosford by train, keep your eyes peeled after going through the long tunnel.  When you come out the other side you are greeted with stunning views over the Hawkesbury River.

  In fact the Hawkesbury River itself is a great holiday destination.
You can stay on a houseboat which is fun.






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MANLY

In my view Manly is better than Bondi.



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TARONGA ZOO

Taronga Zoo with the best views overlooking Sydney Harbour.



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THE ROCKS

Cobbled stone streets, Victorian buildings, markets and restaurants.





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CIRCULAR QUAY


Restaurants, buskers, ferry terminals, Opera House and 
Harbour Bridge.







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 Just for fun   πŸ˜„


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BOTANICAL GARDENS

Take time out for a picnic.  Located near the Opera House.




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QUEEN VICTORIA BUILDING

Walk through an iconic shopping mall.
You can walk through from Town Hall Train Station.



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STRAND ARCADE

Puts our Perth London Court to shame.

A touch of London in the middle of the city.
Elegant dΓ©cor. 




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WATSONS BAY

A fabulous place to have lunch with gorgeoous views over the bay.
Just a short ferry ride from Circular Quay.
The famous Doyles Restaurant is here too, but I think Watsons Bay Hotel is better.





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BLUE MOUNTAINS

3 Sisters, Scenic World and caves.  
To get to the Blue Mountains, take the train to Katoomba and get a bus to Scenic World.





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CRUISING OUT OF SYDNEY


Sydney is also the place to go for cruising the south pacific. 

It's a magical feeling sailing out of the most prettiest harbour in the world at sunset.

See my 2016 Sydney and South Pacific blog.




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SHORT HOLIDAYS OUT OF SYDNEY

This blog is more about old memories.  
However as usual I will provide links to these places and things to see and do.

Below are 4 different holiday destinations no more then 4 hours from Sydney.  I suggest that you stay at least 2 to 3 days at your destination choice in order to enjoy the country surroundings.

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GOULBURN YURT FARM

This is a great little family holiday. 

Overseas visitors especially love it here because you get to experience Aussie farm life and enjoy home cooked meals with fresh ingredients. 

The most unique thing here though is the accommodation.  
Yurts.  
Click the above to learn all about them.

We stayed here with a view to seeing what it would be like to stay in a yurt.  We were thinking of building our own yurt when we made the big move to Nimbin up northern NSW. 

The thing I loved the most was viewing the stars through the big dome in the middle of the roof.  

Yurts are an interesting way to build.  There are no internal walls in the round house and you can add on by keep building around.  They come in kit form and are much cheaper than conventional homes.  I like the idea of using cedar too.  I love log homes. 





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HUNTER VALLEY - WINE COUNTRY

There are a number of day trips from Sydney to the Hunter Valley however it's much nicer and more relaxed to stay in the valley.  

We have stayed twice.  
The first time at Belford cabins in the bush and another time at the hunter resort in small apartment like accommodation.  
Both have their advantages.



BELFORD COUNTRY CABINS

A lot of fabulous improvements since we visited.





BALLOONS ALOFT - HUNTER

What a place to do our first balloon flight!  WoW!!

Flying over the Vineyards at dawn.  It was stunning! 😍







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HUNTER RESORT

Looks so much more sophisticated since we were here but still a good price.
Hubby and I did a wine appreciation course here and still have our certificate.




My favourite wineries are Constable & Herson for white and blueberry hill for red.  Draytons is good for a tawny port.

Forget Lindemans and McWilliams.  Funny how the wineries us local Aussies are not fussed with sell so well overseas.   All the more reason to visit and taste our boutique wines which are so much better.  

Mistletoe Winery has a nice rose.  Mistletoe hanging off the trees in the area is pretty, however the plant is classed as a weed because it attaches to a host tree and sucks the life out of it, bit like the strangler fig.  However it does have a part to play in providing nutritious food for koalas, bats, butterflies and birds etc.




Belford has the smallest Railway Station I have ever seen!  😏




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TAMWORTH

Just one last recommendation.  If you love country music, then you should consider going to Tamworth (the home of the big guitar) for the annual country music festival held in January. It usually coincides with Australia day end of January.  This is a huge event so you need to book early.

The festival is on my must do list.  We have visited Tamworth a couple of times as hubby's sister lives there.  They own a Freson horse stud.  

Tamworth also has some nice activities to do apart from country music.  There is a great local water hole where the fresh mountain stream runs into and we also went to a berry farm.







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