Whoohooo – We made it, halfway around the world to the Southern Hemisphere. Surprisingly, we were satisfied after traveling 18.5 hours to Sydney. Fortunately, we spent most of the way in the beautiful new A-350/900 from Delta. The flat beds and small private rooms are great. Definitely the way to travel! We were so excited to explore this wonderful and unique place: a country; An island and a continent! Here are a few of our favorite places.
Hyde Park Barracks: This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the heart of historic Sydney. The barracks is an unusual living record of the penal colony and early colonialism in Australia. Built in 1819, to house convicts (50,000 over 30 years), the barracks also served as an immigration and asylum depot and court. Today it is a sophisticated museum. This is a wonderful and immersive experience for all ages. You don’t just walk through that date… well done, you feel like you lived that date.
Queen Victoria Building: This is the most amazing, luxurious and famous shopping center in Sydney. It is rich in history and architecturally stunning. Occupying an entire block on Sydney’s historic George Street, the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) contains more than 180 of Sydney’s finest fashion boutiques, jewelry stores, and delightful cafes and restaurants. The QVB was built in the late 1890s and named in honor of Britain’s beloved Queen Victoria.
Royal Botanical Garden: Oh my gosh, I had no idea Sydney would be so green and lush! For more than 206 years, locals and visitors have enjoyed the beautiful “Royal Botanical Garden”. It is located in the heart of Sydney and covers 66 acres. What a location – it is on the shores of Sydney Harbor and right next to the epic Sydney Opera House. It is always open to the public and free! There are many green spaces around this city that show the lush landscape of Sydney and many impressive huge trees.
Sydney Zoo Wildlife Park: Australia is famous for its many animals and reptiles that are found only on this continent below. It was an adventurous and fun experience up close and personal with many of them – especially the adorable koalas at “Koala Encounter”. These cute marsupials don’t look real. Both koalas and kangaroos are found only at the bottom. We also saw and learned a lot about the kangaroo, the national symbol of Australia!
Australian National Maritime Museum: It is the world’s largest hydrofoil fleet of historic ships and is very impressive. We experienced this amazing fleet and boarded an Australian Navy destroyer and a Cold War-era submarine. We passed through a replica of “HMB Endeavor” as Captain Cook sailed while mapping eastern Australia. We also tour the “Dukfken” a replica of a Dutch ship from 1660 that first explored Western Australia. This Maritime Museum has many interesting exhibits and stories to tell from sailors’ journals, daring rescues, and migration by sea. A full day here is hardly enough. All of this and more is located next to the Pyrmont Bridge on the waterfront of Darling Harbour…one of Sydney’s most beautiful and popular areas.
blue mountains: What a fun train trip to Katoomba – just two hours west of Sydney are the beautiful ‘Blue Mountains’. This ancient land has been home to the indigenous people for thousands of years. Dramatic, sheer sandstone cliffs provide a great view of Echo Point…even with low clouds and rolling mist. Blue Mountains National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Queen Elizabeth even visited here. We did a lot of walking and hiking through the Blue Mountains, but seeing the warning signs of leaching was a bit disconcerting. It was lush, moist and spacious. We felt like we were in a scene outside of the Avatar movie where we were “walking through the bush” in this dense, wet, wild Aboriginal land!
There are really so many unique things to do and see in Sydney… and this is just one slice of amazing Australia! Check out my travel YouTube channel to find out more. Follow me on social media as I blog to summarize the highlights of my travels around the world. ✅ PLEASE LIKE, FOLLOW, SUBSCRIBE: Travel with Terry from Texas On YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.