To Australia, at last! I have so many pictures that I didn’t even know where to start, so let’s start at the logical spot – the beginning. Andy and I flew from Wellington direct to Sydney (just under four hours) on a Wednesday morning. Kelsey Barton (my American leggings twin), has been living and working there for a few months, and Andy and I HAD to visit before she returns to the US.
Kelsey and I have the same travel style, which is do as much as possible and enjoy the hell out of each place (a.k.a can’t-stop-won’t-stop). Andy was along for the ride. Since Kels was working on the Wednesday, we met her at her office building before getting the keys to her apartment and dropping our stuff off. She’d recommended we do the Coogee to Bondi coastal walk and then meet her in town after work. Of course, I trust her recommendations 100%, so we hopped on a train then bussed to Coogee to get started.
The walk is about 6 km (4ish miles) in total. While it doesn’t sound long, it’s undulating and packs in a LOT of great views in that distance.
It even has benches for giants.
The jagged coastline was incredible, but I wouldn’t recommend standing too close to the edge. Just look at the rocks that have fallen!
Just five minutes in, the view was already great looking back toward Coogee.
It was so nice to be in a warm place compared to Wellington. Sydney was in the 60s (16-19 Celsius) while we visited – perfect for hiking and exploring.
I loved these amazingly colorful rocks.
Andy even spotted a falcon (a brown falcon, so the interwebs tells me). He’s making sure no one goes near the cliff edge.
The track headed briefly inland next.
Before long, we came to Gordon’s Bay. I love the columns built into the cliffs.
And who could pass by these stairs without taking a photo?
Great views unfolded all around.
As we came to Clovelly Bay, we could hear cockatoos screeching in the trees above. Man, those guys are loud!
Pretty, though. We also saw white ones throughout the walk, but I didn’t manage to get any photos.
Clouds threatened in the distance, but luckily the rain mostly held off for our walk.
As we rounded the next bend, we had to stop and admire the vista.
Not bad. Not bad at all!
Signs as we continued on pointed us toward a detour. Weather and erosion had made the cliffside path unsafe, but I was more than happy to cut through Waverley Cemetery.
Not a bad view for the afterlife.
The path then took us down a road cut right through the rock. It reminded me of the continental rift valley I visited in Iceland, although maybe slightly less epic and Game-of-Thronesy.
Being the tourist that I am, I had to take a photo of an ibis.
I’m sure Australians were looking at me much the same way I look at tourists in the States who take photos of squirrels. Ah well!
Bronte Park and Nelson Bay were picturesque, even on a grey day.
The view from Tamarama Beach really illustrates the amazing rocks and coast-hugging trail.
Looking back the other way, it’s easy to see why surfers flock to this spot.
Up close, the weather-beaten rocks looked like some sort of massive honeycomb or hive.
Suddenly, a friend appeared on the trail.
He reminded me of my sweet border collie/brother growing up, Dundee. Even though my Dundee was named after a town in Scotland near the English border (border collie, see?), people always asked if he was named after Crocodile Dundee. Seems only fitting that we met an Australian border collie.
Rounding the next bend, the famous Bondi Beach stretched out before us.
It was the perfect spot to grab some iced mochas as we walked through the suburbs to catch a ferry back to central Sydney. It’s really cool to be in a city where you can just as easily take a ferry as a train or bus. Sydney gets an A++ for public transport.
Rose Bay, where we caught the ferry, was a stunning spot. In some ways, I was reminded of the New England seaside. Sydney certainly feels more like an American city than anywhere in NZ does.
We hopped on the ferry and were treated to incredible views from the water. Definitely a cheap and convenient way to get an awesome intro to Sydney.
We glimpsed sunset just above the horizon, behind the Sydney Harbour Bridge, as we neared the central city.
It was a little windy…
So I ended up with a mustache.
Does it suit me?
Annnd the most famous landmark of them all came into view!
We docked in downtown Sydney and headed to a great pub Andy had visited before while we waited for Kels to get out of work. Plenty of pictures of Sydney’s indescribably epic Vivid light festival are up next, so see you soon!