I’m currently sitting in Starbucks with a big old cuppa on a rainy day in Cambridge (not as hipster as it sounds btw… I came in to source some coffee and cake while the hubs runs a half marathon….#health), so it feels so lovely to be able to look back on our time in sunny Sydney last November (apologies in advance for the photo quality in this post – my SD card was corrupted so lots of the pics are recovered or lower quality from my phone!). I’ve wanted to go to Sydney FOREVER…. Home and Away was ALWAYS on while we had our dinner growing up… and I actually carried on watching it on and off until about half way through my PhD! I bloomin’ love it, and walking along the H&A beach has been on my bucket list for years. So, on our way to New Zealand, I was very keen to fit in a stop over in Sydney. The hubs was more than happy with this – he lived in Syndey for 6 months and it’s his favourite city in the world! We also met up with our friends Lakshi and Andrew while we were there – it was so lovely seeing them!
So, I wasted literally no time with my Home and Away dreams. On our first day in beautiful Sydney, instead of flocking straight to the harbour like most tourists, we took the light rail to our friends AirBnb, hopped in the car, and drove up to Palm Beach (big thanks to Lakshi and Andrew for driving us!! Taking the bus while super jet lagged would not have been fun). I’m not gona lie, I didn’t even try to hide how excited I was to be in Summer Bay, and as I was quietly humming the theme tune secretly pretending I was in H&A, we realised they were filming an episode right in front of us! I literally gasped (this moment is captured on one of my instagram story highlights if you don’t believe me). The crew were having lunch when we arrived, so we decided to hike up to the Barrenjoey lighthouse before exploring the set. It was a pretty steep climb, but we managed it in sandals! The view from the lighthouse was beautiful – we happened to be in Summer Bay on a super misty day, but it added to the atmosphere and to be honest, I was just happy to be there. After the lighthouse we popped to the diner, Alf’s bait shop, and then back to the beach to watch them film. We watched them film the same scene for a REALLY long time, during which I realised I was not a super fan AT ALL. There were children abandoned in buggies while their mums fangirled. One lady even said “I tried to climb into the trailer, but they caught me”, while another repeatedly told her poor hungry child that they were “just going to have to wait” for their lunch because she wanted a photo with the actor (who by the way, totally snubbed her – he said he needed to go for a hair change and so couldnt have a piccy….)…. so all things considered, I was relatively normal.
On our second day in Sydney, once I had got Home And Away out of my system, we did the more ‘normal’ touristy things! We went for brunch at Blaq Piq, which was just around the corner from our Hotel. It was AMAZING. After that we headed down to Sydney harbour to see the famous opera house and harbour bridge. It was super cool seeing these iconic land marks in person. We actually walked around the botanic gardens to Mrs Macquaries Chair to get a the postcard-perfect view over the harbour. We then strolled through the harbour itself (picking up a gelato on the way, of course), wandered through The Rocks, and grabbed a drink and nibbles in a pub. It was the Melbourne Cup that day, and so the locals were out in force! It seemed like everyone had taken the day off work to drink and watch the races. We spent the afternoon wandering around the shops, and then finished up our beaut day in maintown Sydney with dinner in Darling Harbour.
On our final day in Sydney (which was actually at the end of our trip), we decided to visit the famous Bondi Beach. During my masters year, I spent many afternoons watching Bondi rescue, and since being on maternity leave my sister has become a bit of a super fan, at a level on par with me and H&A (she actually told me to try and get rescued…. preferably by her fave lifeguard ‘Whippet’). Safe to say, I didn’t go in the ocean, but I did go visit the lifeguard tower and happily sit and watch the surfers.
I absolutely loved Sydney, and we’re already talking about heading back to Australia. I’d love to spend more time in Syndey itself, maybe pop up to Manly beach, but also see more of the country (melbourne, the great barrier reef, the whitsundays, frazer island). Fingers crossed we’ll make it back some day soon.