After a few hours of walking, we stopped at the marina, took a picture of the sunset and headed back home to relax and gather our strengths for Paddy’s Day!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Sydney
This is the most important day of the year for a Polish / Irish boy. This year, instead of celebrating Paddy’s Day in Dublin, we decided to spend it on a different continent. Before the main event, we went to see some of the downtown attractions such as the Sydney Opera and Harbour Bridge. As you know, we don’t like to take pictures when there are a lot of people around, so we asked our host Wanda for some tips. She let us know where to find the best spots for photos shoot of iconic parts of Sydney, as well as where to discover some less-usual, less touristy parts of the city. In town, when you arrive at Circular Quay train station, you can walk straight out and buy ferry tickets to Manly Wharf, and that’s what we did.
In your head you’re probably thinking, what’s Manly? Let me tell you. Manly is a beach-side suburb of northern Sydney. Many locals go there to enjoy the beach, and it sounded like the perfect way to spend our morning. The return ticket cost us 8 australian $ (cheaper than a bus ticket) and the beach is only a ten minutes walk from where you get off the ferry. The journey to Manly took us 30 minutes and was a good warm up for the day ahead. Since it was early in the day, there weren’t as many people around, so we got to see the sights around Manly and capture great photos of them, without having the tops of people’s heads in every photo.
After less than 2 hours at the beach (believe it or not, the Australian sun is really strong!), we had enough and decided to go back downtown for lunch and head to the Irish pub. Before we arrived in Australia, Elodie looked up the best food places and she discovered that the best Asian food in town was obviously in Chinatown districts of Sydney and Melbourne. We wanted to try out both, so we could give you our opinion. On the way to Chinatown we stopped at a Cathedral in town and got some photos in the city center.
Before heading to Chinatown in Sydney you should know, it’s massive! Apart from the many restaurants there, it’s also full of shops and attractions, such as local Asian musicians playing in the streets.
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We had our lunch and then went straight to the Irish bar. Getting in on St Patrick’s Day was not easy, but after about 15 minutes, we managed to get a seat inside. There, we were greeted with live Irish music, Irish dancers and of course, pints of Guinness.
We stayed until the evening and had a brilliant time. Too bad we needed to leave Sydney the next day!
Coast Road Drive
Our travel itinerary for Australia was packed, so the day after St Patrick’s Day we got up early, put our stuff in the van and hit the road to Melbourne by Coast Road Drive.
When you think of Australia, what’s the first image that comes to mind? In ours, it was kangaroos and koala bears, so we decided to go to one of the nature parks along the coast to see them for ourselves. The park that we chose allowed us to see kangaroos up close and pet them, not just watch them from a distance in a cage at a zoo. It was an amazing experience and we’d definitely recommend it to anyone, regardless of age!
After visiting the park, we drove to Wollogong and we passed the 665 meters long Sea Cliff Bridge along the Grand Pacific Drive. When you pass the bridge, you can stop and take the most beautiful photos (which was what we did).
If you plan on driving along the coast to Melbourne yourself, this is a spot you have to include in your trip. We decided to stop for the night at a public camping site, and have a barbecue at the beach. It was perfect.
Your plan vs Mother Nature.
Alright, as you already know, our travel plan was really busy. Out itinerary had three main places that we wanted to see – Jervis Bay, Narooma and Eden. But what happens when the weather doesn’t follow your plan A? You need to find a plan B!
When we got to Jervis Bay, it was really cloudy and windy, and the same happened in Narooma. On the way to Eden, rain was pouring down really badly, so we had to think on our feet. We checked the weather in the region, and the south part of Australia was looking really warm and sunny. So, we decided to get to Melbourne a day early.
On the way there we stopped for gas, and got to the city in the evening.
Welcome Back Melbourne
We finally made it down! And let me tell you, Melbourne is an absolutely gorgeous city. When we woke up, we headed straight for the Royal Botanical Garden.
It was founded in 1846, and it extends across 36 hectares, on the slope along a river with trees, garden beds, lakes and lawns. The garden is home to almost 50,000 individual plants representing 8,500 different species. You can get to it by tram from the city center in about 10 minutes. It’s a perfect spot for a walk, jog or picnic – I would recommend it to everyone.
We spent half the day at the garden, and in the afternoon, we went to the Melbourne Chinatown to get some food.
Are you curious which China Town we like more? If we are talking about the buildings and vibe, in my opinion, I liked the Chinatown in Sydney more, but if we are talking about the food, Melbourne’s Chinatown was way better!
On our last day before our flight back, we decided to go to the city and walk around. We knew that apart from its well-known downtown area, Melbourne is famous for the Street Art district, so we visited that too. Street Art can be found in a lot of places in Melbourne, since it’s legal to paint in many public places. One of these is called ACDC Lane, and it’s located about a 10 minutes’ walk from the city center.
It was amazing to see so much vibrant graffiti so close to the city center. I quickly spotted a big image of Biggie, and graffiti that said ‘Just Married’. Elodie and I took a picture there, and then we headed back to return our car and to catch a cab to the airport.
Is this kind of trip for everyone? If you and your partner don’t mind sleep in a van, sometimes in legal, sometimes illegal camping spots, and you both enjoy driving and are not scared of wild animals, then the answer will be Yes. But before you decide to go for this kind of the trip, my advice is to talk to whoever you’re bringing, show them the 3 spots that you want to see and ask: Are you ready of this kind of trip?
- 48 hours in the air
- Over 2800 kilometers driving
- 2 68 gb full sd card memory
- Broke up screen in 1 of our mobiles
It was worth it? The answer is in video below.
Thank you for following our trip. I hope you enjoyed reading and watching our pictures and videos.
If you had the chance to visit Jervis Bay, Narooma and Eden during sunny days yourself, please leave us a comment and let us know your experience.