Monday, 15 September 2014

Free & Easy Sydney 6 Days 5 Night Itinerary (Include Blue Mountain)

Sydney 6 Days 5 Night Itinerary - Free & Easy

Hi guys, I have attached the itinerary of my September holiday at Sydney. Hope to share the journey with all of you. Do note that before you wish to take reference from this itinerary, i did not cover all of the tourist attractions and this itinerary is based on own self experience and at a own time own target basis tour. 

Here it is, a 6 days 5 nights itinerary for Sydney which includes a trip to Blue Mountain.



Below are the tourist attraction which I had forgo, you may wish to include them in your itinerary:

- Jenolan Caves (Blue Mt)
- Leura Town (Blue Mt)
- Sydney Sealife Aquarium
- Sydney Tower Eye
- Wild Life Sydney Zoo
- Manly Sealife Sanctuary
- Madame Tussauds
- Manly Beach
- Taronga Zoo
- Star City Casino
- Habour Bridge Climb
- Whale watching
- Surry Hills,  Paddington and Bondi weekend markets

Day 1: 

We boarded Scoot airplane from Singapore Changi Airport at 2.45am and arrived at Sydney International Airport at 12.45pm on the same day. After collecting the baggage, we went straight to the Optus counter to purchase our prepaid data card. The $2 Optus prepaid data sim card was recommended for tourist visiting Australia as it includes 500mb of data usage and unlimited phone calls and Sms within Australia. We merely paid $10 for 5 days of usage. The data card was very useful as we are highly dependent on the Google map for navigation and the Urbanspoon apps for sourcing food. Thereafter, we proceed to the train ticket counter which is located at the basement level of the airport to purchase train tickets for travelling from International airport station to Katoomba station at $21.20 single trip. Approach the counter staff if you need assistance in purchasing the tickets.

The time on the photos are in Singapore time.



 


We proceed on to Platform 1 to board the train going towards Central station. On arrival at Central station, we alight and transfer to another platform to board another train going towards Katoomba station (Blue mountain). Journey from airport to Central station took 15 mins, while journey from Central station to Katoomba station took 2hrs. As we were not familiar with the platforms to go, the staff from train station direct us to the correct platform to board the train to our destination.



Instead of staying at the well known Carrington Hotel (which is more expensive), my partner and I stayed at Metropole Hotel instead. The hotel was just across the road from the train station.  Two keys were issued to us, one is for the room key and the other is the key for the main door as the door will be locked after 6pm. The town looked pretty deserted after 6pm as the folks here rest early and the sky is very dark by early evening. 


All the basis facilities were available, hence we had no complain at all. 


Our hotel was merely 3 minutes away from the main street of Katoomba where the cafes, pubs, bakery and retail shops where located at.

Our first dinner was at Cafe Zuppa. If you wish to try Kangaroo meat, this is your chance. This is a small cafe with comprehensive menu. Chef's recommendations were written on the blackboard. The burgers and sandwiches that they serve were delicious and filling. 

After dinner, the only place you can spend your time is at supermarkets as they close at 12am. Coles and Woolworth are the two supermarkets available at Katoomba town.



Day 2: 

Early wet and misty morning for day 2. Here at Metropole hotel, we purchased Scenic world unlimited ride pass for $33 instead of usual price $35 each. 

We had our take away breakfast from Hominy bakery and French Bread bakery shop along Katoomba street. There was limited choice of breakfast along Katoomba street in the early morning and both Hominy and French Bread bakery shops are the few shops which opens as early as 7am selling freshly baked bread and pastry for the early mountain explorer.

Go ahead to the Trolley Shoppe to purchase the unlimited ride ticket for the Trolley bus which will bring you around Katoomba and Laura town (including Scenic world and Echo point). 
  

Low visibility due the presence of thick mist.



Trolley Shoppe located just across the street from Katoomba station


Bus ticket with date of purchase and schedule of the bus arriving at different station. This is quite useful if you are planning to visit different attractions. It is recommended to reach the bus stop 5 mins earlier. The express trolley shuttle bus starts as early as 930am with its first stop outside Carrington hotel at Katoomba street.





Meanwhile, if you are free, take a tour at Carrington hotel which has a vast history. Approach the friendly staff at the hotel lobby for guided tour.



There are 2 type of buses for you to hop on. Bus 1 is a normal bus which reach the bus stop every one hour. This bus take you to all the 29 stops in Katoomba and Leura. It is recommended that you start your tour at Scenic world first as this place gets more crowded later in the day which you will not have the luxury to have the best view during the rides. Here are my recommendation: 

1. Scenic world (no, 24)
2. Skyway station (no, 22)
3. Katoomba falls (no, 23) 
4. Echo point (no. 19)
5. Any choice 






3 different types of rides are available here. Skyway, railway or cable way. Skyway will lead you to east skyway station (no.22), so i suggest to you to take this ride last. Go down to the lower level of the mountain via Railway or Cableway. The railway is the world steepest railway, so give it a try. You can also adjust your seat level during the ride, comfort or adventurous. Cable way allow you to view the surrounding scenery of the mountain as it travel up/down the mountain. Explore the walkway, there are lots of things to see and the history behind blue mountain.



I mentioned earlier to take the skyway as the last ride as it will lead you to east sky station where you can explore more places. The two places which you may explore are the National park (which lead you the vegetated area, more for tracking) and the Katoomba fall (waterfall). Both are walkable distance from east sky station.







From here, we intended to go to the echo point. However, the mist is really bad that we were not able to see anything. Hence, we have to abort the plan and visit other places via the trolley bus. We visited the Leura cascades (waterfall) instead.

For Lunch/Dinner, you may want to visit The Yellow Deli  which serves good and affordable local food .


Day 3: 


Day 3 was an absolute spring day with clear sky and cool weather. This give as the chance to explore the iconic three sisters and vast blue mountain scenery which we had miss out due to the thick mist and bad weather on the previous day.


We walked uphill for 30 minutes to the Echo point from our hotel


World Heritage Plaza, a place where you can purchase local goodies and chillax in the cafes inside.


The Three Sisters - Clearly visible at the echo point with breathtaking scene of the Blue Mountain.The scenic world cable car was visible from the Echo Point as well. You can actually walk 45 mins from the east sky station to touch one of the sister. There is a pathway for exploration. 


We ended our Blue Mountain adventure and depart to Sydney city. The train journey from Katoomba station to Central station took 2hrs. Sydney train is a comfortable and trustable mode of transport for the commuters.


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On arrival to Sydney city, we check in to Central Station Hotel. The hotel is a 10 mins walk from Central station. The room was furnished with modern design and was kept clean and tidy. It was a good deal considering it a 3 stars hotel. What's more, there is free wifi throughout the building. 




We had our lunch at Chur Burger
(48 Albion St  Surry Hills, NSW 2010). Its the best burger that we ever had. You must really try it out if you are at the region.


Pulled Pork Burger


Grilled Beef Burger



We started off to St James station where a Hyde Park is just beside it. In the center of the park, there lies Archibald Fountain. It is to commemorate J. F. Archibald, owner and editor of The Bulletin magazine, who bequeathed funds to have it built. Archibald specified that it must be designed by a French artist, both because of his great love of French culture and to commemorate the association of Australia and France in World War I. (Quote from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archibald_Fountain)

Archibald Fountain



From Hyde park, you will be able to see the grand building of St Mary Cathedral. It is the church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney and the seat of the Archbishop of Sydney. Take a walk around if you wish to as this is open to all.


As you continue to walk along Art Gallery road, you will be able to see the Royal Botanic Garden and Art Gallery of New South Wales along the way. It takes about 10 mins to walk to the Art Gallery.


Continue down the road to Mrs Macquaries road, and in 15 mins, you will reach the end of the walk way where Mrs Macquarie's Chair is located. The chair is an exposed sandstone rock cut into the shape of a bench and is facing Sydney Harbour. The chair was hand carved by convicts from sandstone in 1810 for Governor Macquarie's wife Elizabeth. Folklore has it that she used to sit on the rock and watch for ships from Great Britain sailing into the harbour. She was known to visit the area and sit enjoying the panoramic views of the harbour. ( Quote from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mrs_Macquarie's_Chair)



The Royal Botanic Garden


 Sydney Opera House is nearby this area. You will be able to se while walking towards Mrs Macquarie's Chair. Walk around farm cove and you will reach your destination. The Sye itdney Opera House usually have going on plays and tickets are sold at the counter.


From Sydney Opera House, you can see the Harbour Bridge. As you walk towards Circular Quay East, you will reach the Ferry terminal. This is the place where you can catch the boat ride to Manly. The human traffic at the terminal is high, mainly because this mode of transportation is cheap. You can also purchase ticket to catch Whale sighting cruise which usually takes 3hrs of cruise ride.


Ferry Terminal at Circular Quay


Customs House


Towards Circular Quay West, this is where Museum of Contemporary Art  is located. 


Darling Harbour is more on the west side. The walking duration took about 15mins. At Darling Harbour, some attraction that you will be interested in will be Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and Australian National Maritime Museum. Darling Harbour is a place for the working adults to chillax at pubs and cafes. Shopping wise, there is Harbourside Shopping Centre where you can find popular restaurants such as Pancakes on the Rock and Hard Rock Cafe Sydney.




We had our dinner at Pancakes on the Rocks. The place was almost pack even before 6pm. Fortunately, we managed to get a table quickly when we reach there. Here serves one of the best cakes and pancake you can find in Sydney. Other main dishes such as pizza and crepes are not bad too. Portion was big and value for money.




Day 4:

We started our fourth day strolling to the Sydney Fish Market for breakfast under the cooling spring weather. We were glad that we travelled by foot to the fish market as we get to see the everyday life of the locals. Below are the beautiful scenery and buildings that we managed to capture.






You would be greeted by a strong fishy smell as you approach the harbour and you would see many seagulls flying across the skyline around the harbour. And here, its the renowned Sydney Fish Market (SFM) which is well received by both the locals and tourist. SFM is a place which conduct seafood wholesale auction and visitors could book in advance for tours to witness seafood trading which starts in the early morning.


The nearby jetty is where the fisherman load and unload their stuff. This area do not allow trespasser. 



All the freshest seafood could be found here. The source of the seafood in this market comes from Australia as well as other countries. Choose to eat it raw or cooked. These seafood are so fresh that I would recommend to eat it raw directly. Oysters are sold at different price for different grades, It can go as cheap as $3 for a dozen till $15+ for the same dozen. The better grades are those with smaller shell size. Seems to have a better taste compare to those bigger ones.


Lots of seafood available for selection. The stalls offer cooking service once you have chosen your seafood. It is wiser to compare the prices at different stalls as there are several shops in the fish market selling similar items.


Sashimi for you to purchase and eat them raw. Have a taste of these sashimi and you won't regret paying for them. 



After the sumptuous seafood spread, we took a train from Central station to Bondi station. We did some shopping at Westfield Bondi Junction before proceeding to Bondi Beach.


The Bondi beach is a place with bikini babes and hunks surfing and tanning by the beach. And here, we search for the famous Gelato Messina. The gelato is flavorful and intense and definitely the best thing to hold onto and lick on while strolling on the beach. 


Recommended flavours are Pistachio and Salted caramel 



Bondi Beach Life Saving Status dedicated to the Life saving movement in recognition of the voluntary contribution to life saving at the beach  




The pavilion have facilities for bathing and shops which tourist can purchase any souvenirs 


Weet weet!!!!


Bondi Surf Bathers' Life Saving Club claims to be the world's first surf lifesaving club,[18] and North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club is a federation club. Both clubs were founded in 1907. Bondi members invented the surf reel and many other icons of lifesaving. Surf lifesavers from both clubs were involved in the largest rescue ever on a single day, known as 'Black Sunday'. ( Quote from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bondi_Beach,_New_South_Wales )


As we visited the beach during spring, there are not many beach goers due to the cold wind and lower temperature. But this place is definitely crowded during Summer period with lot of activities at the beach.

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Graffiti at its best on the walls of Bondi beach. You get to see different kind of art at the beach too. 


By the late afternoon, we took the bus from bondi beach to Market City. Market city occupy the same building as Paddy's Market. Travelled up to level 2 for Market city shopping. There are many factory outlets such as Cotton On and this is where you can almost buy anything from those individual shops.



Chinatown is just across the street of Market City. Chinatown is a place where you can find all the Chinese restaurants and souvenirs. Once you step onto the main entrance of Chinatown, you would spot a line of people queuing up for Emperior's cream puff. It is a stall beside the Emperor's restaurant selling piping warm custard cream puff at a very cheap price (3 for $1).  




Day 5:


We started another morning brisk walk along the canopy of trees to Bourke Street Bakery at Surry Hills for our breakfast. Surry Hills is a suburban estate with plenty of cafes and boutique shops.


Buttery smell of bread and coffee aroma fills the air as we approach the cafe. Wide selections of pastries, tarts and cakes are available within this small cafe. The best way to start the morning with good breakfast under the cold weather.





It's a Wednesday and the only weekday market which is avalable around the vicinity is the EQ Village Market. This market is held on every Wednesday and Saturday at The Entertainment Quater. Over here, you can find a variety of fruits and vegetables fresh from the farm and hand crafted products.




Fresh flowers for sale

Different stalls selling their homemade pastries, cakes and jams.


In the early afternoon, we took a bus back to Central to the Paddy's Market (Chinatown). All the cheap finds, souvniors, clothes, toys and accessories could be found here.  Another section of the Paddy's market sells fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, nuts and meat as well.







Other than the emperios's cream puff, the N2 Extreme Gelato is another stall at Chinatown which attracts local crowds. It is located at Duxton street and it was filled up with many teenage students when we were there. 



Queen Victoria Building with elaborate interior and exterior architecture. This building was built to commemorate and marked the visit from Queen Victoria during the early time. 


Wishing well


The structure and design of the building closely resemble those in London. 





They are famous for their cakes and macaroon. For macaroon, their best seller are Salted butter popcorn and Berry brulee. Try them if you are there. 


By late afternoon, we slow down of pace and walked to The Rocks and made our way uphill to the Sydney Observatory. This is the place with the best view of the city and iconic buildings.



Artistic craving of an image of a man. Different angle portray the image differently, this show the skill of the craftsman




Sydney Observatory Tower. The towner closed at 5pm. We just missed it, nevertheless, the surrounding scenery is breathtaking which compensate for the loss.


Beautiful sun set isn't it? 



Day 6:


Home sweet home to our homeland Singapore!

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