16 Nov 61 099km // SYDNEY // AUSTRALIA
Our first true experience of jet lag and homesickness, arriving in Sydney felt hugely familiar. From the jacarandas mimicking those of Pretoria’s avenues, to the bustle of the CBD with buildings resembling Sandton’s tower, we felt like we were back home in South Africa. Granted, the warm climate, English signage, social bar-and-restaurant culture, and left-roadside driving did seem a little familiar. But the oceanfront and ferry rides between the famous Circular Quay (home to the Harbour bridge and infamous Opera House) and the place we called home for two-weeks in Manly, was enough to wipe all the Johannesburg familiarity away.
We spent a couple days missioning around the sleek, modern city, discovering Newtown (Sydney’s quirky-and-fond-of-vegan-cuisine student region, where we met the amazing team from N2 and ticked off number 52 from our Wanderlist – Eat a sorbet at N2 Sydney), Surry Hills (for more quaint and cultural streets and alleys), the Rocks (for kangaroo and emu pizzas, which sadly I would not recommend) and a little place in the CBD called Uncle Ming’s, which could easily be my favourite restaurant discovery to date – delicious little dumplings on the menu, a playlist with Arcade Fire, Mystery Jets, and The XX booming through the speakers, and Japanese language lessons on loop in the toilets – peeing with a purpose; who wouldn’t love that?!
But Sydney also offers multiple outdoor spectacles (besides of course the day we had at Taronga Zoo, which still has to be my highlight). After taking a 10km walk between Spit Junction and the Manly Wharf, along beaches, tropical forests and flower-filled fields that made my heart melt, we ended one afternoon with cliff-side views and Italian beer on top of Sydney’s North Head. The beaches and bays surrounding the city were serene especially in the early mornings, where we snorkeled and snapped doggie photos for Pixel Paws as often as we could, and were lucky to be around for Sculpture By The Sea – an annual exhibition along the breathtaking Bondi Beach coastline.
Thank you Tom, Nikki, Joshy, Gabs, Brad, Debs and Brad-Debs-Junior. Our time with you made us incredibly grateful to have friends and family who support us on our journey, and although you brought the tears out, we’re super glad we got to spend such a special two weeks with you.