A holiday Down Under is always a thrilling experience. In this post, your Aussie Specialists Apple and I (Fiona) photoblog our exciting experiences in Sydney. From a VIVID Sydney experience to an adrenaline-filled parasailing session to exploring Hunter Valley, it’s an adventure you don’t want to miss!
Getting there: Sydney on foot
It’s a whole week of fun since Day 1 upon arrival as we were greeted by iconic Sydney landmarks, buildings and vibrant culture. The historic (about 150 years old!) Paddy’s Markets will set any shopaholic on endless sprees especially for avid shopper like Apple and myself. With over 1,000 stalls in Haymarket and Flemington, I had to restrain myself from spending the whole day there!
The Wildlife Sydney Zoo was another amazing adventure that you have to include in your visit list. Our close up close sessions with iconic Aussie animals, captivating daily feeding sessions, guided tours and walking through animal habitats were just amazing. While you’re there, don’t miss the Koala Encounters, Kangaroo Walk-About, and Butterfly Tropics to complete your wildlife tour in Sydney Zoo!
Photo-taking with animals was definitely not enough for us, so we headed to Madame Tussauds Sydney. I was indeed fascinated with more than 70 of the world’s best-known personalities and a range of fun interactive experiences for a field day! I truly enjoyed myself, getting really close with Thor, Ryan Gosling, Lleyton Hewitt and more…
Highlights: Roadtrip to fun sporting activities
Traveling to Sydney must always include a roadtrip. With Apple being the designated driver (she’s the sane one between us!), we were in safe hands. It was a smooth experience renting a car from the ever-reliable Hertz Car Rental team as we headed to Port Stephens for my favorite thrill seeking sport, quad-biking!
In case you weren’t convinced yet, quad biking is actually an exciting ride on four-wheels! The best part about riding these fun machines isn’t about speed, I’d say it’s the beautiful surrounding that envelopes around you. The sunset I witnessed was majestic, sprawling across acres of empty land. Simply breathtaking!
After you’ve got yourself revved up the day before on four wheels on land, it’s time to take to the air – parasailing 150 metres into the air wasn’t something I was ready for, but I sure took to the challenge! Nelson Bay is an amazing place for me to enjoy scenic activities that I wouldn’t have experience the same in Singapore.
Both of us were looking forward to sand boarding over Stockton Bight Sand Dunes, home to the biggest sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere. Brilliant white sand stretches to the Sygna Shipwreck and home to “Tin City” a collection of fishing shacks and a number of World War 11 relics including 3000 concrete pyramid tank traps!
Sightseeing in Sydney: What to look out
And suddenly, we morphed into adrenalin junkies.
Sydney is incredible, and there’s always something beautiful everywhere you turn. I had a great time soaking in the atmosphere at VIVID Sydney, with colours and interactives created to astound and awe you. VIVID Sydney features many of the world’s most important creative industry forums, a mesmerising free public exhibition of outdoor-lit sculptures and installations with a cutting-edge contemporary music programme. You can research more about VIVID Sydney here and check out our packages~
The tranquil beauty of Hyde Park – Australia’s oldest park – was simply relaxing for me. With over 580 mature trees (exotic as well as native), did you know Hyde Park has always been an attractive location for events, families and tourists? It’s so amazing to be able to appreciate nature amidst the Sydney architecture. I simply love the blissful tranquility as we walked through the park.
I had a wonderful time with Sydney’s sporting activities – and the fun was not just in the thrilling rides. The view at each spot was incredible, and every sunset, lapping wave or beautiful horizon made the activity much more fun. From Port Stephens to Nelson Bay to Hunter Valley, the beautiful backdrop made every ride much more memorable and each moment priceless in our trip.
Accommodation: Best places to stay
Where I stayed were also just as impressive! I tried an array of accommodation while we were in Sydney, and each has its own unique experience I thoroughly enjoyed. Hunter Valley’s Cypress Lake Resort was luxurious! The apartment is ideally located in the breath-taking Hunter Valley and is the perfect vacation accommodation. We both even spotted kangaroos from the resort!
The Mercure Kooindah Waters Central Coast Resort was another picturesque accommodation I thoroughly love! Located just 90 minutes north of Sydney’s central business district, the 4 ½ star Resort boasts all the facilities, ambiance and luxury you need for a private getaway, family or holiday. The all inclusive resort offers an 18-hole championship standard golf course and a slew of leisurely activities for everyone! The double-storey, two-bedroom apartment was everything two of us could’ve asked for, and more!
One of the best things we fell in love with at the Oaks Pacific Blue Resort at Port Stephens was the beautiful blue that surrounds you every morning – the blue pool, blue skies and blue sea are a perfect combination for a wake-up view. I have to say it’s no wonder Port Stephens is one of the most popular tourist destinations!
Dining: The gastronomical adventure
The adventure for both our palates began at Cyren Bar – Grill – Seafood. Located in the heart of Darling Harbour, Cyren offers the freshest seafood, mouth-watering meats and exciting cocktails while we soaked in the breathtaking view of the harbour.
“It’s Time for Thai” offered a wonderfully comforting dinner spread after a day of adventure! The restaurant is located at Haymarket & Kingsford and offers bona fide Thai cuisines you will surely love. Based on our experience, I would recommend gourmet choices from Soft Shell Crab Salad to Barbecue King Prawns to Duck Noodle Soup to Massaman Curry!
Sandpipers Restaurant at Nelson Bay is a family-owned restaurant that offers only the freshest local seafood coupled with exemplary service. Sandpipers offers a modern Australian menu with something for everyone – and I found everything on my plates tantalizingly delicious!
Cafe on the Bay promised great food, great staff with a great view. We both decided to order their Big Breakfast and Egg Blackstone! True enough, an hour later, Apple and I were full, extremely happy with the service and just didn’t want to leave – the view was truly great! It’s a great place to boat-watch and people-watch after a wonderful meal. What a great way to start our day!
If breakfast wasn’t filling enough, the Dolphin Watch Cruise was another opportunity for Apple (okay, and myself included!) to tuck in at the buffet lunch! I’m not sure if Apple was watching the dolphins or stealing glances at the delightful spread… either way, both of us were having a fantastic time on board the cruise!
Hunter Valley offers a plethora of wonderful wine-and-dine experience. Hunter Valley Resort is located in the very heart of the Hunter Valley Wine Country, a family-owned country inn nestled within its own 45-year old shiraz vineyards. Onsite activities range from Horseriding to Segway Tours to Heavenly Hunter Massage and much more!
This lodge is situated on 70 secluded acres of vineyard and offers all-day dining, great wines from their own Wine Tasting Cellars; a brewhouse with 12 craft brews, Wine & Cooking Schools and Candymaking Classes. Astounding!
I had a wonderful time dining at Matilda Bay Brewhouse, Corpii Cafe, Taste of the Country and Emerson’s Cafe & Restaurant amidst their wine and beer tasting sessions. Now, it’s time to get back in shape after all that good food…
As you can tell, Sydney is an amazing holiday destination to experience – from wine and dine, to roughing it out with sporting activities to a luxurious escapade, anything you think of can be done here Down Under. I had a blast, and I know for sure Apple did and you will too! We’re waiting for you – let us help you plan your fun vacation to Sydney today!
Check out all the photos of our Sydney adventures on Jetabout’s Facebook Page!
—-Jetabout Holidays is a leading travel agency under the Holiday Tours Group. With over 30 years in the travel industry, Jetabout Holidays reputation as a top agent has garnered awards within the industry. Voted as the #1 Travel Agency for New Zealand and Australia (under Qantas Holidays) by Weekender Travellers Choice 2014 & 2015, you are assured of a hassle-free, personalized vacation. Jetabout Holidays is 75% owned by Qantas Airways and is the highly-regarded travel specialist for Australia and New Zealand tours. Call us at 6734 1818 or email us at
firstname.lastname@example.org for your holiday plans!
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