Travelling Welshman
Instagram @tompj
Australia,  Blog,  Oceania


Probably safe to say that by far the most famous city in all of Australia has to be Sydney, considering that most people actually think it’s the capital.To be honest, my time in Sydney didn’t start off the best way possible.

Firstly I’d have to catch a 12 hour bus journey from Melbourne. Don’t get me wrong, I knew I was in for such horrendously log travel times from the beginning. However considering that it was a night bus, where you were expected to catch some well deserved rest and wake up fresh and ready for a new day in a new city, didn’t quite go so smoothly. Firstly you show me how a 6ft 4 man can sleep comfortably in a bus chair for 12 hours, because I assure you that you can’t. Not even a sleeping tablet kindly provided by a girl in the last hostel, that was powerful enough to put a baby elephant to sleep didn’t do a damn thing!

On this bus journey I also had my very first experience with a kangaroo. Not that I saw it, but luckily the bus driver did, as he quite vigorously swerved to avoid it as it ran into the road. The passengers in the back of the bus saw it differently, and started screaming “HEY DRIVER”, as they thought he’d fallen asleep at the wheel. I can assure you he didn’t, don’t worry mum.

Coming into Sydney
Good timing for the Christmas Nativity

So we arrive in Sydney at 7am, bright and early, rough as hell. We catch an Uber to our hostel, thinking that we’ll catch a few more hours sleep before heading out, good plan. Would of worked out brilliantly apart from the fact we couldn’t check into our room until 2pm. Free pancakes kept us from having an early breakdown.

With a couple of hours on our hands, this time we thought it would be a good idea to actually plan a little bit this time around. That first day was cloudy from start to finish, therefore we decided to start with we’d go to the Australian Museum. With any museum I don’t exactly know what would be in them, what exhibitions, for all I know it could be something I’m really not into. I don’t really look up what are on display at the time, perhaps that shows me I should. However being as it was the “Australian” museum I assumed it wouldn’t be too disappointing, and I was right.

Half of the museum was dedicated to animals, which I absolutely loved! Bit grim the fact that every animal there had been stuffed…but none the less, fascinating! It gave me chance at my first look at a koala and dingo before I’d see the live version. Even educated me on the trip I’d already taken, informing me that the penguins I’d seen in St. Kilda were known as Fairy Penguins, and are the smallest species of penguins on earth, fact!

Slightly less lively koala compared to the ones in the future
Equally less lively (but better fed) looking dingo compared to ones I saw later

Where the first half of the animal displays were fascinating, the second half became quite concerning. It moved on to discuss (which I’d pushed far into the back of my mind) that Australia has about a billion things that can kill you in all manner of fun ways. I’d move along the exhibition as they showed which snakes/spiders/crocodiles/sharks/jellyfish would kill me and where they would be waiting for me with a handy map on the side of each of them showing where they’d be, brilliant.

Just one of the many creatures ready to kill me

Then moved onto dinosaurs. May be nerdy but as a kid I LOVED dinosaurs, they were always fascinating to me! I do remember (although barely) being in the natural history museum in London where things such as this would have been on display, but I was much too young to remember. Walking around the different displays of fossils and extinct creatures made me feel like a child again, and my camera never got a rest.

One of the less aggressive creatures I’ve been with

Next door to the museum we passed a spectacular cathedral which just happened to have a Christmas ceremony at that very moment. Choir boys singing Christmas hymns in front of the classic nativity, a bunt reminder that Christmas was around the corner.

Perhaps the first day with the questionable weather wasn’t the best time to visit, but we just couldn’t help ourselves from going to see possibly one of the most recognisable structures in the world.

We’d heard that “it’s not as good as you think” and the like, that its not the bright white colgate look that’s presented on TV etc. I didn’t care one bit, it wasn’t as much as the significance of the building itself, to me it was the fact that i was actually there! I was AT the Sydney opera house, that building that we’ve all seen on the TV for years, the symbol of Australia, and I was there!

The opera house in all its glory

We did want to climb on top of the bridge adjacent to the opera house, which I believe years ago you could do at your own accord, but these days its different, and requires an incredibly expensive tour guide to show you how to do something your completely capable of doing yourself, climbing stairs. the cheapest price was somewhere around the £200 mark, which too me is unreasonable just for a view for a couple of minutes and a photo.


On our second day, we had one aim, the world famous Bondi Beach. Now I am not really a beach sort of person, I’ve never seen the appeal of spending your day laying on your ass sunbathing. Where I’d be called a lazy bastard if I

wanted to do the same on a bed all day. However, despite that I was very excited to see this beach in particular.

It’s absolutely stunning in every sense possible. The views from every angle are spectacular, but things were only to get better. Vanessa had researched a bit and suggested we take the walk from Bondi to Coogee beach, and what a suggestion it was. The torqouise waters breaking into pure white over the spectacular cliffs were stunning throughout the entire walk, my camera couldnt keep up.

Bondi beach
Taken on the walk between Bondi and Coogee

Even after promising myself I wouldnt get into the water for fear of killer jellyfish and sharks, I quickly broke my own rule, I couldnt resist.


Instead of climbing the bridge we decided on visiting the Sydney Tower Eye, as arguably that would give us an even better view of the city, that we could take our own photo’s, for as long as we wanted, at quite a reasonable price. We were shuffled through the security gates one at a time, bags searched and that whole jazz before taking the ear-popping lift ride to the top of the tower.

View from the tower

Naturally the tower was filled with people just like us, all trying to worm their way through the crowds up against the windows for that perfect view, however once you got there the view was spectacular.

That night, like many other nights on the east coast were spent in a hase of $10 wine before getting up early the next day for our next destination, Byron Bay


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