Monday, 3 February 2014

Sydney 3-Day Itinerary: Day One

3 Day Itinerary in Sydney

Read Day 2 here
Read Day 3 here

Sydney destinations
Day 1

We arrived in Sydney on New Year’s Eve (December 31st) in the afternoon. The first thing we did after landing was buy a SIM card at the airport. Optus’ $2 days prepaid SIM card includes 500mb per day, unlimited local calling, and unlimited local SMS and MMS all for $2 per day. Grocery stores like Woolsworths conveniently sold top up cards. We bought $20 worth for the SIM card and had the luxury of searching up maps for travelling throughout the trip in Australia.

Somehow when we booked our flights we overlooked that NYE in Sydney will be packed so the accommodation that we managed to get for a decent price was close to the airport but further from the city centre.

We stayed at the AEA Executive Apartments for three nights and had no problems with it despite the mixed reviews online. The apartment was big and reasonably clean, front desk was helpful, and there was a washing machine which was very useful. The stove top did not work but it wasn't a huge problem for us since we did not cook. 

AEA Executive Apartments
After we checked-in to AEA we headed to the city. Bus stops are conveniently located across the street and either the 309 or 310 took us directly to the CBD in less than half an hour. To check bus times text the bus stop number to 0488 TXT BUS (0488 898 287).

Since it was NYE there was a special bus ticket for unlimited travel from 15:00 Dec 31 to 12:00 Jan 1 for $6. Check out this website for more information about NYE in Sydney. We alighted on Liverpool St and slowly made our way to Chinatown for dinner with friends. Chinatown is quite clean and vibrant with restaurant businesses in the newer part. There are cuisines from all over Asia, not just Chinese food and seem to be quite popular among the younger generation.

Market City at Chinatown
Darling Harbour is a close walk from Chinatown. We waited for the 9:00pm fireworks which were beautiful but the crowd was not friendly at all. There was a lot of pushing, cutting queue, and complaints about prams even though this was a family event. Honestly the wait for and during the fireworks was one of the most unpleasant experiences in Sydney. Even though the fireworks could be clearly seen from the sky, people still felt the need to push until they were at the front. They were clearly not people who lined up hours ahead to get a good spot but ones who came last minute and wanted to push their way forward. 

One time we turned around to ask the rude couple behind us to stop pushing as there was no more room for us to move forward anyways but they replied rudely that if we are not used to pushing then don’t leave the house!

NYE fireworks
After the Darling Harbour fireworks we did not want to experience the exhaustion of being pushed around again so we didn’t join the crowds to see the famous midnight Sydney NYE fireworks. We saw them on the TV back at the apartment which was beautiful but I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed it if I had been pushed for hours beforehand.
Darling Harbour
That’s the end of day one in Sydney!

Read Day 2 here
Read Day 3 here
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