Travel Journal: Part 6 (Sydney, Australia)

This journal was written as a physical diary by me during my gap year. I am typing this up to share my gap year experience. At the beginning of travels I was 22. I travelled with a friend (Kieren) and anybody else involved will be introduced during the journal. For more details, check here.

To spend a year in Australia, we got working holiday visas. These allow up to 1 year of travel and work in Australia. Find more information here.

For the first week in Sydney, we decided to do Ultimate Oz. This included group activities and help setting up life in Australia (e.g. bank account). Find more information here.

Check out the last instalment here.

20th October 2017

Today, we did a Dolphin Cruise and saw loads of bottlenose dolphins – I love dolphins! The boat had ‘boom nets’, which lower into the sea – I wanted to go in but it was a bit of a cold day and was raining. Fish and chips for lunch (with chicken salt*) – so different to home!

Fish and chips with chicken salt.

We got the bus back to Sydney to check back into WakeUp Hostel. There weren’t any group activities so Kieren and I had a wander.

  • Found Aldi!
  • Victoria Park is very pretty
  • Found some of The University of Sydney

*salt with some sort of chicken flavouring.

Australia Fact File (so far)

  • Woolworths = grocery store
  • Can’t buy alcohol in a supermarket – has to be a bottle shop
  • Crisp packets are the wrong colour e.g. salt and vinegar are pink (should be prawn cocktail!)
  • Timtams are the best!
  • J-walking (crossing the road when the green man isn’t on) is illegal and seems to be really strict in Sydney
  • No post at the weekend
  • Banks are closed both Saturday and Sunday
  • Food in the supermarket = v. expensive (especially fruit/veg and meat)

Australian ‘Fact File’ I wrote on this day in the journal.

21st October 2017

No group activities so Kieren and I had a boring day sorting out general life stuff e.g. sorted out CVs so we can apply for jobs soon.

Tonight was the last night of Ultimate Oz (I’m actually so glad because I want to meet other people) so it was the Ultimate Party Night Out!

  1. The Reef
  2. Scary Canary
  3. Side Bar

I actually really liked Scary Canary and finally met a few people within our group that were actually nice. Still wasn’t the greatest night though but I’m really hoping that we’ll meet loads of amazing people soon.

Wristband for the Ultimate Party Night Out.

22nd October 2017

Got up early to check out of WakeUp Hostel because this was the last day of Ultimate Oz (in which we’d already paid for all accommodation). WakeUp Hostel is actually really fancy for a hostel and far too expensive so Kieren and I found a cheaper place to stay from today.

The final group activity was the Coogee-Bondi coastal walk – very pretty views and 6 beaches involved. I’m not much of a fan of Sydney but the beaches are so beautiful!! In Bondi, I went to Milky Lane with a few people that I’d met last night – Becky, Clem, Rosie, Steph and Holly. This place did AMAZING burgers and fries and I really want to go back to try a milkshake!

(a) Me in a rock somewhere along the Coogee-Bondi coastal walk. (b) Clavelly Beach (along the Coogee-Bondi coastal walk).

Headed back to the city centre and checked into Central Perk Backpackers on George Street. It is not a great place – my bed was definitely dirty….

23rd October 2017

I went to the Lindt shop and bought some mango flavoured lindor chocolates – they taste like mango solero! We then decided to visit Sydney Aquarium, which was great! The penguins were my fave but we also saw dugongs (sea cows), sharks, sting rays and an octopus. For a little afternoon treat, we went to Pancakes on the Rocks at Circular Quay (Sydney Harbour) and got a milkshake and banana pancakes. Yum!

(a) Penguin selfie at Sydney Aquarium. (b) Ticket to Sydney Aquarium. (c) Me at Sydney Aquarium.

Back to the Hard Rock Cafe for another open mic night. Clem, Debbie and Holly came for a couple of hours and it was lovely! Wish we’d become friends with them earlier – it would have made the first week so much better!

24th October 2017

Checked out of the hostel (thank god) and headed to Coogee Beach, where we checked into Coogee Beach Backpackers. This place is so much nicer, plus I much prefer being by the beach. We made our first proper meal since arriving in Aus – egg fried rice! Never did I think that rice could be so good.

There are some wild lorikeets that like to fly up to the balcony. So cute!

In the evening, we went to see Geostorm at the Ritz Cinema in Randwick (close to Coogee). This was such a cute vintage-style cinema!

Check out the next instalment here (available 9am GMT 18th February).

5 Comments

  1. dear Ali, it seems you had a funny and wonderful time in Sydney πŸ™‚ you are so lucky to had the chance to take the holiday visa, it was something I really wanted to do but then I realize I was over 30 years old lol stay safe and cheers from Portugal πŸ™‚ PedroL

    Liked by 1 person

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