Top 12 Areas Visited In Sydney

I traveled to Sydney for 4 times while living in Australia. But the commonality of these 4 trips in the city, all were short trips, mostly from less than 24 hours up to more than 48 hours. Most of my traveled in the city the intention was to just passed it except during my last flight which was really meant for Sydney.

I knew there were so much places to visit in Sydney and I thought that anyone can create a lots of bucket list because the city offers so much to anyone, to everyone. During my few trips in the city I found myself to be in the following places and I ranked them by my own reasoning and personal preferences. If you had visited Sydney and had been in places in my list, what will be your top list?

TOP 1 – BLUE MOUNTAINS

I had a chance to travel to Blue Mountains during my second trip in Sydney. For this trip, my only itinerary was to join a tour in one of the nearest mountain ranges from Sydney which is Blue Mountains and to visit one of the caves which is Jenolan Caves. Since I didn’t knew how to drive, my only option was to be part of a group tour because there was no public transportation available directly to that place. When I saw Blue Mountains, there was another dream that I was thinking at that time, if only I had a chance to explore even just part of that mountain range.

 

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TOP 2 – JENOLAN CAVES

Another part that I enjoyed was tour inside the Jenolan Caves because its one of the caves that even its being protected, the public still got a chance to see the major crystal formations even from a distance since it has tourist trail to follow. The tour is one of the best time I had while visiting Sydney or let’s say visiting New South Wales.

 

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TOP 3 TO  9
BONDI, TAMARAMA, BRONTE, CLOVELLY, GORDONS BAY, COOGEE AND MANLY

If you are fond with water scenery, enjoy water activities or just wanted to have fresh air while enjoying the walk near the sea-shore, you can select any of the above beaches. I don’t have the intention to really walk the trail from Bondi to Coogee since I have no knowledge about the trail, but because I enjoyed the scenery, I just go with the flow and  entrap with the beauty that surrounds me. I never regret that I finished the walking trail.

 

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TOP 10 – SYDNEY HARBOUR

Who does not know about Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge? These are famous icons not only in Sydney, not only in Australia but famous icons in the world. I had a chance to be here twice in my 4 trips in the city, happened during my first and my last trip in Sydney. Here’s my opinion about the place, for me, there is something  in the harbour that keeps people on coming back in the place. It’s a place that I thought I will never be tired to visit the area again and again.

 

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TOP 11 – DARLING HARBOUR

Geographically, Darling Harbour is part of Sydney Harbour. I wanted to emphasize the place since it’s not far from Circular Quay and it offers a different scenery which unique on its own. My visit here was accidental because my intention was really just pass the harbour since I was on my way to a tour. But while walking in the area, I cannot stop myself to stop a bit and enjoy the surrounding area. They usually call the harbour as the ‘Heart of Sydney’ since it’s a place  of entertainments that offers great waterfront dining. But if your intention was just to walk around the area like what happened to me, you will be alright.

 

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TOP 12 – QUEEN VICTORIA BUILDING

It is the only building that I visited in Sydney. Just for this building, I was already fascinated. Sometimes I am wondering about the other buildings to see in the city, but I never had a chance to do that anymore. The way I see Queen Victoria Building or QVB, it is the mother of all arcades in Australia as it is the biggest historical arcades  that still exists today that I found while touring in Australia.

 

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Wandering in Jenolan Caves and Missed Flight Adventure

Wandering in Jenolan Caves

During my second visit in Sydney the last stop of the tour was Jenolan Caves which not far from Echo Point Lookout where we started. Jenolan Caves are also located in World Heritage Blue Mountains National Park. From Echo Point Road we returned to Great Western Highway, and then we turned left at Hartley and took Jenolan Caves Road.

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Grand Arch

We reached the caves but before the bus completely stop so we can get off, we actually passed a one way road and I discovered that it is called as Grand Arch of the cave and I was surprised and never expected that there are still something to see after we passed the Grand Arch. At the end I saw parking area, cafe and restaurants and hotel like a small village. Yes I was really amazed. Our bus stopped at designated area and our group walked under the Grand Arch and went to the waiting area. While waiting I realised that there were more than one cave are available for tour, our tour will be at Lucas Cave. Lucas Cave is the cave that can accommodate large group of tourist.

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Jenolan Cave was one of the caves that I visited outside my country. Most of the time I was curious what’s inside the cave and I treasured the experience with the group of people. Aside from uncertain adventures inside the cave, I was curious of what things to discover or things to learn inside the cave. It reminds me one of my childhood dreams which is to become a scientist.

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Our tour guide instructed us to get in line so we can walk smoothly along the pathway without issues while inside the cave as there are other groups which already inside and there were possibility that we will pass each other, we waited for a while and then we started our tour by climbing several stairs.

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–Waiting Area under Grand Arch

Lucas Cave has pathways to follow to avoid getting lost and I suspect that it’s the same case to other caves. The track is not simple paths to walk in but there are steep stairs to climb and stairs to go down. Initially, we started to climb almost 200 steps of stairs to reach anteroom. Anteroom was the first space we stop for a while after climbing the stairs.

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–Wandering inside the Lucas Cave by following other tourist.

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–Lucas Cave

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–Lucas Cave

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–Lucas Cave

As we saw some formations in anteroom, our guide was explaining scientific facts about the rock formation inside the cave. Honestly I can’t remember the right terms but the sounds familiar until I checked online about the rock formation found in the cave. I reminisce what our guide that time were telling us. We saw rock formations in the ceilings which called as ‘stalactite’, these are the formations created by the water dripping from the ceiling. While the ‘stalagmite’ are the formations grown from the ground.

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–Lucas Cave

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–Lucas Cave

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–Lucas Cave

Then we continued our walk and along the way we saw other formations until we reached the Cathedral Chamber. We stopped in a while in the chamber to witness how magnificent this part of the cave. The chamber has high ceiling as per my observation because I saw there were metal stairs up near the ceilings and because of the lights that they installed in the chamber, we got a chance to see clearly how high the ceiling and how amazing the surrounding area.

Cathedral Chamber

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–Cathedral Chamber

After leaving Cathedral Chamber, along the way we pass the passageway called “The Slide”. This passageway is a shortcut to Exhibition Chamber.

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–The Slide

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–Lucas Cave

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–Lucas Cave

Then, we saw what they called “The Curtain”. I was really amazed how they invented the name of the rock formations as it resemble specific things.

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–The Curtain

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–Lucas Cave

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–Lucas Cave

Then we followed our guide again as we explore Lucas Cave. Then we stopped in one of the biggest area of the cave because it features a lot of rock formations. The area is called Exhibition Chamber where The Broken Column formation can be found.

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–Exhibition Chamber

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–Exhibition Chamber

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–Exhibition Chamber

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— The Broken Column

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–Exhibition Chamber

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–Exhibition Chamber

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–Exhibition Chamber

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–Exhibition Chamber

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–Exhibition Chamber

Another section of Lucas Cave is Mafeking Section, where I enjoyed lots of Stalactites and this section shows amazing formation inside the cave

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–Mafeking Section

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–Lucas Cave

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–Lucas Cave

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–Lucas Cave

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–Lucas Cave

I was stunned with unique, beautiful, amazing and fantastic rock formations found in Lucas Cave. I knew that Jenolan Caves is huge and our tour specifically visited just one part of it, but even that was the case I had a great time discovering things that are unfamiliar and wonderful stuff that took million years before it developed. Indeed our world still has a lot to offer for our own discovery. I was inspired again by scientist and geologist who initiated to protect such cave because of them I got a chance to see it and learned something in this part of the world about caves.

One of the simple thing that myself and other tourist can do to protect such underground gems is to follow the rule not to touch them, because at the time we tempted to touch them, it is the start of their destruction. A destruction induced by humans.

Missed Flight Adventure

After my Jenolan Cave adventure, I experienced one of the unforgettable moments while venturing as a solo traveler, because I only booked an overnight hotel which I mentioned in my previous post under “Quick Peek of Sydney Darling Harbour”, I had to go straight to the airport after the tour, because I was flying back to Melbourne. As I somewhat unfamiliar with traffic conditions in Sydney which I never thought that it will cause me to missed my flight in Tiger Airways which strictly implementing 45 minutes before the scheduled flight. We left Jenolan Cave almost 4PM, at first I was relaxed while we were driving to the city, until we reached the Western Motorway almost near in the city, we slowly moving because of traffic and it was Saturday evening. I started to feel nervous because I need to be in the airport around 7:15PM and then I was thinking if there some miracle happened in the traffic so I will be able to reached before that time.

We reached the bus terminal where we started the tour in “The Star” building at 7PM, I took a cab and able to arrived at the airport around 7:30PM, I knew I am going to missed my flight and while in the cab on the way to the airport, I checked available flights around 8PM in my mobile, until I saw scheduled flight of Virgin Australia. When I reached domestic airport (Kingsford-Smith Airport or Sydney Airport), Tiger Airways desk counter were closed, and checked other Domestic Airlines and all were closed, I almost lost my hope when I saw Virgin Australia kiosk counter near the entrance. I talked to the people at their desk and I tried to inquire if I can still catch-up the last flight to Melbourne that night and I tried to negotiate with the airline as I need to go back to Melbourne.

At the time, I thought so fast and decided immediately that I prefered to buy another ticket since I already missed my original flight than to spend another night in a hotel in Sydney wherein I still need to go back to the airport in the morning. Virgin Australia scheduled flight was 8PM, the time was so tight for me, I waited for the airlines decision if I can still buy the ticket for the said schedule and it was almost 7:40PM, until they agreed and let me bought the ticket, after that, in few minutes they were calling my name as I run to the boarding gate, my heart was pounding because they were going to close the gate. I arrived in the boarding gate breathless and catching up air and then they scanned my ticket. I walked to the door of the plane still nervous and I only felt relaxed when I was on my seat waiting for the departure time.

It was the first time I experienced the situation where I missed a flight and have to catch-up the last available flight. I learned a lot on the situation, next time I will not book a flight after a tour or adventure because road traffic situation is not in my hand. A lot of things can happen to miss a flight if I will be coming from somewhere aside from hotel. It was a relief I arrived in my hotel in Melbourne that night after 3 hours.

Until then.

Blue Mountains – Scenic Mountain Ranges In New South Wales

After passing Darling Harbour, I tried to asked people around the area until they directed me to the building, I walked along Pirrama Road which still at the harbour side   until I reached “The Star” building. I asked security guards where is the exact location of bus terminal for Blue Mountain Tours until I saw a small kiosk of ATT Kings inside the terminal and approached one the crew in the bus stop area to confirm where is my bus for my tour. I followed directions and waited on the bus. In few minutes the bus arrived and tour guides assisted us on boarding. I finally relaxed as soon as I seated in the bus coach. After completing some things by the tour guide/driver we left the terminal and started heading to our first stop.

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–The Star Casino Hotel

Along the way I saw the famous ANZAC Bridge as we drove along City West Link, then we took Western Motorway until we reached the Great Western Highway to Katoomba. We drove to Echo Point Road to reached Echo Point Lookout to witness how magnificent the Blue Mountains are and the Three Sisters.

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–Echo Point Lookout

 

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–At Echo Point Plaza (with Echo Point Information Centre

All the tourist got off the bus and started walking towards the lookout area. It was popular with the Tourist and we arrived there with other visitors already made earlier than us. I prepared my camera as I am expecting to witness great sceneries. I love mountains personally, irregardless if the mountain is popular or not every time I saw one, I will definitely look at the mountain. When I was standing at the lookout area, I saw how beautiful Blue Mountains, I did not just saw one mountain but what I saw was mountain ranges. I actually curious why the mountain is called Blue Mountains and without even searching or asking how it was named, the one that I saw was a solid evidence and I definitely understand why it was called Blue Mountains. As far as I remembered, we had given 1 to 1.5 hours in Echo Point Lookout. And it’s up to us the visitors how we were going to spend it wisely.

 

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–Blue Mountains

 

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–Three Sisters

After taking shots at the top area lookout, I went down stairs to explore more of the area and to be able to take more photos of Three Sister as it is more closer. The Three Sisters are the rock formation which located in Blue Mountains and the formation is recognisable and everyone were taking photos within and I did not exclude myself on that. Then, I saw people really near the Three Sisters until I realised there is a trail towards the rock formation. The said trail is the same trail to trek down the valley. I did only towards the Three Sisters so I can take photos of the Blue Mountains in different angle and with the rock formation as well. I cannot afford to complete the trek downward as we only given within 1 to 1.5 hours and I don’t wanted to be left behind by my tour bus.

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–Walking Trail to Three Sisters

 

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–Near Three Sisters

While enjoying the panoramic view of Blue Mountains, it struck my mind if I will be given a chance to climb some part of this great mountain ranges in the future, if there will be a chance I welcome it wholeheartedly. The time in Echo Point Lookout was over and the next stop was Jenolan Caves.

 

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–Leaving Katoomba on the way to Jenolan Caves

Panoramic View : Blue Mountains

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Panoramic View (Post#13) : Blue Mountains

During my second visit in Sydney, I planned to visit Blue Mountains and Jenolan Caves. I always hear the name of Blue Mountains as one of the famous tourist spot near in Sydney at New South Wales state in Australia. It says that the mountain is still part of mountainous area related to Great Dividing Range. Photo captured last April 2013.