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Cruise Life Vol.2 No. 6

April 2022

In This Issue • Around Sydney, Australia

  • Bondi Beach
  • Public Transportation In Sydney
  • Australia’s Blue Mountains

A Great Coastal Walk At Bondi Beach

BONDI BEACH

Not far from downtown Sydney, Australia is an almost mile long sweep of sandy beach, tucked inside quarter-moon shaped bay with a gently sloping bottom. This creates a year long season of excellent surfing conditions. This is the famous Bondi Beach. While the waves provide surfing for long distances, they average only between 2 and 3 feet. Surfers describe the conditions to be remarkably similar to Hawaii’s Waikiki. Across the street from the beach and behind the beachfront strip known as Campbell Parade, lies an active community of cafés, restaurants and designer shops.

The Coastal Walk

There are plenty of reasons to love Australia’s most famous beach beyond surfing, swimming and sunbathing as there’s also the best walking trail in all Australia. The coastal walking trail begins at the south end of Australia’s famous Bondi Beach. Bondi is synonymous with surf the world over and its odd name originated with the Aboriginal word “Boondi” which has the same meaning as “the sound of surf” in English.

Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk offers incredible ocean views from its easy 3.7 mile walking trail along the cliffs between Australia’s well-known beaches making this an incredible experience. The trail officially begins above the sand of Bondi Beach at the Bondi Icebergs ocean pool* and travels along a clifftop course between Tamarama and Coogee beaches. Its gradual paved ascents and descents are perfect for a casual walk or an invigorating hike. The walk will take just over an hour each way.

Along the trail are plenty of opportunities to swim at the other beaches and coves. Just past Clovelly is Gordons Bay, a well-known scuba diving and snorkeling location. If you begin the walk at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, you’ll find the highly rated seaside eatery Coogee Pavilion at the other end with more breathtaking views from its rooftop terrace.

Sculpture by the Sea

From October to December each year** the seaside walk takes on a whole new character with the worlds largest outdoor sculpture exhibit. The annual free-to-the-public outdoor sculpture exhibition, named “Sculpture by the Sea” draws artists from around Australia and the world and is very popular with Australians from Sydney and beyond. If you have plans that will take you to Sydney in November make sure you plan a trip out to Bondi Beach.

Getting There – Only about five miles from central Sydney it’s easy to reach. Express buses run to Bondi Beach from the centre of Sydney, and take about 30 minutes to reach the beach. The Metro trains operate from the city centre to Bondi Junction every twenty minutes, which is a 10-minute bus or taxi ride on to the beach. Bondi Beach is also one of many stops on a Big Bus Sydney tour, which allows you to hop on and off.

*Icebergs Dining Room and Bar – Bondi Beach, sits on the rocks above the iconic pool and is famous for the views of Bondi Beach, by day or night, it makes an unforgettable backdrop while dining to inspired cuisine of chef Maurice Terzini’s taking full advantage of his Italian heritage.

Public Transportation And Getting AroundIn Sydney Australia!

If you are planning a trip Down Under with some time in Sydney, you need to build your plans around this cities great public transportation. Like most large cities, buses are plentiful but Sydney also boasts a metro rail system and an express system called “Light Rail” that connects most major parts of the metropolitan area. In addition the system is integrated with a regional conventional railroad network along with a fantastic harbour ferry system. The metro and light rail boasts frequent service with cars that are modern, clean and comfortable.

Riding on the entire system is based on the Opal Card which is a  “tap on – tap off” system. You can buy a single one-trip card or a card that can be loaded with additional amounts of money. Each time you board, you tap your Opal against the sensor pad and again when you exit. At ferry terminals and metro stations the “tap sensor” is usually associated with a turnstile and on buses and light rail the tap post is usually at the car entrance. Be sure and tap as there are conductors that come through occasionally with readers to check that you did and the fine can be serious.

Luna Park Sydney

From the neighborhoods around Central there are any number of metro stops that will get you to Convention Center, Exhibit stops, Darling Harbour, Bondi Junction, Circular Quay and the Fish Market all in less than a half hour. In addition, the extensive Sydney harbor region is crisscrossed with dozens of ferries which all converge at Circular Quay located between The Rocks and the famous Sydney Opera House.

Even without a destination, taking a ferry is a great way to see the sights around the harbor and the city skyline. Ferries from the Quay take you out to Watson’s Bay (be sure and have fish ‘n chips at Doyle’s on the Beach), Manley Beach (a popular ocean front beach town noted for good surfing) and across to Luna Park, Sydney’s classic amusement park.

The Famous Bondi Beach
Sydney Harbour Bridge

If all this wasn’t good enough, there is also a multi-day fare system based on the Opal Card. You buy the card with your choice of an amount loaded (you can also reload) and than tap on and tap off on all of the above systems as well as the regional rail lines. But here’s the best part. As you use the card there is a maximum daily fare of A$15 (A$7.50 for children) with Sundays capped at only A$2.50. That means you can ride all day for no more that A$15.

On a Sunday you could take a train to the Blue Mountains over an hour and a half from Sydney, spend the day, return to Sydney, take a Light Rail to Darling Harbour for dinner and return to your hotel all for A$2.50. There is also a weekly cap of A$60 with the card as well and, after eight paid journeys with Opal, you can travel for the rest of the week for half-price fare.

The Historic Rocks

In addition downtown Sydney is a very walkable city. The focus of the downtown area (CBD) is the Circular Quay and The Rocks. Facing the water at Circular Quay, the Opera House is to your right with a number of restaurants and shops nearby and the ferries straight ahead. Off to the left is The Rocks, the location of the original English settlement at the harbor with a number of popular shops, restaurants, galleries and two great museums. Some of the museums offer free or reduced entry admissions so be sure to check this out if you are in the area.

A short walk From The Rocks is the approach to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which is worth the climb up to its walkway just for the views. If you are really adventurous and aren’t afraid of heights you can even book a climbing tour up the suspension cables to the very top of Sydney Harbour Bridge. A dozen blocks west and south is the Kings Street Wharf and Darling Harbour area with a great waterside walk lined with restaurants and tourist attractions including a wildlife center, an extension of the Sydney zoo and the Sydney Aquarium.

Three Sisters in the Blue Mountai

A metro rail trip out to the town of Bondi with a bus connection at the station to the famous Bondi Beach takes about forty minutes from the Central station area.

Light Rail will connect to Central Station and will also take you to the extensive Sydney Fish Market.

Before leaving Sydney make sure you take a ferry or two and if staying for a couple of days, spend an evening at Luna Park/

Often getting around a large city as a tourist can become costly but not in Sydney if you get an Opal Card. Opal cards are available at Central, Circular Quay, major stations or over the counter from Opal retailers that include most convenience stores and newsagents. There is no charge for an Opal card, but there is a minimum top up value of A$20. Be sure you click the map below to save or print a copy before you going to Sydney.

CLICK THIS MAP TO DOWNLOAD A PDF COPY

A Sydney Australia Day Trip to the Blue Mountains

Katoomba Station

A great day trip out of Sydney, Australia is taking a train to the Blue Mountains. From the Sydney Central Station to Katoomba Station is about a two hour trip and if you go and return on a Sunday the trip is a super bargain with the Opal card weekend fare cap. From Central you can Board an air-conditioned double decker Mountains train. The express trains to the Mountains will most likely stop at Strathfield, Parramatta, Penrith, Emu Plains, and then all stations up the Blue Mountains. Catch a train from the Sydney Central Station with great train service that’s modern, clean and comfortable. One caution, this trip on Sunday is very popular and if you get the train at the Central Station getting a seat probably isn’t difficult, but after a few stops you’ll find people sitting in the isles. For a return consider boarded at a station farther south on the line to head back to Sydney to avoid the crowds and to be sure we got a seat.

The Three Sisters

The town of Katoomba is the center of the Blue Mountains with a number of attractions nearby. Once in the Blue Mountains take the Blue Mountains Explorer Bus near Katoomba Station. The day pass is about US$30 and the route begins at the Carrington Hotel, Katoomba Street. There are 29 stops which include Katoomba Falls, Echo Point, Three Sisters and Leura Cascades. There is a cable car ride (extra charge) and a complex at Scenic World with a café and restaurant. There is also the Trolley Tours running a similar route as The Explorer Bus for about the same fare. Between hopping on and off, hiking a number of trails and enjoying lunch it’s a good eight hour day in the area.

CLICK MAP TO DOWNLOAD A PDF COPY

From late September through February the weather is perfect. The scenery is beautiful with dozens of good trails and scenic overlooks. Be sure and pay attention to the birds in the trees as large white cockatoos and Sun Conures are common in the mountains.

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