It’s hard to believe that our family trip is almost over! Like many of you, we had to rethink our plans, as Covid-19 emerged. But here is a glimpse of our week between Sydney and Melbourne.
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Flight Auckland - Sydney
Jean-Maximilien changed our plane tickets for the last segments, as we were supposed to go through Taiwan, Japan and Seoul. A blessing in disguise?
Since our arrival in Australia, we noticed that our children did not seem to enjoy this world tour as much as they did in the beginning.
Alexandra and Arthur normally follow us everywhere: we have got into a good rhythm, that suits everyone. We love to watch them marvel at what they discover. However the visits began to bore them, exhaust them… probable because they are so young. We were pleasantly surprised that they had done more than 3,500 km in New Zealand, seeing the landscapes go by, without complaining too much. But now they were reluctant to walk even short distances, the only thing that motivates them is the playgrounds.
We do our best to do activities adapted for them, to entertain them but they are not interested in visiting big cities like Melbourne.
Last but not least, as we are working during this world tour, I often take them out while Jean-Maximilien is working.
The virus that is circulating is not making things any easier. Children don’t care about this virus and continue to be children. Playing in parks and hotels with other children from all over the world, picking up what they find, putting their hands to their mouths. Although we have been protected so far, we suspect that it will not be the same for the rest of our journey.
With the prospect of Japan, and miles of walking ahead, we feared that this would be the last straw. So we did a “family council” several times with our children. You’ll find out what we decided in our next article!
Flight Auckland - Sydney
After a stop at the Strata lounge, perfect for a bite to eat, we hopped on a beautiful flight of a few hours. The children were well behaved and we appreciated the LATAM company services.
Goodbye New Zealand!
Sydney is a dynamic city that we really liked, despite the fact that it is still very much focused on young people. Indeed, we met few families in town.
The beautiful Sydney Opera House, mythical for its sail-shaped design, is interesting and we managed to see it several times during our visits to the city.
The other symbol of the city is the Harbour Bridge and we had the chance to stay right at its foot, and enjoy the evening lights.
The different districts each have their own soul.
Darling Harbour is a pleasant, lively area where families meet at the large playground. There is also a Chinese garden, a convention center, the Powerhouse Museum, and other recreational and leisure areas. A very pleasant place. Our evening ended at The Exchange at Boque by Tapavino to enjoy some tapas while our daughter tries to learn some dance steps, watching different bands practicing under the bridges!
The Rocks is the historic district, with its ancient architecture, where you can walk slowly to soak up the atmosphere of yesteryear, watch the liners at the docks and look for 19th century details on the shop fronts.
Barangaroo, where the streets of the quays are animated and breathe the frenzy of the workers… One feels good there. Lots of movement, some running, but no jostling. Many restaurants on the docks have a chic and urban design. I love it!
The Crown Sydney tower, still under construction, looks great. Too bad it’s not finished, I would have liked to discover it. It joins the other magnificent towers in the area, giving this neighbourhood an ultra modern look.
And what about the magnificent Royal Botanic Gardens! Beautiful, vast, relaxing… it offers a magical view of the Sydney Opera House. We took advantage of the little train to make an in-depth visit, an experience I highly recommend!
Finally, Hyde Park, less impressive but just as pleasant, allows you to admire Archibald’s Fountain as well as the splendid St Mary’s Cathedral and on the other side, the Sydney Tower Eye.
By taking the ferry, we were able to visit Cockatoo Island, which was home to many convicts. An instructive and special visit. The site has been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 2010.
Finally I would have liked to visit the Australian Museum but it was being renovated at the time of our stay.
The only drawback, I would say, was the weather, which interfered with our visits. It was raining for the last two days we were there. The rain followed us to Melbourne, unfortunately.
Also note that the city offers very few playgrounds (not easy when you have children who are always asking for them).
The Pacific coastline is beautiful and the beaches are easily accessible. The red buses stop there. Jean-Maximilien was easily able to rent a car, allowing us to visit the surroundings.
Located 20 minutes away by car, Bondi Beach is the most famous of them all and invites you to surf! The waves are large and attract many experienced surfers and swimmers.
We settled in at the iceberg ocean pool, a freezing cold sea water for a unique experience. The facilities could be upgraded; however, that doesn’t stop people from venturing in.
We continued our adventure along the coast to Coogee Beach. That’s precisely when we understood the Australian atmosphere.
Once the work day is over, many Australians meet up to surf. It’s a true paradise since these beaches are close to the center of Sydney!
After our beach stops, it’s time for the mountains! The 1h30 drive is quite good, and we chose to do the drive in the early afternoon.
We were able to admire different points of interest such as the Three Sisters, the Katoomba waterfalls and go to the Sublime Point Lookout to have a clear view of the Blue Mountains.
In order to have a complete view and a unique experience, we chose Scenic World, which gives you the opportunity to have unobstructed and panoramic views on board a cable car, a tramway or during a walk.
The staff was great, the tour was nice and we loved the inclined tram! We recommend it!
Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay
A very nice standard hotel. The location is central, with easy access to the docks for ferries, the Botanical Gardens and The Rocks.
Four Points by Sheraton Sydney
Pier One Sydney Harbour, Autograph Collection
I love the Autograph Collection for their design. And Pier One Sydney Harbour is no exception. The doormen are dressed in old-fashioned clothes, the decoration is chic and modern. And it’s right at the foot of the Harbour Bridge!
Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park
A hotel just as chic as the previous one and with impeccable service, nothing is left to chance. We enjoyed the private lounge and the gargantuan breakfast buffet!
Flight between Sydney and Melbourne
This flight wasn’t one of our best. No priority given to families by Qantas (we were the only one to board!) and a service on board that lacked sense with children (only spicy sauce with snacks!).
The flight is usually used by workers. We looked quite ouf of place with our suitcases.
After taking the Sky Bus, we arrived in Melbourne! A city just as active as Sydney, very young (once again, very few families).
The streets are bustling with activity. Many shopping centers, shops and restaurants.
The city center is organized in a rectangle in which you can circulate thanks to the free tramway (outside you have to use your myki card), a godsend with children, especially since our Airbnb is right in the area!
Alexandra was also pleased with the climbing wall and the swimming pool available with our accommodation.
We were able to get around easily and walk through the center and then head to Chinatown and Fitzroy Gardens where weddings are held almost back to back. Few points of interest. Melbourne is a city to be experienced rather than visited.
One notices immediately that art is important with graffiti in the alleys or on whole sections of buildings.
There are gardens on the perimeter of the centre; they are quite big.
Lots of peaceful and quiet places, which is a must when you live here! The pace is intense, the young (and not so young) are having fun, going out and enjoying the trendy restaurants, mostly Asian!
We tried ramen, Korean barbecue, fine pastries from Koko black and from the street. Our taste buds were always stimulated! There were so many flavours that we love!
We still have to visit before we have a better idea! Tomorrow we will be at the Ultra Australia music festival (one of our passions) to relax a bit as a couple while a babysitter will take care of our kids!
I hope to have helped you travel for a moment and wish you all a very nice week!