We only spent the night in Canberra as it worked out best with the bus schedules as we didn’t have a really long journey in one go to Sydney and it also made it easier for checking in and out of our various accommodation. Whilst Canberra is the capital of Australia we had been told that there wasn’t really much to see and do in the city so we decided it would be better to spend the extra time elsewhere.
We spent the night in the Medina Serviced Apartments at James Court and it was the perfect option for us. We had a single queen room and it came complete with an enormous living room and kitchenette, full bathroom with laundry facilities and a massive balcony. It would have made a really cost effective place to stay had we chosen to stay in the city longer since we had the facilities to cook our own meals as well as free laundry services and wifi and a cosy lounge for chilling out in the evening. It was definitely a welcome change to using shared amenities whilst staying in hostels and it was great to have some privacy!
The following day we jumped on our next bus and headed to Sydney. We stayed in an Air BnB rental close to the bus stop at the central station. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t really great while we were in the city so we really only had the one day to wander round.
Our first stop of the day was the ANZAC War Memorial. Completed in 1934, the monument is located at the southern end of Hyde Park and was built in remembrance of the Australian Imperial Force of World War I.
Our next stop on our way to see the famous Sydney sights was St Mary’s Cathedral. Construction of the present cathedral was started in 1868 and the building has been added to over the years. It is built in the Gothic style with towering spires, enormous buttresses and large stained glass windows. The golden-coloured sandstone interior give it a warm and comforting feel.
From the cathedral we headed to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, an exposed rock that has been carved into a bench and dedicated to Governor Macquarie’s wife Elizabeth. This point provides a great view across the harbour to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.
We took advantage of the many benches to have our picnic lunch in the company of one of the many Golden Orb spiders found in the gardens.
After lunch we followed the harbour round through the Royal Botanic Garden heading down towards the Opera House and Bridge. We enjoyed a bit of people watching and a quick drink in the café.
It was a great opportunity to be able to see the Sydney Opera House up close. Bizarrely it seemed smaller and less white than we thought it would be.
Our final stop was in Darling Harbour. We had intended to see a film at the IMAX cinema but sadly it was sold out so we grabbed a quick bite to eat and a drink before heading back to our rental apartment.
If you haven’t already seen it, be sure to check out our video exploring Sydney here.