'Straya with Fam
Where: Sydney, Australia
Who: Mr & Mrs Wanderlust together with the whole Fam
When: October (Spring) 2018
What: Family goes to Sydney
Now we go to the land down under, a country that is big enough to be one continent. Australia is a country and continent surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans. Its major cities – Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide – are coastal. Its capital, Canberra, is inland. The country is known for its Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, a vast interior desert wilderness called the Outback, and unique animal species like kangaroos and duck-billed platypuses
How To Get There:
There are only 2 to 4 flights per day on flights MNL to SYDNEY. Got a good deal on tickets so immediately grabbed the opportunity and booked the whole fam to the land down under.
Flights are 6 hours by plane, and if you are planning to bring some kids (especially toddlers) with you, please do try to come prepared with toys and distractions to pacify them ever so energetic yet unruly and non negotiable toddlers.
when travelling with kids, make sure you indicate their ages in the booking as by law, they need to have a proper car seat.
Booked a shuttle with the capacity for 8 adults and 4 kids, a big group, but since we have kids, we opted shuttle rather than train because the kids are tired and getting restless after a 6 hour flight.
Citizens from Philippines need to be approved of a visa before being allowed to enter the country, if interested you may visit the Australia's PH embassy website. To see the requirements you need to submit and all other info needed.
Citizens of other countries, you may check with your country's Australian Embassy.
A good area for your accommodation definitely helps a lot and it is best to be near a train station. Also being near Circular Quay, wharf areas would be nice as there are also many attractions that can be reached by the Ferry. but being in a central location definitely can just walk majority of places nearby.
Where To Stay:
There are a lot of places to stay in such an old, historical, large and cosmopolitan city in Australia. Many choices from luxurious expensive, to the lower end backpackers, but being with a big group of family with little children, we opted for the apartment style with separate bedrooms for available for each family, and a living space, as well as a kitchen space which is totally different from a hotel room.
Searched a lot of hotels and accommodations in different areas, but of course, the one we chose was a stone's throw away from the center of the city, as well as its transportation.
We were so pleased by their services that we even wrote a review in Tripadvisor just to let them know how satisfied customers we were.
Mr & Mrs Wanderlust's Review
Mantra 2 Bond St.
+ Excellent location near the city center and all transportation like train stations and ferry
+ Staff were all helpful and was able to assist us with all our inquiries and requests
+ Easy check-in in their lobby, and their restaurant is also located in the foyer
+ Their apartment's living were spacious and had everything we needed, kitchen, dining, etc.
+ Beds were soft and comfy and room has its own TV and view on window
+ Toilet & Shower was a bit small but has also laundry machine and dryer as well
+ Breakfast has few choices but still very good and we liked it
+ Small yet nice heated pool with a hot tub on 18th floor which was cool due to weather
+ In room dining was great, all of the meals we ordered were delicious.
- The bedrooms were a bit small
- Has advertised free WiFi yet not working and asking for payment
- Construction on street outside, may get noisy in mornings (though not their fault)
- In-room dining as lovely as their food was we wish they had more items on their menu
Price: $$ 9,000 - 15,000 / night for 2 bedroom apartment (8 adults max per 2 bed apartment)
Service: 5 star - Service & staff were all very helpful and welcome
Facilities & Amenities: 5 star - modern designed rooms, complete in room amenities, great heated pool, gym, and most of all love their apartment rooms, perfect for families/groups.
Restaurant (foods): 4.9 star -Free breakfast and their in room dining were all good
Bar: 4.9 star - Bar in the hotel's restaurant, though havent tried but looks nice.
Overall: 4.95 /5 Excellent!!!! Would recommend & stay there again!
What To Do:
One of the largest and popular cities in Australia, you definitely won't run out of things to do, whether it is indoor, outdoor, and most of all they are all child friendly places. So you don't have to rough it out too much when you brought your kids with you.
1. Photos at the Opera House & Royal Botanic Gardens
Australia's iconic building, and definitely one of the popular structures in the world. You would definitely know that you are in Sydney once you saw the towering structure over the bay, and right accross its the wonderful view of the giant Harbour bridge which is another tourist attraction in itself.
The garden only a short walk from the Opera House boasts spots for iconic views and stunning photo opportunities across the Harbour to the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, with almost 9,000 plants that are in cultivation of which 6,000 of them are from other parts of the world.
2. Have a snack or dine with the view of Harbour Bridge
It is contrasting with the Sydney Opera House's smooth sails is the dramatic steel presence of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. You can drive, walk or cycle accross it, or gaze up at it from any angle, and for the adrenaline junkies, they can climb the bridge with Bridgeclimb activity. Accessible by foot from Watson Rd. and Cumberland St. The bridge offers a scenic walk or jog. Don't miss the eyecatching view via the pedestrian pathway on the eastern side of the bridge.
3. Visit the Wild Locals at Taronga Zoo & Wild Life Sydney Zoo
Just 12 minutes away from the city by ferry, Taronga Zoo is home to more than 4,000 native and exotic animals. Also the wildest views of Sydney can now be enjoyed from their sky-high adventure.
And just a few walks across Pyrmont bridge are bundle of tourist attractions that are close to each other one of which is Wild Life Sydney Zoo where it houses some of its native animals.
Other attractions nearby Wild Life is the Sea Life Aquarium and Madamme Tussaud's which are all great activities for families with children to enjoy.
4. Make time to relax Manly Beach
A ferry boat ride away from the Circular Quay, stops just right after Taronga Zoo and Watson Bay about 45 minute smooth ride will bring you to a laid back beach place, but still packed with commercial establishments as well as nice retail stores and restaurants around so you'll never run out of anything to buy or eat. The beach is also a spot for local surfers to ride the waves.
A World famous spot on Sydney's Northern beaches, Mant is the epitome of the laidback lifestyle beach. Also a nice shopping stip along the beach with popular Aussie brands like Roxy, Billabong, Ripcurl and a lot more souvenirs as well as stalls of local entrepreneurs.
5. Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral & Go around Hyde Park
A short walk down College Street, you will find St. Mary's Cathedral where it stands opposite to Hyde Park and is one of the finest English style Gothic churches in the world, with a foundation stone that was laid in 1868. Not like in some parts of the world, Catholic church here is very much alive during Sunday mass that the church was almost filled with people, and of course some tourists who want to see the inside of the church.
But to be respectful, guests inside the church especially when the mass is on going are prohibited from taking pictures and videos.
Just outside is wide space and across is a park, the city central green space, Sydney's Hyde Park is a tranquil setting. It is a popular lunch and picnic spot for office workers in need of some sunshine, and contains around 580 mature exotic and native trees and also hosts cultural events throughout the year.
So don't hesitate to bring the kids as they can run around the grass and tire themselves a little bit.
6. See the Sunset at Sydney Tower Eye
Sydney Tower Eye offers a bird's eye perspective of the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and the city landscape. It is better at sunset so you'd be able to see both sunny and dark views of the city from a top.
7. Bask in the Sun at the Beautiful and Breezy Bondi Beach
There are only a few sights that compare the the bright golden sand and turqoise blue waters of Australia's most famous beach.
The sweeping white-sand crescent of Bondi is one of Australia’s most iconic beaches. Reliable waves draw surfers while, nearby, hardy locals swim in the Icebergs ocean pool year-round. Trendy, health-conscious Sydneysiders head to laid-back cafes around Hall Street, while hip backpackers frequent the area's casual pubs. Walkers and joggers use the clifftop Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, with its dramatic scenery.
8. Dive into Sydney SEA Life Aquarium
SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium contains a large variety of Australian aquatic life, displaying more than 700 species comprising more than 13,000 individual fish and other sea and water creatures from most of Australia's water habitats.
Families with children for sure are going to enjoy and be amused of different themed zones showcasing sharks, rays and a resident Dugong.
9. Feed your Mind and go to Sydney's Museums
There are actually many museums nearby, but we chose The Powerhouse Museum as it was near and kid friendly displays that would also interest adults at the same time. The museum is a major branch of the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences in Sydney, the other being the historic Sydney Observatory. It looks to bring to life an extraordinary array of scientific, technological, industrial, design and historical treasures.
The Australian Museum, Maritime Museum, Sydney Museum, and so many Art Galleries & Libraries to choose from for the people who want to feed their mind with the country's unique culture & arts.
10. Admire the Architectural wonder of their Buildings
Australia’s oldest city, is not characterised by any one architectural style, but by an extensive contrast of old and new architecture over the city's 200-year history, from its modest beginnings with local materials and lack of international funding to its present-day modernity with an expansive skyline of high rises and skyscrapers.
11. For the Shopaholics at Sydney
From high-end luxury shops to high street stores, designer malls, and bustling markets, Sydney is a nice place for shopaholics.
Inner City has DFS Galleria (Duty Free) on George St. ; On the same street is The Galeries that has 4 levels of fashion, art, music and culture coming together. It also is Sydney's largest bookstore.
Harbourside has shops for you to eat, drink, and play near the water together with views of the city skyline. Right on Darling Harbour Drive, there is a wide range of Australian made products and souvenirs. Dining options also include the iconic Hard Rock Cafe.
Queen Victoria Building (QVB) is a building built in 1898 as a monument for then reigning monarch. Much loved for the stunning architectureand a mix of iconic local and global fashion brands, jewellers, cafes and homeware stores.
Pitt Street Mall Cutting through the heart of Sydney CBD, this mal is 200 meter pedestrian only walk spanning from Market to Kent, with high end fashion outlets, eateries, and more within a 2 block radius.
There is definitely a lot more shopping places that we have missed, but to name a few we have tried to visit.
12. Whale Watching at Tasman Sea
Another attraction that can be done at the harbour of Sydney, several different boat companies offer whale watching where a bigger boat goes to the open waters away from Sydney harbour and off to Tasman Sea, the whole experience will be a total of 3 hours, so better be prepared.
From May to October you can experience whale at play also with commentary from one of their experts to guide the guests watching.They can guarantee that you are (99% rate) going to see a whale or cruise again with them for free.
Their boat, very nice, and well equiped, has viewing deck inside and out with a 2nd floor for a better view.
Word of warning though for kids and adults alike with motion sickness, may get nauseous so try to take meds like Dramamin. But our toddler wasn't able to fully appreciate as he got uneasy and threw up a couple of times
(rates as of Oct 2018) (click here for the latest rates)
1 AUD = 38 PHP
$100USD = $138AUD
Accommodation - High End - 400 - 500AUD+++ / night
Accommodation - Mid - 200-300AUD / night
Accommodation - Budget - below 200 AUD/night
Transport - Shuttle from Airport to Sydney CBD 60 - 100AUD depending on Shuttle / # people
Transport - Train - $5 - $15 AUD (but says gets cheaper on Sundays)
Food - Snacks -$5 - $10 AUD
Food - Restaurant (set meal for 2) - $80 - $100AUD
Food - Fastfood Meal - $20 - $50 AUD
Drinks - Beer $15 - $20AUD at Hotels and Bars
Drinks - Bottled Water -$5 - $10 AUD
Souvenir - T-Shirt -$20 - $50AUD
Souvenir - Magnets / Keychain = $5 - $10 AUD
Souvenir - Premium items, Chocolates etc, - $20 - $50++ AUD
All in all, Sydney is really a nice place for families with children, couples, friends, or groups alike. The city boasts a vast array of experiences and attraction for everybody. Friendly people sometimes chatty (with their thick Aussie accent makes you wonder if its English).
We hope our blog provided advice on how to get the most out of your time in Sydney by getting you with information on things we did, and there are a lot more that we haven't even mentioned would cater to all tastes and people, just do a bit of research and you will definitely find something in Sydney.
Please let us know on your comments below 👇 if you have anything to add, share or just say something, we would definitely appreciate it.
Video montage of our trip in Sydney, Australia..
Music by Vexento
The Official Sydney Guide - Sydney.com
Wikipedia as always
Word of caution for all those looking to travel to Sydney to party - forget it. Absurd lockout laws, implemented largely following a few isolated incidents of drunken violence, mean that you can't be served shots, drinks in glasses, or even be let in to venues after midnight-1am, and almost all places stop serving very early. It's left a gaping hole in our tourism arm, and it has inhibited the nightlife significantly.
I live in Sydney and have to recommend a morning or afternoon perusing the streets of The Rocks. It’s a short walk from Circular Quay station. It is the perfect location to learn a small amount about the colonial history and explore some older buildings and great cafés. There are museums to pop your head into and even a walk past the YHA is interesting as it’s built on top of colonial ruins.
Make sure you get an Opal card. On Sundays the daily Opal travel cap is $2.60 and this includes almost every form of public transport (watch out for the airport train stations though - they don't count and they are expensive).
Favourite areas are Newtown, The Rocks, Manly Beach, Surrey Hills, Bondi Beach (all the way to Coogee), walking along George St, parts of Redfern, Balmain...so many good ones!
If you are not a swimmer but still want to have a dip there are plenty of amazing "ocean pools" at the beaches. Many of them are cut into the natural rock right alongside the beach. You're safe from the waves and currents but still get amazing views. On the south side of Sydney (my side), there's the Bondi Icebergs (about $5), and if you're doing the Bondi to Coogee walk you'll find a free ocean bath at Bronte, also Clovelly and Coogee has one on the southern end of the beach.
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