During the next two days, we explored downtown Sydney, Darling Harbor, and the surrounding areas.
This morning our friends drove us around the area of Paddington, a wealthier area that we were staying in during our visit. They showed us nearby suburbs and beaches, and eventually we made our way back to Darling Harbor. We visited the Rocks Markets, an open-street market held on Saturdays and Sundays just off of Darling Harbor. It is home to lovely little craft vendors and artisans, and we spent the afternoon wandering through the setup. After lunch at a nearby café, we caught a ferry ride back to Double Bay, where our friends picked us up after a full day of enjoying Darling Harbor.
Later that evening we took a long walk through the neighboring park, across the small suburb, down to Double Bay, and along the water to the Point. It was a relaxing way to end the evening, and a beautiful view of the water and marina. That evening we had leftovers and talked to our bed and breakfast host for a long while. It was quite a relaxing evening!
The Opera House
The next day we toured the iconic Opera House, and it was well worth it! The beautiful and magnificently structured building houses three smaller theaters, a larger concert hall, and opera/ballet theater. The original design was selected among around 200 others who entered a contest to see their work come to life. The building went through several obstacles during its construction, and by the time it was completed, the original designer, Jorn Utzon, was never able to actually see his work come to life. Regardless, the building is still a masterpiece, with a series of shells creating a roof far above the actual roof of the theater buildings.
Mom & I outside the Opera House
Inside of the Opera House
The Botanical Gardens
Next we explored Sydney’s Royal Botanical Gardens, a huge complex spanning for 30 hectares in the heart of the city. This beautiful property is very well kept, and is home to many species of flora. We had lunch at the café in the gardens, then explored through Hyde Park on our way to downtown.
Interesting tree in the botanical gardens
Example of a hut used in aboriginal life
Downtown, we walked around Pitt street, the shopping mecca of Sydney. We explored a bunch of shops, and visited the renovated Queen Victoria Building. Originally a municipal market, the QVB was restored in 1986, and now is home to fashion boutiques, jewelry stores, home shops, cafes, and restaurants.
Inside the Queen Victoria Building
For dinner, we joined our friends for a fantastic dinner at a well-reputed Italian restaurant. We spent the night catching up and remarking on the amazing food, and eventually headed back for our last evening in Sydney.
Exploring the past two days in Darling Harbor and Paddington was just lovely!