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We flew from Gold Coast to Sydney and landed before lunch time ready to head in to the city. A couple of weeks earlier we had booked a hire car for Sydney to use for the five days we’d be here, but soon after we looked in to parking costs and it is horrifically expensive in Sydney, so we cancelled the hire car and decided we’d be using public transport instead πŸ™‚

We treated ourselves to a nice apartment again in Sydney, overlooking the city and the harbour bridge and opera house, except, when we arrived, we found we had been stuck in a back apartment overlooking a building site in a run-down room, we complained, and they upgraded us a two bedroom apartment with the view we had been wanting, so it all worked out great.

The weather was starting to get colder now as we were getting further south, after one day here, Stac finally admitted defeat and stopped wearing the flip-flops that she’d been wearing since we got to warm weather more than five months earlier, she was not impressed at having to wear trainers again.

We did the tourist trail stuff and headed down to the city centre to walk along the harbour bridge and see the famous Sydney Opera House, quite spectacular to be here after seeing it in pictures and on TV so many times, but the opera house isn’t nearly as clean and white as it looks on the pictures.

It turns out that most places in Australia celebrate a ‘Christmas in July’, where basically they pick a day in July to have a pretend Christmas Day where the weather won’t be 40 degrees like it is for them in December. We decided we had to partake in this tradition.

Christmas in July started for us by going on the ferry to Manly, on the north side of Sydney, stopping by the small seaside town and having Fish & Chips by the beach. The weather was gorgeous, bright, sunny skies and warm enough for just a T-shirt, it felt nothing like a European Christmas πŸ™‚

In the afternoon we went back to the city, bought all our things for our Christmas Dinner and headed back to the Apartment. A three-course dinner followed of tabbouleh salad with pan-fried Salmon and Goat’s cheese to start, a whole roast Chicken (we couldn’t find Turkey) with all (well, most of) the trimmings for main and Christmas Pudding for desert with a bottle of Fizz. Then drank the night away listening to Christmas Songs. It was a great Christmas day in Sydney, even if it wasn’t actually Christmas.

A couple of days later, we got great weather again and headed down to the famous Bondi Beach, the surfers paradise just a few minutes from the city. There is a walk along the coast from Bondi to Coogee, which passes by five or six bays along the clifftops and beaches, with some stunning views for around 5 miles, it was great and we celebrated finishing with a Gelato each in Coogee.

We enjoyed Sydney a lot for our days here, not having a car was the best idea, considering the cost of parking in the city was $40-50 per day. Each area of the city is different, and although it is expensive, having an apartment meant that we could cook for ourselves and not worry about restaurant prices. Sat at night with a glass of wine overlooking Sydney Opera House from our apartments is a memory that won’t fade any time soon.

Now it was on to the first wine region of the trip, Barossa Valley…