If study abroad taught me one thing, it’s that it is definitely possible to travel on a tight budget. My friends and I were so excited to plan our trip to Sydney; everyone raved about how amazing the Sydney Harbour Bridge was and how cool it was to see famous Bondi Beach in person. We knew Sydney was an expensive city, but we were determined to be able to see everything with our limited funds. So we got right down to booking flights. Australia has extremely reasonable airfare as compared to the US. Our roundtrip flight from GC to Sydney was under $130.00! Airlines like JetStar and TigerAir allow you to travel light and for really cheap within the country. We arrived in Sydney late on a Thursday evening, so we took the train directly to the area where our hostel was. On our walk over we came across Pie Face, which is an Australian food chain that makes meat pies. Meat pies are one of Australia’s specialties, so we had to try it! After thoroughly enjoying our meals, we continued on to our hostel. This was my first hostel stay ever, and overall everything went smoothly! We stayed in an all-girls room for 12 and were provided with a basic breakfast in the mornings.
Waking up on Friday morning, we knew we only had two days to fit in everything that Sydney has to offer, so we got off to an early start. We headed to the Central Business District, or CBD, to explore the streets and the city. We came across dozens of quaint street carts and stands offering different foods, jewelry, and other fun treats. My friend Natalie bought tickets to climb the harbour bridge, but my other friends and I decided to climb the pylon on the side of the bridge to still get some of the experience and the views of the harbour and the opera house. This is a great way to still get the experience for a fraction of the cost of actually climbing the bridge (although nothing can quite replace how funny the jumpsuit is that you’re forced to wear when climbing the bridge). The views were so amazing and seeing the opera house in person was so surreal. Eventually we were able to walk up to the opera house and actually get a closer look.
After grabbing some lunch and exploring the Royal Botanic Gardens, we prepared to get on a dinner cruise around the harbour. We saw a sailboat race, got amazing new perspective on the bridge and opera house, and enjoyed a great meal and music all night! I would definitely recommend that anyone taking a trip to Sydney make it a priority to get on one of these cruises. After the cruise, we made a brief trip to Hyde Park before heading back to our hostel for the evening. The day was jam packed with walking and fun activities, so we were exhausted and ready to pass out.
On Saturday, our final day in Sydney, we were excited to head to Bondi Beach. On our way over, we came across Paddington markets, which was a little street fair with tons of cool stuff to see! We grabbed an awesome lunch and took the bus over to Bondi from there. One of Sydney’s selling points is that it has great and easy public transportation systems. There are tons of trains and buses all over the place; however, my friends and I weren’t there quite long enough to figure them out, so we had some trouble navigating. When we finally arrived at Bondi, we were able to see the beach that has been the set of multiple Australian television shows and take in the street art that the area has to offer. Unfortunately, we had to head back to the airport that night to go back home. The good news is that home was the Gold Coast and I loved every second of it!