When my mom and I were planning her trip for when she would be here, I knew there was no way she could come all the way to Australia and not see Sydney! And especially when it’s just a quick 45 minute flight from Melbourne. We also registered for the Colour Conference, a women’s conference put on by Hillsong (the church we attend), and were very excited because it was our first women’s conference and we now got to experience it together — as well as a new city together! :) We left the day after returning from the Yarra Valley and had an early flight out. We stayed in an awesome Airbnb, with an incredibly sweet host (hi Ariana!), in a fantastic area called Potts Point. It had some great shops and places to eat, but unfortunately, we didn’t have too much time to explore the area since we were at the conference for most of the time and sightseeing/doing ‘touristy’ activities in between — but definitely next time! Sorry in advance that this post is quite long and photo-heavy; but hope you enjoy it :D
B O N D I
The day we arrived, it was 84°F/28°C — so of course, we spent the day at the popular and iconic Bondi Beach! I had heard over and over again about how gorgeous Sydney was, and from the first glimpse of Bondi, I understood why there was a unanimous opinion about its beauty. The ocean was a deep and stunning blue, coupled with the famous ‘icebergs’ – the pools nearby – it really was a lot to take in and we spent the first 15 minutes or so just taking photos/videos and standing in awe of our surroundings. It was also the first time I had been to the beach all summer, so it was a really big deal for me lol. We spent a few hours there, getting our tan on, walking up and down the beach and exploring the tidal pools. It was soooo relaxing, and we both loved the vibe!
S Y D N E Y O P E R A H O U S E + S Y D N E Y H A R B O U R B R I D G E
The next day, the conference began in the evening, so we decided to get an early start and check out as many sights as we could! First stop, of course, was Circular Quay and seeing the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Again, we totally understood why people say Sydney is beautiful, because as soon as we stepped out by the harbor, I think both our jaws dropped! The harbor itself is always bustling with ferries going in and out constantly, as well as several tourist boats. There was actually a massive cruise ship the day we were there and it truly was a sight to behold with the SHB as its backdrop! We walked around the corner to the Sydney Opera House — it’s just one of those places you always see on TV or in a magazine, and here it is… right in front of you. I got goosebumps! Sydney itself has been on my bucket list for quite a while, so I consider myself incredibly blessed to be able to experience it :D We walked all around the opera house, which leads right to Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, so we walked along the path right around to the edge, where we got an incredible view of the Opera House with the bridge in the background! Along the way, we saw the famous little sea lion who plops himself on the steps of the SOH to sun bathe/catch a nap — sooo cute. We also considered doing the walk over the bridge (pretty crazy considering I’m scared of heights!), but with our time limit that day, we decided next time :)
M A N L Y B E A C H
Many people had also recommended Manly Beach to us, so we got on a ‘fast ferry’ to Manly – and sheesh, it really lives up to its name! I only got a few photos while on it because of how it hopped up and down on the waves and didn’t want to risk losing my phone… or um, my life! It was so fun though and being able to see another part of Sydney!! And it was breathtaking to see the city from the water (you can see that view in the first photo at the top!) When we arrived in Manly, it was a short walk along the Corso, which is one of the main streets in the town — filled with shops, restaurants and bars. It reminded me so much of Florida, especially coupled with such a beautiful day we were blessed with having :)
The beach itself was extremely beautiful and peaceful. There were people sunbathing, surf schools in session, and others walking their dogs, and it seemed much more laidback than the hustle and bustle of Bondi the previous day! My mom and I both loved the the pine trees (specifically, Norfolk Island pines) that lined the beach — where you’d usually see palm trees or some ‘tropical’ equivalent. I love how much more unique it made the beach and brought a little bit of charm to an already charming place! The water was also much warmer and calmer than the crazy waves of Bondi, and we spent quite a bit of time walking up and down the beach, getting our feet wet and posing for photos, of course ;) we really loved it there! Afterwards, we had the most AMAZING calamari and chips on this planet and battled it out with some sea gulls to protect our food hahaha. Then, we were off to the Colour Conference!
C O L O U R C O N F E R E N C E
On our way to the conference, we were walking smack dab in the middle of rush hour in Sydney on the busiest street (oh, Google Maps, why did you do that to us…?) so we got to experience some of the actual city as well. I saw this gorgeous building and had to snap a photo of it. I later found out that it’s called the Queen Victoria Building, which is a large mall. Being a huge architecture geek, I definitely would like to return and explore it – it reminded me so much of something you’d find in Melbourne!
We made it to the conference, and the first night was awesome — as was the rest of the conference! It was so uplifting, empowering and encouraging to be around so many loving women, all whom had the same intention of building up those around them. We heard some incredible speakers, such as Sheila Walsh, Christine Caine and the lovely DawnChere Wilkerson; all their messages were so beautiful and convicting. One thing I really liked about the conference was that for each session, we were able to move to different sections, so we could get different perspectives. Sometimes, we were all the way at the very top, while other times, we were almost right by the stage, so that was pretty neat :)
They also provided different ‘time out’ zones between the different sessions, where you could go touch up your make up, get your nails done or even have your hair done! My hair was driving me crazy one day, so I had it braided and the volunteer who did it was also American! What are the chances?! My mom and I had such a fun time at the conference, and also got to explore a bit of Chinatown in Sydney and a few outlet malls.
F O O D + C O F F E E
We went to an AMAZING Japanese restaurant called Busshari, where the sushi was impeccable, the dumplings were out of this world, and even the ginger beer was fantastic (and I’m not a ginger beer ‘person’!) You know when you think you aren’t hungry, but then you start eating and turn into a bear? Yep, that’s how we were, lol! It was a perfect meal and left us feeling light but full. If you’re ever in the Potts Point area, I highly recommend this spot.
Our Airbnb host recommended a place in the laneway behind the apartment called Room 10, which was a small cafe that had coffee and brunch. We ended up going back almost every day because their coffee was so good! One morning, we tried their breakfast and it didn’t disappoint! I had a smashed eggs sandwich with hollandaise sauce with a flat white, while my mom had sourdough bread with prosciutto and avocado. I highly recommend their coffee — it kept us going for the day! Although, I stand by my belief that Melbourne still has the best coffee in the world ;). We also tried another cafe on our last day in Sydney called Marcelle on Macleay, which was really good. I loved their poached egg sandwich! We also ate at a Greek/brunch restaurant, as well as a pizza place, but I was too hungry to take photos, I suppose! I was really impressed by the food scene there, and look forward to trying some more places when I visit again :)
Overall, Sydney was an amazing place! I found myself unfairly comparing it to Melbourne almost all the time (architecture, sights, food, weather, coffee) but they’re each special in their own ways. I can’t wait to explore more of it (and more of its beaches!) one day – this time, with Will in tow :)! But we had a great girls trip, and I know my mom loved it; Sydney is calling your name, Mom! ;)