Welcome to Sydney, Australia! – June 4/5th (Day 2/3)

It’s been a long day so far. I’ve been on the move and in transit for close to 13 hours so far and I haven’t even stepped foot on my 14 hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney. I’ve made myself comfortable on the ground with my laptop in the LAX airport as I wait to board my 10.10pm red-eye flight to Sydney. I am scheduled to arrive at 6.15am Sydney time. I had heard nothing but excellent things about Virgin Australia from everyone I had come in contact with – people expressing their outstanding reviews on their service. As much as I like to take people’s word for things right off the bat, I enjoy experiencing things myself before coming up with a final decision.

Just before boarding at 9.30pm, a well-assembled and sleek crew of Virgin Australia staff strutted by in complete unison. It was as if they had planned to walk on the same foot at the same time. It gave me a rush of excitement and gave me the confidence that Virgin Australia was on top of their game for tonight’s flight and I would be taken good care of. From the ground staff to the cabin crew – the service surpassed my already high expectations. Not only did they provide headphones, earplugs, sleeping masks and stationary gear for the flight – a complimentary pillow and blanket was provided to make sure we could catch some rest. The seats were significantly more comfortable than a lot of other flights I had been on, and it definitely didn’t hurt that I had an empty seat beside me. I luckily had the chance to catch some sleep throughout the flight in between checking in on some of the various options for on-flight entertainment that Virgin Australia provided. Nothing like catching up on a season of New Girl and Big Bang Theory to pass the time!

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I have been on various long haul flights in the last couple years, and my experience on Virgin Australia is at the top.

With enviable on-time performance and over 3000 flights per week to more than 30 Australian cities and centres, Virgin Australia can get you where you need to be, on time and with a smile.

I couldn’t agree more. If you are ever thinking of heading out this way, I’d highly recommend considering Virgin Australia for your flight and travel needs.

Touched Down in Sydney

I’ve made it! I couldn’t of been more excited touching down at the Sydney Int’l Airport tarmack. I’ve learned well from my mother and gathered my belongings on the flight and rushed to immigration. This way I wasn’t stuck at the back of the line to go through immigration and I could get out of the airport as fast as possible! After clearing customs and grabbing my suitcase – phew! They didn’t lose my luggage, which is always a plus, I was chosen to have my suitcase and belongings “dog-inspected” before leaving the airport. I could take the dog seriously because he was so cute, but he did his thing and I was allowed to exit.

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Waiting on the other side of the gate were heaps of people waiting for their loved ones. A smiling face from Astra Limousines was holding an iPad with S Clarke written on it! It was so cool to have someone waiting for me on the other side of the world 24 hours away from home. It just goes to show that Australians are great at welcoming people!

The “Ritzy” Hostel in Sydney

After a short but highly entertaining limo ride with the coolest guy driver ever, I arrived at the Sydney Harbour YHA.

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Sydney Harbour YHA provides the most conveniently located budget accommodation from which to explore Sydney’s highlights. Staying amongst the heritage building and quiet laneways of Sydney’s historic heart, The Rocks, guests are within walking distance of many of Sydney’s major attractions.

I arrived in style and made my way to reception to check-in. I had a quick and speedy early check-in and was directed to my room. Never have I have been in a nicer hostel in my life. I have a hard time calling it a “hostel,” because when I think of hostel I don’t imagine a place this nice. My room had a double bed, closet, desk, coffee machine and ensuite. It was perfect!

I also was very impressed with the breakfast served at the hostel. Normally when you travel, eating whatever is available is the norm, as it is more convenient and cheap for a backpacker. At YHA, the breakfast options were not only cheap, but various in selection. I was able to get a yogurt, cereal, fruit salad and coffee with my breakfast voucher! The Fresh Start breakfast special definitely helped in putting starting my day of right!

After settling in and unpacking a few of my belongings, I found it very difficult to stay inside and sleep (which I should of done), especially when I looked out the window and had a perfect view of the Sydney Opera House. “Sam, you can sleep later, let’s go!” And with that, I was off!

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“The Rocks”

The first stop was of course getting lost. I wandered the opposite direction to all the main attractions to see what else was around “The Rocks.” I figured if I headed straight for the Harbour, I’d get lost in the beauty and various activities and therefore I may not get the chance to see what else was around. The Rocks is one of Sydney’s premier tourist precincts. You can explore its collection of heritage buildings; convict history and modern facilities as well as various pubs, cafes and shops.

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Through the many little laneways and alleyways, I eventually orientated myself and found myself in the location of the “Rocks Market.” I remember this place so vividly from last year, as it was where I indulged in various free banana bread samples and Japanese pancakes. The Rocks is such a lively area, with musicians normally playing on the streets, coffee shops at every corner and restaurants and shops everywhere you look. It is the perfect place to kick back and relax after a day full of Sydney attractions!

It was so nice to finally be back in the place I had been dying to return to as soon as I could. Sydney, Australia has so much history behind it, which I why it continues to bring in millions and millions of tourists here year round. It is flooded with attractions for all ages, and delivers an experience you will never forget.

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Half of day 3 is complete and so many other adventures to go!

Until next time,

Sam Clarke.

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2 thoughts on “Welcome to Sydney, Australia! – June 4/5th (Day 2/3)

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