Morning: Bridge Climb and early lunch
Afternoon: Walk Circular Quay, Barangaroo, King Street Wharf, Wild Life Sydney Zoo, Cockle Bay/Harbourside, Darling Harbour, Chinatown
Evening: Catch-up with family/friends or dinner at Tetsuya
I hope you’ve had a good night’s sleep, as you’ll have much to see and experience today! You’re probably still a little bloated from all the eating from yesterday so skipping breakfast and having an earlier lunch shouldn’t be a problem? And instead start the morning with some exercise?
8am- Sydney Bridge Climb
From the hotel, flag a cab or request an Uber to pick you guys up. The trip will take less than 5 minutes as it’s literally at the other end of Kent street (but don’t try walking it, as it’ll take more than a half hour and you don’t want to be worn out before the climb.
To join a Sydney Bridge Climb you’ll have to book in advance and admittedly it might not be for everyone, e.g. if you’re afraid of heights, and it is a bit pricey at $330 per adult. But it’s worth the money (we’re price sensitive and we Climbed the Bridge and to this day it’s still one of the most memorable things we’ve done 8 years on). It is a unique privilege to climb a world famous landmark like the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and you don’t have to be particularly fit as long as you can climb steps and a few ladders.
The total experience (briefing and climb) will take 3.5 hours – the climb starts at the South end of the bridge, and with a dozen other people, your guide will lead the group up the arch of the ‘coat hanger’ by the way of evenly spaced steps to the highest point of the bridge, before walking across the width of the bridge to the opposing arch (a group pic is taken at this point), before descending the west arch which will take you back to the South pylon and back to the starting point. The climb is totally safe as you’ll be provided with a jumpsuit with harness which will protect your street clothing and the harness is connected at all times to a steel safety cable at waist height. On this morning don’t bring anything of value with you e.g. rings, large amounts of cash in your wallet etc. as you’re required to leave everything behind in lockers when you put on the jumpsuit, as they don’t take any chances with items coming free to strike cars down below; sunglasses/glasses are still OK as they’ll give you a band to attach to them but you’re not allowed to bring cameras or Go pros. So the amazing vistas you’ll see, you’ll just have to stow them as your personal memories and know that you are the lucky few who will ever see Sydney from this vantage point! The tangible memories which you can take with you (i.e. purchase), will be the pictures the guide had taken of you and the entire group, and the pic of your own individual group- be that you and your partner or family. And I imagine after the early start and all those steps, you’re thirsty and ready for some food?
11.30am Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel
19 Kent Street, the Rocks
And for something a little bit naughty and cheeky, why not have a before-noon pint of locally brewed beer! Hey, ‘when in Rome’, besides you’re on holidays and you deserve it after the climb! The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel is the oldest continually licensed hotel in Sydney and its heritage is obvious from the look and feel of the old building. To balance-out the beers you’ll be consuming, have an early lunch- choose from either the Nepalese menu or the more conventional Modern Australian menu. As you can see Sydney’s culture is eclectic and draws from all the cultures which call Sydney home!
And after the early lunch you can explore ‘The Rocks’ again (now that all the shops have opened up as opposed to yesterday) or you can head back to Circular Quay and the Opera house for another photo opp.
1pm Barangaroo Walk
And when you’ve had enough of the O-house and H-bridge, you and your party can explore the other precincts which line the harbour foreshore. From ‘The Rocks’ you can first check out Barangaroo, the latest (and still in progress) re-development of the Sydney harbour front. You can follow the waterfront by the way of a pedestrian walkway, explore the re-created headland which includes a grass area where you can soak up some rays, or peer into some rock pools (the re-created headland a throw-back to Sydney’s pre-colonial days).
1.30pm King Street Wharf & Wild Life Sydney Zoo
1-15 Wheat Road, Sydney
And after Barangaroo just keep following the shore line towards Darling Harbour, first passing by the boardwalk of King Street Wharf- a wharf for small boats to pick up and drop off passengers. And the “land” side of the wharf is inevitably lined with more restaurants- in Sydney you’ll never run out of dining options! And just before reaching the precinct known as Darling Harbour, you’ll reach Sea Life Sydney Aquarium; Wild Life Sydney Zoo; and Madame Tussauds. If on the previous day you ended up purchasing the 2 Attractions Sydney pass, you can use your second attraction pass now. My personal recommendation is to use your pass to visit the Wild Life Sydney Zoo – as housed in the small zoo are Australian native animals like koalas, kangaroos, wombats, wallabies, platypuses and Tasmanian devils.
3pm Darling Harbour
And after seeing Australia’s furry marsupial friends, it’s time to check out Darling Harbour! My absolute favourite Sydney precinct! You can choose to remain on the left hand side (East side) of Darling Harbour and do a shorter walk, passing by Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Quarter and the Chinese Garden of Friendship. Or if you’re not too tired from walking, you can walk across the Pyrmont pedestrian bridge to the other side of Darling Harbour where the Harbourside Shopping centre complex is located, where you can buy yourself an ice cream/frozen treat as a reward if it’s a particularly warm afternoon.
And when you re-emerge you can continue on your way past the modern (and newly built) International Convention Centre, past a small square of greenery called Tumbalong Park and onto Darling Square (a new precinct still under construction).
By this time it ought to be around 4pm, you can choose to explore Chinatown again and perhaps pick up some inexpensive Australian souvenirs from Paddy’s markets, an eclectic flea market in the midst of Chinatown (open till 6pm). Or for those who are tired from all the walking, you can head back to the hotel to rest-up, before tonight’s activities.
529 Kent Street, Sydney
And depending on the reason why you’ve come to Sydney this time, you can use tonight to catch-up with friends and family if this is the purpose of your trip. But if you’ve come to Sydney for a special celebration (perhaps an anniversary), treat yourself to a romantic night at one of the finest restaurants in all of Australia!
Tetsuya’s is a Japanese fusion restaurant which only serves a 10 course degustation menu inside a historic sandstone building. The food which will be served up to you will be creative, delicate, unique, and fresh, each element on the plate thoughtfully added for its flavour contribution to the dish or to add texture. Prior to the next course, you’ll be kept blissfully in the dark to what will be served up next, but be confident that you’d be wowed and pleased by it (just tell your server if you have any allergies at the beginning of the night). The standard degustation will cost $220 per person before drinks.
The meal is a lazy 3 hour affair, and if you elect the pairing wine menu, when you’re done don’t stress! As your hotel is only a short half block stagger away! Now do you see why I’ve recommended Fraser Suites? Location, location, location! But needless to say, you’ll need to book in advance for Tetsuya’s, advising to book via their website 3 months in advance isn’t a joke if you don’t want to miss out!
So after having a divine meal (or a joyous catch-up with family/friends), get a good night’s rest as tomorrow will be another big day with much to see, do and eat!