How to make the most of your stopover in Perth and Sydney
I had been travelling India and Southeast Asia for the last year and a bit, and decided to go to New Zealand with a Working Holiday Visa after spending Christmas in Kolkata, India. The thing is, as many as you already know, the cheapest way to travel isn’t usually the fastest, but for sure is the way that allows you to experience much more fun situations!
At that precise moment I had to head to New Zealand from India, stopping in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) where I would meet up with a friend, and then Perth and Sydney (Australia). In total I spent six days travelling since I left India until I reached New Zealand. So let me share with you what I did to make the most of my short stopover in Australia:
First stop: Perth
We landed in Perth early in the morning after a night flight from Kuala Lumpur and our original plan was to stay in the airport until our next flight to Sydney, but we had 38 hours until our next flight and decided to make the most of it and go out and discover as much as we could this city. I mean, it’s not every day that one gets to be in Straya!!
Accommodation in Perth
First things first, and what we needed to do was find ourselves a hostel. We usually don’t like to pre book online, as we like to check out the places first, but this time, time was an issue! So we searched online. We ended up booking for one night two dorm beds at THE OLD SWAN BARRACKS (30 AUD each) hostel in the city center. This place was awesome, friendly staff, clean, big common areas, and it had a big kitchen guests could use, I totally recommend it!
What I got up to
Once we left our backpacks in the hostel, and as it was an awesome sunny day, we decided to go to the beach, so we got on the bus (4 AUD each/one way) and went to Scaborough beach (about 20 min from the hostel). Great atmosphere there, cool bars, people enjoying water sports, free salsa lessons on the seafront, etc. A great place to go and chill for the day! The sun down there is nasty though… please bare that in mind, we used sun protection and still got nastily burnt!
The next day, as our flight wasn’t taking off until night time, we decided to go for a walk round the city and go sightseeing. Like we usually do, cameras in hand, and trying to capture in pictures the essence of the places we visit. We saw big tall office towers, glass buildings and a busy business area. We walked through parks and reached the harbor area. We also went to Chinatown and had lunch at a food court that was awesome! So many Asian restaurants where to choose from. We must have walked for over 3 hours, Perth is a big city and the different areas are visibly distinguishable.
My personal opinion about Perth
I found Perth a very interesting/peculiar place. Vast roads, mixture of modernity and traditional buildings, perfectly clean streets, pavements, flats and houses, beautiful pots of flowers and plants… we kind of got the feeling that nobody lived there, I mean I have never seen a city so clean!! I was like: where is the evidence of people actually living here? Maybe it was just me, coming from India and all, I got used to other type of cities…
After that we headed back to the hostel and got on the bus (4 AUD each) and made our way to the airport, our next night flight would take us straight to Sydney!
Second stop: Sydney
Again… we landed early in the morning (barely any sleep) and our next, and last, flight to New Zealand wasn’t scheduled until that evening, so obviously we were going to go out and see Sydney! We had approximately 6 hours to go there visit and go back to the airport. The first thing that we did was leaving our backpacks in the lockers at the airport (24 AUD aprox. For 4 hours more or less).
What I got up to
From the airport into town you will find various transportation options, we decided to go by train (35,8 AUD return/each). We went by train to “central” train station and walked through Hyde Park which was named after the one in London, apparently it is the oldest public park in Australia, it is a beautiful park, with swans, amazing plants and ponds, I just love parks! We then crossed onto the Royal Botanic Gardens and walked on the seaside until we reached the Sydney Opera House, I never thought I would get to see it with my own eyes, it was such amazing the way it is virtually all surrounded by the ocean! It must be Sydney’s most emblematic building.
From that point we had amazing views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which is a bridge (road and rail) made of steel that connects the central business district and the North Shore. From the Sydney Opera House we enjoyed the walk through the Circular Quay and reached Dawes Point Park, which is right next to where the Sydney Harbour Bridge begins, and a great place to chill there for a while whilst enjoying the views of the Sydney Opera House. Time was marching on, so we had to make our way back, we decided to walk down George St. (in the financial district), which was full of fancy restaurants and coffee bars, shops, etc.
My personal opinion about Sydney
I couldn’t believe how British Sydney looked, I mean we all know a bit of Australia’s history, but I have been in other British “colonies” or “ex-colonies” before, and have never seen so much similarity! Or maybe it was just me starting to feel a bit home sick! I found Syndey a cool modern city where people enjoy outdoor life. A city by the ocean is always full of good vibes.
I am happy we got to see a little bit of Australia, it really seems such an amazing place to live! Also we found people very friendly and helpful; I will be back again for sure!
See you soon Straya!