07.06.2010 - 09.06.2010
These following posts on Australia will be pretty short. Just gonna hit the major highlights and move on from there. I started my month long trip in Sydney arriving early in the morning pretty jetlagged before getting the shuttle over to WakeUp Sydney hostel. Immediately after dropping my stuff off I headed over to the fish market to grab some fresh oysters and sushi from some of the vendors. Every Monday the hostel offers a free 6 hour tour of the city with a free beer afterwards, so I couldn't pass that opportunity up. The tour was great! Although the weather was pretty miserable for most of it, we saw basically all the major highlights of Sydney except the beaches, and it was a great way to meet a few people along the way. After getting back to the hostel, I joined a large group for some drinking in one of the rooms before heading to bed early that first night.
The second day I took the Manly ferry early in the morning to Manly beach in order to do the 10k Sydney Spit to Manly walk. Manly beach was really nice, even better than the others, and the walk was really nice for about the first 5k or so before I was a bit over it. The ferry in the morning over was a definite highlight since it gave some great views of the opera house and bridge. And by the time I finished the walk and made it back to Manly I decided to wait around for the ferry departing around sunset back to Sydney. The sunset behind the bridge and opera house made for some great pictures, and for anyone with a short amount of time, hopping on the ferry a few hours before sunset to check out the beach and then the sunset ferry back is all that's completely necessary. I ended up turning that 10k walk into more like a 20k after I took a few wrong turns and ended up going the longer way which went through some old army bases and what not.
On my final day, I only had about 4 or 5 hours to kill before my flight to Byron Bay, so I took advantage of the time and did the coastal walk from Coogee to Bondi. The walk was definitely more attractive than the Manly/Spit one, but I'd recommend starting at Bondi. Most of the views are in the direction of Coogee, so it'd be best to have those in your front view at all times.
Got my plane flight into Ballina and grabbed the airport shuttle over to Byron Bay where I stayed at the Nomad Hostel.