In March 2014 our trip to New Zealand included 2 overnight layovers in Sydney with one full day to explore the city.
We stayed at the Park Hyatt Sydney both nights.
One of the credit cards we have is the Chase Hyatt Visa Card. We received 2 free nights at any Hyatt worldwide as part of the sign up bonus.
Pretty sweet deal!
The Park Hyatt in Sydney is located in The Rocks between the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
We arrived at the hotel about 9:30 am, dropped our bags, and went out to explore Sydney. . .
Rainy morning and all.
Our first stop was Playfair Café, located at The Rocks Centre.
They have fantastic coffee, chai, and homemade quiche, wraps, sandwiches, etc.
From there we walked to the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge.
There are many ways to experience the Harbour Bridge, one of which is the The Bridge Climb.
Can you see those people way up there?
Another way is to simply walk across.
And since we only had a day to soak up the city, that’s the option we chose.
There is an entrance to the path on Fort Street near Observatory Hill.
There is no charge to walk or bike across the bridge.
And the views are incredible!
From there we walked to the Central Business District where we met up with I’m Free Tours for their 3-hour Sights Tour.
They offer tours everyday at 10:30 am and 2:30 pm. We’ve joined up with similar tours in other cities around the world, and I think it is a great way to get a quick feel of a new city.
Below are some of the things we saw and learned about that day.
The Sydney Tower also known as Westfield Tower:
Hyde Park and St Mary’s Cathedral:
Il Porcellino, is Italian for “piglet”. It is a bronze copy of the Florentine boar in front of the Sydney Hospital:
Some tourist rub his snout to ensure a return to Sydney.
Australia’s Coat of Arms is a Red Kangaroo and an Emu:
It is often claimed these animals were chosen because neither animal can move backward, only forward – i.e. progress.
The Waiting sculpture in Australia Square:
It is the work of American artist, John Seward Johnson II.
Forgotten Songs by Artist Michael Thomas Hill:
The canopy of birdcages above Angel Place commemorates the songs of fifty birds once heard in Sydney before they were forced out of the city by European settlement.
It was my favorite part of the tour.
The tour ended at The Rocks just outside of our hotel, so we freshened up for dinner and headed to The Australian Hotel Restaurant.
We ordered pizza and beer and enjoyed the beautiful evening together.
John ordered the Roast Pork Belly Pizza:
It was topped with onions, capsicum, fresh apple salad & pork crackling.
Kelly ordered the Tandoori Chicken Pizza:
Topped with mint yoghurt, mango chutney & lemon.
I went with the Coat of Arms Pizza:
It is half Emu and half pepper Kangaroo with red onion, bush tomato, capsicum and cranberries.
The Australian Hotel Restaurant was a really fun place to spend our Friday night in Sydney, and our Wedding Anniversary.
After dinner we took a stroll along the water.
What a gorgeous evening!
The next morning we headed to New Zealand, but arrived back in Sydney a week later.
We stayed at the Park Hyatt again by redeeming our 2nd free night.
Our flight arrived in time for dinner, so we dropped our bags and went to Lord Nelson Brewery, Sydney’s oldest continually licensed hotel and pub brewery.
It was another Friday night in Sydney and the place was packed with locals.
We ordered a large cheese and meat platter, a few beers, and met a couple of new friends.
It was exactly the kind of night we look for when we travel.
The next day we woke to blue skies!
We really enjoyed our day in Sydney and our 2 (free) nights at the Park Hyatt.
I look forward to our next trip when we will have more time to explore Sydney and other cities in Australia.
Thanks for the fun, Sydney!
Next stop, Bali.