Sydney

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After my flight was delayed by an hour and a half from Gold coast I finally arrived at Sydney Airport.
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Airport Shuttle
The airport shuttle was easy to use and is located at terminal 2 outside the airport. It is cheaper to book it via their website as long as you know what day you are travelling back on. http://www.airbussydney.com.au/
A single airport shuttle ticket is priced at $16 and return bus to the airport is $32 in person and $28 online. They give you a ticket (receipt) for you to hand to the driver.

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By airport shuttle from Sydney airport to Kings Cross area takes one hour. The bus left at 4pm and I arrived at Kings Cross at around 5pm.

Sydney Underground

I took the underground to Kings Cross from the airport on another occasion and it cost me $16.40 for a single. It took me under 30 minutes which is a lot quicker than the airport shuttle bus. I have to agree that it is generally less hassle compared to the shuttle.

Here is a PDF link to Sydney Network Map: http://www.sydneytrains.info/stations/pdf/suburban_map.pdf

You may be asking yourself why I chose to stay in Darlinghurst Rd, Kings Cross?

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“Colloquially known as The Cross, the area is known as Sydney’s red-light district, and is reputed to be home to organised crime groups.” (Wikipedia)

Coca-Cola Billboard

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Right down the road is the famous Coca-Cola Billboard. The Coca Cola sign is located above the intersection of William Street and Darlinghurst Road and is attached to the Millennium. The sign is often referred to as The Gate Way to the Cross, mainly due to its common perception as a highly visible landmark in Kings Cross. The billboard is made up of two parts on the right the famous red and white neon sign and on the left the more modern, flex-faced sign.

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”The red and white neon sign is made up of eighty-eight vertical bars of red tubing, the sign also has 800 fluorescent lamps that are concealed behind reflectors that allow the billboard to project thirteen different patterns. The left part of the billboard is a flex-face style sign and is internally illuminated by approximately 1,000 fluorescent lamps.” (Wikipedia)

Funkhouse Backpacker Hostel 

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Address: 23 Darlinghurst Rd, Potts Point NSW 2011

Price: $30 per night

Funk House Backpackers

Funk House Backpackers is located in the heart of Kings Cross. Its key features are: full kitchen, free Wi-Fi and a lounge area with cable TV. All accommodations include free breakfast (Cereal, milk and toast).

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Barbecue nights are held on the rooftop terrace every week. The tour desk can arrange travel plans and airport pick-up services. Laundry facilities are available.

Funk house provide you with bedding, pillow, sheet and bed cover. If you need to use a hairdryer or a towel just ask at the front desk. Also if you want to cook your own food the hostel provides pans etc.

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Kings Cross Train Station

The hostel is just 270 yards from Kings Cross Train Station.  All rooms include shared bathroom and toilet facilities, as well as bed linens and blankets.

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Why stay at Funk House?

I chose it because it was cheap and convenient.  For a last minute deal of $31 a night in a hostel you can’t resist. our stay. For example, I stayed three nights so it cost $90, I had already paid $60 and paid the rest once I arrived. Upon arrival you have to pay a fee of $20 for a key deposit which you get back when you give back the key on the last day.

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The room

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Trying to find the room was a mission. I was on the 2nd floor. Each door or wall is decorated with funky cartoons. Betty Boop greeted me on arrival lol.

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I am staying here for 3 nights in a female 4 bedroom dorm. It was a mess due to long term people living here but it didn’t feel dirty. Rooms were average size and because it isn’t summer there was no need for a fan.

Bathroom

I felt comfortable staying there. The toilets were small in the cubical but they were clean….overall it was ok it didnt make my skin crawl like other places I have stayed in (Koh Phi Phi) …shabby but not dirty. The showers have curtains so no need to wear a bikini whilst showering.

If you stay here bring flip flops (or how the Aussies say ‘thongs’) as they are easy to chuck on to go to the loo or shower.

Fish N chips

At around 7pm i decided to join other guests in the common room/kitchen for a fish and chips evening (cost $5) this included two large fillets of cod and chips.

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The people i have met so far are long term residents who work at the hostel to earn their keep. Staff are lovely and location is good!
Wifi was ok slow at times when alot of people were using it but thats the norm. All in all id stay here again.

Off to bed now!

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First full day in Sydney

Woke up at 6.30am to get ready and head out. It was the worst weather yesterday so I wanted to get up early in case it wasn’t that great. It turned out to be a beautiful day, 20 degrees. What more could you want.

At 7.45am I walked down to the famous coca cola sign and into the city. Followed the route to William Street to Hyde Park. Its smaller than I realised.

Hyde Park

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Hyde park is centered in the middle of the CBD with acres of space and wide footpaths leading to shade under enormous old Moreton Bay fig trees.

Many people pass through on their way to work but many take advantage of the serenity by either sitting or reading a blanket or to play with children. There are those huge chess pieces for people to use and nearby coffee shops to grab a snack and eat lunch in peace.

Circular Quay

I slowly made my way up to Circular Quay from Elizabeth St.The Circular Quay area of Sydney is certainly the main highlight of the city. It is where the famous Harbour Bridge can be found, as well as the iconic Opera House.

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Just walking around Circular Quay, from The Rocks to the Opera House, is an event in itself! There are usually swathes of people, most of which are tourists, and you also have to contend with large seagulls that are waiting for you to drop some chips on the floor!

Every other day, you will see a huge cruise ship dock at Circular Quay, and the passengers disembark at the International Ferry Terminal, where they must pass customs and immigration. Sometimes, the huge ferry spoils views of the Opera House from The Rocks side of Circular Quay, but it could be argued that the ferry itself is a huge attraction.

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Ferry trip to Manly

Harbour City Ferries logo

Circular Quay is the terminal for Sydney’s ferries, which can take you all around the waterways, from Darling Harbour to Manly! After reading positive reviews online, I caught the 8.40am boat to Manly.

For 155 years, the Manly Ferry has been the classic Sydney adventure. Manly Ferries depart every half hour from Circular Quay and the 30-minute journey offers sensational views for just $12 return.

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Manly

You can get really good pictures of the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House on the way back so make sure you are on the right side of the boat, with your camera at the ready.

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Sydney Opera House

I was dying to watch a show at The Sydney Opera house so I checked on the sydney theatre website for show times and the only thing I was interested in watching was Pinocchio or Macbeth.

I decided to walk to Sydney Theatre  which is around 20mins walk from Sydney Harbour.

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Since Macbeth wasn’t on until August I decided to go see Pinocchio. I managed to get a seat four rows from the front for a cost of $39. If you go alone you are likely to get a better seat due to spaces being available in certain rows.

The show wasn’t until 6.30pm so I decided to have a stroll around Martin Place and check out the Westfields. Its appearance is different in comparison to Stratford London’s Westfields. Its price however was the same.

Pinocchio

1940′s Pinocchio has long been my favourite Disney cartoon.With a head made of wood and his body carved from an enchanted tree limb, Pinocchio, the little puppet has to prove himself to become a “real” boy. Pinocchio does what he pleases, with scant regard for the consequences.

The stage version currently playing at the Sydney Opera House is unique in that it is rooted in a very dark and modern setting.

I arrived at the theatre at around 6.15pm. The doors open at this time and it started dead on 6.30pm. There is also a short Interval for 20mins at around 7.25pm which is a great opportunity to buy refreshments or use the bathroom.

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The costumes are colourful and fit in well with the choreography and overall feel of the show.The show features a modern soundtrack written by Jethro Woodward (The Turning, Van Diemen’s Land) who doubles as the musical director. The cast sing superbly and the music keeps the energy high, even as darker moments are explored during the story. The set is excellent and contains various levels, peepholes, doors and passageways and is excellent as Geppetto’s house, a deserted island, a school, Stromboliwood and Playland (See picture below).

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The show ended at 8.35pm. Pinocchio is for all ages, meaning you won’t have to get in touch with your inner child to appreciate this mischievous marionette-turned-real-boy.

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