The second stop in our recent Australia trip was Sydney. We elected to stay in a boutique hotel there, the historic Simpsons of Potts Point. The building was originally built in 1892, and restored in 1988. The front facade of the building was a welcoming sight after our taxi ride from the airport.
This hotel was run like a bed and breakfast, with a continental breakfast offered every morning. For this trip we tried to stay in a mix of accommodations, from arty hotels (Melbourne) to fully equipped apartments (Port Douglas). The Simpsons came highly recommended on Trip Advisor, and was conveniently located within walking distance of the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Circular Quay.
One thing I hadn’t really thought about though was that our ‘second floor’ dormer room was really going to be on what I would call the third floor. I got some good exercise schlepping our bags up the stairway! In the end we decided that based on our experiences with B&B’s elsewhere, Simpsons was expensive and overrated. The whole experience certainly definitely didn’t live up to the beautiful exterior. Fortunately the rest of our accommodations on the trip turned out to be top-notch.
We spent about one and a half days exploring around the Sydney area, which of course wasn’t nearly enough time. We took a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House, which was money and time well spent. What a magnificent, wonderful structure! Photos hardly do it justice. It was a little overcast that morning, which helped to keep the temperature down a bit.
The outside of the Opera House features sweeping, curved lines that are part of it’s distinctive architecture. The surface is covered with 1,056,000 glazed granite tiles imported from Sweden.They make the outside almost shimmer in the sunlight.
Photography is somewhat restricted inside, and limited to certain areas, but we did get a few interesting shots, including the magnificent washrooms featuring pink granite on the walls and floors!
After our tour of the SOH, we walked around the Circular Quay and on the The Rocks area. The sun came out, and it turned into a hot but beautiful day. We chatted with a well-traveled English couple while standing near the Harbour, and we took photos for each other with the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background. We did not climb the bridge, but if you look closely in the below photo you can see a lot of folks who did!
On our last day in Sydney we booked a tour of the Blue Mountains. It was quite foggy in the morning, but cleared up just in time for us to get a good look at the Three Sisters that afternoon. Our day tour also included stops at Featherdale Wildlife Park and the Sydney Olympic Park, plus a rivercat ride down the Parramatta River back to Sydney Harbour. We had a great time on this small tour with about 10 people total, and it was a lovely way to spend a day.
I’ll close with a gallery of photos from that day trip. And I’ll be back soon with more of our photos from Australia.