Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales, and easily the most popular city in Australia. It’s perfectly situated right on the Australian coastline and on the edge of the most gorgeous harbour I’ve ever seen.
I’ve traveled through Sydney on numerous occasions, but only to catch connecting international flights (since Perth is probably the most isolated city in the world). I was curious as to how I would like Sydney, since the only other big cities that I can compare it to are Bangkok, Los Angeles and San Francisco. So how did I like it? Um, I flipping loved it. Duh! So what makes Sydney so great?
There’s a reason why people love Sydney, and it’s because of it’s incredible beauty and easy going city like atmosphere. It represents Australian urban culture perfectly. You can take the breezy ferry from the relaxed shores of Manly Beach to the heart of the city. Pulling into Circular Quay, you’ll see the iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. After getting overcome by envy from seeing all the beautiful houses perfectly placed on the edge of the harbour, you’ll get to explore a bit more of the Circular Quay area. The city itself is great. It’s filled with old and beautiful buildings. I only wish I had had more time to explore Sydneys outer and inner regions, and discover all the coffee shops and restaurants I will someday enjoy.
Although there were plenty of amazing memories made, two clear highlights stand out when I think of my short trip to Sydney – and they’re rather big contrasts!
My first highlight is Bondi. I visited Bondi in the winter, so thankfully it wasn’t as crazy as it appears on the infamous tv show ‘Bondi Rescue’, however it was such a glorious day that there were still people surfing, swimming, and dining. Bondi is only roughly 20 minutes out from the city and with it’s obvious beauty, you can clearly see why it’s one of the most popular beaches in Australia. If you visit Bondi (or should I say, ‘when you visit Bondi’) you should definitely walk or run the gorgeous Bondi to Coogee Trail – It’s a beautiful walk located on the edge of the Sydney coastline and takes you from beach to beach. It’s easy to see why Sydney has it’s reputation as one of the most liveable cities… I could definitely get used to it! I think I fell in love with Sydney the day I went to Bondi.
My second highlight, is Hillsong Church located in Baulkham Hills, North Sydney. This may sound strange to a lot of people and some of you may not even know what Hillsong Church is all about, but if you haven’t heard of them, then I seriously recommend researching them and having a look at their stuff. Hillsong is a church that is powerfully plugged into the Holy Spirit and are moving and promoting the goodness of God. Anything for the glory of God, I’m so there it’s insane! (Anybody catch that ‘She’s the Man’ reference?). I previously knew that Hillsong had a great musical department, and that their media was phenomenal, but what really grabbed me, from the Hillsong Sunday night service that I attended, was the thick presence of God that you could feel as you entered the church. I loved the expectant atmosphere as everybody waited and anticipated the beginning of worship. You could feel the excitement. There’s something so powerful about a congregation of Christians, who know the goodness of God and are excited about being in His presence and ready to praise Him. The worship was amazing, the word was spot on, and God turned up and did his thing – which is always great. I loved my short time there – it was just the refreshment that I needed. Sometimes it takes you to leave your current routine and take a step back to be reminded of the huge God that we serve and how much at home you can feel when you spend time with Him.
A song from the Hillsong Young and Free album – Back to Life
If you’ve thought about visiting Sydney, then I’d totally recommend it. Do the tourist spots, but also remember to explore a bit of Sydney for yourself – explore the cafes, read in the sun in Hyde Park, hike around the Blue Mountains, eat a lot of chocolate and wander around the beautiful Sydney suburbs.
I’m sure there are plenty of other great parts of Sydney that I haven’t mentioned – I guess I will just have to go back again soon!
** Thanks to my amazing friend Meggan for traveling with me and letting me stay with her family.. so fun!**