Welcome GlampOut readers to the first installment of our 2018 ‘Round-the-World posts! On New Year’s Eve, my husband Josh and I boarded a non-stop flight from San Francisco to Sydney. Having left New Mexico for 365 days of travel, we had only our backpacks and hopes in tow on this much-anticipated day.
Join us in our first few weeks of getting our sea legs (literally) on the Great Barrier Reef, camping at Fitzroy Island and the Daintree Rainforest, and of course a few lovely days starting out in beautiful (and spendy!) Sydney.
I look forward to sharing the journey with you and hope you enjoy an inside look at the “glamp life!”
Sydney - January 2nd-5th, 2018
We landed on January 2nd with a solid case of jet-lag, especially after a flurry of New Year’s farewells in the Bay Area. A quick train ride from the airport planted us on the lawn-side park at Circular Quay, a perfect first stop for a view of the Opera House and to access the ferry terminals to nearby islands and beaches. We lounged on the lawn, changed out of our US winter clothes and into summer attire, and headed for a cold one at the Australian Hotel, one of the several establishments claiming to be the the oldest in Sydney. Then off to our peaceful Airbnb room near Darling Point.
Our next few days in Sydney were chock-full with celebrating Josh’s 45th birthday and kicking off our year abroad. A special gift from the ‘rents offered a night at the Opera. Lunch at the Sydney Tower provided stunning rotating views a thousand feet above the city. A post-lunch stroll through the Royal Botanical Gardens and a nap on the waterfront lawn was a perfect afternoon.
On our last afternoon we took the public ferry from Circular Quay to Manly Beach. The crowds were intense at Manly, I suppose we underestimated the power of Australia’s school holidays! We took the nice 1/2 mile stroll down to Shelly Beach and had a much better experience, with a perfect beachside picnic table to ourselves to enjoy cold Bundaberg sodas (Passionfruit for me and Ginger Beer for Josh!) and a healthy spread of brie, crackers, sausage sticks, cucumbers, and other lovelies bought at a nearby market. Then a quick dip in the perfect blue water!
With a flight looming that evening to Cairns, we wished we had more time to hike the trails from Shelly Beach around the tip of in the North Head Sanctuary, a bush track that hugs the headlands. The area is full of water activities in the protected Cabbage Tree Bay, from snorkeling, to sea kayaking or SUP’ing...or just lounging at the stunning oceanside swimming pool!
Glamping Tip: Cockatoo Island
A few years back on my last visit down under (2015) I had the joy of visiting Cockatoo Island in Sydney. Cockatoo Campground is the most amazing example of an urban “glampground” I can think of! With a variety of glamping set-ups and packages (or bring your own tent!) this peaceful island is just a thirty-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay...an incredible way to see the big city AND get-away to a peaceful slice of island life all in one trip. cockatoo.gov.au/stay