October 5th-7th 2012
Earlier this year I travelled back to Sydney in Australia. It was around my birthday and I wanted to get out of Christchurch for a little while. Orginally I was going to hit Melbourne to go to the music festival parklife, but after weighing up cost of flights to Melbourne in time for the festival, as well as the festival ticket ($190 AUD) vs the artists that would be at the festival, I decided not to, but to go to Sydney and later Melbourne.
The last time I was in Sydney was in February 2011 on my first trip over to this side of the world. I was extremely jet lagged, but managed to fit a lot in on my trip, including a trip up to the Blue Mountains, which was stunning.
So on Friday 5th October, I boarded an Emirates flight to Sydney. I’ve never flown Emirates before and quite liked it. This trip was my second trip out of the country (second to Fiji) and it was the biggest plane I had been on since arriving in New Zealand at the beginning of the year. It was an A380 and it was on route to London via Sydney, Bangkok and Dubai. At the point of finding that out I was a little bit home sick, or travel sick. Unsure.
I almost didn’t get the flight however. As I went to check in, the lady at the kiosk said “do you hold a vaild visa for Australia?” to which I replied “yes, visitors visa, had it confirmed online one month ago.”
It wasn’t showing up on the system when my passport was scanned. I flicked through the emails on my phone (really glad the my flatmate gave me her old iphone, very handy for updating and checking on the go). A quick call to immigration in Australia revealed that I had given the incorrect passport number on my application, so it was changed and I was on my way. Sigh of relief all round.
|Emirates A380 sitting on the tarmac at Christchurch International Airport|
|Glad I booked with Emirates, as well as the extra luggage allowance (30kg) you get fed. Plane food: standard.|
The flight to Sydney passed quickly, but we had a lot of turbulance, probably the most I have ever experienced. It didn’t help that I watched ‘flight 93’ about a week prior and a lady at the top of my seat section screamed for an entire 15 minutes. This passed and I was on my way to relaxing and resting. I managed to watch a movie and a few tv shows in between my dinner. I was totally shattered, as I had been up since 6am to complete one of my 5km runs in the morning.
Earlier on in the day I was told it was 32 degrees in Sydney, so was pleased to get some heat and sun, as well as a good view flying over Sydney on arrival. However, by the time we got to Sydney, and due to a slight flight delay, it was very overcast, so I didn’t see very much at all.
|Another stamp in my passport: I love collecting passport stamps.|
I was staying with my flatmates mum when I got to Sydney, which was pretty good as I saved on travel and accommodation. The appartment I stayed in was in an area called Brighton-Le-Sands, which overlooked the airport, and is roughly 30-40 minutes drive from Sydney CBD.
After a quick shower and unpacking of bags, we both jumped on train at rockport station into the city centre (got off at town hall), we went exploring. Although I was quite tired, I was very excited about walking around places I had been before.
|Havaianas: flip flops (or Thongs i you are Australian/Jandels if you are a kiwi) sold in a vending machine. Pretty standard in Aussie, I’m told!|
I attempted to get a train pass for the two days that I would be there. However, this was not available, or the lady that I asked at the counter couldn’t understand me. I guess I am still a little used to the Oyster card system from London. Although I haven’t been there for one year.
We spent the majority of our time around Darling harbour. This was not somewhere I had spent a great amount of time before, but it was really pretty. It was a really happening area on a Friday night, and a lovely warm breeze swept through. I think I’ve said before, but I love being by the water, and city scenes at night.
|Darling harbour by night.|
By the time we returned home it was 11pm Sydney time, which was really 2am in New Zealand, as New Zealand already had daylight savings time and NSW had not. That joy was later to come on the Sunday when I was due to travel to Melbourne.