I’ve had the chance to go on different media junkets over the last few years, and while all of them are very special, my recent trip to Sydney with Scoot Airlines was particularly memorable. We were part of Scoot’s inaugural flight, we ate our way around the city, we went skydiving, as well as the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb. It was in short, an awesome trip.
With my awesome travel partner Dawn
It is so much easier to get to Sydney from Singapore now that Scoot is flying there. Here are some things you can do in Sydney, read on to find out about our adventure!
After checking into Amora Hotel (11 Jamison Street Sydney New South Wales 2000, Australia 02 9696 2500), we went off for lunch at Sailor Thai (106 George Street The Rocks New South Wales 2000, Australia Tel: +61 02 9251 2466) – a popular restaurant at The Rocks known for serving good Thai food.
It is divided into two sides: at the restaurant, you can get exquisite Thai food in a fine dining setting; while over at the ‘canteen’, they serve the classic street food which are much more affordable.
We managed to try quite a few dishes such as pad Thai (A$17), curry puffs filled with sweet potato (A$10), crispy pork belly in sweet & sour sauce (A$27), grilled wagyu beef with tamarind and chilli sauce (A$29), and green papaya salad (A$25). A great start to our Sydney adventure!
After lunch, we popped by the Museum of Contemporary Art (140 George Street Sydney Tel: +61 02 9245 2400), just a few steps down the road. There, you get to see contemporary art from across Australia, and they also have an collection of aboriginal art.
It started to pour as we left the museum, but the rain did not stop us from visiting Sydney Opera House, which is undoubtedly one of the most recognisable images of the modern world.
I’ve only been to the outside of Sydney Opera House before, so I was really happy that we had a guided tour within the beautiful arts centre this time around. It was really fascinating to hear about the stories of the building, though I have to admit that I did not manage to catch everything that the guide told us as I was feeling the effect of after-lunch sleepiness.
We had dinner at Cruise (Level 2, Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay West, The Rocks; Tel: +61 2 9251 1118) – a nice restaurant sitting at the edge of Circular Quay which offers a stunning view of the harbour.
We started with a seared beef salad (A$18) as an appetiser. This was followed by the choice of either a grilled king salmon ($36), or a steak (A$38). For the price, the food was sadly, unremarkable. But still, I guess we cannot complain since we got to dine with a fantastic view.
Photo credit: Dawn Yang
If it is your first time visiting Sydney, you must do climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There are different packages to choose from: the express climb, a two hour and fifteen minutes climb, the fastest way to the top of the bridge; or the the bridge climb, a three and a half hour journey that takes you along the outer arch of the Bridge on catwalks and ladders all the way to the summit.
While it is not cheap to climb the bridge (A$218), I think it is a fantastic experience (more on this in another post) – definitely one of the things that you must do at least once.
All of us were starving after our “workout”, so we were happy to go to Otto Ristorante (8/6 Cowper Wharf Road Woolloomooloo Tel: +61 02 9368 7488) for lunch.
The food was good, and in particular, the mushroom risotto was one of the best I’ve ever had. Most of the pastas are priced between A$26-29; while you can also find main courses such as duck breast (A$39), and eye fillet of Angus beef (A$44).
Next, we visited some of the best vintage outlets in Surry Hills and Paddington with a personalised guide. Although I am not a fan of vintage things, it was nice to walk around the charming area.
For dinner that night, we went to Balla (Level G, Harbour Side, The Star, 80 Pyrmont Street Tel: +61 02 9567 9129) – a modern interpretation of the classic Osteria Milanese – at The Star, Sydney’s one-of-a-kind entertainment venue, where you can find fine dining restaurants, casino, bars, and entertainment.
As we were rushing to catch a musical, we could only sample the 2 course pre theatre menu, which came with an antipasti platter and a choice of three main courses: wood-grilled lamb rump, potato gnocchi, and wood-grilled tuna.
I am so glad that we were able to watch ‘An officer and a gentleman’ the musical at the Lyric Theatre, The Star. The performers were uber-talented, and by the end of the show, I was left speechless and all I could do was to give them a big round of applause.
The next day, we went on a road-trip down south of Sydney, along the coast of Wollongong. After an hour drive, we reached Bald Hill, one of the most well famous lookouts with excellent 360 degree views over the Pacific Ocean and the New South Wales coast. It is also a popular place for hang gliding, an activity that I would love to try in the future.
We had the chance to go on the Harley Davidson motorcycles, and it was a nice ride down the coast, and through the quaint seaside villages.
Photo credit: Skydive the beach
Another highlight of this journey was jumping off a plane! It was, and still is, one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. You can read about my skydiving experience here.
After the adrenaline rush, we went back to Sydney, and for our last meal of the tour, we went to Ms G restaurant (155 Victoria Street Potts Point Australia Tel: +61 2 8313 1000) – a cool and funky modern Asian restaurant which sprawls over four floors – the perfect place to hang out with your friends over cocktails and delicious food.
This is where we say goodbye to our Scoot adventure. This is, however, not the end of my Sydney trip. I still have a few stories to share with you guys next week, so see you again!
Full Disclosure & Fine Print: I travelled to Sydney as a guest of Scoot Airlines and Destination NSW. No monetary benefits were received, only air tickets and hotel accommodations were sponsored.