POWER TRIP TO SYDNEY
Power Trip to Sydney – 10 Travel agents left Auckland Saturday morning for a blast through Sydney for 2 and half days.
We were met at the airport in Sydney and transferred to our accommodation opposite the Central Railway Station- a quick drop of bags and into another van for a 4 hour Gourmet Tour to see the best of Inner West and Gourmet South Sydney. Fabulous tours taking us into the suburbs like Marrickville, Petersham, Haberfield, Five Dock, where the locals shop, eat and drink. Stunning areas of Sydney that I had never been to and the average tourist would not know existed.
There secret is out...
We toured boutique foodie stores like the Greek butcher and a Vietnamese restaurant for a taste; a beer at a trendy small bar serving locally brewed beer. A quick glimpse around one of Sydney’s leading culinary stores, watched how Belgium chocolate is made and sampled the goods that just melted in your mouth. We finished the tour at another of Sydney’s finest traditional Italian delicatessens where we managed to taste at least 10 of their imported from Italy cheeses – to die for, authentic antipasti and pasta. Feeling very full, we headed back to the hotel for a very quick change and a 40 minute walk down to Circular Quay for an evening tour called “When Rum Ran the Rocks”. This was our culture part of the weekend; very interesting learning about the goings on in Sydney way back then. The tour involved wine tasting, wandering around the Rocks area where the history has been preserved and tells its own story. Onto another brewery and finished with a good old pub meal. 9pm and still 23 degrees...
Today is the big day for the Bridge Climb.
From the moment we stepped into the building it was one very slick operation. All detail, detail detail and no opportunity for error. We had our time slot and on the dot we were called into the meeting room. The usual forms to be filled out, the usual questions like were we nervous and then came the breath test. If we were over .5 on an alcohol test we did not get to go. All clear and next our grey and blue boiler suits – the colour is to match the colour of the bridge so as to not be a distraction to the cars on the bridge. Next was the harness. Very comfortable with ties for everything from our sunglasses, hats and even a handkerchief that they gave us which was tied around our wrists. No cameras, watches or anything else on our wrists. Our harness was attached to a very thick wire before we stepped outside and away we went. Must say the first steps took my breath away but once I got going it was extremely easy and so exhilarating. The views from above were amazing, the views down into the construction of the bridge were mind boggling and further up we went. At the top there were the usual photos and I could have stayed there all day but that could not happen as the next group was close on our tail and we had to move on. We then went down the other side of the bridge to be unattached. From the Central station we headed down to Darling Harbour to Pier 26 to board one of the Captain Cook Cruise ships for our Footy transfer to the Olympic Wharf and then transfer to the ANZ Stadium for the NRL Final. We sat in the beautiful sunlight watching the stadium fill up and the atmosphere explode. A very exhilarating 3 hours for a non League person. Leaving the stadium was another work of art with the transportation efficient and and effective.
6.10am start with a transfer to the Opera House for the Sydney Opera House Backstage Tour – this tour was a fantastic opportunity to experience the real-life dramas behind this amazing centre. The guide was just so passionate about the Opera House and full of knowledge. Had breakfast at the Opera House at 9am and then onto our next adventure which was a Harbour Cruise where we got up close to some of the famous Sydney Harbour icons, learnt more of the history and once again saw areas of Sydney I did not know existed. 2 hours later a mad dash back to the hotel to collect our bags and backto the airport.
A very satisfying, enjoyable and educational weekend in Sydney.