Reflection of Opera House, Sydney, Australia

It’s almost September! It’s a special month for Keith and I. It’s our wedding month. We can’t believe it has been five years since Our Tiny, Skinny Greek Wedding in Santorini.  As we prepare to depart for our next anniversary trip,  we fondly reminisce the wonderful trip we had for our first  – in Australia. It seems like yesterday.  Our first stop was Sydney where fell in love with its charming people, beautiful harbors, lovely surf beaches, its beautiful crazy sky, etc.  Join us as we reminisce the things and places we enjoyed in Sydney.


1. The Rocks and The Rocks Market

The Rocks, Sydney, Australia

We found The Rocks an interesting place to wander around in our first morningt in Sydney. It is the original European settlement in the city and is filled with architectural and cultural heritage.

The Rocks Market, Sydney, Australia

We were delighted to stumble upon The Rocks Market, a weekend market selling a wide variety of local produce, wine, food, crafts and novelties. Set in beautiful cobbled streets,  the market is a Sydney institution.

The Rocks Market, Sydney, Australia

As fans of Australian wines, we were thrilled to find wine stalls at the market. We enjoyed tasting good local wines from boutique wineries in the New South Wales regions and chatting with the friendly vendors. This vendor not only informed us about the local wines but she also gave us practical travel tips around the city.

 2. The Harbour, Cirqular Quay and the Opera House

Circular Quay, Sydney, Australia

Who wouldn’t be infatuated with the lovely view of the city skyline  from the Circular Quay, the hub of the spectacular Sydney Harbour.

Circular Quay, Sydney, Australia

We liked the vibracy of Circular Quay. It is bustling with ferries sailing to different parts of the harbour. It also surrounded with wide array of excellent dining options.

Dining at Circular Quay, Sydney, AustraliaKeith’s devoured a lunch of skewered kangaroo and crocodile at one of Circular Quay’s restaurant.  His verdict:  “They tasted like chicken!”

Birds at Circular Quay, Sydney, Australia

Fun scene by the harbor. “We can’t believe you didn’t share some bits with us….:

The Opera House, Sydney, Australia

The tantalizing Opera curves.

The Opera House, Sydney, Australia

Soaking up the Sydney sunshine on the steps of the Opera House.

 3. The Ferry Ride to Manly and the Sydney Sky

Sydney view from Manly Ferry, Sydney, Australia.

One of the tips that the friendly vendor at The Rock Markets gave us was to take a ferry to Manly Beach instead of taking one of the harbor cruises.  She said that it was a lot less expensive and offered the same great view as the cruises.  She was right.

Blue Sydney Sky, Sydney, Australia.

Stunning Sydney sky!

Ferry ride to Manly Beach, Sydney, Australia.

Despite the spectacular view from the ferry, Keith couldn’t help indulging in one of his favorite pastime — napping. He may be a bit jetlaged but he really has a gift of snoozing anytime, anywhere.

Manly Harbor, Sydney, Australia.

After about half an hour, we reached the charming Manly Marina.

urfer in Manly Beach, Sydney, Australia

At Manly Beach, we had a relaxing time watching the late afternoon waves and the surfers.

Sydney Sky, Sydney, Australia

On the ferry ride back to the Circular Quay, we were in awe of the even more dramatic sky and the view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from afar.

Sydney Sunset, Sydney, Australia.

There seemed to be a fire on the horizon as we got closer to the harbour.

 4. Sydney at Night

Waterfront bar in Sydney, Australia

The evenings are lively by the harbour. We joined the locals as they enjoyed after-work happy hour at one of the outdoor bars by the waterfront.

Sydney at Night, Sydney, Australia.

Dining under the dramatic evening sky.

Sydney Opera at Night, Sydney, Australia.

We were mesmerized at the sight of the moon shining over the Opera House.

Sydney Bridge at night Sydney, Australia.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge beautifully lit at night.

5. Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia

What could be more quintenssential Aussie experience than the fabulous Bondi Beach?

Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia.

The colorful water and foamy waves of Bondi Beach.

Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia.

The water looked inviting but we found the spring temperature a bit chilly to strip and take a dip…

Children on Bondi Beach, Sydney Australia

…but obviously these adorable little Aussies didn’t think so…

Football game in Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia.

.. as well as this bunch of local young men playing football on the beach.

Cliff in Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia.

Since it was a bit chilly for us to enjoy the water, we took a nice short hike instead on the scenic clifftop trail.

Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia.

The lovely view from the clifftop trail.

6.  Chinatown

Chinatown, Sydney, Australia

Lively and colorful, Sydney’s Chinatown is a fascinating mesh of restaurants, food halls and quirky shops. We appreciate it not only for its delicious offerings but also for the cultural diversity it represents.

7. The Royal Botanical Gardens

The tranquil botanical garden was established in 1816 as the colony’s vegetable patch. Today, it is home to incredible collection of plants from within and outside  Austaralia. We found it a lovely place to take a leisurely stroll, go for picnics, and catch a good view of the harbour.

Botanical Garden, Sydney, Australia

The bats colonies (left) were one of the things that fascinated us at the garden. We heard that the management repeatedly tried to oust them because they destroyed vegetation, but they just keep hanging around.  We were also fascinated with unique species of plants such as the Wollemi Pines (right), one of the rarest plant in the world.

Mrs MacQuaries Chair, Sydney, Australia

Located in the northeastern tip of the botanical garden is Mrs. Macquaries Point, named after the wife of a former governor who ordered that this chair be chiselled into a rock from where she could view the harbour.

View from Mrs MacQuaries Chair, Sydney, Australia

View of the harbour from Mrs. Macquaries’s chair.

8. The Art Gallery of NSW

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Australia

For a great art scene, we headed to The Art Gallery of NSW, one of Australia’s leading cultural institutions, where we enjoyed viewing the masterpieces of great Australian artists.

9. Hyde Park

Skywriting in Hyde Park, Sydney Australia

With its serene setting and lush greeneries, we had a very relaxing time at Hyde Parks, one of the oldest public park located in the city center. The sky writing over the park was a delightful treat.

10. Darling Harbour

Darling Harbor Sydney, Australia

Darling Harbour is a pleasant recreational area along Cockle Bay with a wide array of entertainment and dining establishments.   It is popular for family outings.

Darling Harbor Sydney, Australia.jpg

The wharf at Cockle Bay bathed in golden light at sunset.


What made my time in Sydney even more special was my reunion with wonderful friends I went to high school with in the Philippines and who now reside in Sydney. We had not seen each other since I left the Philippines for New York. It was a precious time.

Darling Harbor Sydney, Australia.jpg

We had a wonderful Sydney experience and we hope you enjoyed reminiscing it with us. We look forward to return to this beautiful city and to scratch it beneath the surface.

Next stop – Soulful Melbourne!


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42 responses to “Under the Sydney Sky

  1. Leigh

    You and Keith have covered a lot of ground since the time you’ve been together. It looks like you kept yourself very busy in Sydney. What fun meeting up with old friends while visiting too.
    What are your plans for your upcoming anniversary?
    Leigh recently posted..Baffin Island Backpacking in Auyuittuq National Park: Part IIMy Profile

    • Marisol

      Hi Leigh, yes we love to cover as much ground as we can. We wished we had more time in Sydney but we made the most of the 3 days we had. We’re heading to the Himalayas for the next:)

  2. First, congrats on that upcoming anniversary you two!! Can hardly wait to follow along on the anniversary trip. This post was exactly what we needed as we will be heading to Sydney for the first time the end of October (cruising from Honolulu to Sydney but we have five nights there afterwards) We’ve been devouring guidebooks and web sites but nothing matches your spectacular photos! You’ve got the travel juices flowing so badly I need to open the flood gates! :-) Thanks!
    Jackie Smith recently posted..Crete’s Gorgeous Samaria GorgeMy Profile

    • Marisol

      Thanks Jackie,
      Wow, Hawaii to Sydney! What a grand trip. I’m pleased that our photos made you more excited about your trip. I have not doubt that you and Joel will enjoy Sydney. Have a wonderful cruise and I look forward to your post about it.

  3. Johanna

    Wow what a wonderful flavour you give of Sydney for anyone who has never been. In your photos you really capture its diversity and buzz. I love Sydney, particularly the Rocks area and of course the Opera House.

    • Marisol

      Hi Jo, thanks! I’m glad that you think so. Sydney is so vast and beautiful that I don’t think we did it enough justice.

  4. Happy Anniversary Month! I really like that photo of Keith with the Opera House reflected in the window behind him. It’s a fresh perspective on an often photographed subject. Bondi Beach in your picture is certainly much less crowded than when we were there on New Year’s Day. I also like that the Aussies are running around shirtless and in shorts while you’re more covered up.
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders} recently posted..Dirty, Hungry ElephantsMy Profile

    • Marisol

      Hi Michelle, thank you! The Opera House reflection is one of my favorites, too. I was glad to find that perspective. I know, we felt out of place in Bondi Beach being so covered up, but we really felt cold!

  5. Erica

    How beautiful… I love your photos, each one could be a post-card! <3
    Erica recently posted..SO many questionsMy Profile

    • Marisol

      Thank you, Erica! Such a sweet compliment.

  6. Denise

    Beautiful series of shots. I particularly like the ones which capture moments, such as the one with the man and the seagulls :)
    Denise recently posted..I want to go back to KyotoMy Profile

    • Marisol

      Thanks Denise. Glad you enjoyed the photos.

  7. I just moved to Sydney a month ago and have found myself a nice flat on Manly beach and a job in the city, so I really enjoyed looking through your photos and checking off where I’ve been against where I still have to go. It’s a fantastic city, right?!
    Arianwen recently posted..A Scenic Journey with KiwiRailMy Profile

    • Marisol

      HI Arianwen, oh you’re so lucky to live in that beautiful city and on Manly Beach at that! It is indeed a fantastic city. Enjoy your new home and good luck with your new job.

  8. Beautiful pics – thanks for taking me on a walk back down memory lane! The first time I went to Sydney was with a friend from college. But I can’t wait to go back and explore this beautiful city with the hubs. Have a happy anniversary month, and I love the new look of your site.
    Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans recently posted..In Tahiti: Fa’a’ā, Far AwayMy Profile

    • Marisol

      Hi Dana, thanks. So please that we were able to take you back. I hope you get to return soon with you husband and have a more beautiful experience. Glad you like our new look:)

  9. noel

    What an excellent post, I have never thought of going to Australia because it’s so western in look and feel, but might reconsider since the dollar is getting stronger..the views everywhere are dynamic and beautiful!
    noel recently posted..A quirky and fun garden in MendocinoMy Profile

    • Marisol

      Hi Noel, it maybe western but it has very different feel than the US. It really is an amazingly picturesque country and I’m pretty sure you and your camera will have a ball there.

  10. Congratulations on your 5th anniversary. We just celebrated our 23rd at Disney World — who says we have to grow up? I love your photos — especially the sky writing in Hyde Park. Thanks for reminiscing with us.
    Karen Dawkins recently posted..Frugal Family Fun in SavannahMy Profile

    • Marisol

      Thank you, Karen. Congratulations to you, too! What a fun way to celebrate. I know it’s not fun if we all grow up!

    • Marisol

      Thanks! It truly was amazing.

  11. Freya

    Gorgeous photos Marisol.
    Congratulations on your 5th anniversary. WoW you got married in Santorini, that must have been so romantic getting married in such a stunning setting.
    Freya recently posted..The Quintessential Guide to New DelhiMy Profile

    • Marisol

      Hi Freya, thanks! Yes, it was romantic getting married in Santorini. It was truly a special moment.

  12. Zenda

    Wow! What a great trip and fabulous pictures!! Someday we hope to make it to Sydney. Can’t wait to see where you travel next.

    • Marisol

      Hi Zenda, thank you! It truly is a great city to visit and I hope you make it there someday.
      Marisol recently posted..Under the Sydney SkyMy Profile

  13. Love these gorgeous shots and the new look of the blog. Great job showcasing your photos. Sydney holds a special place in my heart. My husband and I honeymooned here as well as Melbourne and Auckland almost 13 years ago. No digital photos back then :) My favorite shot is the Opera house at night. We can’t wait to return with the kids. Thanks for these special photos. We stayed across from Darling Harbour. You’ve got one of those that can sleep anytime, anywhere too. My husband is just like Keith that I did a post on him ( I hope you do a post soon too :) Happy special anniversary to the both of you.
    Mary {The World Is A Book} recently posted..Exploring Nymphenburg Palace MunichMy Profile

    • Marisol

      HI Mary, Oh what a wonderful honeymoon destinations you had!
      Ha! Ha! Our husbands are funny. Thanks for sending me the link and giving me the idea about a post.
      Thanks for the annivesary wishes and I’m pleased you liked the new look of the site.
      Marisol recently posted..Under the Sydney SkyMy Profile

  14. Bama

    What a nice trip to down under you had, Marisol! That picture of the Opera House with the moon is truly amazing! And you seemed to know how to enjoy the city really well! :) I wonder what Melburnians think when they see this post because I personally think that this is one of the most interesting posts on Sydney that I’ve read.

    • Marisol

      Hey Bama, thanks! I’m sure you’ve seen tons of posts on Sydney, so I’m very flattered that you think this is one of the most interesting. It hard not to enjoy the city – it’s beautiful and there’s so many things to see and do. I don’t think Melbournians should worry – as much as we loved Sydney we were more at home in Melbourne.

    • Marisol

      Hi Salika, thank you! Yes we made the most our time in Sydney. There were so much to see and to discover.

  15. Happy Anniversary! Love the pic of you two lovebirds on the steps of the opera house. Our anniversary is in September, too (on the 14th) and we love it when we can plan getaways or trips to celebrate. Sydney looks amazing — can’t wait until we can celebrate an anniversary there someday.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Portico in Arte: Village of the ArtistsMy Profile

    • Marisol

      Thanks Cathy! Happy Anniversary to you, too! Sydney is a beautiful place to celebrate and I hope you get to do so soon.

  16. Sarah

    What exquisite photos you captured of some of Sydney most iconic attractions. I recently celebrated my one year anniversary and had a weekend away in Sydney, we took a ferry with my hubby on the harbor to Circular Quay, walked around to the Opera house, the view was amazing, Circular quay defiantly has a nice vibe. We dined at Cafe Sydney, the view was amazing. We also did the Harbour Bridge tour which i recommend- I hope to visit Sydney again for a longer period to see more- defiantly would love to go to botanical gardens, and also see the Cathedral. I look forward to seeing more travel photos. Cheers!

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