Australia, Travel

Australia#1 : Arrival in Sydney and excursion to the Blue Mountains

What about Sydney without falling into the cliché?

Sydney was my first stop when I arrived in Australia, I stayed there for two weeks before going to Coffs Harbour to work.

As soon as I arrived with my backpack in Sydney, the first place I went was the Opera House! (The girl is too cliché!) I needed the Opera picture to finally realize that I was there!

In two weeks in Sydney, I took the Opera in photo a good hundred times. There is always a different detail or different colors … As in this picture:

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Australia was not my first trip, however, it was my first freewheeling trip … I had only my first week of planning and everything else was improvised. It was also the first time I went to a hostel and I was a little apprehensive about it.

But the worst when you arrive in Australia on a working holiday visa is the paperwork that you do not have when you’re just on vacation: apply for the TFN (Tax File Number) ATO (The Australian Taxation Office), then open a bank account and a superannuation, the equivalent of the retirement fund. “Why ?” will you tell me. Well to be able to put more money aside and recover everything when you apply for tax recovery when returning from Australia, and that is not negligible at all 🙂

After 24 hours of plane, all I dreamed of was a quiet night, finally a day in bed to recover from all of that. I had booked a girls dorm room at Jackaroo Hostel, the room had no windows and was rather small for four but will be fine for the first week. That evening, I met the three other girls in the room: Barbara, the Italian one, Maike, the German one, and Ashley, the British one. Ashley left the room the next morning, so it was very short.

And while we think we are alone on the other side of the world, we begin to build a network in Australia. Indeed, I will meet Barbara later in the year and in a completely different place from Sydney, but that, I’ll tell you later 🙂

The day after my arrival, Maike suggested that I go with her to see the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney. I would say that with the time difference, I absolutely did not understand where we would go, but hey, I did not arrive in Australia to stay in my comfort zone, so let’s go!

After more than an hour by train, we arrived in the city of Katoomba, in an incredible place! The Blue Mountains (Unesco Heritage still).

So why the Blue Mountains? Why this name? Are they really blue? Absolutely !

A blue cloud spreads over these mountains and this one can become more and more present with the appearance of the sun. This cloud results from the eucalyptus vapors produced by the forest. It is quite impressive, besides, to walk in this forest gives the impression of being at “Nature et Découvertes” (French shop)  because of the smell of eucalyptus.

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Ah yes ! A tip to be able to get there without having to sell one of your kidneys: take the card Opal, the transport card of Sydney. If you are traveling on a Sunday, transportation costs in the greater Sydney area can not exceed $ 2.60 (at the time of writing, but this was already the case two years ago) and so you can go to the Blue Mountains for $ 2.60. And that, well, it’s really worth it 🙂

Plan the day there, the time to go for a hike, just in case, there is a bus service Hop On – Hop Off on site, so you can go to all points of interest. But if you are in a condition to walk all day, do not hesitate, I did it while suffering the effects of jet lag, so it’s quite doable. However, avoid doing it after the flight … The smell of eucalyptus made me want to sleep and lucky me that Maike was there, otherwise, I would have been sleeping at the foot of a eucalyptus …

Above all, go see “The three sisters”, these are the three peaks that we see in the photo. The view is beautiful and it is so peaceful. Besides, another detail: the waterfalls. There are dozens of waterfalls along the way and with the glare of the sun and the eucalyptus vapors, it will give incredible colors 🙂

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So the advice of the day: If you arrive at Sydney, the first thing to do is to take the Opal card! I will tell you some more trips that I could do with this card: Manly Beach, Watsons Bay, Bondi Beach, Coogee Beach, the discovery of the SS Ayrfield …

In the meantime, do not hesitate to ask me questions or to share your remarks, I would be delighted to answer them. And do not hesitate to add your tips on Sydney in comment also 🙂

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