Down Under Diary 3: If Every Weekend Was A Long Weekend…

As I type this post, my eyes are sore and puffy and Jack and I have barely spoken to each other all morning. No, we haven’t argued – we are both just exhausted from our first long weekend in Sydney! Because of Easter and May Day, Jack has had from Friday to Monday off and we really went to town with things to do. It has been fantastic but I feel like we are both paying for it a little today!

We started the long weekend right by going to play Pixar Putt mini golf at Darling Harbour on Thursday night. I got the bus and met Jack from work. This was the first time I have used the public transport here by myself so I was a little nervous, but aside from reaching across a stranger to ring the bell for the bus to stop and trying to stand up whilst the bus turned a corner, I did well. I got there on time at least.

At about $40 each for 18 holes, Pixar Putt wasn’t the cheapest night but Jack and I love mini golf. Whenever we go away, we always seem to end up finding the mini golf place and getting overly competitive.

Pixar Putt was probably my favourite course we have ever done. I loved the creative set designs of each of the holes. The only downside of it was that because we went at 6pm at the start of a long weekend, it was really, really busy. You were waiting on the next hole to become available and had a queue of people behind you waiting for their turn. As someone who does not do well under pressure, my mini golf concentration was thrown off. At least, that was my excuse anyway.

One difference we noted here in Australia compared to England was that on Good Friday shops were closed completely. Unfortunately for us, we didn’t know or research this and this was the day that we had decided to go stock up on food for the weekend. However, the night before when we were getting the train back from Pixar Putt, we made a stop off for a few key Easter treats. We pretty much survived that Friday on Lindt – not a bad way to spend Easter right?

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Back home in England, Lindt was ‘treat’ chocolate. Here in Australia, they put something into the chocolate to stop it melting so quickly in the heat. Great for treat longevity, but a bit of a weird taste. So we have become indulgent chocolate eaters and are all about Lindt! It really is a hard life…

Friday was a chilled day spent eating chocolate and finishing watching the show ‘Santa Clarita Diet’ that was our latest boxset to watch together. I think we knew that we would need a relaxing Friday when we thought of the things we had planned over the next few days!

On Saturday we did something that we have both always wanted to do – we walked the Harbour Bridge. It was a great day for it. The weather was stunning and we got to see incredible harbour views. The bridge is more ‘enclosed’ than the Brooklyn Bridge for example as it has metal fencing around it, but you could still see the views through the gaps.

For $15 you can climb up Pylon Lookout and see the view uninterrupted which is something we are going to do when my parents visit in December. Even without climbing up to the lookout, we ended up seeing this stunning view and I don’t think you can get much better than that.

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When we had completed the walk, we wandered through The Rocks. Even though it is always busy in this area because it is so close to the iconic attractions, I still find it incredibly beautiful. There are lots of old buildings here and on Saturdays there is a market. A lot of the buildings in Australia feel new to us because we come from England that has so many old, historic buildings, so The Rocks is an area that has a more traditional vibe that I really enjoy being around. We wandered through the market until we got to Circular Quay where we went for lunch with a view.

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Restaurants at Circular Quay aren’t the cheapest simply because of their location, but we got a lunch deal and at certain times of the day they also do Happy Hour offers on drinks. However, weekends automatically add a 10% surcharge onto bills and public holidays a 15% surcharge with our waitress even asking us if we were going to tip more as well. As two British people who come from a culture where tipping is appreciated but never requested, this threw us off a little. But if you’re looking for an iconic spot for lunch and don’t mind spending a little more for the treat then it really is a great area to stop.

Sunday was spent exploring more of our local area. North Sydney is bustling during the week, but drops completely on a weekend and is incredibly chilled. We went for a walk and for a picnic at our local park, St Leonard’s Park. It was a really relaxed day and at the opposite side of the expense scale than the day before, but it was perfect.

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Monday was by far the biggest day of our long weekend. We went to the Sydney Royal Easter Show at the Olympic Park. It was something we had seen advertised and my cousin’s girlfriend Hayley mentioned that she would be working there as a vet so we could meet up. We didn’t really know what it was or what to expect, but we decided to go down. I still don’t really know if I could explain what it was having experienced it, but I would without a doubt go back and recommend it to anyone.

Quite simply, it was everything. We went from watching show jumping to a fairground to free food samples to art displays to being able to pat farm animals to food vans from around the world to a parade to a fashion show to seeing award winning cakes… it was everything in one place, in the sun and on a long weekend.

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Tickets were $43 on the gate. Food and rides you had to pay for once you were inside, but all of the shows, competitions, food tasting and events were included in the tickets. The day we went was crazily busy, but it had such a good atmosphere. Animal highlights included finding the biggest cows we had ever seen and of course the Alpacas. There were also these things called Show Bags that were basically goodie bags at crazy prices. For $5 I got a Milky Bar one that had 12 Milky Bar chocolates in. By the time we got there, a lot of the really great deal Show Bags had sold out (ELLE Show Bag I am coming for you next year!!)

As tired as I am today, I wouldn’t have had the weekend any other way. If anything, I’m pretty sad it is over!

It was really nice to have four days together to do whatever we wanted and to explore this great city. I like the we did a mix of expensive things and things that were really relaxed and allowed us to settle more into where we live.

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For the entirety of our relationship so far, Jack and I have had so many ‘big’ things going on in our life – a series of trips away when we lived back home, getting engaged, me leaving to go to America, us travelling Australia together – that for now it is nice to not have anything ‘big’ planned. We are just two people who live together in a city that they love, getting to do and see new things whenever they want to. There is no big trip booked, no big goal in sight. We are just enjoying life together. As great as having all of our travel plans was, right now I really wouldn’t have it any other way.

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