Saying goodbye to Sydney

Just one of my views on the Manly to Spit Bridge walk
Just one of my views on the Manly to Spit Bridge walk

So, I got a bit distracted by work and plans and changing plans that I haven’t blogged for a while. Shock, horror!

I mentioned last time out that I was taking some time for myself house sitting and working at a new job, that I was going to review the situation in November and see what happens. I applied for the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa to beat the cut-off age and thought that might be a good time to go.

Oh, how plans change. Kind of.

Working hard and saving money

The job I landed in Sydney was a two-month content focused role. It paid well and allowed me to recoup a lot of the money I’d spent in the previous weeks. It was also pretty easy to get on with, as I’ve worked in the education sector before and I could see what they wanted to do. It was a bit trickier getting used to the bureaucracy of the place, and I felt I could have been used a bit more effectively (and a bit more bluntly at times) but that’s the curse of contract work.

Combined with my freelance work and the free rent from house sitting (followed by working at the hostel I moved into to pay my rent), I was able to get a good amount saved up. Considering I have a cruise holiday coming up next year, this is a good thing.

Before that contract ended, I agreed to be the weekend manager of the hostel. The meant two weeks of work without a break but it helped them and paid me more. I then went full-time at the hostel to enjoy cheap rent and keep saving money.

Looking for interesting things to do

I spent a lot of time doing things that were free to do, or cheaper than normal. I found a good swimming pool to do a bit of swimming for the first time in a long time. There are coastal walks and ferry trips to see different parts of the city, as well as events to check out.

Cemetery bordering one point of the Bondi to Coogee walk
Cemetery bordering one point of the Bondi to Coogee walk

That’s not to say I didn’t spend money. I went out with friends, saw some comedy shows and much more.

The two main walks were the Bondi to Coogee and Manly to Spit Bridge. The former is shorter and takes you up, down, in and out around the coast. There are some big and small beaches, as well as coves and cliffs to get some stunning photos. There’s even a cemetery at one point, which is a beautiful sight next to the sea. You’ll find bars and restaurants at either end, and the walk continues from either side if you want to explore more.

The Manly to Spit Bridge walk is longer and windier. It’s not on the coast as such but following the river heading into Sydney harbour on the north side. There are national parks, beaches and some stunning views to the south shore as you carry one. There are plenty of climbs and dips so plenty of water and good shoes are a must.

View from the top of the Chinese Garden of Friendship
View from the top of the Chinese Garden of Friendship

Ferry trips to Manly or Taronga Zoo will give you a good view of the city without paying huge prices, and the Botanical Gardens are a great place to relax, with an Art Gallery close by. Unfortunately, the museum was closed for renovation work when I was there so that’s on the list for next time.

Darling Harbour has a firework display each Saturday, which is a nice way to change the view while enjoying a drink and/or a meal around the popular area. Not far from this is the Chinese Garden of Friendship, which is a great place to relax and unwind despite the bustle of the city on the other side of the walls.

The next adventure

At this point, I’m pretty settled in Sydney. I could keep going in the hostel while waiting for a new contract marketing job and enjoy the summer. I’d met friends who I enjoyed spending time with, and there were things coming up that would make the end of this visa a really enjoyable time. However, an opportunity arose in Wellington. The chain that I’ve been working on and off for since being in Australia had a job that was perfect for me and not something I could turn down.

That meant, coincidentally, I ended up heading to New Zealand in November – the time I said I’d review the situation. Funny how things work out like that, eh?

I spent the last week there rushing around, seeing as many people as possible. Last minute plans are always a bit tricky but not everyone was tied up, thankfully.

I’m a little behind in writing this, so the next stop was Melbourne for a week to catch up with some friends from my year there before flying to Wellington (where I am now). The updates will follow shortly!

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