So March madness is over and my super fun month of travel has unfortunately come to a close, but I did have a great final week exploring the Blue Mountains and central coast area surrounding Sydney with Becca, who was making a far too short week-long visit from the states. Being back around Sydney also allowed me to catch up with resident Sydney-siders Caitlin and Kirstie which was lovely and it will be weird not living near them now.
My final week of freedom before descending back into the world of work involved several cool little places that I’d booked through the fantastic air bnb (even if their fee is a bit much) – so we stayed in cute little cabins both in the blue mountains and on the central coast and then had a private harbour side apartment down in Sydney – for prices much less than basic hotel rooms. Definitely check the site out if you are booking a trip.
The Blue Mountains were beautiful and we got extremely lucky having a super clear and sunny day in a week that was generally pretty grey. The views were spectacular, although I don’t massively see the hype surrounding the three sisters, it feels more that they have been built up as it’s a convenient spot to develop a tourist centre and platform. The walks through the region were great though going past multiple waterfalls, down into the rainforest and crossing the clifftops with views spanning out across the valley. We ate some pretty decent food, despite missing the restaurant slots on a couple of occasions due to not being ready for lunch in the pubs narrow food service window.
From the Blue Mountains were drove our nifty little car up to Newcastle to see my family. It had been a couple of months since I’d seen them, so was lovely to catch up and play some more backyard sports with the cousins! Having a car was fantastic and allowed us to go off and explore wherever we fancied, so after a tour of Newcastle and its beaches in the rain, we drove up to Black Butt nature reserve to get close to the animals. This included very cute time with a grumpy Koala bear and then Becca freaking out by the single snake they have.
Our final spot before arriving back into Sydney was a remote cabin in the countryside of the central coast. It was the cutest place we rented – dark timber walls, a tin roof and the interior designers details in case we wanted our own cabin stylised! Out the front of the cabin the owners white stallion Jazz roamed the field, but other than that it was completely empty. That evening it thunder stormed for several hours and it was fab just chilling on the porch with red wine with the thudding of the rain on the roof. The guest book was understandably filled with comments from Sydney residents who escape to the cabin for a weekend as its tranquillity is great!
Our arrival back into Sydney started off smoothly dropping our luggage at the new apartment, but got a bit stressful whilst trying to drop the car off at the depot in central. We couldn’t find petrol anywhere and the clock was ticking to the closing time of the place. We ended up having to return it only ¾ full so not looking forward at all to getting their refuelling bill, especially as it was partly there fault with us having to get the car from the airport due to the guy running to central office being sick.
Sydney was its usual fantastic self though, with the sites and markets giving multiple photo opportunities and the cringely fantastic purchase of matching rugby esc Australia jumper polos – which I devastatingly forgot to get pictures in. Having lived in Sydney now for a bit, it was nice to know my way around already and take Becs to some of my fave spots whilst also discovering new areas. We were staying in the extremely nice district of Balmain just across from Darling harbour – which featured more of Sydney’s hip cafes, shops and bars.
All in all it was a lovely way to end a brilliant month, which has seamlessly transcended three different friends’ visits, left me with a ton of great memories and unfortunately also an empty bank account. Back to work I go.