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Duration: 10 days/9 nights
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. It is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. The urban area is in a coastal basin, which is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the east, the Blue Mountains to the west, the Hawkesbury River to the north and the Royal National Park to the south. It lies on a submerging coastline where the ocean level has risen to flood deep river valleys (ria) carved in the Hawkesbury sandstone. Port Jackson, better known as Sydney Harbour, is one such ria. The city is one of the most livable cities on earth and hosts a very warm welcome to its visitors. Stunning harbour, perfect climate, superb restaurants, energetic nightlife, safe and efficient, it ensures a vibrant, diverse and dynamic economy! Arrive at Sydney Airport and the representative checks the tourists into a hotel!
Day - 1
After a short break at the hotel, the sight-seeing begins! Sydney has various heritage listed buildings, including Sydney Town Hall, the Queen Victoria Building, Parliament House and the Australian Museum. There is no design style that entirely characterizes the whole of Sydney with prominent styles that include Gothic Revival, Georgian Classical, Romanesque, Italianate, Federation, Edwardian, Second Empire, Queen Anne, as well as more contemporary styles. The Queen Victoria Building which was earlier built as a shopping centre but as now was restored to its original grandeur, is a stunning example of Victorian architecture, and houses a superb collection of designer labels, specialty stores and excellent eateries. It occupies a full block along George Street between Town Hall and Market Street. Stroll around these areas and after a satisfying dinner; put yourself to sleep at the hotel!
Move on to The Sydney Opera House for an evening show as it is a fascinating avenue with its splendid and elaborate façade and ambience, a truly magnificent and uniquely popular building with contemporary architecture described as an artistic monument and a significant landmark in both Sydney and Australia and endorsed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Downtown Sydney is flooded with bistros, shops and cool bars that go celebrating in the night but the city Centre is largely for the skateboarders on weekends!
Day - 2
Kickstart the day and heart with a Bridge Climb over the Sydney Harbour Bridge! Shimmering Sydney Harbour is the city’s greatest asset, while the ocean beaches and lush parks sustain as much life as the city streets. Add hip bars, grungy pubs, breezy cafes and glass-walled restaurants to the equation and you have a town with the perfect balance of outdoor and indoor, natural and contrived holiday therapies. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is excitement galore whether the residents or travellers are driving over it, climbing up it, roller-blading across it or sailing under it, hence Sydney-siders adore their bridge and swarm around it like kids on ice cream. Dubbed the ‘old coat-hanger’, it is a spookily big object, as moving around town they catch sight of it in the corner of their eyes and get goose pimples! Perhaps Sydney poet Kenneth Slessor said it best: ‘Day and night, the bridge trembles and echoes like a living thing’. Hang with the masters at the Art Gallery at New South Wales or the travelers may ship out onto the harbour, and ride the ferry to the Taronga zoo or towards the North Shore, the jewel of which is Manly to spend a few hours in beachy empty-calm-headedness, , on an affable `burb’ where the surf is as sumptuous as the kebabs! Chug a cold beverage or beer at the Manly Wharf Hotel, chow-down in Chinatown and then hit some Darlling hurbars for a jazzy nightcap, where cafes bulge with cinematographers, thespians and gym junkies swooning in a festive aura! South of the city centre, the Surry Hills brim with great places to eat and drink and cheer up for the entire day and night. Overnight stay at the hotel!
Day - 3
Get up at leisure, caffeinate at Campos, then splash some cash at the boutiques in Paddington’s Oxford St. and in the early afternoon make some fishy acquaintances at the Sydney Aquarium, an area which is perfect for the whole family and friends letting them walk under water and view the sights of rich and diverse marine life and habitats, with a huge variety of individual fish and aquatic creatures. Soar up the Sydney Tower for an eye-popping overview of the entire city. Move towards the Darling Harbour, an architecturally psychotic tourist haven where boardwalks, museums, restaurants, bars, hotel monoliths and freeway flyovers are interesting distractions! Just west of Darling Harbour, cafes and bookshops tangle with Bohemia in Glebe. At the end of the Glebe Point Rd is the Jubilee Park where tourists may snooze in the sun, throw a Frisbee or consume a novel under a gargantuan Moreton Bay fig, whereas if you go towards grungy Newtown, King of the Inner West, there are tattoos, tofus and students in full bloom! Take a short visit to Woollahra that sets the city’s social high water mark with avante garde galleries, terrace houses and fabulous boutiques. After this bewitching roll, get back to the hotel to sleep for the night!
Day - 4
Around the Bondi area, is the oversized Maroubra Beach which has underrated waves and a suburban tempo. Move towards Millers Point and discover photogenic terraces, unpretentious pubs and picnic perfection at Sydney Observatory Park. The Rushcutters Bay Park offers uncrowded lawns where the pontoons bump and sway! Overnight stay at the hotel, if possible, at the Bondi Beach!
Piccadilly houses some of the more interesting and innovative fashion retailers. With quite a few speciality stores and boutiques from footwear to home wares, the citycentre is a great place to pick up an interesting gift for someone special. After refurbishing the George Street store, the city could boast of its first hydraulic lift and the place is stocked with furniture and furnishings. Today the store still stands by its founder's original commitment, to sell "the best and most exclusive goods" and to carry "a stock that embraces the
Everyday wants of mankind at large." There are also some excellent markets around Sydney throughout the week and every weekend, where the tourists can pick up anything from new and traditional-designer wear clothes to hand-crafted furniture and souvenirs to mouth-watering home baked food.
For fast food, outlets such as The Subway are the most popular, followed with McDonalds and Red Rooster. KFC and Pizza Hut are also there, besides, Burgercrave, Urban Burger, Italy Pizzeria, Killa Burger Grill, and Eagle Boys Pizza. There are places with Malaysian-hawker-inspired menu with a unique ambience as perched on a leafy rooftop; an enormous Buddha greets the guests at the door of the giant pagoda dining room, while the colourful place settings, clanging dishes and efficient service only add to the enjoyment of the spicy chicken laksa. Another high-rise restaurant in the cityrotates a full turn, giving the occupants plenty of time to enjoy the chilli-prawn tapas, seared rare tuna or pepper-crust snapper before the view starts repeating itself.There are fishy takeaway outlets, plating up fancy fish and chips with Euro stylings. The interior is more East End London eel-and-mash shop than hip Sydney, but the food is brilliant as one cannot miss the prawn-and-fish dumplings with chilli soy sauce. Most of East Sydney’s celebrated Italian restaurants have gone upmarket, but without blinking, the Bar Reggio has retained a beautiful budget atmosphere. The walls are plastered with Ferrari flags and Rome murals, as the pasta, pizza, meat and fish dishes have stood the test of gastronomy!The Indian Palace Restaurant serves an extensive cuisine from Butter Chicken to Dosas, and the Malabar Restaurant serves tastefulSouth Indian cuisine along with the Goan Fish Curry, whereas Zaaffran Restaurant at Darling Harbour has a changing menu frequently, but the emphasis is on innovative, rare and treasured recipes in vegetarian and non-vegetarian food, including desserts with different types of kulfis and kheer.
Day - 5
Arrival at Melbourne, the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria and the second-most populous city in Australia, or the metropolis also known as the Melbourne City Centre or the Central Business District (CBD). The representative checks the tourists into a hotel and after some rest; they can avail some leisure and pleasure time on their own, before the hectic sight-seeing schedule begins the following day!
Day - 6
After an early breakfast, the journey begins! The Striking Federation Square is the place to celebrate, protest or party. Occupying a prominent city block, the 'square' is far from square and its undulating forecourt of Kimberley stone echoes the town squares of Europe, and the subterranean Melbourne Visitor Centre situated here. The Melbourne Museum is a confident postmodern exhibition space that mixes old-style object displays with themed interactive display areas. The museum's reach is almost too broad to be cohesive as the tourists walk through the reconstructed laneway lives of the 17th century or become immersed in the legend of the champion racehorse Phar Lap. Bunjilaka, on the ground floor, presents indigenous stories and history told through objects and aboriginal voices. There is also an open-air forest atrium featuring Victorian plants and animals and an IMAX cinema next door. The new Eureka Tower epitomizes the city’s push to live in apartments by becoming the world's tallest apartment building. It is enough to make anyone who has read JG Ballard's Highrise wide-eyed and nervous, but spells good news for those visitors who can scoot to the 88th-storey observation tower for vivid and wild views of the city and its surrounds.
The National Gallery of Victoria International goes beyond the water wall with international art that runs from the ancient to the contemporary. This houses the extensive collection of Australian paintings, decorative arts, photography, prints, drawings, sculpture, fashion, textiles and jewellery. The gallery's indigenous collection dominates the ground floor and upstairs there are permanent displays of colonial paintings and drawings by centuries old artists, most of which seek to challenge ideas of the 'authentic'. The Great Hall’s stained glass ceiling is absolutely bewildering! The Parliament House of Victoria is a striking monolith of a structure preceded by a grand flourish of steps. Free half-hour tours take you through both houses and the library. Fascinating design features and the symbolism underlying much of the ornamentation are illuminated by the knowledgeable guides. Stocked with the historical and cultural know-how of this capital city, return back to the hotel to sleep for the night!
Day - 7
After breakfast, a trip to see vineries in the Yarra Valley, dinner cruises down the Yarra River, and time spent at St Kilda Foreshore’s long sandy beach, are all worth the effort. There are palm-fringed promenades, a parkland strand and a long stretch of sand. St Kilda's seaside appeal has a glitzy aura and has a certain depth of character in its all-weather charm, with tantalising days on the Bay providing for spectacular cloudscapes and terse little waves, as well as the more predictable sparkling blue of summer, whatever the season! The Royal Botanic Gardens is the most glorious attractions, as sprawling besides the Yarra River; these beautifully designed gardens feature a global selection of plantings as well as specific Australian gardens. Along with the abundance of plant species, there's a surprising amount of wildlife, including waterfowl, ducks, swans and child-scaring eels in and around the ornamental lake, as well as cockatoos and possums. It also encloses the excellent, nature-based Ian Potter Children's Garden. The gardens are encircled by the Tan, a 4km-long former horse-exercising track, now used to exercise joggers. During the summer months, the gardens play host to the Moonlight Cinema and theatre. Overnight stay at the hotel!
Day - 8
Following breakfast, you will be embarking on a full-day Great Ocean Road Tour which appears in the Australian National Heritage list. One of the best coastal drives in the world, the road meanders along rainforests, beaches and limestone cliffs in Victoria’s south-eastern coastland. It passes by Bass Strait, the Southern Ocean, Angelsea, Lorne, Apollo Bay, and Port Campbell’s astonishing limestone and sandstone landmarks including: The Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, London Arch, and The Grotto. Return back with a beatific essence and put yourself to sleep at the hotel!
Day - 9
Start the day after an early breakfast! A visit to the Footscray Community Arts Centre would require a borrowed beach mat from the Big Fish Cafe to lounge on while eating a veggie wrap or slurping a favourite soup besides the Maribyrnong River, then stroll through Gabriel Gallery, which profiles artworks by people recently arrived in the continent. There are also regular music and theatre programmes promoting the centre's charter of facilitating community arts in multi-ethnic Footscray. After the above visit, the tourists have the options of visiting these various parks and lakes according to the time limit! The Fawkner Park is a huge expanse of green, which is adored and used by the area’s sport folk and lapdogs alike. Walkways lined with elms, oaks and Moreton Bay fig trees provide structure to the otherwise open fields. Barbecues and charming little pavilions are available for public use. The Albert Park Lake engulfs elegant black swans as the tourists circumnavigate the perimeter of this artificial lake. Jogging, cycling, walking or clamouring over play equipments is the appropriate human equivalent. The Lakeside Drive was used as an international motor-racing circuit and the revamped track has been the venue for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix every year! The Birrarung Marr features grassy knolls, river promenades and a thoughtful planning of indigenous flora and is a demanded addition to the patchwork of parks and gardens in Melbourne. It houses the sculptural and musical Federation Bells, which ring across the varying schedules! Return back to the hotel to sleep for the night!
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