Sydney Blue Mountains Map of Australia

Australian Flag Size: 7,687,000 sqkm
Population: 20,264,000
Capital: Canberra
Time Zone: GMT +8 to +10

Part of 2006 World Trip, arriving from Singapore and going on to Peru.

A few days in Sydney to bring me back to the Western world.

Use the navigation bar on the left or the map-links to select a place. Alternatively scroll down to see all the entries. Click on photos to enlarge. See all Australia photos here.


Sydney Opera House Australia was something of a shock for me. For a start everything was far more expensive than Asia, but mainly it was the cold. Having arrived from equatorial Singapore into the middle of the Australian winter I needed more thermals sitting in my room here than I did exposed in the Himalayas or high in the Andes.

I never sleep well, or indeed at all, on transport but the overnight flight was especially difficult due to the screaming baby just behind me - the mother was doing all she could but he continued to cry and be sick all night. However, seeing the first proper sunrise in months as I left the airport put me in high spirits - I'm not sure why by there are never good sunrises or sunsets in the Tropics, I feel it could be due to lower cloud levels and a thinner atmosphere but I am not sure.

Sydney Harbour Bridge I could not check into my dorm until the afternoon so dumped my stuff and, after a good strong coffee, headed out. This was a fantastic decision as this morning had beautiful blue skies and the opera house and bridge looked fantastic - every other day I was here it rained and everything was dull and grey. I wandered the quay areas and main sights then caught up on some sleep. My dorm was excellent, not only very new and clean with cookers and TVs for each floor, but also I was on my own every night - this was good as the next stop was over the pacific (and the date line) so I wanted to get some early nights in to minimise jet lag (this worked pretty well and I was almost jet lag free after the 10 hour time jump when I reached Lima). There was also a big pile of blankets in the room, which I was truly thankful for.

Bondi Beach The second day I caught the train out into the Blue Mountains for a bit of hiking, see below. Then the next two days I explored around the Sydney area. I visited Bondi beach and caught the ferry over to Manley. I also went to the art museum which is the best I've been to: I'm not a fan of modern art, preferring classic oil painted landscapes, and I was treated to many excellent ones here. One evening in the hostel I was joined by two Australian girls who spent the evening enlightening me on the ways of Australian Big Brother - I don't like the UK version but in Australia they have to do crazy activities which seem to mainly involve putting on a massive costumes and trying to run over greasy floors, that's entertainment! On my last night I went out to the most typical Sydney restaurant (after hungry Jacks, the Australian Burger King) - a sushi bar: there are hundreds of these in the centre and the quality is very good.

Blue Mountains

Three Sisters, Katoomba The Blue Mountains are situated just the north of Sydney and had been recommended to me by nearly every Australian I had met. The region is filled with canyons that are forested in eucalyptus - the oil from these trees disperses in the air providing the blue haze through which the region gets it name. I got a train to Katoomba, a town dedicated to tourism, and from here took the sightseeing bus over to the canyon edge. I walked around this area all day, from canyon top down into the forests below, and saw a few interesting flightless birds but no dangerous spiders. I ended up at the Three Sisters - the most famous part of this region, and then hiked a bit further to watch the sun set over the canyons beyond.

The next destination after this brief stop was Peru.