Victor & Joanne's Australia Adventure travel blog

Louise, Victor and Lach at the Sydney Opera House

Old warehouses converted to luxury condos. They sell for 1.5M; Nicole Kidman...

The ride up Sydney Bridge; it was guarded by security officers and...

A truly impressive north harbour; taken from the bridge

Luna Park, built in the 1950s to resemble Coney Island.

The Hero of Waterloo Pub; note the painted windows. Real glass windows...

The original fireplace in the pub

Victor standing in front of a wall of sandstone blocks carved by...

The entrance to Chinatown; Victoria could learn a thing or two: close...

Another record shot; we're almost done and having a great time!!

Friday, October 15

From opera one day to bike tours the next. What can be better! Although we’ve been exploring the city quite well on our own, we booked a cycling tour to give us a bit of exercise and general overview of the city. Bonza Bike Tours did a fabulous job.

Our tour guides, Lach (pronounced latch) and Louise were personable, articulate, informative and very adaptable to the needs of the group. We were nine on total from young teens to ... well, our age. And, we were in various states of fitness (honestly, I wasn’t the most out of shape!). We covered 14 km of the city and saw many things we would never have discovered on our own. Since the city is quite flat (highest point is 150 metres, but don’t quote me on that), it’s a very easy ride. There were a couple of steep bits, but nothing that required a dismount.

The 4 ½-hour tour took us half-way across the Sydney Bridge (ok, that was a grind), along the redeveloped warehouse wharfs, through the area of Darling Harbour’s posh restaurants and condos, into Chinatown, through Hyde Park and the Royal Botanical Gardens. We had a pint at one of the oldest pub in the Argyle area, called the “Hero of Waterloo” pub which was established in 1843. History has it that a drunken soldier would be dropped through a trap door in the floor of the pub, whisked out through a series of tunnels, to awaken on board a ship having been “Shanghaied.”

Although the day was drizzly and Joanne has a sore throat and cough, this tour was a real highlight. It’s one that we would highly recommend and would consider doing again. Well worth the $89 AUD.

Our day ended with a dinner in Chinatown. Since it’s Friday night, the streets are packed! Two blocks of pedestrians only, street vendors, music and no room to move. We settled on a restaurant called the Super Bowl. Not exactly Asian sounding, but it had a large Chinese clientele so we hoped that meant the food would be good. Turns out the portions were generous and the food was exactly what we wanted: Won ton soup, fresh greens lightly stir fried and a beef and rice noodle dish (affordable at $42 AUD). The best part was people watching while we ate our meal!

Sydney is a lovely city and one that we have enjoyed much more than we expected. There is so much to see that our four days doesn’t quite seem like enough time.

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