Mid-Semester break – Sydney

By Honor Cessford, Australian National University, Australia

After settling in well and completing my first semester at ANU, I had a two-week mid-semester break. The first week unfortunately consisted of completing assignments and revising for exams, however in the second week I went to Sydney with my friends, who are also on exchange from the UK.


On our first day, we had to get up at 6am to make the first train to Sydney. This was super tiring however it meant we made it to Sydney in time to enjoy the full day. After checking in to our hostel, we had lunch under the sun at the oldest pub in Sydney. We then got the bus to Bondi Beach as it was a lovely day. We sunbathed and even managed to swim in the sea, despite it being winter! That evening we took a walk around Sydney harbour and ended up having dinner at the Opera Bar with a view of the Opera House. Due to the Queen’s passing, a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II was projected onto the Opera House which was a nice memory reminding me of home.


On our second day, we walked around the Royal Botanic Gardens and had brunch in the café overlooking the Harbour. In the afternoon, we got a boat trip to Manley and spent the afternoon on the beach in the sun. On the boat back to the hostel we were lucky enough to see the sun set behind the city skyline and the harbour bridge. For dinner, we went to a Mexican restaurant called El Camino. I would recommend going as it had great food, a lively atmosphere and we were even given sombreros!


On our third day we walked along the coastline from Coogee beach to Bondi beach. We stopped for a swim at various beaches along the way, my favourite being Gordon’s Bay. We stopped off at a café and had an iced coffee and seafood overlooking Bronte beach. Later in the day, we went thrift shopping around Bondi before having dinner and drinks on the rooftop bar at the Glenmore Hotel. It had an amazing view of the Sydney skyline at night.


On our last day we got a train to Newtown, known for its street art and bohemian character. It is the equivalent of what Shoreditch is to London, and I enjoyed browsing the array of vintage shops. We ended up at Bondi Junction where we did a lot of shopping and ended our day with a short walk along Bondi beach. We went for dinner at The Squire’s Landing which is renowned as Australia’s first brewer.

I would recommend visiting Sydney if you are studying in Australia as there is so much variety of things to do. Sydney is known for its beautiful coastline, which was my favourite aspect, however there are many museums, art galleries and tourist attractions to see, so there is something for everyone.

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