Sydney, Australia

While visiting Sydney, a local told me, “Sydney is a great city to be in if you have some money in your pocket.” Without it, it’s a tough city to enjoy since your money doesn’t go very far. We stayed in the Rocks area of Sydney for our first few days. We used points to stay at the Holiday Inn on George Street. We only stayed one night here and since it would have cost us a pretty penny (about $400 USD a night), we took advantage of being so close to the action and the sites. We also took at advantage of their rooftop pool and hot tub with amazing views.
View from the rooftop pool at the Holiday Inn

While in Sydney, we took a free walking tour which was advertised everywhere. It took about 3 hours starting in Hyde Park and ending just under the bridge in the Rocks. It was informative and helped us to understand the area. Our guide also gave us recommendations on things to do, things to skip based on price, and an overview on how the buses, trains, and ferry systems work.

I also took the tour of the Sydney Opera House and while the building itself is inspiring, I don’t think the $37 AUD tour was worth it. You are told of the history and shown a handful of the theaters inside but I think my money would have been better spent towards a ticket to see a show.
The Sydney Opera House from afar
After two days of sightseeing, we headed south for a few days but returned later in the week and stayed this time at the Holiday Inn in Pott’s Point. While the hotel (paid for on points again) was further from the Central Business District and some of the sights, it wasn’t too far from Hyde Park and had much more affordable restaurants and bars that actually honored the practice of happy hour. The average bar offered $5 AUD beers and glasses of wine during happy hour. There were also a lot of lunch deals for around $10-12 AUD. Once of these was Boca Grill on the corner of Victoria Street & Liverpool Street. I ordered a glass of wine and an empanada that was enormous for a total of $10 AUD.

We took the obligatory trip to Bondi Beach which is beautiful and the place to be seen. Public parking at the beach costs $7 AUD per hour. When we headed back into town a few days later, we also visited Manly Beach which was much more laid back and not as built up.
Sydney, Australia

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