The Royal National Park – This National Park is just a short drive out of Sydney. Grab a friend preferably one with a car. There are a few well known spots to check out; Wedding Cake Rock, Eagle Head Rock and the Figure 8 Pools. All information on these walks can be found in the links above. Enjoy the sunny winter weekends in the bush!
Drink with a View – Dress up after dinner and go for a fancy drink. Find a reason to get your best on and head into the CBD. My favorite places for a treat would be the O Bar and the Shangri-La. We waited for a table with the Shangri-La and it was worth it, plus I think it was only a 15 min wait. Vivid starts soon the sky line will look even better.
Open Water Course – Get a new hobby under your belt. I know its getting cold but don’t worry they provide you with wet suits and the course is cheaper in the off season. I did mine with Pro Dive in Coogee it was a great weekend. Early starts and long days but I felt extremely comfortable and confident with my diving skills by the end of the course. they have weekend and week day courses on offer.
Glebe Markets – The market is every Saturday and it is full of retro vintage treasures. There are lots of creative stands and second hand clothes. If your into vintage and recycling clothes check this market out and of course there is always a coffee stand so you can grab a hot coffee to keep you warm walking around the stalls.
My last blog was about our time spent in South West Rocks…I thought I might try a few additional post about how we did it on a budget. Also decided to refer to my boyfriend as MC because boyfriend was getting used far to often.
We were both on budgets for the camping equipment as we do not know if we will use it that often and we have a trip home coming up as well as skiing to book. We bought everything from Kmart and I can not fault it. Below is a list of everything we used.
The only thing we needed which we didn’t have was a proper cool box. The sun did come out and a lot of our food went off before we could use it.
Equipment we bought for the trip
- Tent – $109 We bought a 4 person tent which was a pop up. So easy to put up and down. It was also high enough for you to stand in. I did love our side windows as well, it was nice to see the sea in the morning.
- Foam Mats – $10 These are used outside the tent so you can take your shoes off and not drag dirt or sand inside.
- Portable Gas Stove – $20 We made diner and two breakfasts on the stove, it was brilliant easy to use.
- Fleece Blanket – $18 This blanket really kept us warm at night and it made the tent look so homely having it at the foot of the bed during the day.
- Gas for the Stove – $4 For three cans, we used two over the weekend.
- Egg Carrier – $4 We only had a few casualties on the way up.
- Pot Pan – $10
- Frying Pan – $20
- Air Bed – $29 We got the biggest one which didn’t fill up the tent but gave us plenty of room and stayed inflated for a long time.
- Pump – $6 Key for the bed.
- Plastic Box – $25 I have stored nearly everything in this box and it made it easier to transfer everything up to the campsite.
- Pillow – $8 It is shaped like a log and this may have been purchased for a cute factor.
- Lantern – $30 MC bought this from Aldi. Very handy little purchase that had two small flash lights fold out of the lantern.
- Pocket Knife – $10 Also bought from Aldi.
- Table – $19 Well you don’t want to eat and cook on your knees.
Other things we already had /took from home
- 2 camping chairs
- Bed sheet
- Plates /Cups/Mugs/Cutlery
- Small cool box with two ice packs
- Bin Bags
- Bottles of Water
- Chopping board
***Also download CamperMate app onto your phone it shows you all the campsites around Australia and breaks them down into price ranges.Lots of not so well known free sites on the app. ***
I went up to visit my boyfriend again in Coffs. The weather in Sydney had been terrible and it was not much different up there. After a hour and a half delay from Tiger Airways I was off. The landing was a bit bumpy. It was St Patrick’s Day and with that we headed into Coffs to the Coffs Hotel for the night. A lot of green and a lot of Guinness. On our way home the heavens opened and the rain did not stop all weekend.
Coffs is very much a outdoors place and with the weather being wet it was very hard to find something to keep us occupied. After breakfast we headed to a bowling alley. If you are ever in Coffs Visit here Coffs Coast Kegel 9 Pin Bowling. It is old school bowling. There are games to play with the bowling and the bowls are brought up after every go by string. The place is decorated in airspray art and there was not a sole in there. You can grab a coffe or tea for two dollars off the trolley. It was a lot of fun. That evening we ate at a restaurant in Sawtell called The Spare Rule. The food was lovely and we had great service. If you want a nice date place in Coffs I would check it out. After dinner the rain was still coming down strong.
Sunday we headed to the beach at lunch time but the sea was not a good colour with all the storm debris floating around in it. After a walk around the coast line we headed back to the beach opposite my boyfriends unit. The water looked clear here so we had a little dip, we didn’t venture to far as the waves out at sea were wild. The sky was black and I have to say I was not looking forward to flying back to Sydney. I left that afternoon and the sky had cleared a little and the take off was fine. It was nice to see the sun when I landed back in Sydney. I did learn that you can now order a Uber from the airport you just have to go to one of the pick up locations….it is a great relief as I hate getting into a taxi at Sydney airport and having them try to rip you off.
It was not the best weather to visit Coffs in, but it did mean we got stay in cook meals and be a normal couple for a weekend and as we haven’t got to do things like that in a while I really enjoyed it.
This past weekend I did my Open Water Scuba course with ProDive. They have three branches in Sydney, I did mine with the Coogee branch. Before you start the course you have to login into the online course. It takes around 7 hours to get through all the slides and quizzes.
I was doing the course on the weekend. I started Friday night at the dive shop. There is a classroom in the back where you fill out paper work, go over a few facts and have a tour of the shop and equipment. The end of the evening is the exam where you need to score 80% or higher to pass. I did not leave the dive shop until 9:30 and was back there for 7:30AM
Saturday we went to Victoria Pool and begin the practicals. You are show how to assemble the equipment. Once everything is together and on you jump into the pool. The next four hours is in the pool learning key skills that you will need and getting used to being under water for a long period of time. After all the skills are complete and a little lunch at the pool we mad our way to the dive site.
That afternoon I completed my first dive which is a short one and it just gave me time to get used to being in the sea. The instructors use different locations around Sydney depending on weather. Our first dive was at Camp Cove in Watson Bay. Luckily the sun came out and it was a nice afternoon.
On the Sunday we met at the dive shop again and filled in paper work. Then we headed off to the dive site for the day to complete three dives. In these three dives I was tested on all the skills I completed in the pool. There is also a exercise with a compos where you have to work your way back to your instructor. The dives went around the reefs in Camp Cove. The visibility on Sunday was not as good as Saturday but we saw a few things; Octopus, Wobbegong Shark and Cuttlefish. After the last dive we returned to the dive shop and helped clean all the equipment and record our dives. If the instructor is not happy with any of your skills in the sea they may not pass you. I found out Monday that I am now certified in my open water.
Next challenge will be to complete my Advance Diving course with ProDive, so I can get to the good stuff.
I felt completely safe through out the entire weekend. I felt with vey dive I built my confidence and was ready to take on any challenges. Highly recommend using ProDive.
Winter has come full force over the past few weeks in Sydney. Summer wardrobe is now officially packed away and scarfs and coats are out. Below are a few places I have checked out so far this winter. Any suggestions on places to eat or drink leave them in the comment box please.
Hello Auntie – Marrickville
Vietnamese cuisine in a tapas environment. Marrickville has had a new gem of a restaurant open up. Hello Auntie is a great spot for some good Vietnamese food. There was four of us when went. We ordered a dish each and a side to share between the table. Pork ribs, beef, soup and chicken it was all delicious. The staff were very helpful in advising what to choose and making sure we had enough food. They do have cocktails but we went for the Vietnamese beer, so we could feel like we were reliving those care free backpacker days for a few hours. I would book a table it is very popular at the minute and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Mad Pizza E Bar – Newtown
Last weekend we wanted to avoid the rush of Vivid after spending a Saturday working. Heading to Newtown we checked out this Italian. It is trendy and has a buzzing atmosphere. At first it looks like a normal Italian with the red checker table clothes and pizza on every table. Once inside though you notice the DJ booth, the walls are black boards and your table cloth has a paper cloth on top with crayons for your inner child to come out. The DJ playing some modern background music you can enjoy a thin crust Italian Pizza with a nice bottle of red. Staff are friendly and you order with them via their IPad. I opted for a salad which was delicious filled with shrimp and haloumi. Perfect place for a date. They also have other locations around the Sydney area.
Earls Juke Joint – Newtown
From the outside this looks like a shutdown butchers. If it was not for the few people stood outside in line and the bouncer you would easily miss this bar. After a short time in line we walked inside to a busy cocktail bar. The bar is buzzing and with quick friendly staff you are not long without a drink. I tried the Espresso Martini and the Notorious OMG. Notorious OMG was delicious and went down far too easy. When you go to the bathroom don’t miss the photos on the wall of what the bar looked like as an actual butchers.
Hotel Palisade – The Rocks, Sydney
Having a family friend in town for a few nights we wanted to show her dinner with a view. The Hotel Palisade was a suggestion that did not let us down. It is an old hotel which has been converted into a pub on the ground floor, the top is an enclosed roof top bar and restaurant with views of the Harbour Bridge and darling harbour. Highly recommend the mussels and lamb cutlets. Drinks wise I would recommend the Stone Fruit Cobbler. During the week day it is very quiet so easy to get a seat but on a weekend it is very busy. Possibly the prettiest lift in Sydney whisks you up to the roof top bar with a mural painted on its doors.