December 28, Monday (Public Holiday)

We were all tuckered out from our Blue Mountain trip the day before, so we opted for a chill day on Monday – spent meandering around the city and shopping

Circular Quay exploration and Sydney Opera House

  • We’ve been to Circular Quay several times the past few days for the ferries, but we never got the chance to walk across its whole length. So that’s what we did on Monday, with the walk culminating at the Sydney Opera House
  • I found the Sydney Opera House much more impressive from afar compared to the up close and personal view – as you could see some parts were not as well-maintained as others when up close. Either way, I’d recommend you still go in and check it out! We didn’t do the Sydney Opera House tour as we weren’t interested in the acoustics of the place, and we already knew the history of the place from our previous walking tours. Nevertheless, we still entered to check out the interiors and use their bathroom (which is really pretty with its curved walls, do it!)
  • We also dropped by the gift shop to buy a few (pricey) souvenirs. For Pandora charm collectors, they were selling Sydney Opera House and kangaroo charms which according to the lady, can only be found in Australia at its “dirt-cheap” price. Don’t know if you consider AUD 50 dirt-cheap, but the woman beside me certainly did as she immediately ordered two charms for both herself and her daughter. On the other hand, my dad kept ignoring my pleading face and unsubtle hints, so I walked away empty-handed (not that I have a Pandora bracelet to hang the charms on but they were certainly pretty to look at!)

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The Rocks Market (10:00am to 5:00pm, Weekends)

  • The Rocks Market is typically open on weekends only, but as they were closed on December 26 since it was a public holiday, they ended up opening on December 28 (a Monday)
  • Anyway, we decided to check it out as everyone kept saying this was a great market to go to. I wasn’t impressed. Everything here can already be found elsewhere (most notably China), except for some handmade Australian handicrafts and clothes which I wasn’t terribly interested in (there were lots of collections pieces that people might like, but way beyond my budget range). All in all, it was a bit of a disappointment for me

Lunch at The Australian Heritage Hotel (corner Rochester Street)  

  • If there was one food I was sure I wanted to try (aside from the kangaroo kebab), it was the Coat of Arms pizza topped with half kangaroo and half emu here at The Australian Heritage Hotel
  • Place is fairly busy as it’s widely known and regarded to serve really good food, so we dropped by around 1:00pm when there were hopefully less people around
  • Food we ordered: Quinoa salad with sweet potato (tasted too healthy to me, but that’s supposed to be one of their best sellers), Coat of Arms pizza (half kangaroo and half emu – I love it), Saltwater Crocodile pizza (not sure how I feel about this, was a bit chewy and bland but my sister really liked it), Kangaroo Union Burger (good! But tasted like a normal beef burger)

Shopping

  • There’s a wide range of malls you can choose from, e.g., Queen Victoria Building, Strand Arcade, Westfield Mall, The Markets (Chinatown), Harborside Mall, Pitt Street, etc
  • However, my mom was stuck at Pitt Street – she ended up spending the whole afternoon here. Unbelievable! But hey, she was happy with all the clothes she bought so no complaints from us either. We did get to check out QVB and Strand Arcade for its architecture though (sadly all the stores were closed by the time we got there)

Dinner at Menya Mappen (537-551 George Street) – cash only restaurant

  • Quick, cheap, and yummy – three adjectives that perfectly describe Menya Mappen. Discovered this through Timeout, and am super happy we got to try it out
  • I love their ramen here – my whole family got different types of ramen and we all loved it, so you definitely won’t go wrong here. Serving size is pretty small however, so just go with a large if you’re hungry. Each bowl costs around AUD 6.50 to 8.50

For my other days of travel, feel free to click the links below to read more on specific parts of our 7-day Sydney journey:

Introduction: Tips and tricks on enjoying Christmas in Sydney

Day 1: Airport + Hotel and supermarket + The Rocks Tour

Day 2: Taronga Zoo + Manly Beach + Golden Century dinner

Day 3: City Tour + Fish Market + Paddy’s Market + Darling Harbor

Day 4: Blue Mountain + Leura Village

Day 6: Bronte to Bondi Coastal Walk + Watson’s Bay + Harbor Bridge + Luna Park

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