Officially arrived back from Sydney and ready to take my second semester of university by storm! While I was away I noticed Sydney was actually a popular spot for lots of uni students to get some much needed R&R – whether that be through retail, food, or partying. Luckily for you, I did all three! Here’s some things to consider:

  • Checking out the Sydney aquarium. There is something extremely exciting there… Manatee’s. For those of you who don’t have the pleasure of knowing they are my favourite animal (big, slow, vegetarian, totally harmless), I was VERY excited. The aquarium itself wasn’t very big (though much bigger than Kelly Tarltons, Auckland’s aquarium) and while there isn’t any BIG sea animals (whales, large sharks), it was still one of the highlights of my trip!

There’s a manatee statue behind me, and the tanks were right in front of me with the real ones

  • Luna Park. This one’s pretty self-explanatory… Who doesn’t love theme parks? My niece had to ask me to stop screaming… Apparently I was embarrassing her in front of the other kids (oop).

On the Luna Parks ferris wheel, with the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House in the background

  • Criniti’s. This restaurant was off the hook! Not only affordable, but so well-presented and tasty! Criniti’s in Castle Hill (NSW) might just be giving Orvieto in Mt Eden (AKL) a run for it’s money if they were situated in the same country!

The guy who served us was Italian, and my food came on a board – nice

  • Max Brenner, Little Rock Café, Baskin and Robbins:

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  • The Bella Vista Hotel for drinks. Cocktails under $12, and jugs for $35. Not to mention in house DJ, live entertainment, and free manicures! Total sorcery right?

We’re suckers for anything with pretty colours and summer fruits

  • Australian Brewery RNB night (or whatever night you go, there’s always something on – last weekend they had a foam party). There’s three separate rooms (all with bars) playing different kinds of music. This all happens in the upstairs rooms (which are massive), while the downstairs is one huge bar and restaurant. Ps $5 spirits.

You know you’ve reached a new stage in your life when you can look a man in the face and order a drink with a seductive name

  • As for places to shop… Too many. I’d recommend City Hall as the place to start, but you wouldn’t get through a floor of those stores in a day… Let alone all the stores in two weeks – though we did try.

The only thing really worth buying… Slushies

The above are just some ideas to consider if you end up booking a flight to Sydney with your mates to chill out after your first semester at uni, or even if you want to head over in the summer (beaches, yay!) after the second semester. Sydney is a realistic place to have a holiday. It’s not too different from Auckland, not unrealistic in terms of being affordable and very easy to get around in.

Some side notes:

  • I faced a new saga while I was in Sydney: It was finding an appropriate, durable, yet cool bag for the second semester. Admittedly, I have no problem bumbling around with my backpack, but I wanted something nicer for my laptop to sit in… that would match my new jacket better. Anyway, I ended up turning down a completely inappropriate bag that was my hearts true desire (baby pink, small, completely unnecessary in every way) and going with a leather, burgundy, spacious bag, which I’m happy with. Now everyone comments on how nice it is!
  • Make friends or take friends with you when going overseas. Everything is more fun with other people around!
  • Don’t have a melt-down if your results aren’t what you expect them to be. There’s another semester to come, with better grades to be earned. No biggie. Have a rest, enjoy your holiday and come back firing.

Best of luck out there!

Yours readily,