Another reason to visit Sydney is to spend quality time with my cousins – the Joneses. In line with a Bilateral Mobility Program between Australia and the UK, they decided to migrate to Sydney to take advantage of cross job or study opportunities. It is quite an interesting option which I wish the Philippines could have with other ASEAN countries. Since then, they have become successful “Sydneysiders” and their parents have decided to invest on an impressive retirement home by the Marina as well.
My aunt planned that we all conveniently meet on a Sunday. We met them and my cousin, Samantha at Circular Quay and all together we lined up for tickets by the Ferry Station. It was a pleasant realization that she insisted on a Sunday because she wanted all of us to avail of the Family Funday Sunday Promo. For $2.50 per person, your family can enjoy unlimited travel all day Sunday in Sydney, Newcastle, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast, Hunter and Illawarra areas, by train, bus, ferry and light rail. As a disclaimer though, tickets cannot be used on some event buses, charter services, Manly Fast Ferry and other private ferry services, or NSW regional train services. Nevertheless, it is still the best deal vs. paying double or triple the price for accessing the same areas during weekdays.
As the ferry departed, we marveled at the cosmopolitan CBD and the architectural wonder of the SOH. We cruised by the famous Taronga Zoo and the mystical Luna Park – the kids longing to extend our stay in Sydney by another day to enjoy both attractions. Further on, the ferry stopped by Rose Bay and Double Bay – luxurious areas with beautiful homes by the bay. Until we arrived at our stop. A charming town filled with quaint houses perched on cliffs with gorgeous views of the seaside. Watson’s Bay is definitely the quintessential Sydney local life.
My cousin Jennifer was gregariously waving from afar. We were so excited to catch up that the walk uphill through Robertson’s Park to The Gap was a breeze.
The Gap is a spectacular ocean cliff at Watsons Bay, near South Head. It is famous not so much for its natural scenic beauty, but for more bizarre reasons: a reported 20-30 people suicide each year by leaping from The Gaps on to the rocks below. Dozens slip from the rocks, which makes it a dangerous place to be if you don’t keep to the paths and stay behind the barriers.
We trekked the hill to the plateau to enjoy the breathtaking views of the Tasman Sea. Had we continued walking the path, we would have meandered towards the Signal Station and Macquarie Lighthouse.
Brunch was in Dunbar House – an 1830s mansion that offers modern Australian cuisine with European influences. Jennifer and I were admiring the interiors – a fusion of Heritage Victorian and contemporary details. It reminded me of a set in “The Great Gasby” but with views of the bay instead of a plantation.
The food was very good. Considering it’s a popular and trendy place for locals, I am definite it was expensive but it was a treat so Yay! In any case, it would have been worth the value as we all enjoyed Brunch.
While waiting for our ferry back to the city, we watched the kids follow a flock of cockatoos around the park. I kept saying how invaluable it was to live in a simple place that respected its natural surroundings and kept everything casual yet organized. The Philippines is rich in natural resources but why can’t we be taught the discipline to respect our surroundings and live with it harmoniously? Ugghhhh !! Greed. Off to more pleasant discussions…..
As we ferried back to Circular Quay, we were fortunate to catch a regatta. It was such a lovely morning that we had to share the same experience with the rest of the Katigbaks the next day.