Sydney (January 2019)

Tied with the USA one of the other places I’ve always wanted to visit was Australia. Originally planned in November 2018 I was going to fly out to see family who had emigrated there several years ago. Unfortunately due to conflicting dates of travel – my cousin would be flying to Europe more or less the same time (give or take a few hours due to time zones) I would have been taking off for Australia.

British Airways BA15 – Boeing 777-300ER refuelling at Singapore Changi Airport

The dates for Oz were put back a few months to January 2019 and the height of the summer in the southern hemisphere. The flights were booked and plenty of factor 50 suncream was ordered. It also coincided with a record breaking heatwave that featured on the news most nights.

The obvious sights were of course Sydney Opera House and the Harbour bridge. Like the recent trip to LA I researched the places to go and how to get there before I travelled so on arrival I knew one of the first things to buy was an Opal card.

The Opal card was probably one of the best things I have bought whilst away, free to buy and then pre-load it with a balance to travel. Tap on and off the bus, train and even the ferry. A daily spend limit of AU$15 and AU$60 a week gave excellent value as all trips after hitting these limits were free.

East Midlands Trains – Chesterfield to London St. Pancras International

First lesson of the Australian summer – it is hot, very hot. Even on a cloudy day with a breeze it could be anywhere between 30˚C and 38˚C, even at 5am it was around 25˚C. The only two times you were not covered in sweat was 1) in a good air conditioned room 2) in the shower or sea (and there’s sharks in the sea).

During the stay I decided to jump on an internal flight to Adelaide for a couple of days to visit other family members who traveled out a few days before. I got to see some of the sites of the city and meet up with some more friends who also emigrated there some time ago.

British Airways BA16 – Boeing 777-300ER at Sydney International Terminal

Australia is a vast country, with many wonderful sights and attractions such as the Harbour bridge and the opera house. I enjoyed having lunch / dinner at the restaurants on the Circular Quays watching the ferries and ocean liners come and go.

When I go back to visit again I would probably go when it was not the height of summer or try to time it so its not one of the hottest summers on record….