Thursday, 28 July 2016

Sydney to Shoal Bay

This weekend just past the Little One and I went on a mini-getaway to Sydney then Shoal Bay, NSW to basically indulge, bond and visit her aunties and cousins.

We stayed in the ultra quirky QT on Market Street which is a very handy location for shopping (Muji was on the hit list this trip) and transport. Along with  walkable walk for the Little One to Circular Quay. Previously we had stayed at the Langham which, although is extremely child friendly and very special, is a little bit too far out of the way for what we wanted to do.

We dined mostly (for breakfast, lunch and dinners) at Gowings Bar & Grill because as a PGR black member i get 50% off in the restaurant (wooooot!)

Though Gowings is not exactly designed to cater to families and children - it's a pretty grown-up space which is what i like about it - staff are extremely welcoming and lovely and took the time to engage with the Little One and not just ignore her. They had two kids meals that they don't list on the menu which are $15 each. The Little One had the fish and chips which was a proper meal and extremely yummy. I totally pinched some.

Our room was spacious enough for the two of us. We shared a Queen bed. But the best part was a full sized bath. Essential in my opinion. The reason we chose this weekend to head up for our trip was because PGR was offering a book Saturday and get Friday or Sunday free. So we got our weekend accommodation for a steal!


Friday we arrived early and after a little rest and lunch we decided to meander through Hyde Park down to the Botanic Gardens before sharing an ice cream and a glass of sparkling for me at Opera Bar.

On Saturday, for funsies, we got super touristy for the sake of the Little One. We did whatever she wanted to do. That meant going on the ferry to Watson's Bay before catching the bus (she LOVES the bus) to Bondi Beach. There we had obligatory corn fritters & pavlova at bills and a morning cocktail for myself before heading to the playground by the Bondi Pavillion to meet the Little One's family.

On Sunday we skipped breakfast because we were booked in for the high tea buffet at the Sheraton on the Park. I'd always side-eyed the Sheraton. There always seemed to be something tacky about the brand. But there must have been a re-vamp because it was quite glam. The buffet was extensive and the food was fantastic. I overdosed on scones, drank Moet and finished with a teapot of Earl Grey (sadly no proper teacups or china.)

At 2pm we raced to catch the bus to Shoal Bay. I can't say i was looking forward to the 3 hour trip but the coach was comfy and the Little One slept the entire way.

When we arrived we headed straight to the Anchorage to watch the beautiful sunset. (I can't wait to stay here one day! Super nice.)

Monday we spent the whole day in Nelson's Bay. Sadly it was marred by seasickness when we decided to go on a whale and dolphin cruise. Still, aside from the crippling nausea it was extremely beautiful and relaxing. The water was pristine and gorgeous.

After the boat cruise we got our bearings and because of tummies were now completely empty (i think i myself went through 4 sick bags in total) we needed to refuel with lunch. Don't ask why, but i got the lobster. Maybe it's my comfort food? Or maybe i just don't see it enough on menus and eagerly ordered it out of surprise!

Later on we went for a drive checking out the Gan Gan Lookout and a few of the other beautiful little beaches in the area, scoping out the best place for an airbnb stay next time we come.

In the future i'll be content just to walk up Mt Tomaree rather than go on any bloody boat. Oh well. You live, you learn.

The following day we had a big sleep in then caught the bus from Shoal Bay to Newcastle Airport. It goes through all the towns in the area: Nelson Bay, Corlette, Port Stephens, Anna Bay ... but it's pleasant and doesn't take much more than an hour. The Little One insisted on sitting up the back of the bus with the high school kids. The highlight of the day for her.

This trip was great but if it's taught me anything it's; do not combine Sydney and Shoal Bay! They should be two separate trips. Hopefully we'll be back soon. Sydney in the school holidays and Shoal Bay in October if we don't go to Tasmania instead or in December for the Little One's cousin's birthday.

Can't wait!

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