We thought it was about time we returned to Sydney as a family to visit some friends that we met while we were living there from 2010 – 2012. We made some wonderful friends while we were there and many have come to Melbourne to visit us. We love to see them and show them around our wonderful home town but we are especially excited to be returning as a family to check out all the old haunts! I have been back a couple of times to visit Keira’s friend Bella but this time we will visit friends of Lanni’s and our lovely neighbours in Brooks Circuit.
We were able to pick up very cheap flights with Jetstar flying from Avalon Airport about 40mins from Melbourne to Sydney Airport. We managed to get all 5 return flights for $610. On this occasion, we have opted to not book our seats, partly an experiment to see if they are still going to seat us together. Avalon is about 25mins from our house and the parking there is very affordable and it’s an easy drive straight down the highway. There are only 3 flights per day to Sydney from Avalon but it’s a very efficient way of getting up there. Flights are also generally much cheaper than from Melbourne Airport.
We fly up on Friday night and will pick up a car that we have booked through www.vroomvroomvroom.com.au. I’ve found that they are the best way to find cheap hire cars and we have used them a few times before. I’ve found them to be competitive and best of all, you pay when picking up the vehicle and not at the time of booking. We will then drive out to a friend’s house at Camden.
A few months back I was lucky enough to win two hot air balloon flights with Balloons Aloft through the Australian Travellers Magazine that I subscribe too. I was able to use them at any time at four locations across New South Wales. The choices were the Camden Valley, the Hawkesbury, the Hunter Valley and Mudgee. For various reasons we chose to go with the Camden Valley.
We will stay the night with my friend in Camden and in the morning Craig and I will go off on the hot air balloon ride which I am looking forward to immensely. The kids will stay with my friend until we return after our champagne breakfast. My friend will be coming to Melbourne two weeks after this so I don’t feel too bad about doing a runner on her this weekend! She has family in Port Macquarie and as it is a long weekend I think she will be keen to head off to see her family anyway.
I attempted to book a house through Airbnb unfortunately on this occasion I haven’t been able to find a suitable house, this would have been the third time that I have used Airbnb and I have been very happy with them every time. As a family of 5 I find them exceptionally great value for money and really easy to use. You can read about our other experience in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. I will continue to check Airbnb in case something does pop up that is suitable but for the moment I have a backup plan.
We have booked a room for the 5 of us at the Waldorf Drummoyne Serviced Apartments located on Lyons Rd. This is reasonably priced at $199 per night and central to where we would like to be. Parking is limited here so that might be an issue. Drummoyne is centrally located and it’s only a short train ride into town. It is also only 15mins drive from where we used to live in Strathfield and I am really looking forward to getting back and having a look around.
I am hoping that something exciting might be happening in Sydney for Australia Day. There is usually a decent fireworks display and the city is only a short train ride away so it will be easy to go into Darling Harbour for the evening. Sydney always has so much happening during the summer so I am sure there will be plenty for us to see and do. It will be good to see how much the kids remember from when we lived there.
Drummoyne is also close to Balmain, which means we will be able to visit Zumbo’s for some macarons, my favourites of all time, not to mention the citrus tarts! My mouth is watering at the thought! It’s just one of the things I miss about Sydney and don’t start me on the glorious weather.
The flights home are very late but that’s not an issue because it’ll still be the summer school holidays so no school the next day. Hopefully they might even sleep on the flight! Or better still, sleep in the next day.
I will complete a post when we get home of what we got up to. What your favourite things to do in Sydney? Please leave your comments in the box below. You can also subscribe to our blog to keep up to date with all that we get up to with the kids.
Safe travels to all this Christmas and New Year.
Sal, Craig & our 3 kids.