A visit to the legendary Orphan Rocker

The scenic amusement park Scenic World is one of the tourist hot spots of the nearby capital Sydney. The park houses several scenic attractions and a network of trails deep in the rainforest of the Blue Mountains. The park is also home to the legendary Orphan Rocker roller coaster. Named after the nearby viewing rock Orphan Rock – which unfortunately you are not allowed to climb anymore – the roller coaster winds its way along the hillside before it takes you into the rainforest of the Blue Mountains and back to the station via the Scenic World parking lots. Except for a few people, nobody has ridden the ride that was built in 1988, as most of the time, it was simply standing around due to changed standards. In the course of the time, there were some changes at the coaster but the fully functional roller coaster was never opened. Meanwhile parts of the roller coaster have been scrapped, but a large part of the track can still be visited today.


Onride footage of the funicular Scenic Railway


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Walking through Sydney

As in Melbourne, we went on a free walking tour of Sydney by I’m Free Tours. Starting from Town Hall Square, we first walked through the magnificent arcade of the Queen Victoria Building. Once on the other side, we followed Market Street towards St Mary’s Cathedral. After a look at the Archibald Fountain, we moved on and followed Macquarie Street. Passing the Hyde Park Barracks we reached the ‘Rum’ Hospital (the Sydney Hospital, which was built by Governor Lachlan Macquarie as part of a rum monopoly). Directly opposite, we then turned into Martin Place – a very impressive pedestrian zone and home to several banks, including the Federal Bank of Australia, which characterise the Central Business District. We then took a break at Australia Square. 

The second part of the tour was limited to the area around Circular Quay. After a look at an extremely impressive model of the city at Customs House, we moved on to the Opera House. From there we moved on to the Sydney Cove Overseas Passenger Terminal viewpoint on the edge of the historic waterfront district of The Rocks, from where there is an excellent view of the city’s two most important landmarks. This is where the very entertaining tour ended.

Since Aris’ cousin had invited us for dinner, we concentrated on The Rocks and the nearby Harbour Bridge, which we also wanted to cross on foot. The bridge is very impressive and anyone who wants to can climb it, although this is a rather expensive experience. Much cheaper, however, is the Pylon Lookout & Museum, where you can climb the southern pylon. However, we only crossed the bridge and then boarded the ferry at Milsons Point on the other side. 

Pictures Sydney


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A ferry long Day

Bondi Beach and sculpture by the sea

Our second day in Sydney was something very special for Aris, as he could finally see his cousin again. Unfortunately, her time was limited, but we figured out a good iteration to get the best out of the day.

We started our day at the world-famous Bondi Beach. The 1,22 km long beach is one of the Australian hotspots for surfing and birthplace of the world’s first surf lifesaving club in 1907. Soon after clubs in many other nations were established, as swimming became more and more an activity for the general public. Bondi Beach itself is a nice beach, yet the water gets quite deep far too soon, so I cannot recommend a visit with smaller children. However, the warm water and the high waves makes the visit a very pleasant and fun one – if I would only know how to surf.

After some time at the beach, we decided to have a view onto the sculpture by the sea festival. We therefore walked past the scenic Bondi Icebergs pools and followed the beautiful Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk towards Mackenzies Point, where most of the festival took place. The sculptures along the way varied from interesting to strange to the point I could not even understand them at all; it is therefore a very interesting open air art gallery and I liked it.

Watsons Bay and Manly

The final stop of stop together with Aris’ cousin was Watsons Bay from where we had an excellent view onto the skyline of Sydney. We also visited The Gap – a beautiful cliff, which sadly is one of Australia’s well-known places to commit suicide.  

After some time at Robertson Park, it was time to say goodbye. Aris and I then took the ferry to Manly for a view onto the second most famous beach of Sydney: Manly Beach. Like Bondi Beach, Manly Beach too is a hotspot for surfers. It held the first world surfing championship in 1964 and hosts the Australian Open of Surfing every year in February. We enjoyed the Beach for quite a bit and enjoyed a craft beer at the 4 Pines Brewing Co. opposite of the wharf, before taking the next ferry towards Circular Quay.

The Opera House

Back in the buzzling heart of Sydney, we decided to have a closer look onto the world-famous Opera House. As there was no show going on, we did not look inside as unfortunately tours of the theatre are quite expensive. Hence, we just walked around the building to explore all its exterior, which nevertheless was quite a fun activity to do.

As the sun slowly set, we decided to grab something to eat. We ended in the local branch of the brew house Munich, which served typical Bavarian dishes. After a good meal and some good drinks, it was time to get back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.  

Pictures Sydney


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