Sunday, 11 May 2014

Sydney Day 1: Kings Cross & Woolloomooloo

We spent the whole Saturday packing for our 8-day trip to Sydney. As I wasn't sure how cold or hot the weather was going to be, we packed almost everything from winter scarfs (you'll never know when the weather might change) to beach mats ('cos we'll be going to the beach). At 10pm, we were finally ready to head for Terminal 2 at Changi Airport.

Clockwise from left: Almost midnight at the best airport in the world (in our humble opinion);
With the girl onboard our Scoot plane; Supper to fill our stomachs before our flight. 

We decided to fly via ScootBiz (Scoot Business Class) as the price ($727/ticket) was comparable to flying economy on Singapore Airlines.

It was our first time flying Business Class (albeit on a budget airline) and we really enjoyed the spacious seats and comfortable leg room. You can also lean your seat all the way back without actually hitting someone or have someone in front of you lean all the way back without hitting you (luckily no one sat in front or behind me). We spent the majority of our night flight sleeping soundly in comfort (I had to wake to pump milk though). Thankfully one of the seats on our row was also not occupied so my girl could lie across two seats and sleep like she would on a bed. She didn't wake up until the next morning, just before we landed (yes, she's a born jet-setter!).

Keeping herself entertained after a good night's sleep on the plane

However, as it was after all a budget airline, we were only allowed to have one meal and one drink (not free flow like most airlines). Entertainment, which was free for ScootBiz passengers, also had to be streamed to our own devices such as Galaxy Tab or laptop (rental of their iPad is chargeable) and this can be quite inconvenient. The movies and TV shows provided were also limited and not up-to-date so we ended up watching the movies in our mobile phones.

The journey was not as long as expected and soon we arrived at Sydney International AirportKingsford Smith Terminal 1.

Welcome to Sydney!
(Sydney is ahead of Singapore by 2 hours)

My brother travelled via Singapore Airlines, which was delayed, so we had lunch at McDonald's while waiting for him to arrive.

It has become our tradition to eat Macs in every country that we've been to

Once he has met up with us, we proceeded to Bay No. 35 where we boarded the East Coast Car Rental Shuttle Bus to their shop to pick up the car that we rented online. Don't forget to give them a call before you walk to the bay as they'll only send their shuttle bus on demand.

Shuttle bus bay
East Coast Car Rentals mini shuttle bus

It was only a 10 minute journey to the car rental shop, where we paid for the rental of our car and child car seat and insurance. The bill amounted to approximately AUD$700 for the eight days that we were at Sydney. It was definitely cheaper and more convenient than travelling by public transport as there were so many of us.

Huge 8-seater MPV with more than enough boot space for our giant luggage!

The hubby brought all our "gear" from our car back in Singapore for this trip, including our in-car camera (just in case), car charger for phones and phone clip holder. The brother also brought his speakers, which we used to connect our phones via Bluetooth so that we can enjoy music without needing to bring the actual CDs (although I did bring our Frozen soundtrack anyway).

I had also applied for Singtel DataRoam Saver Plan prior to our trip so that we could enjoy unlimited data for just S$15 a day! With the data, we were able to use Google Maps/GPS, search for information, book stuff online, check our emails and be connected to social media. I even tethered to the hubby and brother so that more people can share in the use of the data plan. Definitely well worth the S$120 we spent for the entire trip! =)

With the help of my unlimited data and Google Maps, we drove our way to The Bayswater Sydney hotel, my mum and sister's residence for the trip. We had initially planned for all of us to stay together in one apartment, however, my brother only confirmed that he'll be joining us after we had already booked the one-bedroom apartment (which could not accommodate five adults and one child!).

Although the boutique hotel was located at the infamously sleezy Kings Cross, it was on a street that away from the heart of the "action" (if ya know what I mean) and was only a short drive away from our apartment at Woolloomooloo. The hotel also kindly upgraded them to a bigger room with two beds (one king and one queen)!

Bayswater Sydney Hotel (king size bed)
Bayswater Sydney Hotel (queen size bed)

It's not a fancy hotel but the sister and mother didn't mind as long as the beds were comfortable, which they were (the bathroom was tiny though). They also enjoyed shopping at Coles Central King Cross, conveniently located just down the street.

The overall feeling that we got was that as long as one does not wander along the streets (especially the ones where all the pubs and the "action" were) in the middle of the night, you'll be alright.

We then proceeded on to our apartment at Waldorf Woolloomooloo Waters, which we booked via Airbnb (approximately S$200 a night). We met up with our host to collect the keys and explore our apartment, which our hosts and their family used to live in. They now live in a bigger house after they had their third child and rents out this apartment to whoever that needs a place to stay. Parents with children will love this apartment as it is furnished specially for families.

Left: A double single bed in the living room for children or additional guests
Right: Comfortable sofa and dining table
Our host also included a lot of children's story books, DVDs, board games and toys to keep children entertained
Bedroom with a king size bed and large cupboards for storing clothes
Well stocked kitchen with refrigerator, dish washer, microwave, oven, toaster, kettle, coffee machine, pots and pans, knives and even kid-friendly utensils!
Our hosts also ensured that there were all the condiments we needed for our cooking
An average size toilet with a nice shower

It was really a homely environment to live in. I had more than enough space in the freezer to keep my expressed breast milk, which is something that I didn't have in many of the hotels I had stayed at previously.

Once we had sufficiently unpacked, we drove the car back to the hotel to pick up the sister and mum before heading to Coles to stock up on our groceries. As everyone who lived/lives in Australia knows, it's a lot cheaper to cook our own food.

However, since we were all tired from a long day of travelling, we had our dinner at Ogalo just across the road from Coles.

Dinner at Ogalo at Kings Cross
Assorted fried food that made me feel so guilty!

Wasn't the most fantastic food but good enough. Looking forward to long but fun days ahead! =)

Continue to >> Sydney Day 2: Sydney Fish Market, Luna Park & Sydney Tower Eye


Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on Sydney, Australia 
as well as other travel itineraries!

You can also follow my travel adventures on Instagram via the hashtag #madpsychmumtravels! =)
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