Monday 12 May 2014

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

As usual, the hubby requested to visit the famous Sydney Fish Market. It's only a 10-minute drive from our apartment (Google Maps search term: "Sydney Fish Market" or "Pyrmont Bridge Road").

Before you head out though, don't forget to sign up for a visitor e-pass so that all toll charges get automatically charged to your credit card (the company charges $0.75 for each toll). Otherwise, you might get fined for not paying the toll and the car rental company charges $30 for every toll that is not paid on top of the fine and toll charges.

When driving to the Fish Market, take note not to blindly follow the GPS as it brought us to the back of the Fish Market rather than the carpark. Instead, look out for the blue signs that said "Fish Market" and be careful not to make a wrong turn at Anzac Bridge like we did (wasted a bit of time trying to drive our way back).

Follow the blue signs that said "Fish Market" and not the sign that says "Anzac Bridge"

You'll know when you have arrived at a fish market by simply taking a whiff of the air, simply fishy!

Sydney Fish Market
(Address: Pyrmont Bridge Rd, Pyrmont NSW 2009; Opening hours: 5am – 5pm)

We chose to eat at Deep Seafood Cafe and Oyster Bar as the staff were just starting to shell the oysters. It's as fresh as it gets!

Deep Seafood Cafe & Oyster Bar
Fresh raw oysters (AUD$11 a dozen only!) and cooked scallops
Cold Seafood Platter (AUD$29)

The family loved the oysters! It was very fresh and easy to swallow. On the other hand, the lobster was mediocre (but then my colleagues warned me about that so I wasn't very surprised).

Not satisfied, the family ventured to another part of the Fish Market and we discovered the best bread in Sydney in my opinion!

Our favourite bread in Sydney from Gregory's Bread (left); More stores selling all sorts of seafood (right)

Mum and I are similar in this respect, we'd rather have good bread than fantastic seafood! So while the hubby, sister and brother enjoyed tuna sashimi and sparkling white wine, mum and I dug into the apple custard bread and banana bread. The banana bread especially is da bombs! =)

Yummy sashimi with alcohol
Great view of the Anzac Bridge from the outdoor seating area
Paying our carpark fee

After paying our carpark fee of AUD$13 for 1.5-2 hours of parking, which is considered CHEAP as some of the other carparks in Sydney charge even more (as you will find out later). I know right.. crazy! Makes you a lot more appreciative that we only pay S$1-4 per hour in Singapore.

We proceeded on to Luna Park next (Google Maps search term: "Luna Park") and arrived approximately 20 minutes later.

Luna Park carpark
(Prices: 0-1 hour = $7, 1-2 hours = $14, 2-3 hours = $20, 3-4 hours = $26, 4+ hours = $32)

We had wanted to park at Luna Park's carpark but as our car could not clear the height limit of 1.8m, we parked along the road instead.

Left: Signboard that tells you parking details for that lane
Right: "Pay & Go" meter

It took us a while to learn how to read these parking signs and how to pay for parking. Here's what we learned about this strange (at least to me) parking system:

1) "1P", "2P", etc, mean how many hours maximum that you are allowed to park/pay for parking 
- For example, 1P means that you're only allowed to park for 1 hour. Hence if you're going to be parking for more than an hour, it is preferable not to park at a 1P lane.
2) Take note of the time period
- For example (see photo above), you'll need to pay 1P parking between 8.30am-6pm. From 6pm-midnight on Monday-Friday and 8.30am-midnight on Saturday is 2P. It doesn't matter how much you pay, you can't exceed the hours stated.
3) The words 'Metered' or 'Ticket' indicates that you need to pay for parking. 
Otherwise, it's free.
4) You may park behind the signboard (left arrow) but not in front (right arrow on red signboard that says "no stopping")
5) There are usually no lots drawn unlike Singapore
- If your car can squeeze into the gap, you can park. If you can't, too bad (our car was really big so it was really hard to find a space to park!).
6) The meter only accepts coins
- So make sure you have some AUD$1-2 coins with you
7) The meter counts how long you're allowed to park based on how much you drop into the meter
- It generally costs about AUD$4.40 per hour so if you only drop AUD$2 into the meter, you're only allowed to park for half an hour. If you paid AUD$1, you park for 15 minutes. The good thing is if you're only parking for 5 minutes, you pay for 5 minutes. However if you paid for 1 hour but you only park for 15 minutes, you can't get a refund.
8) The meter does not dispense change 
- Make sure you pay exact otherwise you will forfeit the extra
9) Most meters will print out a ticket which you need to display on your car's dashboard
- Some requires you to input the bay number (like the one above) so you'll need to check

Although lane parking is more complicated (and you may need to manually top up the amount every time the parking has expired), it is definitely a lot cheaper than parking in carparks.

While the hubby and I were figuring out the parking system, the rest of the family were enjoying themselves taking pictures of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which is right next to Luna Park.

Below the Sydney Harbour Bridge and across from Sydney Opera House

You can also see the Sydney Opera House and The Rocks from the entrance of Luna Park as well. Perfect for beautiful photos =)

Hubby and I
Beautiful family photo with an awesome back drop

I had previously bought our Luna Park tickets online. Tickets are AUD$10 cheaper on Mondays so we paid AUD$39.90 each for Unlimited Rides Passes (kids who are shorter pay a cheaper rate). Do take note of Luna Park's opening hours as it is different for different days (they are not even open on certain days!).

Wacky old school entrance to Luna Park (left); Ticketing booth (right)

Luna Park is steeped in history, with most of the early rides and games still maintained till now. Grandparents who used to date here in their younger days can return with their grandchildren and find that nothing much has changed.

Riding my favourite Ferris Wheel located at the entrance of the park =)
Enjoying the awesome view of the park and the surroundings from the top
Luna Park Tango
This ride is really fast! And very fun =)
High energy rides
(Adrenaline junkies, the sister and brother, says it is not thrilling though)
Old school carnival style games
The sister and girl are trying to walk on moving planks without falling down (left);
Getting stuck in a mess of large wires (right).

And don't ever underestimate these slides! You go down via a old school sack mat, which looked really ordinary until you got to the top of the slide. Sliding off was tough as the slide is pretty high up. I managed to persuade my girl to go down the slide with me and by the time we reached the bottom, my girl was in tears!

See my girl's apprehensive face. It's scarier than it looks!

Even the adrenaline junkies thought it was surprisingly thrilling! There was another slide that was a lot higher which was really scary to move off as it was really high up.

Brother and sister trying to see who will reach the end first!

Finally we ended our day with kiddy rides that my girl can enjoy.

Carousel and plane ride
Mini Ferris Wheel

Overall, we enjoyed the simplicity and rich history of Luna Park that we would not otherwise have experienced anywhere else. You also pay only if you ride the rides so the mum and hubby did not have to pay as they did not want to ride the rides.

However, we all felt that the park was too small for the price we paid (and we paid the cheaper rate!). There were also some rides that were under maintenance, which was rather disappointing. Nevertheless, we all enjoyed ourselves even though we might not be back in future.

We proceeded on to Sydney Opera House but for some reason our GPS failed us! We drove around in circles, crossed the Sydney Harbour Bridge and paid for toll twice and still were nowhere near the Opera House.

We finally gave up and decided to skip the Opera House (since we already got really good pictures of it from Luna Park) and moved on to the next thing on our itinerary, the Sydney Tower Eye. It was only a short drive from where we were at Darling Harbour (Google Maps search term: "Sydney Tower Eye" on Market Street).

We booked the 5-in-1 combo tickets (5 attractions at 1 price: Sydney Tower Eye, Madam Tussaud, Wild Life Sydney, Sea Life Aquarium and Manly Aquarium) online at AUD$63 per person as it is cheaper. You'll just have to go to the first attraction that you booked from (in our case Sydney Tower Eye) to collect the tickets before visiting the other attractions within 30 days of ticket collection.

We tried to find parking along Market Street, Kings Street and George Street but did not managed to find any available lots (well, not any that we can squeeze our huge car into anyway). We stumbled onto the entrance of the carpark of the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) by accident and decided to park there since we can't find any other available parking. Although it turned out to be a terrible place to park because we ended up paying AUD$35 for just 1.5 hours of parking! *gasp*

Side note: we will not complain about the carpark prices in Singapore ever again! =(

Parked at the Queen Victoria Building (QVB), a short 10-minute walk from the Sydney Tower Eye
(Opening hours: 9am to 10.30pm)
3D glasses to watch the 4D show (which wasn't anything to rave about)

The Sydney Tower Eye was similar to most of the towers that we've been to (and we've been to a lot, the N Seoul Tower for one). You take a lift that shoots up all the way to the top, which allows you to have a bird's eye view of the city of Sydney.

Woolloomooloo Wharf, just 5 minutes from our apartment
If you look closely you just might see the Taronga Zoo

Other than that, there was nothing much to see. The family thought this was an attraction that they could afford to miss (especially since we had to pay AUD$35 for parking!).

Hungry as hell after a long day of play, we went back to our apartment for dinner where my brother cooked up a storm in the kitchen.

Our home cooked dinner

Who knew my brother was such a good cook? Definitely not me! Yum! *grin*

Continue to >> Sydney Day 3: Shoalhaven, Greenwell Point & Kiama
<< Back to Sydney Day 1: Kings Cross & Woolloomooloo


Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on Sydney, Australia 
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