Friday 2 June 2023

Sydney II Day 1: Silkari Suites at Chatswood

Sometimes, it does pay to be kiasu! 😂 I was super adamant about booking our Singapore Airlines tickets to Sydney early in September last year, based on a feeling. And my intuition did not fail me because not long after we had booked, it was announced that 2 June would be a public holiday in Singapore! Not only did we save a day of leave, but we also paid a decent $845 per adult and $788 per child (2-11 years old) for our tickets (inclusive of free seat selection as we were travelling with children)! 😃

We had the option of flying during the day, but we opted for a red-eye flight because: 1) it's cheaper, 2) we can spend more time in the day exploring Sydney rather than being stuck on the plane, and 3) we would arrive in Sydney when the car rental was still open! 😊

We checked in online via the Krisflyer app before heading to Terminal 3 to drop off our luggage.

The hubby bought the not-cheap-at-all Stokke Jetkids Bedbox for the Littlest Girl as he wanted her to be able to sleep better on the plane. You can Google for the full description but basically it's a rideable luggage that converts into a 'bed' on the plane for kids.

After using it, I can understand why it was so expensive 😅 The Jetkids Bedbox definitely rolled and maneuvered more smoothly than our old Trunki! The Boy was more than happy to pull the Littlest Girl everywhere in the airport!

We ate something light before heading to the gate. As usual, we waited until we were among the last before boarding our A380 flight. Thankfully we did, as the Captain announced that we would be departing Singapore later than the originally scheduled 12.45am. This was due to the shorter than expected flight duration (perhaps due to better weather conditions?). We had to depart Singapore at around 1.15am so as to arrive in Sydney on time.

Once in the air, the cabin crew served pizzas as refreshment. Then we all tried to get some shut-eye before the cabin crew started waking everyone for breakfast.

The Littlest Girl had the best sleep of us all, comfortably snoozing on her Jetkids Bedbox (did the job that it was procured to do)! The adults, on the other hand, didn't get much sleep due to the combination of uncomfortable economy class seats and our aging bodies that can no longer tolerate being in one position for too long like we used to! *Sigh*

The Littlest Girl was obviously the most energetic in the early hours of the morning when the cabin crew woke us for breakfast!

We arrived at Kingsford Smith Airport at around 10.30am (Sydney time; Sydney is 2 hours ahead of Singapore). The flight duration was only 6.5 hours, much shorter than the usual 7 plus hours!

After collecting our luggage, we walked to the minibus pick-up point to wait for East Coast Car Rentals' free shuttle bus to take us to collect our rental car. Compared to 10 years ago when we had also booked with them, East Coast Car Rentals had improved the clarity of their instructions and ease with which to call for their shuttle bus.

The shuttle bus arrived after about 15-20 minutes. It was very roomy and comfortable, with a very friendly driver who chatted with us about the company and driving in Sydney.

We arrived at a huge carpark that was rented by many car rental companies to park their cars. The shuttle bus stopped us outside the mega bright yellow office.

The hubby had rented an 8-seater Kia Carnival for A$1347 (9 days), including zero excess coverage and premium road side assistance. The car was quite new, super spacious and comfortable and had more than enough boot space for our luggage and bags. However, the booster for the Littlest Girl and toll fees are not included in the rental price (we paid for them separately). 

This was by far the best car we ever rented! It was a smooth journey to our first accommodation for the trip, Silkari Suites at Chatswood. The hotel has its own underground parking space, which can be accessed by the carpark entrance right next to the hotel. Follow the signboards in the carpark to the right parking area, as parking anywhere else meant that you won't be able to access the hotel directly.

We had booked the Two Bedroom Terrace Apartment via Agoda at S$359 per night. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that our room price includes the carpark fee!

The apartment was not very big but well-designed to ensure that it still felt spacious. The kitchen was of a decent size and contained almost everything we needed for cooking, except a rice cooker of course (but that's ok cos we brought our own)!

The master bedroom was located at the end of the apartment, next to the living room, with an ensuite bathroom. 

The smaller second bedroom was next to the kitchen. It's a bit tight but we made it work.

The apartment also had amenities such as a washing machine, bathrobes, iron and safe.

We were lucky that we got a corner room, which offered us beautiful views of the neighbourhood from the balcony!

I very much preferred this apartment compared to the previous one we stayed in on our last trip!

After we had unpacked, we headed to Chatswood Chase Sydney, which was directly opposite of our hotel. 

We decided to have lunch at Centre Stage, which was located right in the heart of the mall. The food was really good!

After lunch, we explored the mall and discovered Kmart! Who doesn't like shopping at Kmart? It's like the Primark of Australia (read more about Primark here)! We bought so many things despite the inflation because of the very attractive exchange rate! It's the first time that the Singapore dollar is stronger than the Australian dollar! Cheap and good!

My Littlest is also currently crazy about Gabby's Dollhouse and Kmart had so much Gabby's merchandise that we can't find in Singapore! We bought shoes, dresses, t-shirts, colouring books, socks, and even underwear! She was over the moon!

We ended our shopping at Coles, where we bought food for the Mum-in-law to cook dinner in our apartment. 

Looking forward to more fun tomorrow!

Continue to >> Sydney II Day 2: Sydney Fish Market & Shopping


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