A 4-Day Sydney Itinerary on a Budget

Traveling overseas doesn’t always mean spending a fortune. Yes, the plane tickets may be expensive at times, but you could still get lucky with various deals and promos so keep an eye out for these and grab them right away! Also keep in mind that there are often plenty of beautiful sites that anyone can visit for free, you just have to know where to find them. And if you are really serious about making the most of your trip, staying in a lavish hotel is nice, but it’s not necessary; your accommodation will simply be a place to rest, recharge, and store your luggage. So as long as you have a clean and safe place to stay, then you’re all set.

The following itinerary  is based on our own 4-day trip to Sydney last October 2016.

Day 1:

  • Arrive in Sydney.
  • Check-in to your accommodation. If you are arriving early (before the check-in time), ask the front desk if they can store your luggage so that you can start exploring the city.
  • Darling Harbour and Circular Quay. If you want a good photo with the Sydney Opera House in the background, take a ferry from Darling Harbour to Circular Quay or vice versa. The fare costs approximately AUD$4.00.
  • Lunch and drinks at the Sydney Cove Oyster Bar, located in the Circular Quay area. Otherwise, there are also other restaurant options in the area. If you are dining outside, just be wary of the resident seagulls that will try to snatch food from the table.
  • Sydney Opera House.
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge.
  • Try out the different weekend markets. If you are in Sydney on a Saturday or a Sunday, going to the weekend markets is another good option. To know more about them and where they are located you can visit this website http://www.sydney.com/things-to-do/fashion-and-shopping/sydney-markets.

Day 2:

  • Breakfast at The Grounds of Alexandria. Building 7A, 2 Huntley Street, Alexandria, NSW. This is a place that you wouldn’t want to miss. The food, the drinks, and the ambiance just complement each other so well.
  • Art Gallery of NSW, Museum of Contemporary Art and White Rabbit Gallery. All offer FREE ENTRY!
  • Bondi Beach and Bondi Icebergs Pool. Lounge and relax for the rest of the day. There are several cafes and restaurants around the area so you surely won’t be famished.

Day 3:

  • Breakfast at Devon Cafe. 76 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills, NSW.
  • Visit Cockatoo Island. It is located in the middle of the Sydney Harbour. In order to get there, just take a ferry from Circular Quay and the trip will take about 30 minutes. Visitors can also opt to stay for the night with the different camping and alternative accommodation options. Apart from that, there is NO FEE to enter.
  • Stroll around the Royal Botanic Garden. You will get to see an unobstructed view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.
  • Dinner at KOI Dessert BarDid you enjoy watching Reynold on MasterChef Australia? If yes, then this is the place to go if you want to try any of his delectable creations and that includes the famous MOSS!

Day 4:

  • FREE DAY! Wander around the shopping district including the Queen Victoria Building, the different outlet stores, Westfield Sydney, and many more!

We hope this itinerary will be able to help you with your travel plans. Remember, traveling doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg, you can always do it on a budget.

Read more about our Sydney holiday: Sydney, Australia: Our Travel Blog.


A 6-Day Journey Around New Zealand’s North Island

New Zealand is a beautiful country. Because of its geographical features, you get to explore the sea and the mountains almost everywhere you go. Your eyes get to feast on blues and greens throughout the duration of your visit.

Last October, with family members visiting from different parts of the globe, we were given the chance to show them a portion of New Zealand’s hidden gems by going on a 6-day tour around the North Island. Our itinerary was simple. We wanted them to experience and appreciate what New Zealand has to offer even just within a short span of time. Furthermore, it was designed to ensure that the drivers (especially those from overseas) didn’t get exhausted. Thus, there was a maximum travel time of approximately 2.5 hours per destination.

The 6-Day Itinerary

Day 1:

  • Destination/s:
    • Matakana Farmer’s Market – 2 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana
    • Goat Island – Goat Island Road Leigh

Day 2:

  • Destination/s:
    • Hamilton Gardens (1hr 30min from Auckland) – Hungerford Crescent, Hamilton
    • Hobbiton ( 1hr drive from Hamilton Gardens) – 501 Buckland Road, Hinuera, Matamata
    • Rotorua (1hr drive from Hobbiton)
  • Accommodation/s:
    • Paradise Valley Lodge – 1099 Paradise Valley Road, RD2, Ngongotaha Rotorua

Day 3:

  • Activities:
    • Waimangu Thermal Valley And Lake Rotomahana Boat Cruise
      Address: 587 Waimangu Road Off SH5
    • Skyline Rotorua
      Address: Fairy Springs Road

Day 4:

  • Activities:
    • Polynesian Spa
    • Agrodome
  • Destination/s:
    • Tongariro National Park (1 hr 45mins)
  • Accommodation/s:
    • The Park Hotel | 2/6 Millar Street National Park | 078922748

Day 5:

  • Activities:
    • Trail Walk to Taranaki Falls
    • Whakapapa Ski Field Stopover (Snow ball fight)

Day 6:

  • Destination/s:
    • Waitomo Glow Worm Caves (2 hrs)
    • Auckland (2.5hrs drive from Waitomo)
  • Restaurant/s:
    • Huhu Cafe




Places to Visit in Auckland: Part 2 – East

Sightseeing in Auckland is never a chore. Buses, trains, and ferries are very accessible. Thus, visitors get the chance to visit and enjoy the sights outside the CBD. In case you do get lost, don’t fuss, most buses, all trains, and most ferries can take you back to the city centre.

The following information will give you some details regarding the suggested place to visit, the bus/ train/ ferry to take, and the duration of travel. Take note that the starting point for most of them is within the vicinity of Britomart – the transport centre in the city.

Here are some of the places you can visit by bus:

1. Mission Bay / Mission Bay Shops / Orakei Bay / Kohimarama Beach / St. Heliers Bay

Location: Along Tamaki Drive
Bus Stop #: 7010
Bus #: 745 – 769 (Bus Timetable)

Mission Bay, Orakei Bay, Kohimarama Beach, and St. Heliers Bay are among the many beaches that are located close to the city. The bus ride to get to these places only take approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

Along Mission Bay, There are several restaurants, coffee shops, and yogurt shops within the vicinity of Mission Bay and Kohimarama. On the other hand, if you are into outdoor activities, rental options for bikes, kayaks, and paddle boards are available along Mission Bay. An additional place to visit is Bastion Point where the Micheal Joseph Savage Memorial Park is also situated.

2. Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium

Location: Along Tamaki Drive
Bus Stop #: 7010
Bus #: 745 – 769 (Bus Timetable)

Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium, as the name implies, is a public aquarium that houses penguins, stingrays, sharks, and many more. Apart from being a tourist attraction, Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium is also known for their conservation efforts that aid in preserving and promoting New Zealand’s aquatic life.

3. Orakei Basin Walkway / Boardwalk

Location: Orakei Road, Remuera
Britomart Transport Centre
Train: Eastern Line (Get off at the Orakei Train Station)


Places to Visit in Auckland: Part 1 – Central Business District


Auckland is a unique and interesting city, with a good mix of people, activities, and landscapes, we’re sure you’ll find something that will suit your interests; from art galleries and museums, to parks and beaches, you name it, and Auckland certainly has it.

What we love most about this city is the fact that one could easily get out of the busy metropolitan hub and be in the middle of a forest/nature reserve/marine wildlife park within minutes!

Within the CBD, here are the places you can explore (which are mostly free):

1. Auckland Art Gallery

Location: Corner Kitchener and Wellesley Streets, Auckland.

2. Auckland Viaduct / The Auckland Waterfront

Location: A few steps away from Britomart Transport Centre.

As you stroll along the waterfront, you will find some interesting spots, like The Cloud, Shed 10, and Silo Park, which are often used to host an array of events. If you get the chance to stroll around Silo Park during the summer season, take note that every Friday, night markets are set-up and the Silo cinema will be running.

3. New Zealand Maritime Museum

Location: Corner Quay and Hobson Streets, Viaduct Harbour, Auckland.

The museum gives you a glimpse of New Zealand’s seafaring history. You will get to see an array of boats and canoes which were known to have contributed in the transportation of both goods and people. The entry is free for Aucklanders. For tourists, the museum charges $17.00/ adult, $14.00/ senior citizens and students, and $8.50 for children.

4. Sky City / Sky Tower

Location: 72 Victoria Streeet West, Auckland.

Sky City is an entertainment small entertainment hub in Auckland City. It is composed of a casino, several restaurants which includes Orbit – the revolving restaurant, and of course the remarkable view deck which is known as the Sky Tower.

5. Albert Park

Location: Princes Street, Auckland | Just around the corner from the Auckland Art Gallery.

Albert Park is a known venue for the lantern festival, one of the largely celebrated festivals, which is held in Auckland every year to mark the Chinese New Year.