It would seem that there is nothing that Bec, from The World As Bec Sees It, can’t do. She’s a trained primary school teacher, a wife, a musician, traveller, and Sydney local who both writes and photographs her way around the world.
When Bec was 12, she went on her first overseas trip, and so began a lifetime of adventure and exploration – and she’s just getting started! We were lucky enough to enjoy a quick interview with Bec about her (current) hometown of Sydney. She gave us some great tips for visiting Sydney – including a sneaky way to save money on the Harbour Bridge.
- What is Sydney’s most underrated attraction?
Many visitors head straight for the Sydney Tower or the Harbour Bridge Climb and spend mountains of money just to get those “amazing” views of this great city. What many might not know or be aware of (and I wasn’t aware of it until recently!) is that you can get some incredible iconic Sydney views from the Harbour Bridge Pylon Lookout for a fraction of the price.
It costs $15 Australian to walk up the 200 stairs to the top of the pylon (the pylon is the side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge) and from there you are welcomed with those stunning Sydney views you came for. Also, on the way up you pass various exhibits that educate you a bit about the history and construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I can’t guarantee you’ll get the same gorgeous views as you might get at the very top, but you will get some very photo-worthy shots, with no other visitors or tourists around!
- Where is your favourite long-weekend getaway from Sydney by car?
One of my favourite long-weekend away getaways from Sydney would have to be a trip to the Blue Mountains. The Blue Mountains area is only a two-hour drive from Sydney, and there is so much they have to offer. You can visit the famous Three Sisters at Echo Point and go to Scenic World, take numerous bush walks and walking trails (a favourite of mine is the walk to Wentworth Falls), and you can also indulge in some of the best eats and shopping in Leura.
As a child my family and I would caravan at Katoomba (only a few minutes’ walk from The Three Sisters) and we would jump in the car with a picnic lunch to find a new and exciting walking trail in the Blue Mountains National Park with stunning views! Venture an hour from Katoomba and you will find Jenolan Caves, with some of the world’s most spectacular cave formations – something not to be missed on your trip!
The Blue Mountains is suited to all seasons all year round, with plenty to see, do and eat! During the Autumn months, the colourful foliage makes every single town come alive, and during Spring there are many beautiful flowers and plants that bring that little bit of something extra to the area to make it bright, vibrant, cheerful and inviting for all visitors. During Winter time, the Blue Mountains will often be covered in a white blanket of snow; there are many beautiful and idyllic cottages in the area fitted with a fireplace, perfect to curl up with someone special on a cold Winter’s evening! The Blue Mountains would have to be the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city!
- Sydney is known for its beaches and warm weather, so what do you do during Winter?
During Winter time in Sydney there is plenty to do! One of my favourite things is to attend the Vivid Light Festival in the city and the surrounds. During June, the city comes alive in the evenings with beautiful light installations, and it’s the perfect opportunity for me to experiment with long exposure photography with my DSLR camera and at the same time, to capture the true beauty of Sydney city. Even though our Winters can be a little on the cold side, visitors can still make the most out of the city of Sydney; the harbour and the Opera House are still as beautiful and spectacular in Winter as they are in the Summer time, and I still enjoy a nice long walk on the beach during the colder months.
In addition, Winter in Sydney is the perfect time for whale watching, and there are plenty of boats and tours that go from Circular Quay wharf. Ice Skating is also a popular activity, whether it is outdoor or indoor; it comes a close second to experiencing a magical Winter wonderland! Although most of Australia does not experience real, thick, powdery snow all throughout Winter, there is actually some snow in the Snowy Mountains (a 5-6 hour drive from Sydney). Many Australians venture to the Snowy Mountains to ski or snowboard for the weekend during Winter months.
- If you didn’t live in Sydney, where else would you live in Australia and why?
I have not yet explored every single major city in Australia (they’re on my list!), but from what I have explored and experienced, I would definitely love to live in Melbourne. I have visited Melbourne twice now, and both times I have loved that it isn’t as busy and fast-paced like Sydney.
I find Melbourne to be a lot more peaceful and relaxing; the city is bustling with the old-school trams, which are sometimes FREE to ride on, there is glorious and utterly delicious cuisine from all over the world that will leave your tastebuds wanting more (some would say a food-lover’s paradise!), and the art scene is also very popular (make sure you visit the ever-changing Hosier Lane with amazing street art). It’s the slower-paced, art- and food-loving atmosphere that draws me immediately to want to live in Melbourne!
- What has been your all-time favourite road trip?
Australians are well known for taking many road-trips around the country. I have been on a road trip from Sydney to our nation’s Capital City of Canberra (approximately three hours) to visit Floriade, a beautiful flower festival held there every Spring. Also, I have been on a Sydney to Gold Coast (Queensland) road trip, travelling to the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, seeing gorgeous beaches in Byron Bay, and enjoying a day with Bugs Bunny at Warner Bros Movie World.
While these road trips have definitely been memorable ones, I think I am yet to experience my all-time favourite! Two road trips that are at the top of my bucket list to do in Australia would have to be a three-day Great Ocean Road road drive in Victoria, and a road trip around the beautiful state of Tasmania. Many Australians plan to do a big road trip around the country, as it is so big and there is so much to explore and discover. My grandparents bought themselves a caravan many years ago now and road tripped around Australia for three months and saw some incredible places along the way. That would definitely be the ultimate road trip for anyone to undertake.