The countdown begins!

So the last time I updated my diary it was about a month ago and the reason for this is that my life is well a bit boring at the moment, no no….. Very boring! For me it is anyway!

I’m settled back into a normal life and I am so utterly fed up of being in Brisbane I feel miserable!

Well that’s a lie, I don’t feel miserable at all, and I do love my life and everything it is about right now but yes very much fed up of Brisbane and Australia Post that’s for sure!

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Makes me realise though that what I am doing is the right thing for me, because I can just pick up and move on whenever I want really.

So since I last updated which was the 17th Feb I have had an argument with the very loud snoring man in my room who I made sleep on the balcony as his snoring was so loud, at first I felt sorry for him but then after a few nights of no sleep listening to his fog horn of a snoring sound I felt like I could get locked away for murder so I ended up screaming at him to move out the room, which he did not!

This made me even more angry and then I decided that I would move so I started looking for new places, and I found somewhere to move to which I thought I would do just after I get back from seeing my dad in Sydney.

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So I went to see my dad on the 6th March to – 12th March and if you want to read about the Sydney break then CLICK HERE.

So before I went to Sydney I was pretty boring really, lots of staying in watching my new addiction TV show – suits! What is it about Harvey? Mmmnnn as Rachel would say well I could just spread him on a cracker!

Also taking myself for little dates for breakfast which I found oh so enjoyable as my new addiction is food! Unfortunately I am now getting fat because of this so I need to stop eating chocolates and crisps and the dreaded donut!  So yep getting fat is what I have been doing basically haha!
Anyways if you would like to read about the best places I tried for breakfast in the west end then click HERE

After I got back from Sydney I moved into my new flat, the address is 15 love street, which I bloody love and that’s life so far! Just counting down the days until I can get the hell out of this city and onto new things!

I will have been here for nearly 5 months which is ridiculous considering I’m only going to have been gone from home for 6 in a couple of weeks!

Well Craig who I met in Cairns is coming to Brisbane tomorrow so it will be nice to see him and have a catch up, and a drink! I definitely need a good drink in me tomorrow after my extra fun first aid course that I am having to do in the morning to prepare me for life on a farm in the middle of nowhere!

Anyways until the next time…… over and out!

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A week in Sydney

Sunday 6th March

I arrived quite early on the Sunday and I would have to wait until the next day to see my dad so I thought I spend the day visiting my cousin Mandy for a catch up as I hadn’t seen her in probably around 10 years and she is over here working in Sydney in an Irish bar called Scruffy Murphy’s which you should go pay a visit too if you’re in Sydney! Cheap food and drink!

So I spent the morning walking around the harbour as I couldn’t check into the hotel until 2pm so I thought I Mayas well go and have a look around. I fell in love with the place already, much better than Brisbane! (God I’m so fed up of Brisbane haha)

It’s such a nice walk around the harbour here, so beautiful and not what I was expecting at all, anyways I nearly made it to the opera house and then got a text from Mandy saying she would be ready soon so I grabbed an uber over to the pub and thought I would grab a Guinness while I was waiting. – Well it’s an Irish pub so it would be rude not to!

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It was so nice catching up with her even though it was only for a short time, she had work shortly after we met but I stuck around for a little while and had some food as it was so cheap!

Then it was time to go check into the hotel which I have wrote a review on and if you want to read it then CLICK HERE. So I did that and had a shower, and then passed out for a bit as I was sleepy! My flight was at 6am and I got picked up at 3:30am.

After my little nap I went out again and walked around china town and grabbed some food which was extra tasty and then headed back to the hotel and had an early night as I knew my dad was arriving early the next morning.

Monday 7th March

My dad arrived around 8am, it was so nice to see him and felt a little surreal but so so nice

He jumped in the shower and then we decided to go out for breakfast so we walked up to the harbour and started to do the walk that I did the day before as it was so nice.

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We got to the top of the Darling Harbour and then bought and attraction deal to see 3 attractions for I think around $80 and we chose the sea life centre, the sky tower and the wildlife park. We went into the Sea Life centre straight away which was really good. They had lots of tunnels you could walk under and see sharks and other fish.

I love Sea Life centres and this one is a good one.

After the Sea Life centre we carried on walking around to the opera house and then we were hungry again and we were looking at restaurants but they were all really pricy, and you know me being stingy as I am I was saying I thought we could find somewhere cheaper, so we carried on walking and ended up finding a bloody gem!

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It was called ‘Aussie Goody’s’ and it was just by all the ferry terminals by the opera house, we had a fish burger and it was incredible! And only $8 compared to the $50/$200 for fish in a restaurant! So I can definitely recommend this place to anyone in Sydney!

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We went at sat down on the grass looking at the opera house and had our lunch which was really nice.

Then we decided to head back over to Darling Harbour to go to the wildlife park. This place was pretty good too and where dad saw his first kangaroo, he really liked them and was asking lots of questions about them.

After this place we went over the other side of harbour to hard rock café and had a couple of beers and some jalapeño poppers which I thought were really spicy but turns out they weren’t spicy at put the sauce that came with it was and I had been covering them in the sauce to try and take away the spiciness until I couldn’t handle it anymore and gave them to my dad! What an idiot I am sometimes hey haha.

After the hard rock we decided to go back to the hotel feeling very tired and worn out, had a nap for a little bit and then headed out again to a Mexican but a fast food one so we weren’t out for long and went back to the hotel so dad could catch up on his sleep! After all he had been travelling for 24hours.

Tuesday 8th March

We woke up really early and decided to walk up to the opera house harbour but we walked up through the city this time so we walked up through china town and then went to Hyde Park. We then decided to go grab some breakfast from somewhere and while we were there we thought we Mayas well go up the sky tower as we were right by it.

It wasn’t quite as good as the one in NZ but it was still pretty good, the only problem is that other buildings are taller than it, and blocking the view to the opera house so I found it a little strange. I don’t know if it was built a while ago or what but I would have thought it would be the tallest building and also that you would be able to see the opera house, but it’s still good to go up and have a look around at the city.

After this we walked up to the harbour and got a ferry ticket over to Mossman Bay, as it was the next available ferry, and we were super happy that we decided to go over here as a quick Google search told us to walk up to Bradley’s Head, which was around a 40min walk but the views the whole way there were amazing.

We even went to a little beach in a cove where there were lots of dogs, and we had to stand and protect one little chap from a big dog who’s owner didn’t seem to have much control over! Some people are idiots and shouldn’t be allowed dogs! This was the little chap we had to rescue!

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Then we carried on walking around to Bradley’s Head, stopping along the way to look at more of the sights, once we got there I picked up some nice shells for my dad to take home for my sister to put in her fish tank haha.

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Then we caught the ferry back over to the Harbour and went to the fish place – Aussie Goody’s again as it was just oh so good. After we had eaten we felt really tired so we decided to go to the cinema and have a a bit of a relax so we watched ‘How to be single’ which I actually really enjoyed especially as she doesn’t just end up with someone for the sake of it at the end and that’s quite relevant to me at the moment so I did enjoy that.

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After the cinema we went back to the hotel for a shower and yes you guessed it another nap, before going back out to the harbour for dinner at an Italian restaurant and then onto the oldest pub in Sydney for a drink, only the one though as we were both really tired so we ended up going back to the hotel and passing out again.

Wednesday 9th March

We woke up nice and early and decided to try the hotel breakfast which was ok, it was a bit strange though as it had noodles and spring rolls on but they did have a lot of Asians staying there so I guess it makes sense and yes of course I had some.

We decided to hire a car so dad went and picked it up and then we started our journey to the Blue Mountains, but we decided to go to Featherdale Wildlife park on the way as we had read about it and It looked really good, so to read about that the please CLICK HERE.

When we came out of here all happy after cuddling toby the kangaroo we carried onto our hotel called Echo Point Motor Hotel and if you want to read the review on that place then CLICK HERE.

We checked into the hotel and then went out for some lunch in the town which is actually big compared to the other towns I went to when I was doing my fundraising job. After that we went back to the hotel and yep again you guessed it had a nap.

When we woke up it was getting towards the sunset so we decided to walk down to the view point, turns out it was just 2mins away from the hotel which was amazing and the view was absolutely incredible. We decided to do a walk around and see the sunset which was beautiful.

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Then we went and got a Chinese and while we were waiting for it to be ready spotted a hat shop which my dad really wanted to go in called the hatters, I thought it was called the haters as I clearly do not know how to spell (thank god for spell check on here! Haha) anyways he decided he wanted to buy an Aussie hat for the rest of the holiday so we thought we would go back tomorrow.

We went back to the hotel and had the Chinese and watched a film.

Thursday 10th March

Today we woke up a little later than usual, around 9am which is late for us on this holiday! We went into the town and grabbed some breakfast and then drove down the road to the hat shop, we were in there trying on hats for a while and then finally chose our beautiful hats, and here they are in all their glory…..

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Once the hat buying was over we headed on over to scenic world where they have the worlds steepest railway and a cable car ride over the mountain. It was pretty incredible. CLICK HERE to read more about the Blue Mountains and scenic world.

When we came out we realised that we still had time to drive over to the Jenolan Caves which was about an 1 ½ away which Is really close for this country lol, anyways we were so happy that we did go because they were incredible, I have never seen anything like it.

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To read more about them then CLICK HERE.

After the caves we drove back over to the hotel and watched another film while eating the rest of the Chinese from last night.

Friday 11th March

Dad woke up early to see sunrise but he couldn’t see it because we were in a cloud lol. Still I actually really like this photo lol.

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We decided to head back over to Sydney but on the way back we got drawn in by Featherdale wildlife park again, its toby the kangaroo! He was just so god damn cute!!!

After the wildlife park we went over to Manly Beach and had a bit of a stroll around and then went for some food while we had a look what else there was to do around there. We found that there was a lookout so we drove over to that and walked around there which again was stunning.

Then headed over to our next hotel on Darling Harbour – the Ibis to read the review on them then CLICK HERE.

We headed straight back out and had a walk around the harbour and then went for some drinks in a few bars as it was happy hour and at different times in most of them so we hoped around until happy hour was over and then grabbed some food.

We were on the way to go and get a drink somewhere else when we got stopped by a street performance, and I ended up sitting down to watch them and the crown got bigger and bigger and we were watching them for ages expecting a big finish by this guy jumping over 5 people, turns out he did do It in the end but they were all crouching on the floor as low as they could go so wasn’t really that impressive at all and felt like we had wasted an hour of our lives.

We started heading back over to the hotel and I decided to go to the loo around the harbour where I found a mouse in the toilet well I don’t think he was a mouse actually as he was rather big but he looked mouse like, who was having a nap in the middle of the girls toilets and I got worried he was going to get squished so tried to move him but then screamed when he moved and he ended up going further into the girls toilets lol so my mission of the evening failed.

We went back to the hotel and passed out again!

Saturday 12th March

So it the last day together and we spent it having breakfast on the harbour and then heading off to see Botany Bay which is on the way to the airport.

It’s really nice around there and where Captain Cook first docked his ship. We spent a little while walking around the beach and the views and then before we knew it it was time to head off to the airport.

We checked the car in and then found out where we needed to go and that was that.

A quick hug goodbye and tell each other we love each other and then my dad was off. It’s always a quick goodbye or the tears will start coming and there’s nothing worse than looking like a girls blouse when you’re a bloke haha.

So it was a fantastic week, I loved every second of it and we did so much! I can’t believe how much we actually did, no wonder it’s taken me so long to get this updated!!

 

 

 

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Jenolan Caves – Orient Cave

Jenolan caves were absolutely incredible, we didn’t see everything there we only saw one cave which was called the Orient Cave, but they did tell is there that it was by far the most beautiful of all the caves so I’m pretty happy we went in this one.

It truly was absolutely incredible, the photos do not even do it justice at all.

I completely forgot what it was like to see crystals in a cave and the ones in this cave were massive. Seeing these caves really does make you remember how amazing this planet is and beautiful Mother Nature is.

God I want to live in a cave now, well maybe not in a cave as it was a bit cold in there! But by a cave would be nice.

They do have a hotel around the caves that you can stay at if you are exploring more of the caves which seemed like a nice hotel, it did seem quite quiet and secluded and it was quite a drive down to them so I would probably suggest looking at staying at the hotel there if you did want to see all of them as we were told it would take about a week to see them all.

Even the drive in to the meeting point for all the caves was incredible see this pic…..

And when you buy a ticket to see one of them you get free entry into a self-guided walk around cave at the entrance which unfortunately we didn’t do as we ran out of time.

So although I am unsure on the other caves they have here I can 100% vouch for the Orient Cave! It was absolutely incredible.

5 Bee’s for sure.

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Blue Mountains – Sydney/Katoomba

I can definitely recommend for anyone visiting Sydney or the nearby area to head over to the Blue Mountains for a day or 2. It really is incredible to see.

The place we stayed in was called Echo Point Motor Hotel and it was in a fantastic location, I have wrote a review about them HERE.

Everything seems to be around this area, with lots of walks and sightseeing to be done, so I would highly recommend staying around here.

Echo Point is a fantastic view point where you can see the three sisters and all the way over to the scenic world.

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Scenic world is only a 5minute drive away and does not fail to disappoint. You can catch a sky rail car through the valley of the mountain where you can see the Katoomba Falls, it highly depends on how much it has been raining for how big a water fall you are going to see, but we only saw a small one and it was still pretty incredible.

Scenic world costs around $30 and it is well worth the money, there are 3 things you can go on and you can go on them as many times as you want. You get the sky car which you can either jump on at scenic world or on the echo point side. And just a one way journey would cost you around $16 so with everything else that you get included in the full attraction price is worth it.

They have the steepest train in the world here which was used for coal miners, and you can jump on here to get down to the bottom of the blue mountains where you can have a walk around the forest along the boardwalks with lots of huge trees to see along the way whilst learning a bit more about the old miners.

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Video below just click on the date. ☺

Steepest railway in the world blue mountains

Posted by Sami Bee on Thursday, 17 March 2016

There is also another cable car which you can jump on that takes you up the mountain (or down) but it’s more fun to go on the train down and the cable car back up but it can also be quite busy this way round, usually with big Chinese tour groups who can be very very loud, so this kind of ruined it a little bit.

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The sky car that goes over the valley of the blue mountains was really good, you also have the option to stand on glass floor in the middle which me and my dad did not do as we are both to scared of heights haha, but you get to see the Katoomba waterfall which is pretty incredible to see and then you have the option of walking around to the waterfall or over to echo point.

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So yes scenic world is definitely a must on your trip around here, and then I also recommend doing as many of the walks around echo point as you can.

You can walk over to the three sisters and honey moon bridge which goes between the three sisters, there is also thru option to walk down further and explore more of the forest below, we didn’t do this as the stairs were really steep and it was starting to get dark, but it doesn’t look like you would run out of things to do here anytime soon.

Blue Mountains definitely get 5 Bee’s from me ☺

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Best Breakfasts in the West End Brisbane

The West End of Brisbane is full of cafés and restaurants serving up trendy and tasty food all day long.

However I am going to focus on the most important meal of the day which is of course breakfast, and coffee which I do have a bit of an addiction too!

So when I stayed in the west end I would treat myself to a breakfast date every weekend and took myself somewhere new each time, so here are the best places I tried.

Click on the names to go to their website.

The Burrow

This place is down by Coles and has a very urban vibe. I decided to go in here because every Sunday when I would do my shopping I would see this place full of people so naturally I has to find out what all the fuss was about.

And oh how happy I was to discover this place.

The coffee was lovely and I even nabbed myself a window seat which meant I could do one of my other favourite things apart from to eat which is people watch.

The menus here are all in story book covers so look really cool.

The service was really quick and the food was incredible.

Here is a pic of what I had.

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Tempo

These guys dont seem to have a website so i have linked to one with their menu

This place is at the nandos end of the high street on the left hand side if your looking down down the street towards where Coles is.

There are a few places around here with tables and chairs sat outside.

So this place was really good for the food and the coffee was also great but I had to wait a while for my food, although I’m just putting that down to the fact that they had a large group in there of around 15 people which looked like a party or something so I let them off.

Also the food was definitely worth the wait, here is a snap of the food.

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Lock and loaded

This is at the nandos end of the high street next to a bar called the bearded lady and by night they are all about the cocktails where as in the morning they are all about the breakfast and coffee.

They have a big courtyard at the back where you will be seated and then told the breakfast specials of the day.

I did look at the menu but ended up going for the special, I’m a sucker for a one time deal.

So the special here was homemade smoked baked beans topped with a poached egg and sour cream, with thick smoked pork bacon and sourdough bread. Here is a picture of it….

It was really good! The coffee here was really tasty too.

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Morning after

I walked into this place for my first breakfast date and this was the one that started my craze off.

I unfortunately don’t have a picture of the food for this one.

But I do remember that it was really good, nice and simple as they had an offer on a board outside which they seem to do daily offers on there.

And this one was for bacon, tomatoes, eggs and sourdough bread. It was simple and beautiful and only cost me $8 what a bargain!

 

 

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Somewhere To Stay Hostel Brisbane Review

Somewhere to stay is a nice hostel to stay in, and it’s really close to the centre of the west end, which is full of bars, restaurants and my favourite the night markets on the weekend, also they have some pretty mean places for breakfast around here which I definitely recommend you checking out, and I have wrote about some of my favourites HERE.

It’s got a good balance of social and quiet if you need it so can satisfy pretty much anyone.

I stayed here for a couple of months in total and I was in in a 4 bed shared dorm which had a balcony and also a private bathroom, which is pretty luxurious for a hostel.

The price isn’t too bad for that room, its $26 a night but if you stay for a week then you can get the weekly rate which is 1 night for free. (Unless you miss behave or in my case get very drunk and try to sing to the whole hostel at 3am and then you will lose your free night which I think is fair!)

They have a lot of freebies at this place, so they have a free bus that will take you down to south bank and they run every hour up until around 7pm, which is brilliant.

They also have pizza Mondays where you can buy a slice of pizza for 50c which is again not too shabby! And then Tuesdays is free popcorn, and Wednesdays is BBQ night, where they have sausages, bread and sauce.

The staff are really friendly and helpful and know a lot about the area so you can ask them pretty much anything.

The kitchen area is a decent size, it does get busy but I never had any problems with cooking anything in there and they have a decent amount of pots and pans. You do have to pay a deposit for a plate set which is plastic but that’s only $3, although you may want to buy a different knife as I broke mine cutting some cheese (not that kind! Haha)

The pool area is ok, it’s not the biggest pool but its fine for sunbathing by and having a dip, and south bank lagoon is not a far walk if you wanted a more luxurious pool to lay by.

The only downfall about this place was the WiFi not being free, but it was only $15 for a week which is a lot better than some of the places that I have been and also the quality of the WiFi is good, I actually managed to stream some episodes of the walking dead without too much buffering! It’s pretty rubbish for actually downloading things though including things like iTunes or word just the files to actually download to your comp, which I found strange. But other than that it’s good and worth the $15!

I would definitely recommend this place to anyone looking to stay in the west end, its friendly, quiet if needed and has lots of freebies and is in a great location.

I stayed here Jan and Feb of 2016 and the time that I left they were doing a lot of work to the building so I imagine this placed is going to improve.

I would give this place 4 Bee’s.

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Featherdale Wildlife Park Review

Featherdale Wildlife Park was amazing.

It costs around $30 to get in, I can’t remember the exact price but it was something around that mark.

I would definitely say give this place a go if you’re staying in Sydney and especially if you’re taking a detour out to the blue mountains as this is on the way there (read review about blue mountains HERE)

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The place has lots of kangaroos and wallabies wandering around and you can stroke and feed them, they have many different types too, so they have them from all over the place.

They also have lots of other animals you can stroke, such as penguins, koalas – so many koalas!

Wombats and even goats, pigs and ducks.

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We loved this place so much we even went back for a second visit.

You can spend a good few hours here that’s for sure as you get distracted by all the animals and they have lots of ‘shows’ going on throughout the day where they feed the animals and tell you a bit about them.

SPOT THE TURTLE….HEAD (haha)

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The only downfalls about this place are the amount of Chinese tourist coaches that turn up, and each time one coach load comes through they push their way through you to get to the animals and end up shouting in your ear. I know this makes me sound like I am being a little bit judgmental against the Chinese people but that is literally all I have experienced with the coach loads of them I have come into contact with.

So there’s that and then also the layout of this place is extremely confusing when you first arrive, it seems a bit all over the place and you’re not really sure where you have been and where you haven’t.

This place is definitely worth a visit if only for the kangaroos (ok, ok I know you can go and see them in the wild but they are a little bit scarier!) and they are so friendly and tame.

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I give this place 5 Bee’s for sure! 100% recommend.

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Ibis Sydney Darling Harbour Review

The Hotel Ibis is a bit of a rip off in my opinion, we booked through Expedia and it wasn’t until we arrived at the hotel that we were told we had to pay $40 per night for the car park, which I think is pretty expensive.

I do realise that the location of the car park does require a pricy fee normally but you would think as guests of the hotel that you would get it for free or at least at a discounted price.

The location was brilliant, its right on Darling Harbour and you can pay extra for a view of the harbour, although the room we ended up getting was quite small and didn’t have a balcony as some of them did, I guess you have to pay even more for those.

It’s not all bad, the beds were extremely comfy and you do get free shampoos and conditioners.

They do offer breakfast which you have to pay for obviously but I wouldn’t see why you would bother when you’re right on the harbour with other restaurants offering a much higher standard of food for the same cost.

The staff were friendly and the hotel its self was very clean and did look well looked after.

Overall I would say this place isn’t really worth the money, I would either stay somewhere a little further back off the harbour for a cheaper cost or choose a different hotel on the harbour next time.

I’m going to give this place 2 Bee’s.

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Echo Point Motor Hotel Katoomba Review

Echo Point Motor Hotel was brilliant.

Firstly the location was just fantastic, and that alone gives it a great score. It was around a 2 minute walk away from this view below which you have to say is pretty amazing. There is also a pretty decent bar/restaurant there which you can sit at while watching the sunset, it does close as soon as the sun sets so around 7pm though.

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Also scenic world is about a 5 minute drive away or you could even walk along the front of the Blue Mountains for about 10 minutes and catch the sky car over to it, it’s all really close to this motel.

The room its self was very nice and cosy, it was clean and they provided free tea, coffee and some bottles of water.

There is a little fridge in the room too for you to put some of your own things in.

There is a TV in there but they only have regular channels which I think most places should provide Foxtel these days, but that’s the only downfall I have with this place and I wouldn’t really call it much of a downfall as the TV does have a USB stick and luckily I had a USB with lots of movies on for us to watch in the evening.

They do offer a continental breakfast for $7 each, we didn’t actually try it but I think continental is hard to get wrong! They are really close to the town centre too which has a good handful of places for breakfast.

Overall I will give this place 5 Bee’s because it was just what we were looking for and the views just around the corner were so incredible it really takes your breath away.

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Aspire Hotel Sydney Review

The aspire hotel is good for the money.

Its in a rather central location, at first I thought it was a bit far out but then after finding my bearings I came to like the position where it was, it wasn’t too far from anything really, with the opera house harbour being the furthest away taking around 20/25mins to walk there.

The staff were really nice and helpful upon check-in although be aware you cannot check in until 2pm and they don’t have any showering facilities you can use beforehand, so you may want to stay away from an early arrival or book the night before too.

The facilities in the room themselves were ok, although the TV did not have many good channels, I find regular aussie TV to be a bit rubbish to be honest so they could at least do with Foxtel, or the option to buy movies etc. which they don’t. But I guess most people these days don’t spend too much time in the actual hotel, we were just out in the day and wanting to watch a film in the evening ready for an early start the next day.

The rest of the room was nice, the beds were comfy although one other downfall is that they did not have plug sockets next to the beds, come to think of it they didn’t have many plug sockets at all as I had to unplug the fridge to plug the kettle in and naturally the forgetful person that I am forgot to change them back over so ended up defrosting the fridge.

You get free tea and coffee which they replace daily, and also free shower gels and shampoo available in the bathroom.

The bathroom facility are good, the shower was nice and strong.

They offer a breakfast Buffet for $15 a head which was ok, but you don’t really get a lot for it and it’s not the best quality so if you are wanting a nice breakfast I would suggest going elsewhere.

Overall I give this place 3 bees as I think they were good but could have improved in a few areas.

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