On Friday we headed out of Cairns for a plane ride to Sydney. We were all sad to leave the warm weather, but we were excited to have a new city to explore! When we arrived to Sydney we checked into the hotel, got 2 packs and Tim Tams, and then we were ready to head to the start of Vivid. My first impressions of Sydney is that it is a good mix of Melbourne and Cairns. It’s not too hot, has a beautiful water area (similar to Cairns) and has a bustling city (similar to Melbourne). We rode the ferry over to the Sydney Opera House and it was amazing! Vivid began around 6pm and all of a sudden the lights turned on and there were displays everywhere. We took a walk through the botanical gardens and then went out for dinner before heading back to the hotel.
On Saturday we left for the ANZ Olympic Stadium. Before entering the stadium, it was neat to see all of the names of past Olympians displayed and we all looked for our last names on the poles. We then had a tour of the stadium where we walked around and saw the inside and outside. I was amazed by the size of the stadium and it was awesome to see the locker room where so many professional athletes get ready.
I was also very interested in the stadiums use of rain water and the use of a SMS system for issues that arise during games- something that our tour guide was taking care of the next game.
After the stadium tour we were released for a scavenger hunt. At this point my group was very hungry so we sat down at a coffee shop nearby and solved all of the clues and headed out into the city. We managed to follow the GPS and did not get lost once! Walking around the city I noticed how everyone seemed to be in a rush but they were all very nice. We had a great time and were exhausted after seeing all of the sights. After the hunt we had a group social hour, then dinner, and then went to Kings Cross with the Ormsbees. We had a great time!
On Sunday we did the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb- the scariest thing on the trip so far! I do have a fear of heights but I was so glad to complete this climb and see beautiful Sydney from the top. It was not nearly as scary as I imagined and the views were the best reward!
Afterwards a group of us ran over to the Toronga Zoo where we were able to walk amongst kangaroos and native Australian birds. There was even a gondola ride that goes over the trees and elephant exhibit! Afterwards we had dinner at the Scary Canary before heading back to the hotel.
On Monday we had a tour of AmCham where we met with Robert. AmCham is the voice of US business in Australia and the voice of Australia business in the US with the main goal to provide access to opportunities. The company holds different types of events for members that is part of the value stream. Robert provided great advice on the professional world and how important connections and empathy are.
After this tour I headed back to the hotel for some downtime before the Opera House tour and group dinner. The Opera House was amazing and we saw Ice Cube’s sound check. It was interesting to hear about all of the history and the view of the harbour from the inside was incredible. We then ran over to the lookout point at the Sydney Bridge climb and saw an amazing sunset view of the harbour. We then had dinner at the Pyrmont Bridge Hotel and then went back to the hotel.