Australia in Winter
We've recently come back from a working holiday in Australia, which although summer time for us, it's winter down under. Sydney, in particular, which is where we were, is very beautiful in June. Never have I seen so much sun in winter! It can get quite cold, especially at night, but if you are sitting in the sun, then it is still hot. Layering has never played such an important role for me. I don't particularly like to layer. I want to wear what I want, according to the weather, maybe through on a fine jacket for cooler days (in the UK summer that is). But I really got to grips with the concept of layering in Sydney's June. When you set off in the morning, it can be only 10 degrees, so this constitutes a jumper and/or jacket. However, as the day progresses, so does the temperature. Off with the jacket! Even in the sun, when there is a breeze, a long sleeve top/fine jumper can be necessary. But, if you are sitting in the sun (no sun bathing at this time of year unfortunately!) and there is no breeze, you only need a t-shirt (and sun-cream!). It is very difficult to leave in the morning without your layers, so that they can be put on and taken off as you see fit.
Having said all this, you know how London/Dublin in the summer means you are determined to wear a t-shirt and maybe get your legs out just because it is summer (despite the lack of sunshine and temperatures and ample rain!), well, people in Sydney are as deprived of wearing winter coats and boots as we are deprived of wearing short sleeves. Many people were spotted wearing proper winter coats, scarves, hats and boots. A bit excessive if you ask me but then again they would say the same to me if they saw me in my shorts and t-shirts and wellies in UK summer!
Sydney has it's own little 'Big Ben'.....
..and it's own red double decker. The guy who owns this takes it out on tours!
Winter is a beautiful time to visit the Australian city. Walking around the city in the (cooler) sunshine with the leaves bare feels rather peculiar but very picturesque. It takes on a very different vibe and less touristy, unless you're down by Sydney harbour which is just as touristy, but not as busy. You see more of the day to day lives of Australians as the beach areas are more about them and not tourist sunbathers. For example, we made a trip to Manly Beach in Sydney and saw more mother and toddlers having coffee morning than we did holiday makers. However, the beach itself was still full of surfers, only in full body wet suits rather than shorts! Sitting here was one of the occasions when you could sit in your t-shirt, just make sure you have your next layer at the ready for the unexpected breeze. There was something very tranquil about people siting around (it was still relatively busy) looking onto the beach and watching the comings and goings.
We arrived in Sydney just before the end of the Vivid Sydney festival. Many of the buildings and the Harbour Bridge were lit up at night for the event and it looked fabulous (see top picture)!
Stanwell Park Beach, perfect spot in the suburb of Wollongong, south of Sydney's Royal National Park.
Yes, you saw right, it's a flip flop tree....
..and the more traditional (to Australia) bottlebrush tree.
Popular surf destination, Cronulla Beach, south coast of Sydney
Cockle Bay Wharf at Darling Harbour as the sun goes down
After dinner stroll along Darling harbour
As with most cities in the world, a trip wouldn't be complete without a shopping trip and Sydney has all the usual designer shops. The Queen Victoria Building is a stunning shopping centre in the heart of Sydney, well worth a visit, for the architecture alone.
Don't be put off going to Australia in their winter, it's very beautiful and the further up along the gold coast you go the warmer it gets, i.e. they don't have cooler winters. But if you're all about beaches, then leave Sydney to their Spring/Summer.