July 05, 2024

Day 3 in Sydney Australia: Sydney Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour

Flashback Friday so let me continue my Sydney Australia series. We had a Museum Station Walking Tour on our second day and on the third day, we explored Sydney via Big Bus Hop On and Hop Off Tour. I am a fan of DIY trips but now, I prefer buying vouchers or packaged tours to save time and energy planning our itinerary. 

Before our trip, I’d read a lot of DIY Sydney Tours or Sydney Walking Tours but I didn’t want to drain my energy on walking or commuting so I chose Hop-On-Hop-Off Tours so we could have a glimpse of Sydney while comfortably sitting on the bus. 

I purchased the 48-hour Essential Ticket so we have more time to explore both routes; the Sydney Route and the Bondi Route. I also downloaded the Big Bus Tours app so I have an idea of the places we can visit, things we can do, and bus information. 

We can also buy tickets on the bus and here are the rates but I want to avoid the foreign exchange rate so I chose Klook. 

1 Day - Discover 
Adult 65AUD 
Child (3-15 years old) 45AUD 

2 Days - Essential 
Adult 85AUD 
Child (3-15 years old) 55AUD 

Sydney Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tours include: 

Digital Audio Guide/Earphones 
Hop on - Hop off Tour 
Audio commentary is available in English, Spanish, Japanese, German, Korean, French, Italian, and Mandarin 
Big Bus Tour App 
Big Bus Tour Guide Map 
Free Wifi on the bus

The Sydney City Bus Tour operates every day between 9AM and 4PM. The first bus departs at Circular Quay so even though there is a bus stop near Hyde Park Inn, we still went to Circular Quay because we want to start our tour at Bus Stop 1. Bus Frequency is 30-45 minutes. 

Bus Stop 1 is just several minutes away from Museum Station via train and a few minutes walk from the Circular Quay train station. 

We just presented our voucher, and the driver scanned the QR code and gave us the ticket, guide map, and earphones. The bus departed on time. There are 24 stops on Red Route but we did not get off and we finished the first loop. Travel duration is about 1 hour and 45 minutes. 

After our Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tour, we got off just to eat snacks and got in again. Good thing that we already visited the other tourist spots during our Day 2: Museum Station Walking Tour. So among the 24 stops, we just wanted to explore 3 tourist spots, the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the Royal Botanical Garden. Well, from Circular Quay we can already walk to reach these places but we want to save our energy so we still rode the bus. 

House of Canteen 

When we reached the Sydney Opera House, we had a light lunch first at the House of Canteen. We ordered 2 plates of Grilled Salmon Nigiri 15AUD/order, Chicken Katsu, Chips 16AUD, Chips 12AUD, and soda 6AUD/per can. My hubby and son enjoyed the Grilled Salmon Nigiri. The Chicken Katsu Chips is a kid’s meal pero nabusog na ko dito. Sana nga hindi na ko nag-add ng Chips. Buti na lang I had zip lock bag, binaon ko na lang yung leftover chips so we have food at the Botanic Garden.

The advantage of joining the Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour is I don’t have to Google each place, I will just listen to the audio commentary and if I need more information I can check the Big Bus Tour app and read the attraction details. So I’m sharing some trivia from the app about these places.

Sydney Harbour Bridge 

Sydney Harbour Bridge is the world’s largest steel arch bridge. It is also known as a "Coat Hanger". The bridge is designed to withstand expansion or contraction due to heating or cooling. 

Sydney Opera House 

Of course, visiting Sydney is only complete with seeing the Sydney Opera House. This building symbolizes Australia. It’s a world-class performing arts center that welcomes around 2 million visitors annually. The sails of the building are made from over a million tiles in glossy white and matte cream.

Royal Botanical Gardens 

The Royal Botanic Gardens contain a stunning display of flora from all over the world, including native Australian species. The 30-hectare garden has no entrance fee and has been open to the public since 1831. The oldest trees here are the hoop pine and giant watergum - planted around 1820. There are 36 sculptures, 4,000 trees, 8.900 plant species and over 3.5 million people visit the garden.

We spent most of our time here, just enjoying the view of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. 

There is an ice cream kiosk where we bought a Chocolate Top Sundae 6AUD, Vanilla Sundae 7AUD and Iced Coffee 9AUD

It was only 3PM but we decided to end our tour, maybe because of the time difference (DST), 3PM in Sydney is 6PM in Manila time. And knowing us, maaga magdinner and matulog. 

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