▨ Jamie McHale


Starting our adventure · April 2023

This trip was the thing that we’d promised ourselves that we’d do when Jack was born. Two months in New Zealand and Australia for Jack to meet his extended family.

We flew via Doha on Qatar Airways. We managed to time the 7 and 14 hour flights with Jack’s bedtime thanks to a strategic 20 hour layover. We sprung for a nice hotel room at the airport hotel, who were kind enough to let us spent the entire layover day in the room relaxing. I’d recommend the extra money here. The hotel is very easy to get to, it’s just off the main airport concourse, and it’s great to have a bed and a shower. Jack handled the flights really well. We had one of those baby bassinets on the front wall, with a little exta leg room. Almost no crying from any of us!

Doha airport tarmac

We landed in Sydney early evening and got a taxi to our Airbnb. We had been concerned about airport transfers with Jack not having a child seat, but we found Bub’s Taxi, who provide child-seats in their taxis, prams and travel cots for hire. They operate in both Sydney and Melbourne, so booked them at both ends of our trip.

Arriving in Sydney

We booked an Airbnb in a converted garage in a back lane in Paddington. It was nice, but super hot. A bit of a shock for Jack who had spent his entire life in wintry Scotland so far. We headed out to Pizza Moncur before an early bed.

The first morning I picked up the necessary coffees from Flat White Coffee and we had a lazy morning resting with Jack.

We spent the rest of the day doing the usual tourist sights near the City Center: Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and Botanic Gardens. The Harbour View has to be one of the top man-made views in the whole world.

That evening we ate out at Kukthai in Woolahra. The street has several places to eat, plus fancy boutiques.

The second day in Sydney we spent walking around the Paddington area. I love the architecture of the old Sydney terraces, the plants and flowers on the street, the ornamental ironwork on the buildings, and the personal front yards. Each of these houses communicates a personality, from neatly potted plants, to a polished bicycle, or an old beat up sofa.

We had lunch at Juniper Cafe at the Five Ways in Paddington. It’s a nice set of streets with plenty of places to eat. It’s worth including on a walking day.

Lunch at Juniper Cafe
Lunch at Juniper Cafe

That afternoon we walked over to Centennial Park to see the Flying Fox Colony. I’d passed by on my morning run, and investigated the screeching of what I had thought were birds. What an exciting discovery that they were bats. If you want to visit, head for the woods by the Charles Dickens statue.

That night we ordered takeaway and relaxed at the Airbnb. We were still not through our jetlag, and had an early start for the flight to Wellington.