Sydney Day 1 (18 May 17) – Arrival in Sydney – Shopping in DFO HomeBush and Rhodes Waterside Mall

My sister wanted to visit Sydney when she did not manage to visit the Gold Coast last year due to her pregnancy. As the rest of the party had never been to Sydney, we made a 6-day trip to the capital city of New South Wales state in Australia.
Sydney Opera House, an icon of Sydney

Arrive at Sydney

After a tiring overnight flight from Singapore, we finally reached Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, the city’s international gateway. Clearing custom was a breeze thanks to the efficient automated gate clearance and the numerous airport security staff directing visitors who are eligible to use the automated customs clearance. No pre-registration is required for visitors to use these automated custom clearance gates, which is a plus, unlike some countries where one is required to pre-register to use these facilities. We wasted no time and quickly got our SIM cards from one of the 2 telco counters (Optus and Vodafone) to the right of the immigration gates. Personally, I prefer Optus due to the value for money (we paid A$10, including SIM Card, for 5 days of data and phone usage) and the reliable connection from my previous experience last year while travelling in Gold Coast. After the staff had our phones set up for data usage, we proceeded to the car rental counters, located to the left of the immigration exit to pick up our rented car.
We got our Australian SIM Card from Optus, which is to the left of the immigration exit in Sydney Airport
Waiting for me to settle our car rental
My sister’s family at the exit of Sydney Airport

Sydney Olympic park

It is expected that we will be drained from the overnight flight, we intentionally kept today’s itinerary very light. We drove to our Airbnb accommodation located in Sydney Olympic Park, located about 30 mins drive from Sydney Central. Our host was already waiting for us with the keys to the spacious 2 bedroom apartment. Sydney Olympic Park was the venue for the 2000 Sydney Olympics games, complete with villages where the athletes were housed back in 2000. Today the Sydney Olympic Park is a major suburb, twice the size of Sydney Central Business District, where residential and commercial activities are located. Other than being a commercial and residential suburb, Sydney Olympic Park is also a major sporting hub, where sporting facilities used during the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games are “recycled” for the public and professional athletes to use. There are shops, eateries and supermarkets within minutes drive from our accommodation, making it an ideal place to settle in for this trip. It is already getting late by the time we settled into our apartment, as planned we headed out to the factory outlet nearby Sydney Olympic Park.
View of Sydney Olympic Park from our apartment
My sister’s family happily settled in our accommodation for the next 6 days

DFO Homebush

The only outlet mall around Sydney, the DFO Homebush outlet mall is a mere 5 mins drive from our accommodation in Sydney Olympic Park. The 2-storey outlet mall is rather disappointing, compared to Harbour Town in Gold Coast. Unlike Harbour Town, DFO Homebush feels dead with not many people shopping around. There are no eateries, except for a few cafes that were about to close at the time we visited. The outlet shops are located on level 1 of the shopping mall, while the home living shop and a couple of sports gear outlet shop occupy the ground floor of the building. We only spent about 1 hour here in DFO due to the disappointing shopping experience. While some of the big brands such as Burberry, Calvin Klein offers good discounts, the goods on offer did not appeal to us.
Before heading back to our accommodation, we headed to the supermarket to get some food for breakfast in Rhodes Waterside Mall, which is a 5 mins drive from DFO Homebush.  This shopping mall is a vast world of difference from DFO Homebush, more people are shopping in this mall. Rhodes Waterside Mall houses Ikea, Coles Supermarket, Target and Priceline amongst other shops. One can find most of the daily needs here. We headed back to Sydney Olympic Park to rest after getting what we wanted from Coles Supermarket (which opens still midnight). Before heading back to our accommodation, we got our dinner from Dominoes which is a mere 3 mins drive from our accommodation.

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