We recently returned from a 3 month trip to the Sydney Northern beach resort of Manly in Australia and had the most amazing time along with 63 days of those days ACCOMMODATION FREE! saving us in excess of £10,000 in accommodation costs. We stayed in beautiful homes in a location that would normally cost more than £1,200 per week rental fees!
We also had the company of beautiful Charcoal the Cavapoo pup for 7 of those weeks, staying in a nice apartment just 5 minutes walk from Manly Wharf. 2 further weeks were spent house sitting a lovely villa with private pool high on the clifftop with fabulous views of the ocean.
We arrived in Sydney in mid December 2021 with Covid restrictions still in place, meaning we had to self isolate for 6 days while we had two negative tests after arriving in the country. We had pre-booked some cheap accommodation in Sydney for this time (ordinarily we would have been able to start house sitting as soon as we arrived and normally wouldn’t have the added cost of accommodation on arrival). Six days later, we were released from quarantine and stayed with our children in Sydney over Christmas. Our first 7 week house and pet sit was due to start shortly after Christmas.
We arrived at our house and pet sit about an hour before the owners were leaving. We had a tour of the apartment and a little walk with the owners and Charcoal the Cockapoo who would be our little pup for the next 7 weeks. The first evening we took little Charcoal down to the ocean and a lovely walk along the promenade.
Charcoal was the perfect little chap, who just loved to go everywhere with us and watched our every move. Over the next few weeks we had a wonderful time with him, taking him on long walks along the coast, drives to different beaches, dog parks and daily visits to the local cafes.
Friday nights was happy hour at The Bavarian at the Wharf in Manly. This was Charcoal’s favourite pub, so we just had to take him along so he could people watch and scare the seagulls! He loved all the little outings he had with us.
Charcoal was really keen to explore Sydney with us and show us all the sites. The ferry that goes from Manly to Sydney requires dogs to be in a crate to be able to board the ferry. Unfortunately the owners didn’t own a crate, so we asked the ferry crew if we could take him on in a bag which they agreed would be OK. So over the next few days we taught Charcoal to sit in a bag and walked him around the house in it. After a couple of days he loved it, so we took him on the ferry and a day trip in to Sydney.
While we had Charcoal we were lucky enough to spend time with our grandson. We asked the owners if it would be OK for Charcoal to join our sons dog Moose and our grandson at the local dog parks. The owners were thrilled as they new Charcoal really liked play dates with other dogs. Charcoal and Moose quickly became best buddies and had some really awesome times together.
Our 7 weeks with Charcoal was far too short. He really had a wonderful time with lots of fun at the beach and long walks along the coast. We took him swimming regularly. To start with he was a little hesitant to go very deep into the water but after a few days he was running and jumping in and fetching a ball and swimming with us. He also loved to people watch down by the Wharf or at the local coffee shops.
He also loved that we were at home a lot of the time too, as he liked to help us with our work, really loved to have some grooming and especially chilling with his wombat in his comfy bed.
After a tearful goodbye to Charcoal we headed off to a house sit about a 20 minutes walk from Manly Wharf. We didn’t have any pets to look after this time, just the property and the swimming pool which Jonathan has experience of from his days as a pool manager. The house sit was for 3 weeks but unfortunately the weather took a turn for the worst and Sydney had the most rain and flooding for over 50 years. However, this didn’t put a damper on our time at the villa as we still managed to get a few walks out and visits from our little grandchild who even had a sleepover with us one night.
We spent our final week in Australia staying at the Boutique Lodge Manly to have a little bit of rest and relaxation, a final bit of time with the grandchild and get ourselves ready for the return trip to England.
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