There are many different kinds of travelers, some stick to the main attractions and others like to immerse themselves into the local lifestyle, I am definitely the latter of the two. Sydney, Australia is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, with famous landmarks such as the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. They are definitely worth checking out, but what about the other things that the city has to offer? There is so much more to Sydney! I have been living there for a year, but still feel like I have not truly explored the city. I did all the touristy things when I first arrived, but now I find myself spending time in the same areas and going to the same places. I wanted to see more and experience Sydney like a local. I then found out about TooDooLoo. It is the perfect option if you are looking for a more authentic experience, shown by the best type of guide you can get… a local!
What is TooDooLoo?
It is a worldwide ride-share service that is a combination of a tour guide and a chauffeur. The focus of the service is for you to be able to hire a private car for the day, not to just drive you around, but to also give you that authentic experience of the area. Each driver is a local, with extensive knowledge of the city. It is your day, so you can choose to go wherever you want, landmarks, wine tasting in Hunter Valley, swim in the the Northern beaches… it entirely is up to you. There is even a preprepared TooDoo option that offers you four different nontraditional itineraries to choose from.
The service is based on an hourly rate of $38 an hour for a standard car/guide. Another option is for a luxury car or super experienced guide, which is $45 an hour. It is not based on occupancy, so if you want to go as a group, it does not mark the price up. You also have the flexibility to book any amount of time between 1-12 hours.
I wanted to take full advantage of having a local guide and immerse myself into a real Sydney life for the day. One problem…I had absolutely no idea where to go or what to do! All I knew is that I wanted to do something different. When I made my booking online, I selected my interests and my driver was chosen for me. Each driver has a profile with their experience, photos, information about the car they drive and reviews. You can choose your driver or have one assigned to you, based on the interests you selected. I was assigned to Kieran, who has been living in Sydney for 20 years, so I was fully confident in giving him control of the day. He prepared an itinerary for me based on what interests I chose and it certainly did not disappoint.
The day of my tour, Kieran picked my friends and I up from my apartment and brought us to our first stop of the day, an Art Exhibition in Hunters Hill. This area is an older suburb that is on the other side of the Anzac Bridge. There were three parts to the exhibit that were positioned in an auditorium, a church and a cottage. Each exhibition was within a block from each other and held one stunning artwork after the other.
When we were finished, Kieran brought us to a spot he knew of that has a great view of the city from across the harbour. It was nice to see the city from a distance instead of always be in the middle of it! We then headed over to Rozelle, another suburb that has an Antique Collectors Market every weekend between 9am-3pm. I stumbled upon some pretty cool clothes, decor, records, jewelry… you can easily leave there with bags full of cool finds.
One thing is for sure, all that shopping can make a girl hungry! Kieran had a beautiful picnic spot picked out for us to have our lunch in Balmain. He had brought a blanket and suggested a shop with great seafood that we could get takeaway from. Seafood, wine and an amazing view, I was sold! It could not have been a more perfect setting.
After our picnic, it was nearing the end of our booking. Instead of getting dropped off home, we asked Kieran to leave us in the Botanical Gardens. Why not end the day with a stroll in the gardens and a drink at the Pavilion?
**Thank you TooDooLoo for hosting me. As Always, my opinions are my own.