Sydney is the perfect mix of sun, city, surf, culture and dining. This young vibrant city, defined by its rugged coast, exquisite harbor and idyllic beaches – is a real treat for all the senses. Day or Night Sydney pleases the adventurous, romantic, intellectual or first time traveler. Regardless of your interests or budget, Sydney has it all. Here our top tips and must- dos, dependent on your travel style, for the – Dubbed the ‘old coat hanger’ the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a must see for any trip to Sydney. An Architectural jewel there are many ways to experience this historic landmark – whether you are driving over it, climbing up it, rollerblading across it or sailing under it, be sure to admire the bridge from every angle. Catch a ferry, join a guided kayak tour, take a scenic flight or watch the sunset over the harbour bridge while sipping on a cocktail at the newly refurbished Opera Bar. You will fall in love with the bridge and the surrounding harbour – you honestly won’t want to leave.
If you’re looking for the ultimate Sydney dining experience, with some of the most spectacular views of Sydney Harbour and the Northern Beach, a Sydney Seaplane to the Jonah’s restaurant is a must! Dine or stay, the contemporary take on Australian Cuisine by Executive Chef Logan Campbell and Head Sommelier Luke Collard is perhaps the only feature that can divert your attention from the stunning view. Head to http://www.jonahs.com.au/dine to check out the menu and make a reservation.
Visiting the Sydney Opera House is a highlight of any trip to Sydney. You can be thrilled by a performance in its famous hall, or take a more exclusive look behind the scenes and walk in the footsteps of Pavarotti, Teddy Tahu Rhodes or Cate Blanchett. Stand on the stage they’ve walked or visit their dressing rooms; it’s all possible with a personal backstage tour. Of course, one of the best ways to experience the Sydney Opera House is to see a show – from ballets, plays, pop music, symphonies, comedy, contemporary dance, musical theatre; the Opera House is your premier venue for not just the opera.
From there take a stroll around the beautiful Botanic Gardens. With a picnic basket in hand and be sure to take advantage of Sydney’s gorgeous harbour views and sunny weather.
Sydney has on offer some of the most breathtakingly beautiful beaches in the world. Spoilt for choice, visitors have the opportunity to explore the popular beaches of Bondi and Manly, or head further afield to Sydney’s Northern Beaches and discover a hidden beach just for you.
Travel Tip: Best way to travel is via one of Sydney’s ferries, for all trip and timetable information visit http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/content/sydney-ferries.
Allow an afternoon to leisurely walk the Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk, take on the challenge of Sydney’s world famous breaks or sign up for surf lessons, take a dip in one of the many ocean pools or jump on deck a yacht to truly experience the best of Sydney’s water. With a 100 beaches on offer, there are plenty of water sport activities to enjoy – surf schools, kayak hire or snorkeling (the fun is endless!)
If water’s not your thing Sydney is also home to a number of picturesque National Parks and Nature Reserves. The Centennial Parklands is an idyllic spot for cycling, walking, rollerblading and horse riding. The Royal National Park is a great way to experience the variety of habitats on offer, including heath, rainforests, open woodlands and equestrian systems.
Cockatoo Island, a short ferry ride from Sydney’s City Centre is Sydney Harbour’s largest Island and a great overnight campsite. With free entry why not take a short break and enjoy the sweeping harbor views. Take an audio or self-guided journey and explore the island’s convict and shipbuilding history.
For more information, jump over to http://www.cockatooisland.gov.au/.
Sydney plays host to an array of fun and budget friendly activities for kids and family fun days out. For the kids and adults alike, award-winning Taronga Zoo is a great day out, with something to offer everyone, 365 days a year. Home to over 4,000 animals, including Australian native wildlife, as well as rare and endangered exotic animals, Taronga Zoo is just a short 12 minutes ferry ride from the city. Admission includes daily keeper talks and shows such as the Australian and Californian Sea-lions or the New Zealand Fur-seals, and access to the Sky Safari, Sydney’s only cable car.
For more information: http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/homepage.aspx.A fun option is to combine a tour of the Sydney Opera House and Taronga Zoo with the Opera and Koalas tour. You start your day with VIP access to the Opera House before travelling across the Harbour by water taxi for a guided tour of Taronga Zoo.
While in Sydney why not revel in carnival favourites such as hot dogs and fairy floss and take on crazy rides like the Tango Train at the much loved amusement complex Luna Park. The fun and excitement is on overdrive at this superbly restored 1930’s park, with laughing clowns and the iconic giant Ferris wheel. It’s the place where everyone goes…just for fun! Grab your park map at http://www.lunaparksydney.com.
When around Darling Harbour with the kids be sure to pop in to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium – with 14 newly themed zones, including Tropical Bay of Rays, Discovery Rock pools, Mangrove Swamps, South Coast Shipwreck and Dugong Island kids and teens will be entertained for hours. They will also be amazed by the stunning new ocean tunnel walk through, Shark Valley. http://www.sydneyaquarium.com.au/.
Explore the five levels of art in one Australia’s most popular Art museums – Art Gallery Of New South Wales in the Domain. Boasting with an extensive collection of Australian art, including one of the largest galleries of Aboriginal Art in the country, alongside European masters, Asian treasures and leading local and international contemporary art – it’s a marvel for all, art lover or not! If the latter is you, be sure to enjoy refreshments in the award winning restaurant– Chiswick at the gallery.
For a look in to Australia’s convict history, visit Hyde Park Barracks, which housed 15,000 male convicts in government employment between 1819 and 1848. The World Heritage site is great insight in to the convict experience, visitors will get spooked out by the SoundScape, as they lie in a hammock and discover the daily lives of its occupants.
A trip the Enmore Theatre in Newtown – the oldest and longest running live theatre, the heritage – listed Enmore has been a staple since 1908. With a retro façade the theatre hosts bands, comedy acts and other performances from around the world if you have a free night head to the Enmore, it won’t disappoint.
For more information visit: Sydney.com/attractions