Sydney, capital of New South Wales and one of Australia’s largest cities, is best known for its harbourfront Sydney Opera House, with a distinctive sail-like design. Massive Darling Harbour and the smaller Circular Quay port are hubs of waterside life, with the arched Harbour Bridge and esteemed Royal Botanic Garden nearby. Sydney Tower’s outdoor platform, the Skywalk, offers 360-degree views of the city and suburbs.
Local time: Friday 8:00 PM
Weather: 54°F (12°C), Wind S at 22 mph (35 km/h), 77% Humidity
Hotels: 3-star averaging $92, 5-star averaging $192. View hotels
Population: 4.293 million (2012) UNdata
These are 10 things you should try when visiting this place.
Sydney’s combination of surf beaches, a sparkling natural harbour and the Sydney Opera House is irresistible. In addition to its man-made wonders, Sydney is blessed with many natural assets, such as beautiful public gardens, harbour islands and unspoilt foreshores. An excellent transport system and tailor-made tours make Sydney a joy to explore.
1. Talk to the Animals at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo
Visit the animals of Taronga Zoo at their incredible waterside address. The zoo houses 2,900 exotic and native species including gorillas, tigers, leopards, chimpanzees, giraffes, kangaroos and koalas and is a short ferry ride from Circular Quay. For the ultimate sleepover, book the Roar & Snore package, where guests camp overnight at the zoo.
2. Go backstage at the Sydney Opera House
Walk around Circular Quay and see why the Sydney Opera House continues to dazzle. With a varied and full program, the Opera House is one of the city’s busiest music, arts and performance venues. To learn about the inner workings of this icon, take a Backstage Tour. These tours are highly informative and available in several languages, including Japanese, Mandarin and French.
3. Climb the Iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge
Nicknamed “the coathanger”, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a great engineering feat, originally opened in 1932. Visitors are free to walk or cycle across this vast structure that spans Sydney Harbour. Better yet, book one of the many BridgeClimb expeditions which will take you high into the superstructure. No special climbing skills are required – twilight and dawn climbs are available.
4. Walk Sydney’s Magnificent Bondi to Coogee Trail
There are several beaches near Bondi that are just as beautiful, including Tamarama, Bronte and Coogee. To appreciate this amazing piece of coastline, join the Bondi to Coogee Walk which links all these beaches and showcases Sydney’s finest ocean views. There are also plenty of cafés en route, interesting landmarks and naturally, some great swimming spots.
5. Dine at Sydney’s Finest Restaurants
Dine at Quay – with stunning views of Sydney Harbour, it’s renowned as one of the best restaurants in the world. In the heart of the city, Australian Restaurant of the Year winner Sepia features Japanese-inspired contemporary food and wine. Don’t miss Rockpool, a fine-dining gem that blends sophisticated classics with Asian flavours.
6. Discover a Convict Past at The Rocks in Sydney
Delve under the glossy exterior and you’ll find a colourful history. The Rocks is an historic reminder of the colonial era. While visitors can wander the cobbled laneways, The Rocks Walking Tours provide an entertaining portrait of Australia’s first European settlement. Complete your history lesson by visiting Fort Denison, an island with its own mini fort and canons.
7. Sail on Sydney’s Beautiful Harbour
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