Sydney is such a magnificent place and holds a special place in our hearts as we lived there for 5 months whilst on our ‘Australian Working Holiday Visa’. We have compiled what we think is the best Sydney has to offer, and at the end we reveal our “must do’s”.
Around the harbour
Sydney’s Harbour must be one of the most famous harbour’s in the world, take time to appreciate Circular Quay's beauty by having a refreshing drink at the Opera Bar outside the Opera House. And if you want to go all out then take in a show at the Opera House too prices start from $50 upwards.
If you want to get out on the water, you can pay for a booze cruise, $25+ or a harbour cruise $49+, or a dinner sail, or if you want to do it a little cheaper then take the Sydney Ferries $7.50+ over to Watson Bay or Manly on the way you will pass by all the famous sights. If you do go to Watson Bay, then stop of for some fish and chips and climb Gap Bluff to see whales during the migrating months. Out on the water too you can take a high speed, wet and thrilling ride on the Sydney Jet Boat at $85.
For the climb of your life, you have to scale the Sydney Harbour Bridge ($263+). You can purchase photo mementos of your experience.
Heading round Circular Quay you will come to The Rocks, a great place to explore the old Sydney, grab a home brewed beer in the oldest hotel, The Lord Nelson or try a ‘Curry on the Rocks’ or ‘Fish on the Rocks’ for dinner.
Carrying on round you will come to Darling Harbour, another beautiful area, with shops and restaurants and IMAX cinema.
The beaches are famous here. Take a day at least to visit Bondi beach, and you can even take the coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee. Manly beach is where you will want to go to surf or indeed watch surfers. No trip to Sydney is complete for Home and Away fans until you have visited Summer Bay or Palm Beach as it’s actually known.
There is plenty of events that happen in Sydney, time your visit for at least one of the following…
Vivid Sydney- the city comes alive in multiple colours that are projected onto the Opera House and other landmark buildings such as the Town Hall and there is light up exhibitions all around Circular Quay. It is super pretty and makes for great photos! Vivid Sydney is on throughout May and June, check out the official website for exact dates. $ free
New Year’s Eve just has to be celebrated in Sydney. There is a few ways to watch the best fireworks display in the world... either by taking to the water in a package cruise, or bagging the best seat in a restaurant over looking the water or for free, queue up for hours to get into the Royal Botanic Gardens to sit around in the sunshine all day waiting for the 9pm family fireworks (which are equally awesome) and then of course the midnight extravaganza.
Australia loves celebrating, and on 26th January they acknowledge their heritage by celebrating Australia Day, which marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales. It is a fun filled day with parades and people flocking to the streets, fireworks at Darling Harbour and free entry to Government House.
During late October to early November be sure to catch the ‘Sculptures by the sea’ on the Bondi coastal route where hundreds of cool and quirky sculptures are free to wander around.
For being a city with a population of over 5 million people there is a surprising amount of Green Spaces, try The Domain and Hyde Park. For a view with your greenery then you must visit Mrs Macquarie’s Chair within the Royal Botanic Gardens, it’s almost like a hidden secret but it offers the most amazing views over the harbour. For a different kind of view, take a walk down Woolloomooloo Wharf past the expensive restaurants and marvel at the world’s oldest Wooden Wharf., which is a 5-star hotel and apartments owned by the likes of Russel Crowe and Tom Cruise.
Places to go
Sydney’s Toronga Zoo must have one of the best back drops ever, visit for the day at $42.
Around Darling Harbour, you will find Sea Life Sydney at $33, and Madame Tussauds at $34, both great for kids or rainy days. Or buy combo tickets for Sea Life Sydney, Madame Tussauds, Sydney Tower and Wild Life Zoo from $50+
The Australian Museum is crammed full of interesting artefacts including dinosaurs found in Australia, price $15.
As a British Colony and having UK prisoners sent to Australia, visit Hyde Park Barracks for all the stories priced at $12.
St Mary’s Cathedral is a beautiful building inside and out. Visit near Christmas time for choir singers and Christmas lights.
Check what is on at the Powerhouse museum for special events and also, it’s a great place with info on the first flight, space and exhibitions. Priced at $15.
Then there is always the best way to see any city, the Sydney hop on hop off bus which starts at $24 which is valid for 24 hours and goes to Bondi beach too.
Head 2 and half hours out of Sydney on a day trip to visit the majestic Blue Mountains, which is really a sight to behold. Rent a car from $70+ or a day trip will cost upwards of $135.
Our “must do’s”
Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge- The price might sound a lot, but it is totally worth it. The bridge is one of the most famous in the world and there is a great deal of history behind the bridge, and of course the views over Sydney Harbour are just spellbinding.
Sunbathe on Bondi Beach- The area’s most iconic beach is a sun bathers trap.
Time your visit for Vivid Sydney- It is the biggest light and music show you will find, the buildings look stunning lit up in various colours and the city becomes even more pretty.
Celebrating New Year- One of the world’s first major cities to celebrate the new year, the stops are all pulled out for this event, the most spectacular fireworks display is not to be missed.
Hop on bus- A great way to see any city in a short amount of time, whilst leaning all about the history of the city.
Blue Mountains- A tranquil change from city life, these mountains are jaw-dropping and a must see.
Sydney is such an amazing place and it really is such a bucket list place to visit, no matter how much or how little you see, just being in Sydney is awesome enough!