Sydney

Sydney is Australia’s the most visited city and is known as Australia’s tourist capital and with so much on offer it’s not surprising. Not only are there an abundance of activies in Sydney but day trips are possible to The Blue Mountains and the Hunter Valley wine region.

Why not look at some of Sydney’s famous sights by catching a harbour ferry from Circular Quay to Manly?  Enjoy the glistening waters of the world’s most beautiful harbour. The sails of the Opera House will transfix you on the right and, on your left, you’ll see the full majesty of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is possible to climb the pylons of the Bridge for a small fee.  Climbing all the way up the span of the Bridge is more expensive and takes a degree of fitness, also make sure you are not afraid of heights.

Beaches

Whether you are visiting in the summer or winter you must visit one of Sydney’s iconic beaches. In summer make sure you swim between the flags as the surf can have some surprises for international visitors. The area between the flags is patrolled by Surf Lifesavers who will come to your aid if necessary.

Surfing beaches are located in the eastern suburbs e.g. Bondi, southern suburbs e.g. Cronulla and north of the harbour from Manly all the way up to Palm Beach. Harbour beaches can be found as well for those who prefer swimming without the waves.

Another must is the Bondi to Bronte cliff walk, from Bondi Beach along the sandstone cliffs to Bronte Beach. The Sculptures by the Sea exhibition is on in October and November each year along the walk. Cafés and Hotels abound for refreshments in Bondi and Bronte.

Food

Sydney is renound for its modern Australian and multicultural food. Have a look at http://www.eatability.com.au/au/sydney where you can find a great café or restaurant in the area you are staying. Most suburbs especially those close to the city have an abundance of restaurants, café’s and pubs which serve meals. A restaurant with a harbour view will make your occasion special. Visit Sydney for the Food Festival in October each year where there a lots of special events and you can have lunch including a main course, a glass of wine and coffee at Sydney’s best restaurants for a bargain price.

Shopping

Large shopping centres include those located in downtown Sydney and Bondi Junction. Many surburbs also have large complexes with lots of shops e.g. Burwood, Hurstville and Chatswood. For smaller upmarket shops try Mosman, Double Bay and Woollahra. For quirky shops visit Newtown or Glebe.

Nightlife

Whatever your taste Sydney is a vibrant city where you’ll find pubs, wine bars, comedy clubs and nightclubs. Check out the following websites for more information on various locations.

http://www.sydneypubguide.net

http://www.au.timeout.com/sydney/bars

http://www.au.timeout.com/sydney/

The Harbour

Get out on the beautiful harbour and explore the inlets and open bays. Take a ride on a  ferry or hire a kayak, sail boat or motor boat. If you are not experienced you can go with a skipper.

http://www.sailingschool.com.au/Home/Hire

http://www.sydneyharbourescapes.com.au/section.asp?sID=30

Markets

General markets with lots of stalls with food clothes jewellry and a range of second hand and hand made goods are found at Glebe, Balmain and Paddington.

Food and flower markets are held at Flemington Markets at Homebush which is where all the fruit and vegetable and flower shops in Sydney get supplies. It opens early but stays open until late morning for the community to purchase what’s left.  Everleigh Markets near the Carriage Works building in Redfern is a farmer’s market close to the city.

Markets operate in Chinatown on Friday nights http://www.chinatownnightmarket.com.au/

Walks and National Parks and Gardens

Take a day out of your busy schedule to visit one of Sydney’s national parks. You might choose to stroll alongside the harbour on the way from the Spit Bridge to Manly. Stop on the way for a picnic lunch.

http://www.walkingcoastalsydney.com.au

New South Wales has 875 national parks and reserves with a number in Sydney. You’ll find walking tracks to suit every level of experience in many areas of Sydney.

Sydney Harbour National Park protects various islands and foreshore areas around  the harbour. There’s scenery as well as history and heritage waiting to be discovered and explored. Along the way you’ll find buildings constructed with convict labour; historic maritime and military installations; and the Quarantine Station, which used to protect Sydneysiders from infectious diseases. You’ll also find many Aboriginal sites. Accommodation is available at some National Parks. If you are staying in the city and are ready for a relaxing stroll or brisk walk head to the Royal Botanic Gardens located just east of the Opera House.

History and the Arts

Visitors to Sydney have different interests. Some wish to explore Museums and Art Galleries many of which are located in the city .  Also interesting to visit are historic houses listed by the National Trust and Historic Houses Trust e.g. Vaucluse House, which are good examples of buildings important in Australia’s history . By day visit one of the many galleries located in the city.

Spend an evening at a performance by the Australian Opera, the Australian Ballet, the Sydney Dance Company or see a play at the Sydney Theatre Company or outdoor film at St George Open Air cinema near the Opera House or at the Moonlight Cinema in Centennial Park. The Sydney Festival is a jam packed event each January with loads of events, concerts and theatre featuring performers from Australia and around the world.

Animals and Fish

International visitors will be interested to visit Taronga Zoo to see Koalas and the baby elephants and many other species. Located on the harbour it is only a ferry ride from the city. Parking is available.

Sydney Aquarium and Wildlife Sydney are located at Darling Harbour. Walk through iconic Australian habitats and encounter some of the most loved and feared animals.

For a close up patting of Kangaroos and Koalas and a wide range of wildlife visit Featherdale Wildlife Park in western Sydney. Take a train and bus, drive or go on a tour.

Accommodation

Many options exist for accommodation in the Sydney CBD. Alternatively stay in one of the beach suburbs or villages of Sydney only a few kilometres from the city.

If you are coming over Summer or in June / July the Residential Colleges within the University of Sydney offer great value for money accommodation. Set in historic buildings they offer traditional and modern ensuite bedrooms for singles, couples and friends travelling together.