Sydney is a great place to kick off your Australian travels. As the largest city in the country, and often described as the one of the most beautiful cities in the world, you definitely won’t be disappointed with what you find here. I would recommend allocating at least four days if you want to explore all of Sydney, Australia. The buzzing city wraps itself around a gorgeous harbor, with monumental landmarks like the Sydney Harbour Bridge; the most iconic Australian landmark connecting North Sydney to Central Sydney, and the Sydney Opera House. There is plenty to see and do here, so chuck on a pair of comfortable shoes and get exploring.
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1. Scale the Sydney Harbor Bridge
If you are not one easily scared of heights and a bit of an adventurer, then put this at the top of your bucket list. The Sydney Harbor Bridge is one of Australia’s most famous landmarks. It’s the world’s biggest steel arch bridge, rising to 134 meters over the harbour. In 1998, the BridgeClimb was opened to the public, enabling both international travelers and local residents to climb up the monumental landmark to soak in one of the most gorgeous views of the city. With day, twilight and night climbs, there is a little something for everyone. For those of you that aren’t as daring as some, there is a climb that goes midway up one side of the arc, and I have been assured it’s less daunting for those terrified of heights.
Tip: The BridgeClimb is much more expensive during dawn and twilight, with the fee almost $100 AUD more than if you were to walk during the daytime or nighttime. Tickets start off at AU $250. For more information, click here.
2. Take a leisurely stroll from Bondi to Coogee
If you’ve just gotten off of a long haul flight, then it’s time to stretch your legs and enjoy the breathtaking Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk . This walk follows a 6 km path that wraps around the coast at the edge of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, which will have you taking in the views and exploring the rockpools, beaches and parks you will pass on your trip. Once you get to Coogee, take a stroll down the main road and pick one of the cosy cafes to grab a coffee or some breakfast.
3. See a show at the Opera House
Manly is a suburb in North Sydney that embraces the importance of work-and-life balance, with beaches among their business district. Do yourself a favor and catch the 30-minute ferry from Circular Quay to Manly Wharf. Not only will you get to experience all that Manly has to offer, but on your journey across the harbor, you will get outstanding views of the Opera House, the Harbor Bridge, and Kirribilli House. For a full schedule of shows and ticket costs at the Sydney Opera House, click here.
4. Learn about the native wildlife at Taronga Zoo
Australia has some of the most unique animals in the world and what better way to get up close and personal with them then at the famous and award-winning Taronga Zoo in Sydney. Home to over 4,000 animals, you will be able to admire and learn about many different species, including Australia’s native wildlife. With animal encounters, shows, talks and tours, there is plenty of things to do at Taronga Zoo. If you’d rather explore at your own pace then feel free to take a leisurely stroll around the park, seeing exactly what you to see. Make sure you grab a map or download the Taronga Zoo App to help you plan out your day and avoid missing out!
Where? Bradleys Head Rd
Tip:The tickets are pricey so if you’re looking to be economic, buy tickets online to save *up to 20% on your tickets.
5. Have brunch in Surry Hills
Surry Hills is a buzzing, inner city neighborhood, just a short stroll from Sydney’s Central Station. Take some time to make your way through the streets of Surry Hills where you will find busy cafes, creative restaurants, and eclectic bars. Home to several art galleries and Belvoir Street Theatre, this fascinating area has something for everyone. Pick one of the many cafes that are dotted along the popular streets and enjoy people watching. In Surry Hills, I love Bills! At Bills, you just have to try the Ricotta Pancakes with Banana and Honeycomb Butter!
Where? Bills is located at 359 Crown St, Surry Hills, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 2010
- The heritage-listed Sydney Cricket Ground is a must for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in the Australian sport culture. The Australian Football League’s (AFL) season lasts from March to September, so do some research before you leave home and see if you can fit a game somewhere into your trip.
- Sydney’s Chinatown is extravagant and if you like Asian food then you definitely want to make the trip, just a few blocks from Sydney’s George Street. My number one choice in Chinatown Sydney is Mamak (15 Goulburn Street). Be prepared to wait in line but boy it’s worth the wait. You just have to order the Roti, because that’s why everyone loves this place!
- Darling Harbor s a great place to go for casual afternoon drinks, or a great meal. Wander around the harbor, look through the shops and find a menu that best suits you. If you feeling like some pizza and pasta, you’ll find some of the best Italian food in all of Sydney. Find a restaurant with a deck so you can sit on the balcony and people-watch while looking over the harbour.
- The Rocks District, located just next to Circular Quay, is an area full of history, with a story to tell around each corner. With cobblestone streets, cute cafes, boutique stores and some of the country’s oldest pubs, this is definitely a place to come and explore. If you want to have a drink or two and take in the view, check out the Glenmore Hotel rooftop bar.
- Sydney Tower Eye gives you a breathtaking 360-degree, uninterrupted view of Sydney from the highest point in the city. Make your way to the Observation Deck for views that encompass the Northern Beaches to the Blue Mountains. A great starting point for travelers visiting Sydney. You’ll find this gem on Pitt Street – it’s pretty hard to miss!
- Australia is located in the Southern Hemisphere, meaning that the hottest months are from November to February and the coldest months are from May to August. Depending on what kind of weather you prefer, make sure you keep this in mind when booking.
- Slip, slop, slap! The Australian sun is hot and unforgiving so make sure you slip on a t-shirt, slop on some strong sunscreen and slap on a hat when going out in the sun for long periods of time.
- When heading to the beach please remember to swim between the red and yellow flags. The red and yellow flags symbolize the safest part of the beach for you to enjoy. It also means that you will be in view of the lifeguards who will be able to aid you if need be.
Olivia Bourke is an adventurous traveler who just wants to explore all the world has to offer. She’s an American who has slowly made her way to the beautiful land down under, Australia, and is loving every minute of exploring this ever-so-scenic country, one state at a time. With her feet moving and her fingers typing, she loves sharing all the gems she’s discovered with the world so they can enjoy them as well! Check out her blog, Great Lost!