Sydney Destination Guide
As far as travel destinations go, Sydney has it all. Iconic beaches, balmy weather and a variety of sights and attractions cater to travellers of all ages and tastes. Australia’s oldest and largest city is also its most visited. As the state capital of New South Wales, Sydney is a multi-ethnic hub of business, creativity and culture – no wonder so many visitors keep coming back for more.
Sydney is known to be the most beautiful of the eight cities of Australia, and what better way to enjoy the breath-taking views than from the sea? Most visitors start their tour of Sydney from Circular Quay, and take a ferry around the harbour to see Australia’s famous landmark, the Sydney Opera House. For a panoramic view of the City, dare to climb to the top structure of Sydney Harbour Bridge!
If it’s a beach bronze body you’re after, soak up the sun, or take a surfing lesson at Bondi Beach. The crystal clear sea and soft white sand draw Sydneysiders and tourists by the masses though, so if you’re looking for a more secluded spot, try the beaches north of the harbour, like Manly and Palm Beach. They are greener and less developed than Bondi and Cronulla. Another north shore attraction is Taronga Zoo that provides a unique Roar & Snore nighttime adventure, or take the ferry from Cronulla to the Royal National Park to enjoy the magnificent coastline and rainforest gullies.
Being such a multicultural city, Sydney’s cuisine includes dishes from every ethnic origin imaginable – from seriously authentic Chinese food in China Town to delicious Italian treats at the No Name Italian Restaurant on Carrington Road. Spoil yourself at Icebergs Bistro where many celebrities have their favourite table overlooking Bondi Beach, or enjoy the idyllic setting of the restaurants at Circular Quay. Kings Cross may be Sydney’s infamous nightlife strip, but it’s not the only place you can sip drinks with outlandish names. Venture a drop at eclectic establishments around Surry Hills, like Absinthe Salon or the Cricketers Arms Hotel.
Of course, no oceanside holiday would be complete without some world class seafood. The Sydney Fish Market in Pyrmont is the largest of its kind in the Southern hemisphere with plenty of restaurants and stalls where you can sample the largest variety of seafood in the world outside of Japan!
Accommodation in Sydney really caters to every need. Splurge on a luxury room or book a holiday apartment with an ocean view at Bondi. The further you are from the CBD, the more affordable the accommodation. Darlinghurst and Surry Hills offer very comfortable accommodation at an affordable price. If you’re traveling on a budget, you’ll find many great resorts and B&B’s conveniently located for exploration.
Paddington’s Oxford Street is home to many boutiques and fashion favourites. If you prefer handcrafted treasures, try the adjoining William Street. Start your Sydney shopping adventure at the Pitt Street Mall, home to dozens of department and specialty stores, including the celebrated Westfield Sydney and the iconic Strand Arcade. Dating back to 1981, the Strand Arcade has long been a premier shopping hub in Sydney with leading labels like Lisa Ho, Lover and Alex Perry setting up shop in its halls.
Good to know about Sydney
- Of all the Australian cities, Sydney has the largest population of South Africans.
- While an Australian may say “G’day” or “G’day, mate”, this may sound patronising (or ridiculous) from a foreigner.
- Tipping is not expected anywhere, so it’s up to you to show your appreciation for great service.
- Unless you’re visiting friends or family outside the City, you probably won’t need to hire a car. Most of the sights are around the CBD, and public transport is easily accessible.