New South Wales’ capital city of Sydney is the largest city in the country. Nestled on the Sydney and Darling Harbours, this fabulous city boasts several famous Australian icons being the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Bondi Beach and Botany Bay.
The ideal way to see the city and its main attractions is by bus. The convenient City Sightseeing Hop On – Hop Off Buses and the Explorer Buses follow specific routes around the city and out to Bondi Beach and buses arrive at each drop off point at regular intervals. It is so easy to hop off at tourist attractions and hop back on when you’re ready and select your next destination, or you can just look around from the comfort of the bus. The tickets are great value and you’d probably pay just as much for parking in the city anyway. Being chauffeured around with full commentary is certainly a more appealing option. Catch public transport into the city centre and you’re certain to catch the tourist buses opposite the Queen Victoria Building on George St.
The city centre easily takes a full day or more to appreciate all the sights and the awe of this impressive city. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is an enormous piece of infrastructure standing grandly over the harbour with a commanding presence over the city. Its enormity is available for guided bridge climbs, with a bird’s eye view of the city and surrounds from its heights. The nightlights are spectacular here.
This photo is courtesy of iljimae
The World Heritage Listed Sydney Opera House and its harbourside restaurants are always bustling with activity. Locals and tourists alike frequent this magnificent establishment for dance and music performances, a meal overlooking the harbour or to soak up the stunning views.
This photo is courtesy of iljimae
Across the harbour is The Rocks, a stylish but historic area with beautifully presented old buildings, classy restaurants, museums and galleries, paved pathways and positioned right in the thick of it all with views of the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and Circular Quay.
Circular Quay is the departure and arrival point for ferries and cruise boats transferring passengers between Darling Harbour, The Quay, Manly and Bondi Beach. Many harbour cruises are on offer including lunch, dinner and sunset cruises. What a way to see Sydney and its evening lights from the luxury of a cruise boat with delicious cuisine and a good bottle of wine. Sounds tempting doesn’t it?
The Royal Botanic Gardens beside Sydney Harbour in the city have a beautiful variety of garden displays with ponds, water features, brightly coloured flowers, gorgeous rose gardens and ancient palm gardens. A stroll through the gardens admiring the different plants is very enjoyable and relaxing.
NSW Government House is located at the back of the Botanic Gardens. The castle-like 1800’s building offers guided tours on scheduled days on which you can step back in time and marvel at the antique furnishings of previous governors. The grounds and gardens are free to explore at anytime.
Hyde Park in the city centre acquired its name from London’s Hyde Park and saw a variety of events held here in the 1800’s. Now sporting a beautiful water feature, Anzac Memorial, Captain Cook Statue, colourful flower beds and shady trees, it’s a lovely spot to relax and watch the city go by.
Harbourside on Darling Harbour offers a great variety of specialty and boutique stores in its popular shopping complex. The Prominade Eatery is a scenic spot to have a bite to eat or refreshment overlooking the harbour
Kings Cross is this city's nightclub capital, experiencing a total transformation in the evening hours. Pubs and clubs are pumping and the party atmosphere is electric. Setting the scene for the hit series Underbelly, you just have to take a tour through The Cross, whether it’s a low key day trip or hitting the party scene at night.
Sydney Tower provides 360 degree views of the city and beyond. You can see the city and surrounds stretching for miles from way above and across to the ocean. The scenery is remarkable and clarifies the enormity of this magnificent city. Do not miss the virtual reality Oz Trek ride which comes free with the tower entry ticket. It takes you on a journey around Australia from the comfort of your seat, or maybe not as comfy as you think, the seat moves according to the show, it is fabulous.
After marvelling at the impressive city sights there are still the beautiful beaches to explore. Bondi Beach
would have to be the first port of call and the Hop On – Hop Off Buses can transport you here also. Famous for its excellent surf, golden sands, brilliant blue water and stunning scenery, Bondi is always packed with people. You can easily spend the day soaking up the sun and surf, enjoying the huge selection of beachside cafes, bars and restaurants or even take a surfing lesson. No trip to Sydney is complete without Bondi on the agenda.
Sydney has several northern beaches with a few in particular standing out. Palm Beach in the far northern suburbs is the setting for one of Australia’s favourite TV soapies, Home & Away. The recognisable prominent headland, grassy foreshore, towering pine trees and of course the Summer Bay Surf Club are here for all to see. The beach is just gorgeous and it’s obvious why the producers chose it to film the popular show. Home & Away souvenirs are available at the surf club.
Dee Why Beach
is just lovely with a classy well maintained foreshore with wooden bench seats and pine trees. Cafes, bars and restaurants line the street and overlook the beach. Just south of Dee Why is a stunning coastal boardwalk at Freshwater
. This area is a scenic delight.
is second to Bondi in the popularity stakes. The wide stretch of beach bordered by the magnificent South Steyne Reserve has cafes, bars and restaurants across the street and shopping galore in the Manly Mall. A ferry service travels between Manly and the city at regular intervals daily.
is Sydney’s most iconic waterway adjoining the Cook River. In 1770 Captain Cook embarked upon a journey into the bay and explored its western shores. Beautiful beaches stretch along the bay south of the river with crisp white sand and calm shallow waters. Brighton Le Sands is worthy of note and pictured below.
The big city experience in Sydney is one to be reckoned with. It’s pretty awesome visiting this adopted capital of the country. High sky rises, fast pace, Australian icons, magnificent waterways and only 60km away from the World Heritage Listed Blue Mountains National Park. You can see why Sydney is the most populated city in Australia.
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Destinations in New South Wales
Bundjalung National Park
Mt Warning National Park
Oxley Wild Rivers National Park
Royal National Park
Yuraygir National Park
Return from Sydney to New South Wales