Sydney, Australia City Guide
Going to Sydney, Australia? This rough and brief Sydney travel guide will show you What to Do in Sydney, Where to Go in Sydney, Where to Eat in Sydney and What to See in Sydney Australia. Sydney is a place to be savoured – enjoy Sydney when you are there as you will miss it when you leave!
Sydney is a place which is like a second home to me. I spent a year working here in 2003, working in both Sydney and Melbourne … but this is by far a nicer city (no offence to Melbourne but there is much more to do in Sydney and winter in Melbourne is fffreezzzing). In Sydney, there is plenty to do, the weather is always decent enough that you can get out and about.
Kingsford Smith Airport at Sunrise
Arriving in the city, you will be about 30 minutes drive from the city from Kingsford Smith Airport. Cabs and Airport transfers are easily accessible. A Taxi will cost between $30-$50 depending on where in the city you are going and what time of day it is. Transfers would be a bit less at between $13 and $20 depending on the company. We stayed in Sydney for 2 whole days, arriving late on a Monday evening in the middle of a monsoon and leaving on the first flight Thursday morning as the sun was just coming up.
The Harbour as seen from the AMP Tower
One of the key things about Sydney is the sheer number of areas you can enjoy a walk, from Circular Quays, the Rocks and Botanical Gardens to Darling Harbour and Hyde Park. The Rocks is a really quaint area full of olde world charm and some olde worlde cafes. You can continue through to Circular Quays, perhaps catch one of the many ferries which service Balmain, Darling Harbour, North Shore, and as far a field as Manly. If you are looking for food, check out City Extra – their fish and chips are really good as is the chicken pie which is served with a hot baked roll. From Circular Quays, you can walk into the Botanical Gardens which hugs the waterline looking out over the bay, with excellent views of Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The walkway extends around to Woolloomooloo Wharf … if you still haven’t eaten go straight to Harrys Pies (Harrys Cafe de Wheels), a small cart based pie shop with the best pies and best mashed potato in NSW. If you haven’t taken the route to Woolloomooloo you can continue through the Botanical Gardens to the Domain and on to Hyde Park. This walk is easily followed but worth taking 3-4 hours over as the views are spectacular.
People Walking over the iconic Harbour Bridge
In the city, you can enjoy the views from the Sydney Tower, formerly called the AMP Tower. The AMP logo is still displayed on the tower but it seems to have been rebranded. When we were there we almost missed the entrance as the whole area is being renovated. From the tower, you can get views as far as the airport and beyond … some days you can see as far as the Blue Mountains. If you are really adventurous you can climb Sydney Harbour Bridge (not on your own please, don’t start scaling the bridge and telling them it was my idea – it is a paid guided excursion with safety equipment). The only disadvantages are that you can’t bring a camera, you can’t decide to take a bathroom break and once you start out it’s about a 2 hour round trip – also not great for those with vertigo. We didn’t do this, instead took a helicopter trip with Cloud9 Helicopters from Bankstown Airport (phone 02 9771-3654) – well worth the money.
The main shopping areas extend from Pitt Street down around Town Hall also don’t miss Paddys Market in Chinatown which has excellent deals and is great for getting some fresh fruit, great deals on t-shirts and holiday clothes. While you are in Chinatown, you could get a really nice Chinese meal. If you are looking for a nice restaurant, go all the way as far as the Chinese arch in Chinatown and look for the Golden Harbour – Maria and the staff at the Golden Harbour will look after you and the food is always really nice. Yum Cha is also served early in the day.
Fruit Bats sleeping in the Botanical Gardens
Later in the evening, there is plenty to do in the city. You can enjoy dinner in the AMP / Sydney Tower overlooking the city by night, the food is very nice, usually a buffet – however, we found that The Summit Restaurant (http://www.summitrestaurant.com.au/) had nicer views (being that bit closer to the harbour) and also the menus were a bit nicer also. If you are looking for real class, try the Bennelong Restaurant at the Sydney Opera House. Not as expensive as you would think – and the service is 5 star (bordering on 6) with the food being similarly as good. The experience of dining at the Bennelong will live long in my mind – not only for the food and service but for the views and thrill of dining at one of the most iconic landmarks in the world.
The iconic Opera House – the Classic Shot from any trip to the city
Sydney is a place to be savoured, so if you are coming here for a holiday, spend as long as you can here – its one of the few cities in the world, where I can say I would be happy to live. Looking forward to going back already!
Recommended Links for Sydney, NSW
Bennelong Restaurant, Sydney Opera House: http://www.bennelong.com.au/
Sydney Tower: http://sydneytower.myfun.com.au/
Harrys Cafe de Wheels: http://www.harryscafedewheels.com.au/
City Extra, Circular Quays: http://www.cityextra.com.au/
Harbour Bridge Climb:http://www.bridgeclimb.com/
There is much more than this – but I wanted to keep this blog post short … If you have any questions about tips on where to go, eat or stay in this great NSW city please drop me a comment.