Spectacular Sydney isn’t just an exciting urban experience. It’s also a celebration of Australia’s glorious outdoors. Pack your walking shoes and wander the magnificent sights of Sydney harbour and its expansive parks and gardens. Join the vibrant street life and bask on the beautiful beaches. The harbour city also offers some of Australia’s best shopping and dining experiences. Not to mention the arts and cultural events on high rotation all year round.
Getting to know Sydney
Sydney’s CBD makes a great base for a visit. It’s in convenient walking distance of major attractions like the Sydney Opera House, The Rocks, harbour bridge and Darling Harbour. The Art Gallery of NSW, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Sydney, Sydney Cricket Ground and Chinatown, are only a short distance away. The CBD is home to David Jones and Myer department stores, as well as shopping in the gorgeous and historic Queen Victoria Building. For a break, soak up some sun on the lawns of beautiful Hyde Park, or wander the Botanic Gardens and Domain.
North of the harbour, take the ferry to visit Manly with its aquarium and popular beaches. World class Taronga Zoo, also has its own ferry stop, only 12 minutes from Circular Quay. You’d need a car to tour the impressive northern beaches as far as Palm Beach. However, you might just spot whales breaching offshore between April and December.
East of the city, join café society in Darlinghurst and Surry Hills and dip into the private art galleries in the area. Bondi Beach is also only ten kilometres east of the CBD for swimming, surfing and fantastic dining. The six kilometre coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee via Tamarama Beach is a great way to enjoy the scenery and the fresh sea air. Watsons Bay, north of Bondi, offers great views of the city and the majestic cliffs of The Gap.
Sydney travel facts
With its mild climate, Sydney is a destination you’ll enjoy any time of the year. Summer, from December to February, tends to be dry and warm with an average maximum temperature of 26°C. Sydney gets most of its rain in the cooler months, when temperatures range from around 8 to 17°C. Temperatures tend to be more extreme further from the coast.
Mascot International Airport is just eight km from the CBD and well serviced by public transport. Note that the airport train tickets include an airport station access fee of around $13 on top of the fare. If you’re travelling as a couple or group, a taxi or Uber may end up being more economical. When flying out of the city, check your air ticket for which of the three terminals you’re departing from.
The easiest way to get around is by public transport via the city’s extensive network of trains, buses and ferries. The ferries from Circular Quay to stops like Balmain, Milson’s Point and Manly, are a cheap and cheerful way to enjoy the harbour. The ferries pass sights like the Harbour Bridge, Luna Park, and the opera house. If you plan to make several journeys on public transport, it’s worth buying an Opal Card – a smart ticket, that allows you to add credit and seamlessly transfer between ferries, trains and buses.
Car hire is also readily available as long as you’re not daunted by Sydney’s sometimes heavy traffic.