Sydney is one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Add to that year round sunshine, friendly locals, great restaurants and a few iconic must see and do sights and you have the perfect travel destination in Australia.
I have lived in Sydney almost my whole life so perhaps I am just a little bit biased, but if you don’t believe me head downunder and check it out for yourself – you won’t be disappointed. While you are here there are a few things you shouldn’t miss, and the good news is most of them are free or, at least, not very expensive.
You don’t need to climb Sydney’s iconic bridge to appreciate it. You can walk it, cycle it, catch a train across it or sail under it. There is a pedestrian walkway on the eastern side with views of the Opera House and Circular Quay, a cycleway on the western side and regular commuter ferry routes which pass underneath. If you want those spectacular views from the top but don’t want to commit to the famous Bridge Climb, you can climb up the south-east pylon to the pylon lookout instead.
2. Follow a harbourside or seaside walking path –
Sydney has so many stunning walks it is hard to list them all. Three of the best are: –
. This walk takes you from Sydney’s newest harbourside park to the eastern tip of the Botanic Gardens. If you only have time for one walk in Sydney this is the one to do. Beginning at Barangaroo you pass the Harbour Bridge, Circular Quay and the Opera House before entering the Botanic Gardens. Keep the harbour on your left and you can’t get lost.
. As well as two of Sydney’s most famous surf beaches this 6 km walk takes you past stunning cliff top views, glorious old harbourside mansions, and secluded little bays which are perfect for a quick dip or snorkel.
It might be only 2 kms long but this is my favourite Sydney walk. Tucked away in the ultra-posh lower North Shore the path follows the shoreline of the inner harbour with million dollar views on one side and exquisite Federation mansions on the other. Easy to get to by ferry, the walk starts and finishes at the inner harbour wharfs of Cremorne Point and Mosman Bay.
With its cobblestone streets and historic sandstone buildings The Rocks is richly endowed with the sights and sounds of Sydney’s convict past. You’ll find art galleries, museums, cafes, restaurants, bars, weekend markets and endless little laneways to explore.
You can’t visit Sydney without getting out on the harbour but if you don’t like the idea of a tour, head down to Circular Quay and jump on a public ferry instead. The views are the same. The only thing missing will be the commentary. Click on Transport NSW for timetables and maps.
If you have plenty of time, take a ferry to Watsons Bay or Manly for a long leisurely trip. Both destinations have cafes, restaurants and great walks. If you’re time poor, the journeys to Darling Harbour, Neutral Bay and Mosman are shorter.
Nothing says ‘I’m in Sydney’ quite like laying on the beach and soaking up the sunshine, whether it’s at Bondi, Manly, Coogee or any of the countless lesser known stretches of golden sand. My favourite is Dee Why on the Northern Beaches – sand, surf and a string of cafes and restaurants with views across the endless expanse of the Pacific Ocean.