G’day mate, welcome to the most vibrant destination in Land Down Under – Sydney! Hailed as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, this metropolis is complemented by the beautiful natural landscapes as well as energetic denizens dubbed as Sydneysiders. As the state capital of New South Wales, Sydney has a unique approach to culture, history, nature, modernism, art and the great outback which define the entire country. Have dinner with astounding views of the Sydney Opera House, see the Three Sisters Katoomba in the Blue Mountains, or go biking along Manly Beach as the surf enthusiasts catch a wave of two. Sydney is truly enchanting!
Best of Sydney
1. Sydney Opera House
One of the major icons of Australia, the brainchild of Danish architect Jorn Utzon is truly an architectural masterpiece. The Opera House comes alive at night with its nightly shows and events, and the icon is truly a magnificent sight marvelled from afar, fully amplified by scenic views of the harbour in the backdrop.
2. Harbour Bridge
Another iconic landmark of Sydney that must not be missed, Sydney Harbour Bridge is the world’s tallest steel arch bridge, measuring at 134 metres. Nicknamed as ‘the Coat Hanger’ due to its curvy shape, this bridge is an integral part of the city as it carries the rail, vehicles and pedestrian traffic, connecting the central business district (CBD) with the North Shore.
Featured by Lonely Planet as one of the top ten biggest adrenaline rush experiences in the world, soak in the thrill of climbing up to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, where you’ll be treated to a stunning view of Sydney city at the height of 134 metres above sea level.
4. Bondi Beach
Beaches are the epitomes of Australia, and the most famous one of all is Bondi Beach. As one of Sydney’s main attractions, Bondi Beach will pull you into the thriving sun, sea and sand hoopla of this world-famous beach. The beach got its name from the aborigine word that translates as ‘the sound of the crashing waves’.
Manly is reachable by car, but it makes for a more wholesome experience if you hop on a ferry from Circular Quay and enjoy the scenic ride to reach here. A laidback beach town with glorious waves, you can go surfing, picnic by the beach, or rent a bike for a leisurely ride around the area.
6. Featherdale Wildlife Park
A fun place especially for kids, you can see and interact with Australia’s exciting wildlife such as kangaroos, koalas, wombats and exotic native birds in a natural setting. There is a designated picnic area with BBQ, so it’s bound to be a fun-filled day for the whole family!
7. Sydney Aquarium
Marvel at Australia’s most interesting aquatic life and say hello to sharks, dugongs, seahorses, turtles, jellyfishes, stingrays and thousands of tropical fishes via the impressive underwater viewing glass tunnels. Do also check out the Great Barrier Reef exhibit – it’s impressive!
8. Art Gallery of New South Wales
If you love art, you will absolutely love it here. Alongside a permanent collection of hundreds of artworks that hail from Australia, Europe and Asia, there are also more than 30 temporary exhibitions every year. Do checkout their website www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au for upcoming exhibitions, lectures, film screenings and music performances.
9. Sydney Tower
There’s no better way to truly appreciate the beauty of the panoramic shores, stunning skyline and lush natural beauty other than from the top of Sydney Tower. Adrenaline junkies may want to try the Skywalk, a truly exhilarating experience of walking on a platform surrounding the tower at a whopping 268 metres above ground level!
10. Paddington Market
Don’t leave out Paddington Market on your itinerary as it is one of the must-see tourist destinations in Sydney. Here, you can find some truly unique gifts to bring home including art, crafts, jewellery, clothing, and unique souvenir items.
11. Koala Park Sanctuary
Cuddle, feed and take candid snapshots with one of Australia’s most iconic species. Set within 10 acres of lush gardens, you can also meet kangaroos, dingoes, wombats and a large collection of Australian native birds.
12. Taronga Zoo
No zoo in the world has Taronga’s beautiful vantage point overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opera House and Sydney Cove. Equipped with its own jetty, step off the boat and explore the home to Australia’s finest collection of native wildlife and exotic species. Take a picture within the animals’ enclosure (with the help of the rangers) or catch to Zoo Sky Safari chair lift to get to the top of the hill!
13. Sydney Observatory
See Mars, Saturn and all the other planets in our solar system using the oldest telescope in Australia, dating back to 1874. Sydney Observatory is well worth the trip alone just for its history, structure and instruments.
14. Royal Botanic Gardens
Located by the scenic Sydney Harbour, this 30-hectare stretch of serenity houses many attractions, including the Sydney Tropical Centre, Herb Garden, The Fernery, Succulent Garden, Rose Garden and Oriental Garden. Favourite would be Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, an excellent spot for you to take photos of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.
15. State Library of New South Wales
Book lovers will absolutely find this place heavenly, where there are over 5 million material items including books, photographs, videos, posters, newspapers and lots more! There are also regularly held events and exhibitions that will make your visit here memorable. Full event listing can be found at their website www.sl.nsw.gov.au.
16. Queen Victoria Building
An architectural beauty on its own, the Queen Victoria Building is not only rich in history and heritage, but it also houses more than 180 shops, from fine boutiques to lifestyle products as well as chic cafes and restaurants.
17. Surry Hills
Want to get away from the touristy spots? Have a relaxing afternoon around this neighbourhood where you can stroll around the block and enjoy the vintage boutiques, kitschy bookstores, stationery shops and quirky toy stores. Grab a good meal or enjoy some fantastic wine in the many bars and canteens, whilst you soak up the dynamic vibe here.
Located on the outskirts of Sydney, this mountain range is perfect for breathtaking views of “The Three Sisters” and the surrounding mountain peaks. Bring your family to Scenic World Blue Mountains to enjoy the lush forest as you take the steepest inclined railway in the world at a whopping 45 degrees down. You can also visit the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, and have a little fun excursion at the Segway Blue Mountains.