I'm going to Australia the end of January. It's a short trip and would love suggestions for the Sydney area.
Posted on Dec 19, 2010
Here's a blog I wrote after a recent visit last March...had a blast!
Posted Dec 19, 2010Add a comment
Soooo---I had a few minutes today to think of something besides Christmas, so sat down to read your blog. (Which I am enjoying immensely) and then panicked! Visa, I need a visa! Crap! Called my travel buddy to share. Found the correct web site and phew!, visa done. Thank you from the bottom of my sugar laden heart for that bit of information. Hope you have a very happy holiday season. Kim
Posted on Dec 23, 2010
SO happy to have helped!!! Merry Christmas...and, enjoy Sydney.
Posted on Dec 23, 2010
I just spent six months living in Sydney so I think I might be able to help. Not sure how long your short trip will be, so I will give a few recommendations for within the city and immediately nearby (i.e. beaches) as well as a couple places a bit further out that need at least a full day trip.
Of course you've got to go down to Circular Quay and see the Sydney Opera House and Habour Bridge. And wander through the Botanical Gardens (great views of the Opera House and Bridge from the area near Mrs. Macquarie's Chair) and spy on flying foxes and lorikeets in the trees. From Circular Quay you can also take ferries to places like Manly. The Rocks is also right there, one of the oldest part of Sydney and it's maintained some of that old charm. There are a lot of nice restaurants (I highly recommend Pancakes on the Rocks -- insanely delicious!) and bars in the area, a nice market on weekends, and the Museum of Contemporary Art is a great museum right on the border of the Quay and The Rocks.
Darling Harbour is also a big place to visit in the city, with the aquarium, which is awesome, Wildlife World (I never visited it, so can't comment, but there's a decently priced visitor pass which includes this, the aquarium, and Sydney Tower), and a number of restaurants and cafes, the IMAX theater, etc., and there's often other events/entertainment going on there also. They're also in the process of adding a waterpark type area that might be open by January, which would be cool.
Taronga Zoo is also a favorite (though a bit expensive) spot to visit, you can get passes that include the ferry ride across.
There are two beach walks that are kind of considered must-dos. One is the Manly-Spit Coastal Walk, which you can take a bus to Spit Bridge, walk to Manly, then take the ferry back from Manly (or vice versa). It's gorgeous. And around Manly there's a lot to do, nice beach, and at night you can sometimes see little penguins.
And of course there's Bondi, which is arguably the most famous beach in Australia, and there's a walk between Bondi and Coogee which is also really nice. (I wrote about doing that and some of the other things I mentioned before here.)
A couple other parts of the city that might be worth visiting: Centennial Park (a huge park filled with ponds and trees and lots of birdlife, including cockatoos that will come up right up to you) and Kings Cross (it's a big nightlife area that used to be kind of the red light district of Sydney, but it's not too bad now though there are still some strip clubs, etc. There's some history to it, there's even a show called Underbelly about what it was like there in the 80s/90s, and there are walking tours and stuff you can take...it's more backpacker-y now).
Within an easy day trip from Sydney I would recommend visiting the Blue Mountains for some spectacular scenery, hiking, and a slightly scary ride on the world's steepest railway. You can also go to Hunter Valley (driving or there are long day trips from Sydney under $100) and do some wine tasting.
If you need any other tips, from where to eat (I've had the luck of eating at the nice and pricey as well as the super cheap and delicious), where to go out, or what to do, etc. I would love to help. I had a great time in Sydney and I'm sure you will too! :)
Posted Dec 20, 2010Add a comment
Beyond the usual (Opera House, the Bridge, the Botanical Gardens, etc.) I highly recommend doing a short hike from Bondi to Bronte. It's a gorgeous walk along the coast and there are charming places to eat in Bronte afterwards. And for me, one of the most fun experiences in Sydney was parking myself at a lively pub during a rugby or Aussie Rules football game and having some locals explain the game:). If you have time to get out of Sydney, the Blue Mountains are nearby and are worth a day or half day of hiking. If you are really adventurous, take surfing lessons! Have a great time - Sydney is truly one of the world's greatest cities.
Posted Dec 23, 2010Add a comment
The weekend market at The Rocks (Sat/Sun 10a-5p) is a great place to meet people and find some very unique gifts and foodstuffs.
The Botanic Garden is lovely and walking on the grass is highly encouraged.
Travel by ferry boat just to see the area.
Manly or Bondi make great excursions away from the "hustle" of Sydney.
The Powerhouse Museum has great exhibits.
Posted Dec 28, 2010Add a comment
If it's short, I HIGHLY recommend the hop-on, hop-off bus tour. If you've not done these, it's a bus that does a loop circuit. There's a narrator on board, and there are a bunch of stops along the route. They run a number of buses and give you a map. At each stop that holds interest for you, you hop off of the bus and spend as much time exploring the area as you like. You then wait at the bus stop for the next bus, get on, and hop off at the next point of interest, and so on.
It's call the Sydney Explorer and here's the website:
Posted Dec 19, 2010Add a comment
Here's some advice I gave another Afar member - While in Sydney, you may want to do the Bridge Climb - http://bridgeclimb.com/ and do a day tour to the Blue Mountains which your hotel can help you arrange. I cannot remember the one we used but they picked us up at the hotel, took us to a park where we were able to feed kangaroos, pet koalas, and after the Blue Mountain, return via a harbour ferry at sunset,
Posted Dec 21, 2010Add a comment
Grab a ferry over to Manly Beach. Lovely area, much quieter than Bondi, and there's a great restaurant just a short walk from Manly Beach on Shelly Beach. Don't remember name, but it's the only one there. Also, the ferry ride to and from is a picture-perfect way to see the harbor.
For more on my travels, please check out Around The World In 18 Days, new for iPad! http://www.aroundtheworldbook.com
Posted Dec 25, 2010Add a comment
Some of my favorite things I did while in Sydney include the following:
- Taronga Zoo (by far the best zoo I've ever been to, and you can get your photo taken with a koala, too!)
- Bridge Climb (I found out there was an eclipse while we were in Syndey, so I arranged a night climb and we were on the top as the eclipse happened. But even on just a regular night, the night climb would be breathtaking!)
- a show at the Opera House
- Bondi Beach
- day trip to Hunter Valley wineries
I could go on, but if I had to pick one spot not to miss, I'd definitely say the zoo!
Posted Dec 27, 2010Add a comment
The Blue Mountains are a daytrip out of Sydney and there is a wildlife park closeby where you can get up close and personal with koalas, kangaroos, and wallabys. You can also do a day trip to Canberra, Australia's capitol.
Use the water ferries to get around and check out the area around Darling Harbour,.
Posted Jan 01, 2011Add a comment