Sydney and Surrounds
Visualizza Sydney & surroundings
As mentioned in the previous section Sydney on its own is a wonderful destination for a short stay, a perfect way to spend a few weeks travelling in Down Under. Sydney and Surrounds are located in marvellous natural settings that will reward you with a memorable experience to make you dream of Australia for years to come.
Focussing your visit on a major city like Sydney and Surrounds does not mean that you only go sightseeing, shopping, eating and drinking. Sydney is much more than this, its surrounding areas offers a variety of places to see and activities to do: from beautiful city beaches where you can swim, surf, to wonderful walks in the city parks as well as in national parks, to cultural and historical city sites. Sydney is the place where you can truly dive into the ocean and walk into national parks just a few minutes away from the Sydney city centre!
For a visit to Sydney any time will be good, the weather is pleasant all year through, in the winter months from june-august, the temperatures are cooling down. If you want to save money and do not like crowds avoid December, school terms holidays (Dec-Jan) and New Year's Eve. On the other hand there are spectacular events going especially in this period of the year. So you have the choice!
What are the most impressive Sydney attractions?
Anyone will agree on this point, yes the answer is easy, what makes Sydney so pecuiliar is the the Sydney Harbour, with its magnificent two icons the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge surrounded by its beautiful natural setting: the Sydney Harbour National Park. You can spend days exploring the whole area, Indeed this is a unique place not to be missed!!
Moreover the beautiful Sydney Beaches which you can easily reach from the city centre. And the Sydney National Parks in the Sydney surrounding areas: the Blue Mountains National Parks and the Royal National Park. Take a look at my Sydney Travel guide
How to get to Sydney?
Sydney is the major destination airport when leaving from Europe or from the USA. From the airport you can reach the city by shuttle, by taxi or you can ask your hotel or hostel for a free pick, this service is quite common in Australian cities. Sydney is also well connected to all other minor australian airports, so that if you wish to spend a few days somewhere else, you find immediate connections from here. Train connection is also good, as a good alternative to flying if you prefer.
What to do in Sydney?
For your visit in Sydney as a first time visitor I would plan at least 4 days for the city and spend the remaining time, 4-5 days in the surrounding areas. I have compiled a list of major places to see and some tips on what to see there.
What to see in Sydney City
- Sydney Harbour
Something very impressive, this is the most spectacular harbour in the world! Here you can spend days and days visiting and doing things. If you fancy the height and will not feel dizzy up there, take a Bridge Climb tour to the very top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The interior of the Sydney Opera House, is a must! The Sydney Opera itself is a beautiful masterpiece of architecture but you should see it from inside too, it's worth ita. You can take a ferry from the Circular Quay, the ferry hub, and visit one of the best places like Manly beach or go to the Taronga Zoo. From there you can enjoy a wonderful view over the harbour and the city as well.
- The Rocks
this district a few minutes walk from the Circular Quay is the oldest precint dating back from 1788. It's one of my favourite areas of Sydney. Here it concentrates the vibrant Sydney life, from historical pubs, good shopping with the fantastic Rocks Markets held on weekends. This is one of the best area for eating and drinking, you find here faboulous dining venues and great pubs. You can spend here a whole day, especially on weekends when the market takes place, and if you like modern art you can visit the Museum of Modern Art, with interesting local exhibitions.
- The Royal Botanic Gardens
a visit to this huge park is a must! Next to comtemplate hundreds of different species of plants and birds you will have the possibility of taking a walk through thi beautiful waterfront botanic gardens and adminre the Sydney harbour from the Mrs Macquaries Point.
- Sydney Beach Walks
There are quite a few beautiful walks you can do in Sydney along the beach or in its national parks. I have picked two wonderful tracks for you, I have personally done several times. The one I like very much is the Spit Walk starting from The Spit Bridge, wander through the Sydney Harbour National Park and reach Manly beach, rest at a nice trendy beachfront cafe, yu can swim, surf and then take the ferry back to the city, admiring a breathtaking sunset over the harbour and the city. Another spectacular clifftop walk is the one from Bronte to Bondi. To reach Bronte you can get on a bus from the city center and get off at Bronte, from there walk for 1/2 hour and reach Bondi to spend the rest of the day.
Sydney Mountains & National Parks
- Royal National Park, Bundeena and Cronulla
If you are planning to stay over a week in the Sydney surrounds visit the National Park, it's an ideal place to spend a few days and enjoy some great walking and hiking tracks. If you only have one day you can drive to Cronulla and take the ferry to Bundeena, take one of the various walks in the woodlands and then return to Cronulla for a coffee break. Cronulla is a nice little beach town known among the surfers, with trendy cafes and dining places. Also for music scene and entertainment is a good stop. If you wish to learn more about the Royal National Park click on the link.
- The Blue Mountains – Katoomba
The Blue Mountains are an absolute “must see” place if you are staying in Sydney for a few days. You can get there by train, by bus, or if you prefer by car. The train connection is the best choice among the different options. It takes roughly 1 1/2 hour to reach the Blue Mountains and trains run frequently. Once you are there walk through the forest up to the Three Sisters and Echo Point to admire a gorgeous panorama. For nature lovers and hikers one day is too short, stay overnight, there is soo much too see, the National Park is huge and if you stay a couple of days you will have the time to walk different tracks, and try the scenic railway, the scenisender and more. Stay for the night in Katoomba, there are a few hotels or if you prefer stay at the YHA-hostel, one of the nicest hostels in the whole region. For more information about accommodation in Katoomba you can click here.For more information on the Blue Mountains visit their official site.
Sydney Beaches, southern beaches and northern beaches
Sydney has many beaches, the most known are Bondi and Manly, but there are many other places to visit. A great destination for a day out is the northern part of Sydney, hire a car and make a stop at the single beaches. There are fascinating little bays and beautiful beach spots. Here below I list a few of them:
- Bondi beach is the most famous Sydney city beach, know among visitors as well the locals for surfing . It's a place for a day out but, to enjoy some exercise, you can jog along the walk path from here to Bronte and farther south to Cogee. You can swim,surf, relax on the beach or enjoy a beachfront cafe.
- Manly beach is another trendy beach spot on the opposite side of Bondi. Manly is more trendy in my opion and since it is connected with the ferry to the Sydney Circular Quay, it's more trendy and fashionable than Bondi. From Manly you can start also your beach journey on the norhern bound of Sydney, from here you can stop to several little bays and beaches up to the Palm Beach.
- Whale Beach is my favourite beach among the long northern coastal area of Sydney. Palm Beach has certainly its own charme with the lighthouse and the natural setting, what makes Palm beach famous in the world. But I find Whale beach prettier, a secluded bay with beautiful golden red sand, rocks, a beach swimming pool, I would say the ideal place to stop for 1-2 days too, if you look for some tranquillity and stay overnight at the Whale Beach Bed & Breakfast.
If you want to see some more pictures of the Sydney beaches click on the link.
Looking for Accommodation in Sydney and nearby?
If you are staying in Sydney and is your first destination when leaving to Australia you will have to book from home. I recommend booking online, there are several searching machines you can use, and these are reliable, you'd better do it yourself because it means you will not pay any additional commissions: travel agencies also use them, so why pay more.
Do your research on you own, compare and book the accommodation which more suits you. I have made myself a long research in internet and amon all the searching machine I have tested this is absolutely the best one because they compare hotel rates among 300 major searching tools. You can search here for hotels, bed and brekfast and hostels. Have a look at it, click on the link to learn more about hotel Accommodation in Sydney.
If you want to ask any question or want to add your tips or personal experience to this mini guide about Sydney and its surroundings please feel free to contact me and I will be pleased to add your comments.