Oozing with style, glamour and a whole wealth of culture, Sydney is one of the main reasons that so many people fall in love with Australia…
by Sarah Quinn
As the largest city in Australia, Sydney will almost always appear on your itinerary if you take a cruise down under. With Bondi Beach, the Sydney Opera House and endless shopping facilities all on offer, there’s plenty to do here.
An adventure to Sydney usually begins at the picturesque harbour named Circular Quay which is home to the iconic Opera House and The Sydney Harbour Bridge. Taking a backstage tour of the Sydney Opera House is a must. Giving you a real insight of what goes on behind the curtain, you’ll be able to stand on the world-famous concert hall stage, visit the dressing rooms where the artists get ready and even have a go at conducting in the orchestra pit.
Next on the list of must do’s is taking a climb up the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This 3-4 hour trek is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels and is most definitely worth it once you reach the top. With views stretching for miles, this truly is a unique way of seeing the city and its sparkling harbour below.
A shopping haven…
Venturing further into the city you’ll find plenty to see and do. Dotted with hundreds of shopping districts, you could spend hours here alone simply looking for a bargain. The city centre is where you will find shopping arcades offering designer clothes, jewellery and perfume.
If you are looking for souvenirs, antiques and handicrafts then the Rocks Market located in the Rocks Historical District is a popular part of the city to visit. Or if you fancy an Australian boutique shopping experience then the beachside districts are ideal for this.
Australia’s Aboriginal influences can be clearly seen in Sydney’s museums and art galleries. With history that stretches back for more than 40,000 years, Australia’s aboriginal arts has fast become one of the most original and fascinating things to see. The fi rst museum in the country to feature a collection of natural science and cultural artefacts, the Australian Museum can be found in Sydney’s city centre. The Australian National Maritime Museum offers an array of maritime life with exhibitions and interactive displays. The Art Gallery of New South Wales features award winning exhibitions of works from Picasso, or you can find contemporary works at the Museum of Contemporary Art. To learn all about Australia’s fascinating past then the Aboriginal Art Galleries offer just that and can be found at the Opera Quays, The Rocks and the Queen Victoria Building.
Soak up the culture…
As Sydney is so huge with so many sights on offer many people tend to opt for a guided city tour. Just some of the highlights include; Chinatown and Paddy’s Markets which is the ideal place to grab an Australian souvenir; the Rocks which is an area of Sydney boasting plenty of history dating back to the 17th century and has now become a popular tourist spot due to its chic restaurants, interactive museums and lively markets; Mrs Macquarie’s Chair which is a formation of sandstone rock that has been hand carved by convicts into the shape of a bench; Rushcutters Bay which is home to Sydney’s Olympic sailing and yachts; the glamorous Darling Point and Point Piper which is home to the rich and famous such as Nicole Kidman; and Watson’s Bay which is the perfect place to see Sydney’s famous sandstone sea cliffs.
Taking life easy…
The world famous Bondi Beach attracts people from all over with its stretches of golden sands, turquoise waters and laid back atmosphere. A surfers paradise, you can spend all day relaxing on the beach watching people attempt to ride the waves, or even have a go yourself if you dare. If you are looking for somewhere a little less quieter but still just as beautiful then Manly Beach offers just that. Here you can enjoy water adventures, scenic historical walks or if you are visiting from May through to November then you can even go on a whale watching tour.
If you have been to Sydney before and wanted a taste of something a little bit different then a shore excursion into to the Blue Mountains and the Royal National Park is most definitely a rewarding experience. Nestled just outside the city in the New South Wales countryside it is a lush mountainous region of breathtaking landscapes and an abundance of wildlife.
The perfect place to escape from the bustling city, at the Royal National Park you can enjoy peaceful bushwalks, nature trails, exploring woodlands and lush rainforests and discovering sandstone gorges. Typical shore excursions to the Blue Mountains consist of a helicopter tour over Sydney and its surrounding areas before landing in this incredible region. You will then be able to enjoy a picnic in the Australian bush before visiting Pulpit Point, Anvil Rock and Grose Valley all of which offer undeniable beauty. You can then enjoy a scenic cable car ride into the rainforests of the Jamison Valley and truly understand why it has been listed as a World Heritage Site.
Sydney Fact File
Population: Approx. 4 million
Currency: Australian Dollar
Time Zone: GMT +10
Climate: Sydney enjoys a temperate climate with a mild winter, and has more than 340 sunny days a year. Average minimum temperatures in the winter months of June through to August are around 9°C. The summer season is from December through to February. The hottest months being July and August.