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Round the World Trip Guide to Sydney, Australia
It’s an almost certainty that if you are visiting Australia you will be flying into Sydney. Given that it is a main airport, most people opt to fly in and out from here. If not, then you will find yourself in Sydney at some point during your trip. So what is Sydney all about and what is there to do here?
To begin with, you will want to visit the obvious places like the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. These are highly regarded as symbols of Sydney, if not Australia itself, and it isn’t hard to see why. They are both impressive in their own right, and stand out against the city skyline quite authoritatively. Caught in the right light, you can muster up some incredible photos around these spots.
If you are around this area, then take a walk to the Circular Quay and watch the boats coming and going. There are plenty of restaurants and shops around, as well as much touristy entertainment, so keeping busy will not be a problem. Even if you just want to sit back and relax, you can. Take the opportunity to grab a photo with the guys playing the Didgeridoo. They are always somewhere along the quay.
As you are at the quay, take one of the many ferries to one of Sydney’s attractions. Taronga Zoo can be reached by ferry, and this is a nice day out for the family, or a half day out for those travelling lighter. One of the highlights has to be the ski lift that takes you into the park, offering sensational views across the water on a nice day.
Another place to visit from the ferries is Manly. There are lots of nice beaches to be found around Manly, some offering seclusion from the general public, others showcasing activities throughout the day. There are shops and food outlets galore, and you never have to look too far to find somewhere to grab a drink or two. Why not attempt the coastal walk if you have time; the views on the walk will be well worth it.
Back in the city you have the Sealife Centre and the Wildlife Centre both next door to one another. Ticket prices differ to allow for deals on entry to both parks, both of which are fun and interesting. There is the chance to have your picture taken with a Koala in the Wildlife Centre as well, which is not to be missed. This is a fun day for younger children, but not so much for adults, as most of it is nothing you haven’t seen before. But hey, you’re in Sydney, and that’s what makes it unique.
For mesmerising views across the entire city and beyond, I suggest walking on over to the Sky Tower. It is accessed through the shopping centre beneath the tower, and you pay for your ticket to get whisked up to the lookout tower in the escalators. Once here you will be taken aback by the views, I know I was. Be prepared for hordes of people, and accept the fact that most will be in your way at some point, but you don’t have to hurry, and great pictures can be had. If you are feeling brave, try the edge walk on the top level of the tower. I didn’t try this as the cost was a bit steep – for a traveller anyway – but I guess it might be quite fun.
Back down on ground level, you may wish to take the weight of those feet of yours. All that walking and exploring has no doubt worn you down. Aside from the many eating places and bars scattered throughout Sydney, why not just relax in the peacefulness of Hyde Park, and watch the world fly by past you. Remember to top up the sun cream first though, as the sun is un-relenting here and you don’t want to come away with a red face. Join the countless other Sydney folk just basking in the glorious sunshine.
Sydney has a wealth of museums and other attractions if sightseeing is your thing, so you will never find yourself feeling bored. And if you are lucky enough to be in Sydney on the 26th January, you can partake in the Australia Day celebrations. There is so much going on in Sydney during this time, with bands playing live music, stalls offering food and drink, as well as shows and performing artists all around you. You have to be here to experience it all. You may find yourself partying long into the night, and into the next day.
Spend a while exploring the wildlife and the beautiful flowers inhabiting the Botanic Gardens. The gardens stretch for some distance so it is easy to get lost. (Make sure you take bottled water with you). At various points in the more foresty parts, you can see and hear the bats up in the trees above you. If you hang around until the evening you will be able to see the bats taking flight for their nights hunting. They are very large and can be extremely noisy at times.
Whilst around the Botanic Gardens in the evening, you will be in the perfect place for an evening of entertainment. The outdoor cinema screen comes into life and a film is shown each evening for those with tickets. If you are thoughtful enough to book ahead, I suggest going, but if you don’t fancy sitting through a movie, or just don’t want to pay the money for a ticket, there is a small area behind the cinema where you can sit and view the film through the trees. It’s not the best of views, but the sound is still fine.
Finally, if Sydney has been a mad rush of sightseeing and exploring, maybe you need to spend a day at the beach. After all, Sydney has some amazing beaches. Bondi Beach is the most obvious, and possibly the most famous beach in all of Australia, so it makes sense to see what all the fuss is about, if you can find a spot on the beach that is. This beach gets extremely busy, especially at the weekends. The more adventurous travellers can opt for the long scenic walk along the coast to Coogee Beach. You will pass many smaller beaches on the way, and the views are stunning. Take a short break and watch the surfers as they battle for position on each wave.
Sydney is one of those cities that you have to see in your lifetime. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is one of those places that is so famous, that if you are in Australia you simply have to spend at least a day or two here. I’m not a city person, but I had time for Sydney, and enjoyed all that I saw and experienced. If anything, it is another place ticked off the list.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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