Sydney Opera House is a must of course on your first visit to Sydney. Grabbing a ticket to a concert or performance, is the only way to see the inside. Or you can join a tour run by the Opera House itself. Not to worry, it is the outside anyway that is most spectacular to any one that catches its eye. There is nothing quite like it anywhere else in the world. UNESCO thought the same and made it world heritage in 2007.
If you want thrills in Australia, the best place to be is the Gold Coast, which you can call Theme Park Central. However, if you are desperate, you might get some jitters going at Luna Park in North Sydney. Even if you don't go inside, the view over the Harbour from here is amazing and the park's entrance is worth a picture. An easy ferry ride away from Circular Quay too.
Royal Botanic Garden
Located in the most amazing spot, right next to the Harbour and the Opera House, lies a vast domain showcasing all kinds of native trees and plants. Even if you are not interested in flora, it is an amazing spot to just go for a walk or hang out for the afternoon.
The Botanic Garden is open for the public, but closes at night.
This is the original settlement area of the city of Sydney. Find the oldest houses and narrow lane-ways here. Today it is taken over by pubs, cafes and restaurants. There is also a weekly food stall market on Fridays and markets on the weekends.
Bondi or Manly Beach
Like with rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney, there is also rivalry within Sydney of who is to claim the better beach. Put it to the test and discover both. Best way to do this is to make your way there via the coastal walks. Spit Bridge to Manly walk, Watsons Bay to Bondi walk or Coogee Beach to Bondi walk. When in Manly, make sure to walk all the way to Shelly Beach and have a snorkel if you can as this is a protected marine reserve. Up from Shelly Beach also starts a walk with great views over Manly Beach.
Feeling like you need a bit of zen in this bubbly metro pole of Sydney? Go visit this truly peaceful garden in the middle of the city at Darling Harbour. Amidst beautiful water features and flowers, you can feed the big Koi living under the surface. The Chinese Garden of Friendship also is heritage-listed and home to a great tea house. Open for the public for a small entry fee of 8$.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Probably the most famous bridge in the world, and one that does not disappoint is the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Spanning from Sydney CBD to North Sydney, it makes for a nice walk on a sunny day (which is almost any day!). Walk the 1.2km distance to the best viewpoint on the Harbour at Milson's Point. Due to its shape, locals also call it 'The Coat Hanger'.
For the brave amongst us, you can also walk the bridge across the top for a fairly hefty price.
Blue Mountains National Park
The most famous National Park is the Blue Mountains in Sydney. It has the icon of the Three Sisters, and some good fun on the Railway down the valley and over the ridge. However, it is also the most crowded. If you want to go off the beaten path check out Royal National Park, or Ku-ring-Gai Chase National Park. If you are interested in the latter, check out our Bush and Beach day tour.
When you think of Australia, first thing that comes to mind are probably all the poisonous spiders and snakes, or the fluffy koalas and kangaroos or wombats. Taronga Zoo has a really good variety of animals to see in a great environment. Make sure to take the ferry across from Circular Quay to get the view off all the Sydney icons such as Opera House and Bridge from the water. If you want to see Kangaroos and Wombats in the wild, check out our tour page Kangaroo and Wombats.
As capital of Australia you will find its main political Hub here. Catch the free tour in the Parliament and make sure to get to the roof for a great view over the majestic Anzac Parade to the other side with the War Memorial. This is one of the greatest memorials in Australia and definitely worth a visit. Another good reason to visit Canberra is for the numerous amount of art and history musea, as well as Questacon, a technology museum. Furthermore, take your bike for a nice ride along the big lake. It takes you just under 4 hours to get to the Capital by bus. It is a pleasant stop on your way to Melbourne.