Tourism in Sydney Australia
Sydney is one of Australia’s biggest cities, but by most international standards it is a fairly compact place. Much of the city centre (the Central Business District, otherwise known as the CBD) and the trendy surrounding suburbs are easily explored by foot, and in fact, one of the best ways to familiarise yourself with the lay of the land is by taking a wander through Sydney’s streets and parks. You can even cross the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge by foot, and be sure to check out Luna Park by Milsons Point if you do. If you’re a seasoned walker in search of a more challenging trek, there are also many wonderful inner-city bushwalks and coastal paths to discover on Sydney’s fringes.
Public transport in Sydney has a chequered past; from our inexplicably scrapped tram network to the one-way monorail that once encircled the CBD, some pretty questionable choices have marked this city’s transit history. Trains and buses are prone to delays and whole services can be suspended in bad weather. Ferries are gorgeous and run to a tighter schedule, but aren’t that frequent either. Basically, Sydney does not have a fast, reliable, easy to use mass transit system, at least not yet. An extensive light rail extension is making certain parts of the city more navigable, and upgrades to Sydney Central Train Station are aiming to streamline the customer experience and keep services slick. There’s no denying, by international standards, this city is a beautiful basket case. So, you might as well embrace it: plan ahead and enjoy the (long) journey.
Sydney has an international reputation as a go-to destination for sun-seekers, and we certainly do catch quite a few rays here in the Land Down Under. But be warned, Sydney can dish out its fair share of wild weather too. Courtesy of a sub-tropical climate, torrential rain and summer storms are not uncommon here, and can roll in from the Tasman Sea, dropping a deluge on the city, without much notice. So, even if the sun is shining and the skies are clear in the morning, you’d be wise to check the forecast before heading out for the day. And if rain is on the horizon, we suggest a rain-poncho over an umbrella: even the sturdiest brollies don’t last long during Sydney’s epic downpours.
You’re visiting the Eora Nation
Australia is home to the world’s oldest living culture. First Nations Australians were here more than 60,000 years before European settlers ever arrived. Despite a dark colonial history, and issues of poverty and disenfranchisement that exist to this day, Aboriginal culture is still thriving in Sydney. Teach yourself about it by taking an Indigenous-led walking tour or checking out some Aboriginal art.
It’s not all about downtown
While there are plenty of great restaurants and coffee shops in downtown Sydney, staying right in the centre of the city doesn’t suit everyone. If you want to visit the beach every day, for instance, you’re better off staying in a beachside suburb like Bondi or Manly. If you’re here for the nightlife, then staying in Chippendale or Newtown will give you walking-distance access to lots of late night bars, pubs and places to see live music. If you’re here for the food and shopping, then Surry Hills, Darlinghurst and Paddington will probably float your boat.
Visit the Opera House at sunset
Every night, the Sydney Opera House is illuminated with a projection called Badu Gili, which shows the work of First Nations artists from across Australia and the Torres Strait Islands, with new artists regularly appearing on the impressive sails. You can check what time the projection will light up throughout the year at the Sydney Opera House website.
If walking in nature is more of your thing, the Wild Walks app features over 1,000 walking trails around New South Wales, and the majority are concentrated around the Sydney region. You can select walks by difficulty, time and location.
Some places to go:
-Royal Botanic Garden
-Queen Victoria Building