The cultural and financial heart of the Australian continent, Sydney beckons the world to experience its cosmopolitan culture, interesting architecture, beautiful beaches, and its spectacular harbor. I’m happy to share the highlights of my short stay in this amazing city.
With accommodations in the Circular Quay area of the city, I was centrally located and close to the efficient public transportation system which includes buses, trams, trains and ferries. A few of my favorite hotels were the Park Hyatt, the Langham and the Four Seasons – all within walking distance of the Harbor Bridge, Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay. The Park Hyatt has the BEST location for views of the harbor – especially for News Year’s Eve fireworks. If a trip to ring in the new year in Sydney is on your list, don’t wait too long. The best hotels are already taking reservations for the next celebration.
Transportation: The primary hub for transportation for the city and surrounding areas is the Circular Quay. It is also where the larger international cruise ships dock. With the purchase of an Opal Card, you can travel like a Sydneysider on ferries, trains, trams and buses – just swipe the card and the system will deduct the cost of that particular trip. It’s easy to add value to the card as needed.
Sydney Opera House and Royal Botanic Gardens: As you face the harbor, you will find the Opera House with its distinctive roof resembling the sails on a ship on your right and the peaceful Royal Botanic Gardens beyond it. Take the opera house tour in the morning and then plan for a relaxing picnic lunch in the gardens.
Harbour Bridge: On your left, you’ll see the Harbour Bridge. I walked across the bridge to the quirky Kirribilli neighborhood which commands impressive views of the city and where I enjoyed lunch at a local pub with friendly locals.
The Rocks: From the Circular Quay, you can take a scenic walking path under the Harbor Bridge to the Rocks neighborhood with charming restaurants and shops as well as Darling Harbour, with some of the city’s oldest pubs.
Manly Beach: I took a ferry to Manly Beach, which I found more picturesque than Bondi Beach. It has a beach town feel with shops and a flat promenade with shade from pine trees.
Bondi Beach: The city’s best-known beach is east of downtown and usually full of surfers, joggers, and fun-seekers in the summer.
Watson’s Bay: It’s not a typical beach sun and sand experience, but it’s an easy ferry ride to a very pretty bay. Splurge for lunch at Doyles on the Beach Restaurant or enjoy a picnic al-fresco in the park with an order from Doyles on the Wharf Take Away. Click here to learn more about the fine food at Doyles.
Taronga Zoo: Wow! This experience made my day. I took the ferry over on a ticket that included the ferry, a cable car from the dock to the zoo entrance, and a day in the zoo. Sydneysiders joke that the animals don’t appreciate their multi-million-dollar views of the Sydney Harbour.
It has the largest collection of exotic animals as well as native koalas, kangaroos, dingoes, wombats, Tasmanian devils, and platypuses in natural habitats. Did you know that the zoo offers overnight stays in safari style tents or more luxurious hotel style accommodations? Click here to check out their “Roar and Snore” packages which are fun for families, friends, and couples!
Qantas invites you to celebrate their 100-year anniversary and is offering very reasonable fares, so now it the time to visit Australia. Let’s plan your trip down under. Simply email me at [email protected], click here, or call me at 602-692-9379 to get started!