Sydney 5 Day Itinerary

Sydney 5 Day Itinerary

One of our featured writers - Sally Taylor is currently on a 3 month round the world trip and her second stop was Sydney. Here she shares her top itinerary tips and recommendations for how to spend 5 days in Sydney including seeing the tourist sights the city has to offer.

We had 5 days in the city, and this was our only Australian stop as we'll be spending a whole month in New Zealand. But it definitely left me hungry for more! We stayed on Elizabeth Street, which www as easy to find as it was about 3 blocks away from Central Station. You can get a quick and easy train directly from the airport terminal to Central for about $15.

It was unexpectedly rainy when we arrived - not exactly how we pictured summer in Australia! But after dumping our bags we headed straight for Circular Quay and the big sights - the Opera House and Harbour Bridge -  which definitely don't disappoint, even in the rain! We jumped straight on the free 555 tourist shuttle bus which runs in a loop from Central to the harbour until 3pm every day (9.30pm on Thursdays). It goes straight up George Street,  the main shopping street in the city, and goes past a few of the main sights like the town hall and Queen Victoria Buildings, so it's a great way to introduce yourself to the city. 

The jet lag meant I didn't discover any of the city's nightlife until the second evening, when we did something I hugely recommend - crab racing! It happens every Monday night at Scubar,  a real "backpackers" bar just off George Street and is exactly what it says on the tin, 20 hermit crabs racing across a stage. Get ready to think of a good crab name and place your bets!

Our first full day we got the 555 back down to the harbour and took the ferry across to Tongariro Zoo. The ferry is an inexpensive way to get out on the water and you get some fantastic views of the Opera House and skyline - especially now the sun was out! The zoo was a little pricey at around $40 per person, but it was absolutely worth the money! It's beautifully laid out and easy to walk around, and you can get really up close and personal with the wildlife.

There's a few walk-through enclosures where we found ourselves a few feet from the kangaroos and wallabys, and if you want to be really touristy (which we of course did!) you can pay $20 to have your own Koala Encounter. While it is now illegal to hold koalas in New South Wales, you get time alone with these adorably grumpy critters and their keepers to ask questions and of course, get a snap for your mante piece. I'd also recommend the seal show to indulge your inner child! My one warning would be to take your own food in as it's very expensive to eat there.

You have to wander up the Opera House steps - this is another must-have Aussie photo. You can't go into the actual auditoriums uses you book on to a tour, but the bar is open to everyone! We saved some cash for a drink there on our last night - a must for the stunning views of the illuminated bridge. Then we met up with some Sydneysider friends who took us for a picnic in the Botanical Gardens, to the east of the harbour. The harbour really is the heart of Sydney, and you (again!) Get gorgeous views, particularly if like us you go at sunset. This is also where a lot of locals gather for the world famous New Year's Eve fireworks, so we knew it would be good!  We were also introduced to two unmissable Aussie delicacies - Anzac biscuits and Tim Tams. Yum!!

Everyone had warned us how expensive Sydney was going to be, but - perhaps because we were comparing it to London - we really didn't find it too bad! Being a big city, there are always options for a range of budgets if you're prepared to look for them, as well as things to do for free. One of these was the Rocks Discovery Museum. The Rocks is the area of the harbour marking where the European settlers first landed, and has a really quirky and old-fashioned feel that's not to be missed. The museum itself gives a fascinating insight into the arrival and settlement of the Europeans as well as their (sometimes fractious) relationship with the Aborigines.

Something most definitely not free, but worth pushing the boat out for, is the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb... yep, I did it! It cost just under £200 (see - not cheap), but this was serious Bucket List stuff, and I booked before I left the UK to make sure I could get the Twilight time slot. This departs at 6.30  to ensure you're on the summit as the sun goes down. Watching the thousands of lights come on across the city was just beautiful, and it's strangely peaceful up there! Our guide was also full of interesting facts and anecdotes about landmarks we could see. Such as - did you know? There's  a "black rainbow" only visible from the summit, caused by the shadow thrown as the bridge is lit up from below. Pretty cool!

Sydney was a sunny, spacious and stunning snippet of Australia, and we were both sad to say goodbye. I felt at home there within seconds, and I think it's a very good sign that you truly love a city if you fall in love with it even in the rain!



Related Pages

Related Opportunities

Sydney New Year Experience

Sydney’s New Years Eve celebration is one of the most spectacular in the world. Each year, the balmy summer celebration centers around the city's famous harbour. 

Sydney Discovery

Take a trip around New South Wales.

Reefs and Rainforests with Whitsundays Sailing (Start Cairns)

Wild nights & wildlife await you on Australia's East Coast. 

Sunsets and Surf (Start Whitsundays)

Get your trip off to a chilled out start in the stunning Whitsunday Islands, where relaxing, working on your tan & having a good time is all you need to think about! 

Beaches and Reefs with Whitsundays Sailing (Start Sydney)

If you love sun, water, fun & adventure then this is the perfect trip for you. Packed with loads of inclusions, you’ll experience the best of what makes the East Coast of Oz so amazing. 

Absolute Oz Jobs

Are you 18-30? Ever thought about ditching the UK for somewhere a little bit more... sunny?! How about Australia! You can earn £350+/wk in the Oz & keep that lush tan.

Australia & New Zealand Explorer

Australia or New Zealand? Do both! There’s never been a better time to get a taste of the world Down Under, and on this adventure, you’ll do so via trains, canopy cable cars, and private yachts. 

Beaches and Reefs (Start Cairns)

If you love sun, water, fun & adventure then this is the perfect trip for you. Packed with loads of inclusions, you’ll experience the best of what makes the East Coast of Oz such a sought after place to visit. 

Best of Australia

See the very best locations in Australia on this 2 week trip which includes the East Coast and the Outback.

Australia East Coast Volunteer Adventure

Join one of our groups for an action-packed 7 week tour combining travel & adventure with volunteering on Australia’s famed East Coast.

Work in Australia Sydney ConneXion

And up to $30,000 per year in Australia with Xtreme Gap Year. 

Paid Work in Sydney During Your Gap Year!

Interested in paid work in Australia? We can help you find a job and at the same time you'll get to sample the best that the buzzing city of Sydney has to offer!

The Full Aussie Adventure - Australia

The most epic way to start your new gap year adventure in Australia!

Sydney Working Holiday Visa Welcome Package

If you’re looking for the perfect way to meet people out in Australia, why not take a look at our popular Sydney Work, Travel and Fun package.

Sydney to Brisbane Experience

Think Australia’s out of your league since you’re short on time and cash? Nope! This quick and economical Sydney-to-Brisbane jaunt squeezes tons of excitement into a short time frame at a price that fits any budget.

Western Australia Discoverer

Looking for a better way to see Western Australia than on a big bus tour? We're here to help. 





About  |  Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Company A-Z  |  Advertise  |  Press  |  Contact

One World 365 © 2007 - 2017