Sydney Travel, Backpacking & Gap Year Guide
Sydney is located in New South Wales (NSW) and is an area of Australia located on the east coast of the country. The chances are you will fly into New South Wales when you arrive in this country and we have some great suggestions for places to visit and things to do in this amazing region.
Activities, Tours & Things to Do in Sydney
Sydney Travel Tips
There is so much to do and see in Sydney, that it is impossible to list it all here. Instead, booking in advance and spending enough time will allow you to take in everything the city has to offer. From pristine beaches to camping in the bush to seeing all of the native flora and fauna, Sydney is the perfect city.
When it comes to nightlife and dining, Sydney has great restaurants, bars and clubs.
Find the best day tours, sightseeing activities, excursions & things to do in Sydney. You can also search tours which either depart from, visit or finish in Sydney.
Best Places to Visit in Sydney
If you enjoy getting close to the water, you need to visit Sydney Harbour. This entire area is filled with a history of its own that you can learn about while taking a ferry ride through the water to one of the many harbour islands. You can also walk along the shore and investigate the many nooks and crannies that nature has provided for you to explore.
There are natural treasures here to be discovered, as long as you don’t mind getting out on foot and taking a look. Bondi Beach is located in Sydney Harbour and it is one of the most well-known beaches in the World. In between searching saltwater rock pools and playing in the warm water, you can enjoy lunch at an espresso bar before continuing your exploration.
Water sports are very popular for those staying in Sydney, you can take the opportunity to try something you have never done before if you're staying in the city. You can learn how to surf, how to scuba dive or snorkel or even learn how to sail a yacht or catamaran. If you prefer to see the water from above, there are seaplane excursions every day that you can indulge in.
Looking for something to do with your significant other? Take out a paddle boat along one of the rivers that lead into the harbour and see the pelicans and kookaburras that line the shore. Nature lovers will enjoy the wide range of activities that the city offers. Families can picnic in a park, get involved in a game of cricket, take a walk through the historic district, take a bicycle ride through a park or even go on a bushwalk in the rugged terrain outside the city. No matter what you decide to do, there is something for people of all ages.
Sydney offers so much for tourists and there are so mant places to add to your itinerary.
The Rocks Area
We highly recommend going for a walk around the Rock area which has bars, resturants and a relaxed atmosphere.
Sydney Opera House
For music, you have to look no further than the symbol of the city, the Sydney Opera House. This famous building opened in 1973 and houses seven venues, including the main concert hall. Despite its name, it hosts performances of theatre and ballet as well as classical music and opera, and is now one of the most distinctive and iconic buildings in the World.
Alongside the opera house sits an equally iconic structure in the form of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The two together make the city’s harbour an attractive place to sail, yet another of the city’s outdoor activities, and carries cars, trains and pedestrians from the city’s business district to the North Shore. As such a focal point of the city, the frame of the bridge is lit up each year for the city’s New Year’s Eve display.
Each year a different theme is used, such as a disco ball or the Yin and Yang symbol, and the end result is a spectacular show for the entire city to see.
Sydney is also one of only two cities in Australia (Brisbane being the other) that has professional teams representing all four forms of football: rugby league, rugby union, soccer, and Aussie rules. In fact, nine of the 16 top flight rugby league teams are based in Sydney. As well as this is the Sydney Cricket Ground, which hosts tests in the Ashes series, when England visit the country. Watching a live sporting event here is highly recommended.
The Sydney Festival, an annual event held in the scorching heat of January, where there are indoor and outdoor music performances, exhibitions and specially organised events. It is one of the largest of many festivals that happen in the city. Depending on what interests you, there is the Sydney Film Festival, the rock festival Big Day Out and Australian Fashion Week.
Beaches & National Parks
Home to Bondi Beach, Sydney has been labelled with a somewhat unfair tag of ‘superficial’. A huge amount of this is borne out of the bleached-blond hair and huge sunglasses that seem to be everywhere you go.
In a place this sunny, of course, needs must. Bondi Beach is the name of the surrounding suburb in Sydney and has an almost mecca-like status for surfers around the World who want to ride its waves. Having the sprawling sand so close to a busy city is an experience totally alien to most Europeans. But if the beaches are too much to take then there are plenty of national parks to take in the outside at a far more leisurely pace.
Like most of Australia, Sydney is big on sport. The legacy of the 2000 Olympics is still there for all to see, while the country also hosted the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final. For holidaymakers and locals alike, you’re not doing much if you’re not participating in some sort of sporting activity. The parks and beaches mentioned above mean that walking, hiking and horse riding are nearly as popular as the water sports and swimming that take place at the beach.
Of course, outdoor pursuits are not the only thing you can enjoy while visiting Sydney view some more of our recommendations below.
Nature and Wildlife Tourist Sights in Sydney
There are lots of places you or your family could visit if you love wildlife or getting out to see the great outdoors and we have put together some useful information and recommendations.
Nature lovers can easily find plenty to do in the Royal National Park or in the Blue Mountains that are just outside of Sydney. These areas are rugged, perfect for hiking, taking in the endemic fauna of Australia and setting out on a bushwalk. Camping is enjoyed here by everyone and it gives you the wonderful opportunity to see the wetlands, eucalyptus forests and rainforests of the country, all without leaving the sandstone gorges just outside of Sydney.
Families who are holidaying in Sydney will love the wide range of wildlife that they will be seeing in the city. Children of all ages love to visit zoos and aquariums and there are many in Sydney to choose from.
Each of these attractions offers something different, from native animals to species from around the World. Plus, if you are in the city during the annual whale migration in June, you will spot the whales off of the coast as they pass by on their way to their winter grounds.