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The place I dreamed of since I can remember. The furthest point away in the world and the one that at a young age felt like the most impossible to get to. When I booked my flight to Sydney it really was a dream come true. I have family that live in Australia that I’ve never met, still to this day! And when I was growing up they’d regularly send me pictures of Sydney & Perth. I used to sleep with these pictures under my pillow knowing that I would make it my mission to one day visit and see it for myself.
I flew into Sydney the morning of NYE in 2013. It was on my bucket list to see the New Year in on the other side of the world, and here I was. Sitting in front of the magnificent Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House feeling like the luckiest girl in the world. As I’m sure you can imagine, and with any major city, the crowds kept rushing in to secure their spot for the fireworks and NYE entertainment that awaited us. I managed to fight off 24 hours of jetlag and saw in the New Year in Sydney, making friends from around the globe at the same time.
Sydney has so much to offer for a stopover break or a holiday destination, it really is magical. There is so much to see and do with their boastful list of famous buildings, shopping, drinking and dining districts, as well as the many beaches that line the East Coast.
When in Sydney you must eat out as often as you can, the food is amazing. I mean everything from the big establishments to the small restaurants you’d find a little further out of Circular Quay.
Being a beach lover, I liked to explore the beaches that were accessible just a short bus ride from the city centre. We walked from Coogee beach via Bronte finally bringing us to the famous Bondi Beach. I’d recommend doing this walk, it’s a gorgeous coastal trail and brings you out to one of the most talked about beaches in the world.
Choose from the categories listed below to find out more about the things that interest you the most.
The heart of the city and home to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
If Carrie Bradshaw were to live in Sydney she would live here! Characteristic and suave. Large selection of restaurants, wine bars and luxury flea markets. If you don’t stay or dine here, at least go for a nice afternoon stroll, the streets are very pretty.
The backpackers haven! If you’re after a free shot with every drink and late-night bars this is the hang out for you.
An affluent part of the city located to the West of the city centre. This is the artist’s district, ideal for those bohemian, coffee loving professionals. Also, a big student area.
Located in the heart of Sydney’s business district with easy access to all of the popular hangouts the city has to offer.
This area is in the East and is the perfect location to travel between the major attractions in the city centre to the idyllic beaches.
What’s not to find in Darling Harbour. This area caters for everything and everyone, including a large selection of hotels, restaurants, bars and activities. Constantly thriving with people and entertainment.
You’re a stone throw away from Bondi Beach, what’s more to know? Neighbouring Bondi Junction is a residential area for both citizens and travellers with budget eateries close by
We stayed in the YHA hostel group as we were ‘proper’ travellers at that point. If you’re looking at travelling the same way I’d recommend them as a safe, clean and credible chain of hostels found across Australia.
If you’re looking for something more luxury, you’ll find all the International premium hotel chains in this city.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
You can do everything from look at it to climb it! We climbed it and it was a great experience with exceptional views over the bay from the top. You’ll find several companies offering climbs in Circular Quay or you have the option to book online before you travel.
Sydney Opera House
This prestigious building is open to the public and operating shows day and night for you to experience the Sydney Opera House in true traditional form. If it’s not a show you fancy, tours are also available. You have the option to book when you’re there or pre-book online.
Tranquil gardens overlooking the city from behind the Opera House. A gorgeous park with a promenade wrapping around the Harbour Bay.
Situated in the heart of the city and a great spot for a picnic. The southern part of the park contains the ANZAC memorial building and visitor centre.
One of the most famous beaches in the world and home to the most experienced of surfers. Whether it’s to surf, photograph, eat or sunbathe its worth a visit.
One of the most popular of the Northern beaches in Sydney. Just a short ferry ride from Circular Quay and you can spend the day exploring the beaches, eating and drinking in this laid-back seaside town. You’ll lose track of time here so make sure you don’t miss your ride back!
Best time to go
You can visit Sydney any time of year due to the diversity of the city and what it has to offer, but my preference would be Summer so that you can make the most of the beaches as well as the city. The Australian Summer starts in November and finishes in February. The Spring and Autumn seasons are also a great time to visit.
To get the perfect picture of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House together take your picture from the Botanical Gardens.