Sydney  is the capital city of the south-eastern Australian state of New South Wales, situated on Port Jackson, a waterway including Sydney Harbour, Middle Harbour, North Harbour, and the Lane Cove and Parramatta Rivers. With a population of over four million, Sydney, the "Harbour City", is the largest, oldest and most cosmopolitan city in Australia. Sydney holds a reputation worldwide as one of the world's most beautiful and liveable cities, brimming with historical associations and globally influential in the realms of culture, art, fashion, cuisine and design. The city is also home to many unique architectural styles, including the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, two of the most iconic structures on the planet.
Sydney is a dynamic centre for Australian economic activity and one of the most important cities for finance in the Asia-Pacific region. Sydney was also the host of the 2000 Olympic Games, which successfully raised the city's global profile. Though comprised of a large, sometimes sprawling population, Sydney nonetheless retains many large public spaces and lush green parklands. The city is literally surrounded by national parks, which extend into the suburbs and to the shores of the harbour.
Sydney has a compact city centre surrounded by suburbs sprawling over 40km to the north, west and south. The city and its suburbs form a vast metropolitan area.
Owing to the city's size and variety, the districts of Sydney are difficult to categorise.
- The City - The busy centre of government and finance, but also home to many of Sydney's famous tourist and cultural attractions.
- The Rocks - Just to the west of Circular Quay, The Rocks includes the first colonial village of Sydney and the iconic Harbour Bridge.
- Darling Harbour - An extensive leisure and entertainment area immediately to the west of the CBD.
- Haymarket and Chinatown - On the southern side of the city centre, near Central Station, are markets, cafes, chinese culture and cuisine.
- East Sydney Kings Cross, Darlinghurst, and Surry Hills. Nightlife, bars, and more at night, coffee shops and fashion by day.
If you are in Sydney for a holiday, or to see the sights, the major attractions of Sydney outside of central Sydney are in:
- Bondi Beach - Sydney's world famous beach, for swimming, surfing, eating, walking, or to see and be seen.
- Manly - The Manly ferry leaves from Circular Quay out to the heads every 30 minutes.
- Sydney Olympic Park - The home of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, parks, cycling, and events.
- Parramatta - Sydney's third CBD, with history, shopping, eating, all just 30 minutes from the city centre.
Sydney is a vast sprawling city, and the suburbs in the city metropolitan area spread for up to 100km from the city centre. The traveller visiting the suburbs will find less crowded beaches, parks, cheaper shopping, commercial centres, cultural festivals, and hidden gems. See each of the guides below for the Sydney suburbs.
North of the Harbour
- The North Shore - Over the Harbour Bridge are leafy residential areas stretching northwards. The North Shore also has major commercial and retail areas at North Sydney and Chatswood, many smaller boutique shopping areas, and many parks and gardens.
- The Northern Beaches - From Manly stretching North along the coast to Palm Beach.
- The Northern Districts area includes Sydney's Silicon Valley at Macquarie Park, and the northern side of the western reaches of Sydney Harbour
- The largely residential area of the Hills District in the north-west of the city.
- The Eastern Suburbs - Between the City and the sea, includes the world-famous Bondi Beach and other city beaches, which are strong drawcards for visitors and residents in the city during summer.
- The Inner West - Sydney's original suburbs are now bohemian and are a hub of cheap eats, shopping and inner-city culture.
- The Outer West stretching from Parramatta out to the Blue Mountains
- The South West centers of Liverpool and Campbelltown are a large swathe of residential and commercial Sydney.
- Southern Sydney - The area south of the CBD and north of the Georges River, including the areas surrounding Sydney Airport and Brighton Le Sands on Botany Bay.
- Sutherland Shire- Is the district to the far south and east of the city center including Cronulla and Captain Cooks Landing Place.
Some of the areas on the far western edge of Sydney developed long before the expansion of the suburbs to their doorstep, and are still considered to some extent separate towns:
Sydney is the oldest European settlement in Australia, having been founded as a British penal colony on 26 January 1788 (now celebrated as Australia Day, the national public holiday, with major festivities around the city and the Harbour).
Sydney is one of the most cosmopolitan cities on the planet, with one third of its population born overseas. European settlement largely displaced the Aboriginal peoples, and over the years, with the earliest colonists largely coming from England, Ireland and Scotland. The Australian goldrush attracted more immigrants, including a significant number of Chinese; with about one in four Australians with convict descent also having some Chinese ancestry. In the 20th century, Sydney has continued to attract immigrants from all over the world - mostly from the U.K. and Ireland, as the White Australia Policy prevented non-European peoples (and even Southern Europeans) from entering the country.
Australia's immigration patterns, and subsequently, that of Sydney, changed significantly after WWII, when migrants began to arrive from countries as diverse as Italy, Greece, Germany, Holland, China, New Zealand, India, the Phillipines, Poland, Lebanon, Iraq, Vietnam, Thailand, South Africa and the Pacific Islands. Sydney's culture, food and general outlook well reflect these contributions to the majority Anglo-Celtic institutions and social establishment.
Sydney is recognised worldwide for its vibrant gay community. Every year, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is celebrated at the end of February, drawing people from all over Australia and the world for the celebrations.
Sydney became the center of the world's attention in September 2000 when the city hosted the 2000 Summer Olympics - officially announced by the IOC Chairman at the closing Ceremony to be the "the best games ever"! The Olympics saw a major building and renovation program take hold of Sydney, positioning it as one of the great world cities of the 21st century and will continue to hold its world city status.
Sydney is generally comfortable for travellers to visit any time of year. The city enjoys over 300 sunny days each year.
- Summer (December to February) is the best time to enjoy Sydney's beachside outdoor lifestyle. Temperatures usually reach around 26°C but can be very hot, with temperatures climbing to over 40°C for a few days each summer. Summer days can be humid, and sometimes have searing dry winds. Hot summer days frequently end with a "southerly buster", a cold front sweeping up from the south, bringing a clearly noticeable drop in temperature. Within hours, the storm can pass and the evening continues cooler. Hot windy days can close national parks, walking trails, and ban fires because of the fire risk. Rain is usually in the form of afternoon thunderstorms, that can be intense but usually pass quickly. Occasionally low pressure systems drift down from the tropics, giving periods of more unstable weather. You won't need to pack much more than T-shirts to visit Sydney in summer, but remember your hat and sunglasses.
- Autumn (March to May) March and April, especially, tend to have clear, warm days with mild nights. There can be good days for the beach in March, but you can't count on it. Good time for visiting attractions, going to the zoo, catching ferries around the harbor without the summer crowds. You may need a jumper for the evenings, especially for May.
- Winter (June to August) is cool, not cold. Average July maximum temperatures are 17°C. Daytime temperatures rarely drop below 14°C, but night-time temperatures can fall to below 10°C. Most rain falls as a result of a few off-shore low pressure systems, which usually result in two or three rainy weeks during winter. The Icebergs will be in the ocean doing their morning laps, but most of Sydney will be well away from the beach. It does not snow in Sydney, and unless you intend spending long periods outside, you can usually get by with just a sweater. Sydney is a year-round city, and very few attractions outside of outdoor water-parks close for the winter. If the beach isn't your scene, and you don't like the heat, winter may be your time to visit.
- Spring (September to November). September is Sydney's driest month, and Spring days are great for exploring Sydney's attractions, bushwalking, cycling, and the outdoors. Beaches are generally patrolled from the end of October, and Sydneysiders start flocking to the beaches in November.
Sydney's Western Suburbs that lie away from the coast tend to be hotter during the day and a little cooler during the night. They miss the afternoon sea breezes, and the nighttime warming effect of the ocean.
Sydney has air conditioning in public buildings, and on some, but not all, public transport. Carry water during summer. Remember sun protection year round, as the UV exposure risk can be extreme at any time of year.
Sydney Climate and Weather information is available online at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology .
Sydney’s skyline is large and widely recognizable. Sydney also possesses a wide array of diversity of modern and old architectural style. They range from the simple Francis Greenways Georgian buildings, to Jorn Utzon’s Expressionist, or the Sydney Opera House. Sydney also has a large amount of Victorian buildings, such as the Sydney Town Hall and the Queen Victoria Building. The most architecturally significant would be the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, among many others. Skyscrapers in Sydney are also large and modern such as the Sydney Tower, which dominates the Sydney skyline.
There are also pockets of architecturally significant housing dotted around Sydney's suburbs. The inner-eastern suburb of Paddington is known for its terrace houses, while several inner-west suburbs contain streets lined with so-called federation houses (built around the time of Australian federation in 1901). Further away on the lower North Shore, Castlecrag is a unique suburb, being planned by the architect Walter Burley Griffin in the 1930s.
- Walking tour of Sydney. Please see separate listing for more information.
Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport (SYD)  (flights ) is Australia's busiest airport and is considered the gateway to Australia. It is located 8 km from the city center at Mascot in southern Sydney on the northern shores of Botany Bay. Sydney Airport is the oldest continually operated commercial airport anywhere in the world.
Over 35 airlines fly in and out of Sydney Airport with multiple daily flights linking Sydney and key city destinations in the Pacific, Asia, Europe, North and South America. The Asian-Pacific transport hubs of Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo and Seoul are particularly well-served, as are various European centres (especially London) via Asia. Multiple flight links also exist with New Zealand. In addition, the west coast of the US and Hawaii are popular inbound / outbound destinations. Sydney Airport is the only airport in Australia with connections to every continent (except Antarctica).
Travellers from Europe and the Middle East tend to travel into Sydney via Asia, whilst travelers from South America fly via either North America or New Zealand.
You can fly to Sydney directly from all other Australian capital cities and from many major regional airports. Otherwise, you will usually need to fly to the state capital and transfer to a Sydney flight. Sydney can be reached within an hour and a half from Melbourne and Brisbane, 45 minutes from Canberra and just under four hours from Perth.
Note that this is not a 24 hour airport (there is a curfew between 11pm and 6am). If you arrive late in the evening with a view of connecting to flight departing early the following morning you cannot easily spend the night in the terminal. The domestic terminals, T2 and T3, close entirely after the last flights are cleared.
Airlines and terminals
Check the terminal that you are arriving at or departing from carefully.
International terminal (T1)- handles all international flights and some domestic flights. Check your itinerary and flight number as connections, customs etc will take longer when arriving or departing from the International Terminal even on a domestic flight. You do not need a passport when travelling domestically, just hang on to your boarding pass.
Domestic terminal 2 (T2)- is the largest domestic terminal. Airlines using this terminal include Qantas & Qantaslink (Qantas flights 1600 and above), Aeropelican, Regional Express (Rex), Jetstar and Virgin Blue.
Domestic terminal 3 (T3)- handles only Qantas flights from 450-1599, which are mainly the inter-capital services. Qantas Cityflyer flights generally depart and arrive at Terminal 3.
Transfer between terminals
Transfer between domestic terminals T2 and T3 must be done on foot. Follow the signs either via the railway station underground, or across the car park.
Transfer between T1 and T2/T3 is 4km by road, as the terminals are on opposite sides of the airport tarmac. You will have to use one of the following methods to transfer.
- An Air-side shuttle is available free of charge if you are connecting through with Qantas or a One World partner airline, or between Virgin Blue and a codeshare flight or other international Virgin Flight (for example United Airlines).
- T-bus ($5.50) outside the terminal building. The T-bus is a dedicated terminal shuttle and uses the normal roads. It will take around 10 minutes, but can be stuck in Sydney traffic at peak times. Runs at a 10-20 minute frequency and you pay the driver on boarding.
- Catch the train ($14.60), which is part of the Sydney suburban train system, not a terminal shuttle train. It is a 2 minute journey with around 10-15 minute frequency. Follow the train signs from the terminal. Make sure you are going the right way, and only stay on the train a single stop (note the discounted transfer tickets between terminals are no longer available).
- Taxi ($10.00). A taxi driver may not be happy transferring you between terminals, as he/she would have been expecting a trip to the city or further, and may have been waiting in a queue for an hour or so. Still, you want to get between terminals, so load up your luggage in the boot, sit firmly in the seat, close the door, tell the driver where you want to go, and ignore everything else. The trip will take around 10 minutes. It is a legal requirement for the taxi driver to take you there, but unfortunately not a legal requirement for them to smile while doing so. This problem has been slightly reduced by a new system that allows the driver to tell the taxi controller that they received a short fare, they are then allowed to jump the queue.
- Walk. If you have little luggage, and some time to kill, the walk will take around an hour. There is a footpath the whole way, and has good views of planes taking off metres above your head, and of the Alexandria Canal. From T1 walk across the car park, across the crossing, under the underpass, and follow the Airport Drive footpath/cycleway to the right, keeping the canal on your left, and airport on your right. From T2/T3 follow the road out of the airport, and turn left onto Qantas drive, and keep the airport on your left. The route is not covered.
Sydney airport is world class in many respects, but terminal transfers are clumsy, and will surprise those who are used to terminal shuttles in other developed airports worldwide.
Between the airport and the city
Sydney Airport is only 13 km from the city centre. Although driving, taxi or the train may seem like the only options to get to the city when you're at the airport, there are cheaper ways to get there if you're not already hiring a car.
It is worth considering what your travel arrangements will be while in Sydney before purchasing a public transport ticket to the city as many multi-day and tourist tickets include some or all of the travel cost to to the city.
- A train service known as Airport Link  connects Sydney Airport and the CBD. The Airport railway line is part of the CityRail  commuter rail system and shares a ticketing system, but the airport stations are privately owned and require a hefty surcharge on top of a normal fare. Single fares are $14.20 for an adult, or $9.60 for child from T1 to any City station and $13.40/$9.20 from the Domestic Terminal station. At the airport you can buy a ticket directly to any Cityrail destination. The trains can be busy weekdays during the morning peak [07:30-09:30] as trains that service the Airport also carry commuters to the City. It is always possible to fit on, but sometimes you may need to stand. If there are three or more people travelling together, a taxi will usually be cheaper, and just as quick outside peak hours.
- Mini-bus operators will drive a group of passengers to the city and deliver them to their hotels - a typical charge is $13 per passenger.
- Taxis to the city centre should cost approximately $30 (including tolls), and more to other Sydney destinations (The Rocks $35-40, North Sydney $35, Manly $50, etc.) You can expect to pay a $2.50 airport taxi levy, and a $5.00 Eastern Distributor toll on top of the metered fare. If arriving on a Friday evening is is possible to face long queues for taxis. Asking the driver to take O'Riordan Street is a little slower but shorter and cheaper than the Eastern Distributor tollway.
- Vehicle rental is available at all Sydney Airport terminals from a variety of rental companies (see Sydney Airport website for current list ).
- Local Buses. The only local bus route is 400 bus running between Bondi Junction and Burwood via Rockdale and Banksia Station. The 400 bus to Rockdale and/or Banksia Train Station($2.90/International $3.90/Domestic) then train to the city ($3.40) is the cheapest way to get to the city. The 400 bus runs ever 20-30 minutes, from outside T3 and T1. If you are at T2 you have to walk to T3 to catch it. The bus destination sign will show "Burwood". The Bondi Junction bus is going the other way. # Alternatively with bus route 400 to "Bondi Junction", ask the bus driver to drop you off at "Mascot Shops" in Botany Road($2.90 Intl/$1.80 Dom), then get off the bus, go across the street to catch another Bus Route 309 or 310 or similar bus destination to Circular Quay which is end of CBD($2.90). # There is no luggage space on the bus, but a backpack or suitcase won't be a problem if you can manage it yourself. If you purchase a "Red" bus/train/ferry travelpass for $35 it lasts for 7 days and covers this entire route to the city, and most bus and train travel in and around the city and the ferry to the zoo and Watsons Bay. You need to purchase the travelpass from the train station, as they are not sold on board the bus. A $10.80 surcharge (gatepass) is payable to use the Airport Link train.
- Having a friend pick you up. At T1 (International) a private car can not stop legally at the arrivals area to pick up someone from the curb. Each car has to park at the short term car park for $7 per half hour. At the T2 & T3 (domestic terminals) cars can only stop at the pickup areas if there is someone already at the curb. Fines apply for waiting at the arrivals areas, or for picking up at the departures areas. Leaving your car is out of the question. The parking officers can photograph your car a licence plate and fine you, without warning you to move along.
- Walk and Train from T1 T1 (the international terminal), is less than 2km from Wolli Creek Station, from where a train is $3.00 to the city. The walk isn't signposted and not recommended after dark. It is all surfaced, only has one set of three steps (in the airport, near the customs building), and takes in some nice scenery by the Cooks River. Exit straight from the international terminal (T1) follow the path under the multistory car park and exit on the undercover path on the far side, and follow the path on the left of the customs building to the pedestrian crossing. Then go under the road using the underpass (lots of mirrors), follow the path to turn around back up to the Marsh Street bridge. Cross the Cooks River on the footpath next to Marsh St and then proceed along the cycleway next to the Cooks River (signposted to Tempe), keeping the river on your right. When you reach the Princes Hwy (6 lane road), cross at the pedestrian crossing lights, and continue straight on, past the apartment blocks, shops, to the end of the road, then turn right up to Wolli Creek Station. The walk will take less than half an hour, and save you $11 on the train fare. Trains from Wolli Creek are faster and more frequent than trains from the airport.
- Walk and Train from T2 & T3 The Domestic terminals (T2 and T3) are about 1.7km from Mascot train station. The walk takes about 20 minutes and is along suburban pavements that can be uneven at times. Follow the road out of the domestic terminal and on to O'Riordan Street. Follow O'Riordan Street and then veer left onto Bourke street. Cross Coward Street and then John Street, Mascot train station is on your right. An adult fare to the city (Central) from Mascot is $5.20.
- Walk at Bus from T2 & T3. Sydney Buses 309/X09/310/X10 run between the City and Mascot Shops. It is 15-20 minutes easy walk from there to the domestic terminal. ($4.00). You can get the 400 bus towards Bondi Junction to Mascot Shops from T2 & T3 ($1.80), or from T1 ($3.00).
It is possible to drive to Sydney from Brisbane or Melbourne in a full day. Around 9 hours non-stop to Melbourne, or 11 hours to Brisbane. A comfortable drive would allow two days from Melbourne or Brisbane, and three to Adelaide. The Melbourne drive is mostly dual carriageway high quality road. The same can't be said for the Brisbane drive, which while it has high quality sections, it also has some very narrow winding sections, carries high traffic volumes, and has many stoppages from roadworks.
- Melbourne - Sydney = 862 km via Albury-Wodonga (Hume Highway).
- Adelaide - Sydney = 1422 km via Mildura or 1659km via Broken Hill (National Highway 32).
- Brisbane - Sydney = 938 km via the coast (Pacific Highway) or 961 km via Armidale (New England Highway). The Pacific Highway passes through more towns, attractions, and has more facilities compared with the New England Highway, but it can get congested moving through the towns around holiday times. Although the Pacific Highway route follows the coast, you won't see the ocean except for some brief glimpses. There are rivers all the way up the coast, and the river mouths are wide, causing the road bridges and the towns to be a little inland. If you have time, look for the tourist route diversions to see more of the Mid-North Coast and Northern Rivers on the way down (the beaches will be less crowded than Sydney!).
If renting a car, check the daily distance allowances and any one-way charge that may apply. Cars may be rented at the airport and elsewhere from major rental companies, or at smaller, less conveniently located, cheaper companies such as Bayswater Car Rental  in Kings Cross.
There are tolls applicable to all motorways coming into Sydney, and not all routes accept cash. See "Tolls" section below.
Coach companies operate to Sydney from all capital cities, and many New South Wales regional centres. The Sydney coach terminal is located adjacent to Sydney Central train station. Follow the signs.
Coach travel usually offers quicker, cheaper and more frequent trips than train travel to Sydney. Online and advance booking specials are usually available.
- Greyhound Coaches. National bus line.
New South Wales' long distance train service CountryLink, (13 22 32 within Australia)  runs daily services to Sydney from Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra and many regions of New South Wales including the Mid-North Coast, New England, the Central West and the Southern Highlands. Traveling time from Melbourne and Brisbane is around 12 hours. Fares range between $30 and $100 for standard class seats. The long distance trains between Melbourne and Sydney, and Brisbane and Sydney can be a less stressful alternative to driving, but they do not average particularly high speeds, and can take longer than driving, and can be more expensive than a discount airfare.
The Indian Pacific, 13 21 47 within Australia or 08 8213 4592 internationally, train service runs from Perth to Sydney via Adelaide and Broken Hill. Adult fares from Perth are $1250 for a sleeper cabin and $513 for a seat. Children's fares are $805 for a sleeper cabin and $139 for a seat. The train departs from Perth on Wednesdays and arrives at Sydney on Saturdays. Note that these fares are much higher than return plane fares to Perth, this journey is really for train journey enthusiasts who want to see the interior of Australia. It also gives you the ability to take your car on the train.
All long distance (Countrylink and Great Southern Railway) train links to Sydney terminate at platforms 1-3 of Sydney's Central Station in the south of the CBD area. Travellers can transfer to Cityrail trains, the light rail service to Darling Harbour, buses, as well as to taxis. There is free short term parking up the ramp in front of the station, and you can meet the trains on the platform.
The Cityrail network runs services several times a day from close regional cities: Newcastle via the Central Coast (New South Wales), Goulburn via the Southern Highlands, Nowra via the South Coast and Lithgow via the Blue Mountains.
Travel times and routes
You can drive around Sydney reasonably freely, and outside of peak times travelling by car is usually at least as quick as any method of public transport. Congestion can be expected on roads to the city from 6:30am until 9:30am, and roads away from the city from around 4pm until 6:30pm. Congestion is considerably worse heading away from the city during Friday afternoon peak.
Roads are generally well signposted to the next major suburb or suburbs along the route. Only a handful of cross-city met-roads are signposted by number.
Congestion can be expected around Bondi Beach, and the other eastern suburbs beaches on summer weekends.
Travel times from the CBD to the Sydney outskirts can take around 45 minutes in good traffic.
Some motorways, tunnels and bridges in Sydney charge tolls. They are the M2, M4, M5 & M7 Motorways, the Falcon Street Gateway to the Gore Hill Freeway (but not the freeway itself), the Lane Cove Tunnel, Cross City Tunnel, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Tunnel (southbound only), and the Eastern Distributor Motorway (northbound only). Parts of the M4 and M5, the northbound lanes of the Harbour Bridge/Tunnel and the southbound lanes of the Eastern Distributor are not tolled, however. The tolls vary between $2.50 and $7.00 depending on the road, and using multiple toll roads can easily exceed $20 or so in a day. Harbour Bridge and Tunnel tolls are more expensive during peak times (6.30-9.30am and 4.00-7.00pm) which are best avoided on any of Sydney's roads.
The Harbour Bridge and Tunnel, Cross City Tunnel, Lane Cove Tunnel, and M7 use electronic tolling only. To use an electronic toll road, you must have pre-fitted a tag or acquire a temporary pass. Most of these electronic tolls can be bypassed using longer alternative routes, except the Harbour Bridge and Tunnel. If you are in the City and driving north, for example to the zoo, or to the Northern Beaches you will need to contend with electronic tolling.
- You can purchase a tag (also called an E-tag) which is a RFID transponder stuck to the inside of your windscreen, and linked to a account you set up. You can putchase a visitor's tag from any motor registry before travelling on a toll road, and set up an account linked to your credit card. Worthwhile if you will be spending some time in Sydney, driving on many toll roads. The tags work on all electronically tolled roads in Australia. There is a cost for the tag (around $5), you have to top up the account in advance, but you only pay the actual road toll. You can use the tag on all toll roads, whether they have electronic tolling or not.
- Visitors to Sydney without an e-tag, or driving a rental car, can purchase a pass (also called an e-pass) up to 48 hours after travelling on a toll road. A pass involves registering your licence plate number and credit card on the website. The Sydney Motorways website  provides links to pass providers. You can get a visitor e-pass that lasts for up to 30 days. The cost is $1.50 to register a pass online, and 75c on top of each toll as a processing charge. You can't use the e-pass on motorways that accept cash - but why would you want to, as it will cost you 75c more than you would in the cash lane. You don't actually get anything when you buy a pass - in effect it is just a licence plate matching service. You can't use an e-pass outside of Sydney.
A capital 'E' marked on the lane indicates it accepts a tag. A lower case 'e' indicates it accepts a pass.
If you are in a rental car and do not pay the toll, the rental car company may charge an administration fee in addition to the toll and the fine to your credit card, if you do not make the effort to pay. Take care to cancel your pass account if it is linked to a hire car registration number. The RTA  will allow you to specify start and end times for the e-pass period to avoid these problems.
Parking your car in the Sydney CBD is always possible but expensive. Expect to pay up to $70 per day or $25 per hour at some central parking lots, and around $25 even with specials. Reduced parking charges are made for early bird parking, where you must enter and leave within prescribed times. For example you can park all day at the Opera House  for $16 provides you enter before 10am and leave between 3pm and 7pm. There is no grace period, so you can't get out even one minute before 3pm, and you will be charged the day parking rate of $42 if you are 10 seconds late. Most city parking lots offer reduced flat fees (around $15-$25) for evening and weekend parking.
CBD hotels invariably charge for parking for the guests.
Similar prices are charged in North Sydney.
Parking in many major suburban centres and beaches can be a matter of spending time cruising and searching for parking spots. All day street parking is rare around the city suburban shopping centres.
Some train stations have all day free commuter parking. A major stations this can be full by 8am. Smaller stations with less frequent train service tend to have better parking availability. Weekends are generally no problem.
Parking at some beaches on summer weekends can often be near impossible. Some beaches are in suburban neighbourhoods, without large car parking facilities. Check the appropriate destination guides for more information.
Parking fines in Sydney are $80 if you exceed the allowed parking time. Reloading the meter, or moving your car within the same parking zone will not get you out of a fine. If you park illegally and wait with your car, you may find you have the licence place photographed and fined before you have the chance to move on, don't expect a warning. If you park illegally in a disabled spot, the fine is $375. If you do get fined for exceeding time, you will not be fined again the same day - so enjoy your parking spot.
Be aware of parking in clearways, which are no stopping zones on main roads during peak periods. Fines will be around $400 to reclaim your car after it is towed away. Clearways also offer parking opportunites if you try to park at 10am or 7pm when the clearway periods end.
Sydney driving speeds
Speed limits can change frequently even when following the same main road. Speed limits drop for areas of pedestrian activity, schools, as well as driving conditions. Every road in Sydney has a signposted speed limit, and in every case you will need to read the signs, as you cannot tell the speed limit just by looking at the road. The speed limit is usually 50km/h on residential streets, 60km/h or 70km/h on main roads, and 80km/h and above on freeways or freeway sections.
Some speed limits vary throughout the day. School speed zones (40 km/h) are enforced between 8.00 AM to 9.30 AM and 2.30 PM to 4.00 PM on school days. Some have flashing lights, and some just a sign. It is up to you to check the time and know if it is a school day or not. Some other roads have variable speed limits that drop during busy traffic times. Variable speed limits also drop for road maintenance. These areas are signposted, and you need to read and obey the signposted speed. Speed cameras monitor school zones, and enforce variable speed limits. For example, if there are roadworks in the Lane Cove Tunnel, the variable speed will drop, and the speed camera in the tunnel will enforce the lower speed. By law stationary "Fixed" speed cameras must be signposted before their location to warn motorists, but the signs can be easy to miss.
Taxis are a convenient way to get around Sydney. They can also be the only transport option available to some locations late at night when the trains and buses stop.
It is usually easy enough to flag a taxi down at the kerb in the CBD, or catch one at taxi ranks located in most suburban centres. A taxi is available if its light is on, and engaged if its light is off.
Beware the 3pm change over and the Friday evening rush. It can be near impossible to get a taxi between 2:30pm and 3:15pm, and similarly between 2:30am and 3:30am, as almost all of the drivers changeover their shifts at the same time. They are similarly scarce on a Friday and Saturday evening. Booking in advance is no guarantee, as these jobs are simply offered electronically to drivers, who will usually reject telephone jobs if there is plenty of work at the kerb. It is easily possible to wait an hour or more for a taxi booked 24 hours in advance on a Friday and Saturday evening. Ringing the taxi company back and complaining will often help (if the operators can relate to your problem they have the ability to offer a taxi driver an incentive to take your fare). Canceling your job and ringing another taxi company in frustration never helps as the taxi companies have handover systems which would have seen your job handed over if another company had more capacity. You will just end up at the back of the queue again. Evenings other than Friday and Saturday are usually fine.
During busy times it is also not uncommon for a taxi driver to leave the door locked and ask where you are going through the window and drive off if the destination is too close or not on their way home, even though this is illegal.
There are two meter rates: a day rate (rate 1) with a flag fall of $3.00, a distance rate of $1.79 a kilometre, a "waiting" rate of $0.77 a minute and a booking fee of $1.50; and a night rate (rate 2) which adds a 20% surcharge to the distance rate. The night rate applies for journeys commencing between 10pm and 6am. You can check the rate your taxi is using by looking for a 1 or a 2 next to the current charge: if it's set to 2 it is using the night rate. The so called "waiting" rate is charged whenever the speed drops below 25km/h. For trips in congested traffic it is possible for large amounts of the trip to be charged at the "waiting" rate. All Sydney taxis are metered and taxi drivers will always charge the metered rate, adding the charges for tolls manually. Silver Service taxis are more luxurious vehicles, but they are charged at the same rate as standard white taxis.
Taxis all accept all major credit cards. They charge an extra 10% on top of the fare for this.
Passengers are required to pay all tolls for their trip. In addition, passengers who are taken north over the Harbour Bridge, for which there is no toll, are required to pay the driver's southbound toll for the return into the city (currently $3). Drivers will usually take the toll roads unless you ask them not to. If you are unsure why they are asking for an amount above that shown on the meter, just ask.
Passengers have the right to control the air conditioning and the radio - don't be afraid to ask the driver! Whilst most taxi drivers behave acceptably, there have been reported incidences of taxi drivers behaving inappropriately towards women - it is always safer to sit in the back of the car.
Tipping is not required or generally expected. However, rounding up a taxi fare the next dollar (or five or ten dollars, depending on the base fare) is fairly common. On the other hand, don't be surprised if the driver rounds the fare down to the nearest dollar - accept with grace and good cheer.
By public transport
Sydney has a good public transport system, especially in areas closer to the city area where many attractions are. The further away from the city you travel, the less frequent and comprehensive public transport services will tend to be.
The system consists of an extensive rail network, multiple buses and ferries, a single light-rail line and a tourist-oriented monorail.
The ticketing system for Sydney's public transport is antiquated and poor. There is no comprehensive system, and there are well over 20 ticket types in common use. It can be worth spending a little time understanding where you are going to be going, as some of the tickets can save considerable amounts over multiple trips, especially if you are going to be taking the ferries. Please make sure you are travelling with a valid ticket - particularly on Cityrail trains where inspectors are renowned for their intimidating behaviour and will generally not accept any excuses.
Children are aged 15 years and under, and are entitled to a discount. In addition, on ferries (except private ferries), buses (except private buses) and trains, you only pay for the first child when accompanied by a parent or grandparent, the other children in the same family travel free. No family identification is ever required, so anything that resembles a family unit only have to pay for the first child. Children 3 years and under travel free.
Please note that Cityrail train tickets allow you to make as many transfers as required but you may not break your journey (i.e. leave a station), or your ticket will become invalid.
- Single tickets are generally available for all forms of public transport, covering a single trip (one bus, one ferry, or until you leave the train station). Fares are distance based, and you have to nominate your destination when purchasing. You can buy tickets for cash on all services except prepay-only buses, for which there is usually a cash alternative (i.e. a slower bus). Single bus tickets are also available at newsagents and convenience stores near bus stops.
- Ten bus or ten ferry tickets are available at a 20% discount over normal fares, these are called travelten or ferryten. You can use them for multiple passengers travelling together, i.e 5 trips for two people. Tickets are distance based, so the trips must all be to the same ferry zones or number of bus sections. There is no equivalent on the trains. You can buy travelten tickets at newsagents or convenience stores near bus stops, or at train station ticket windows (even though you can't use them on the train). The tickets do not expire.
- Return tickets on the trains after 9am in the morning or on weekends are considerably cheaper. There is no discount before 9am on weekdays. The return trip can be made anytime the same day, or on a nightride bus the next morning. There are no return tickets on buses or ferries. The off-peak discount is not available for single tickets. Children pay a maximum of $2.60 to for a return trip in Sydney on the trains off-peak.
- For unlimited use of Sydney Buses (not private buses), trains and Sydney Ferries (not private ferries) you can purchase a single day unlimited use daytripper ticket ($17).
- If you are considering purchasing daytrippers  for more than three days, consider a travelpass, which is valid for 7 days. These are based on colour and zones. A red one ($38) will cover everything within 10km of the city - which is pretty much all the average tourist needs. A green one ($46) covers everything the red one does, and includes Manly and Parramatta by ferry. A purple one ($60) will get you all the way to Palm Beach and Royal National Park for 7 days. Purchase after 3pm and you get the remainder of that day, and the next 7 days. Daytrippers and travelpass tickets cannot be used on private buses which operate further away from the city centre, and which the average tourist does not need to worry about.
- A cityhopper ticket covers unlimited train travel around the city centre stations, including Kings Cross and North Sydney for $8. At $3.20 for a single train ticket, you really need to be making more than 3 train trips in the city centre to make this worthwhile. Take the free bus instead.
- A SydneyPass tickets, allows unlimited travel for up to 8 days including tourist services. . Consider this only if you want to take the tourist Sydney Explorer services.
- A Family Funday Sunday Ticket. These tickets are to encourage family travel on public transport on Sundays. They are $2.50 each and allow unlimited travel across a wide area of central and suburban Sydney including Newcastle and Wollongong on buses, trains and ferries. Most private bus companies also accept this ticket. The group must consist of at least 1 adult and child related by family. Children under 4 years of age travel free. Tickets are available from ticket sellers and bus drivers. Better value than most other tickets on Sundays. 
Transport Infoline, ☎ 13 15 00, . 24 hours. Information on fares and route planning for all public transport in Sydney. Available online and by telephone
TransitShops, Circular Quay (cnr of Loftus & Alfred Sts) or Wynyard under Wynyard Park. Information on fares and route planning for all public transport in Sydney, all travelpass and travelten sales, accepts credit cards
Sydney has an extensive suburban rail network operated by CityRail . Sydney trains are often very crowded in peak hour, but a CityRail train may be the fastest way to get to the CBD. Expect congestion around Town Hall at peak hour, as it is almost impossible to move. The complex rail network sometimes experiences delays, especially during rain.
The majority of Cityrail's suburban trains are not equipped with destination displays on the train and announcements are often non-existent or inaudible. The displays on the platform are usually clear, but you need to make sure you know where you're going and keep track of the station stops.
Cityrail operates with at least a 30 minute frequency to all metropolitan stations (apart from the (dark blue) Carlingford Line and stations between Riverstone and Richmond on the (yellow) Western Line). There are usually 15 minute frequencies to major destinations and transit hubs such as Chatswood, Bondi Junction, Hurstville, Parramatta, Bankstown, Blacktown and Liverpool. The Cityrail timetable has a weekday service and a weekend and holiday service.
Cityrail also operates lines to regional cities such as Newcastle and Wollongong and into the Blue Mountains at hourly frequency. This allows you to sit back and enjoy the journey rather than suffer the hassle of driving in foreign conditions, but offers less freedom upon arrival.
All stations are equipped with CCTV and trains at night have designated NightSafe carriages and station areas with emergency intercoms and security patrols, making catching trains at night a viable (and cheaper) alternative to taxis.
Outside of operating hours, between 12am (1am on Fridays and Saturdays) and 5am, NightRide buses are available on most routes within Sydney. Any CityRail train ticket is valid for the equivalent NightRide bus except a single. If you don't have a ticket, you'll need to buy a NightRide single from the driver, which is more expensive than a single for the train. NightRide buses stop at most CityRail stations and a few additional stops, but they don't travel on the same routes. If you intend catching a NightRide bus home, check the NightRide route map on the back cover of each timetable or at the station while you are waiting for your train.
On weekends check for trackwork  before leaving for the station; CityRail will transfer passengers to buses if lines are closed for trackwork, and the process will add about half an hour to a typical journey. Trackwork will be advertised at the station for about a week before it begins. Train tickets, single, return or travel card, are valid on trackwork buses between the same stations.
You must always purchase a ticket for the entire journey before boarding a train from either the ticket office or from the ticket machines that are located on most stations. There is no opportunity to buy a ticket onboard or at the destination. Ticket offices have limited opening hours at suburban stations, and outside of these hours you will need to use a machine. The ticket machines accept up to $50 notes but will only give $19.90 in change (in coins). They will also only accept 10 coins. Ticket offices accept Visa or Mastercard for a total ticket value over $20. A handful of ticket machines also accept Visa or Mastercard at major stations.
If you are caught travelling without a ticket the on-the-spot fine is $200. If you are found with a student or pensioner ticket and you don't have the appropriate authorisation card, the same fine applies. Ticket inspectors will not hesitate to fine you and generally don't accept any excuses - unless the ticket machine was broken at the station which you boarded the train. If you accidentally stuff up, and buy the wrong ticket, or forget to buy a ticket, honesty is not necessarily the best policy.
Sydney has an extensive bus network.
Sydney buses (Government Buses)
Most of the buses in the inner city and inner suburbs are run by the government owned Sydney Buses  The rest of the commuter network (primarily around the outer suburbs) is run by private bus companies. These services do not compete so you will usually only have one way of getting somewhere by bus.
You must flag down buses if you want them to stop for you - they will not automatically stop unless they need to pick someone off or drop them off.
A Sydney bus fare depends on how far you are travelling, measured in sections of about 1.6 kilometers. Tickets can be bought in cash when boarding the bus, except on prepay-only routes, which are often express routes. If buying a ticket on the bus, state your destination to the driver. Drivers may be able to give change for a $20 note, but it pays to use lower-denomination coins and notes. One day bus-only tickets (Bustripper/$11.70) are also available when boarding the bus. All other discount tickets (10-ride/Travelten|7-day/Travelpass) must be bought in advance from newsagents or railway stations before getting on the bus.
There are two main bus termination points in the CBD, at Wynyard and Circular Quay. These two points are about 10 minutes walk from each other or a one-stop train trip. You will need to make this walk if connecting from buses arriving from north of the harbour bridge to buses heading east or west, or vice-versa. Check the destination of the bus. Bus Information Centres are located at both Wynyard and Circular Quay.
Bus stops are not numbered and there are no visual or auditory aids on the bus to tell you which stop you are approaching or which stop you are at (except on the Metrobus service) - and there are no maps either, so please make sure you know where to get off. Also make sure that if you take a bus marked "Limited Stops" or "Express" (the route number will start with an L or an X) that the bus stops where you want it to! Ask the driver if you're unsure.
A free green coloured CBD Shuttle bus service, route 555, runs a loop through the city in both directions approximately every 10 minutes. The operating hours are only between 9.30am and 3.30pm, and a little later on Thursdays and weekends. Details from Sydney Buses .
The red coloured Metrobus (route 10) which runs between Leichhardt and Kingsford via the city and Oxford Street is also operated by Sydney Buses, and accepts all prepaid travel cards.
From midnight to 5am, most buses cease running with the exception of a few trunk routes that run at a reduced frequency including the 373 which runs 24 hours between the city and Coogee.
Outside of the city and inner suburbs, private bus companies provide services to varying degrees of frequency and reliability (but generally significantly less frequent during off-peak periods and weekends). Expect many service to stop running around 9pm. They do not accept tickets from government buses or multi-modal tickets, although single fares cost the same.
- Sydney Explorer , operated by Sydney Buses. The conspicuously red Sydney Explorer visits 27 tourist destinations on a loop around the city. A day ticket (adult $39, child $19, family $97) allows unlimited rides for one day and services run every 20 minutes. Day tickets also allow access to the Bondi Explorer services. Two day tickets are also available.
- Sydney Ferries  run all around the harbour and up the Parramatta River. The central hub is at Circular Quay at the north of the CBD. More than just a utilitarian means of transport, the ferries are a great way to see the harbourside. The best ferry excursion for visitors is from Circular Quay to Manly. Be prepared to take a stunning photograph of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge as you leave Circular Quay.
By light rail and monorail
- The Metro Light Rail operates one route from Central to Lilyfield via Haymarket (Paddy's Market, Entertainment Centre), Darling Harbour, and Star City Casino. The Light Rail is rather small, yet it is very reliable. Combined tickets are available when travelling on Cityrail and the Metro Light Rail (from
- The Sydney Monorail runs on a loop through connecting Town Hall, World Square and Darling Harbour. The monorail is really only for tourists, and is more a ride than it an effective means of transport. It is expensive, and if travelling to Darling Harbour it can be just as quick to walk as it is to catch the monorail.
The Metro Light Rail is cheaper, and goes further than the monorail.
If you are a fit and experienced urban cyclist, used to riding on multi-lane roads in heavy traffic, then just get on your bike. Cyclists are permitted just about everywhere on Sydney's roads, with the exception of some freeway tunnels where bicycle signs will usually direct you to the alternative route. Kerbside lanes are often narrow, so ride assertively, be seen, and take the full lane when you know there is insufficient room to be passed.
Central Sydney is not particularly cyclist friendly. Also, Sydney is not a flat city and you can expect regular hills but no marathon uphill climbs. The weather is, however, usually good for cycling.
If you are looking for a quieter ride, a number of quiet on-road and shared pedestrian/cycle paths are available, but can be hard to find. A good place to start is at Sydney Olympic Park where you can get your cycle legs on the extensive off-road trails, and then if you feel inclined you can follow off-road/quiet road trails out to Parramatta or following the Cooks River to Botany Bay in Southern Sydney. The Harbour Bridge has a dedicated cycle lane, suitable for all ages, but as soon as you get off the bridge you are back onto urban streets in Milsons Point.
It is illegal to ride bicycles on footpaths unless cycling with children under 12. In reality this is fairly weakly enforced out in the suburbs, but it is common for people to be fined for cycling through pedestrian malls in the city like Pitt St Mall or Martin Place. Bicycle helmets are required by law, as are lights and reflectors at night. Road rules applying to cyclists and maps of cycleways in the greater Sydney area are provided by the state government authority , but are not comprehensive, and indicated cycle routes can sometimes be busy roads with car-door lanes.
Bicycles can be taken on all Cityrail trains, but a child fare should be paid if any part of the journey is made before 9am or after 3:30pm on weekdays. Check trackwork schedules on weekends , when buses replace trains and make taking bicycles more challenging.
Bike hire is available in many locations in Sydney. Unfortunately, bike hire for two bikes for a day usually costs more than hiring a small car and petrol for the day. In addition you have to consider the cost if the bikes are stolen or damaged. However, they are much easier to park, are greener and can be more fun. See the district articles for bike hire listings.
There are tours around Sydney offered by bus, hike, walking, motorcycle, and in a variety of other forms. See the district articles for listings.
- The Sydney Harbour Bridge crosses the harbour from the city to North Sydney. You can walk or cycle across the Harbour Bridge free of charge. You can climb the arch with BridgeClimb  or fly over it with Red Baron Adventures 
- The Sydney Opera House . Located in the city, millions of tourists a year throng the building just to see it, even if they have little or no interest in Opera. The Sydney Opera House is easily one of the most famous structures ever built.
- Darling Harbour is a large tourist precinct and includes a range of activities, restaurants, museums and shopping facilities.
- Sydney Olympic Park, . Home of the 2000 Olympics and now parklands and sporting facilities.
- Luna Park, 1 Olympic Dr, Milson's Point, tel. 02 9033 7676. Is a large theme park situated near the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It's mouth-shaped entrance can be seen from many areas of Sydney as well as the large Ferris Wheel.
- Sydney Tower also called Centrepoint Tower. The tallest structure in Sydney, the tower contains a buffet, cafe and a rather large restaurant and attracts many visitors a year. You can stand over the city on a transparent platform, over the edge of the top of the tower with Skywalk.
- St Mary's Cathedral. Sydney's main catholic cathedral. Corner of St Mary's Road and College St.
- The Rocks has sites preserved from Sydney's early settlement.
- Parramatta to the west of Sydney is the site of many of Sydney's oldest buildings from colonial times.
- Sydney Hospital on Macquarie Street in the City was the first hospital in the colony. Known as "The Rum Hospital", it was the first major building established in the colony.
- La Perouse, near Botany Bay, in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs contains the grave of an early French explorer, museum, and old fort.
- The walk from Manly to The Spit passes many coastal artillery fortifications built into the cliffs of Sydney Harbour during the late nineteenth century.
- Mrs Macquarie's Chair near the Botanical Gardens in the City
Museums and galleries
- The Australian Museum in the city.
- The Australian National Maritime Museum, 2 Murray Street in Darling Harbour. .
- The Art Gallery of NSW in the city.
- The Powerhouse Museum  in Darling Harbour.
- The Museum of Contemporary Art  in the city.
- The Museum of Sydney  in the city.
- Taronga Zoo  on the North Shore.
- The Koala Park Sanctuary in the Outer West.
- Sydney Aquarium  in Darling Harbour.
- Sydney Wildlife World' in Darling Harbour.
- Featherdale Wildlife Park in Western Sydney.
- Australian Reptile Park, about an hour north of Sydney, has much more than just reptiles.
- Whale Watching see whales migrating the Pacific coast. There are boats from Darling Harbour or Circular Quay .
Sydney's large natural harbour was the reason that the original penal settlement was established in the area. The first fleet arrived in the area now known as Circular Quay. It is now well developed, with skyscrapers, highrises, and houses all around its shores, but it is still very beautiful.
The harbour is served by ferry services that transport passengers around the harbor. An excellent way to see both the harbor and Sydney attractions is to take a ferry east from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo or Manly or west under the Harbour Bridge towards Parramatta.
There are a number of islands in the center of the harbor which you can visit for a picnic. These include Shark, Goat, Clark, Rodd, Cockatoo and Garden Islands. These are all distinct and beautiful islands and have magnificent views of sailing boats on the harbour and of Sydney's harbourside buildings. At most times of the year they will be nearly deserted. You will need to reserve a place and pay a fee of approximately $5 per head to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (ph 02 9960 6266 or fax 02 9960 3965). You also cannot moor a boat at any of these islands. Goat, Rodd and Clark islands are not served by ferries, so unless you can arrange for a private drop-off, you will need to charter a water taxi at a cost of approximately $20 per head. Contact Water Taxis Combined  by phoning 02 9247 5033 or faxing 02 9241 3303, or H2O Water Taxis  by phoning 1300 426 829. Shark Island is served by an hourly Matilda Cruises  ferry on weekends; the price of $16.00 round trip per adult includes the National Park landing fee or visit Casual Cruises online for their Sydney Harbour Cruises packages .
You can arrange a guided tour of the islands by contacting the Sydney Visitors Centre at Cadmans Cottage, 100 George Street, The Rocks, ph 02 9247 5033. fax 02 9241 3303.
Fort Denison is another, more popular, island on the harbour. Its entire area is a large fort, completed in 1857 and built to defend Sydney against Russian attack. The National Parks and Wildlife Service runs a half-hour guided tour for $22 per adult, $18 per child and $72 for a 4 person family. They also run a morning brunch for $47 adults and $43 children. Contact Cadmans Cottage as above.
The world famous Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race begins every year on Boxing Day, on Sydney Harbour. Thousands of spectator craft take to the water to farewell the yachts as they set off on their grueling journey to Hobart. Seaworthy craft can follow the yachts through the Sydney Heads into the open ocean. You can also see the race from a harbor vantage point like Watsons Bay and many others.
- Swim at one of Sydney's many surf beaches. Try Bondi, Manly, Coogee, Cronulla or Wattamolla, or get off the tourist trail at one of the other beaches in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs or Northern Beaches.
- Take a cruise on Sydney Harbour. There are many cruises to choose from and they depart from Darling Harbour or Circular Quay.
- See a performance at the Opera House in the City or a dinner and movie Fox Studios ) in the Eastern Suburbs.
- Swing by the Royal Botanic Gardens  and the Art Gallery of New South Wales  on the edge of the gardens. While you're in the area visit Mrs Macquarie's Chair for a picture postcard view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House in one picture. You may have to compete with the numerous wedding couples on weekends.
- Explore the Museums and Galleries. at the Australian Museum or the Museum of Contemporary Art in the City Or one of the smaller chic Art Galleries in East Sydney.
- Visit the IMAX Theatre, which provides a movie experience with one of the largest cinema screens in the southern hemisphere in Darling Harbour.
- Drive a dodgem car at Luna Park in North Sydney.
- Go to a football match. Sydney's most popular winter sport is Rugby League (or football to the locals). Nine teams from the National competition are based in Sydney and the sport is an important part of the city's culture  (March to September). Other sporting teams based in Sydney are, the Sydney Swans (AFL), Sydney FC (Soccer), the NSW Waratahs (Rugby Union), the Sydney Spirit (Basketball).
- Catch a ferry from Circular Quay to Manly. Before returning to the Sydney CBD, walk from the Manly ferry wharf along the Manly Corso to famous Manly Beach. A great day, afternoon or evening out at a fraction of the price of a commercial harbor cruise.
- An alternative to the standard bus/boat/walking tour is a guided bicycle tour. A bike tour allows you the freedom to get up close to the attractions, while ensuring that you will have time to see all that you want to see (which you certainly couldn't do by foot in a single day). Sydney By Bike  +61 (0)4 1339 5822, and Bonza Bike Tours , +61 (0)2 9247 8800, offer really fun guided bicycle tours which covers many of Sydney's most popular sites. It is a great way to see all that city has to offer. The rides are easy and is especially perfect for someone that is in Sydney for a just short period of time, or for an introduction to the city. Tours run daily from 10:30am and cost around $85 for adults. Other tours include a Manly Beach ride/sunset cruise, Harbour Bridge ride and even Mountain Biking in the blue mountains (Sydney By Bike Only). Package deals with the Sydney Opera House and Olympic Park are also available.
- Red Baron Adventures and Flight Training, +61 2 9791 0643 (firstname.lastname@example.org) . A fantastic way to see Sydney Harbour is from the air. Red Baron Adventures do scenic flights over Sydney Harbour and the Northern Beaches most days of the year (weather permitting) in an open cockpit Pitts Special bi-plane. They also have heart stopping Aerobatic Flights available for the more adventurous (note: these are not done over Sydney Harbour). Flights range from $440 to $660 and go for between 45 min and 80 minutes.
There are many picturesque and interesting walks throughout Sydney. The following are just a few of the better-known routes.
- Coogee beach to Bondi. Following the eastern coastline past several of Sydney's beautiful beaches. Stop off for a swim if you get too hot.
- Manly to the Spit. Along the foreshore of Sydney Harbour, .
- Circular Quay and surrounds. Start underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge, then walk past the The Rocks, Circular Quay, the Sydney Opera House, the Royal Botanical Gardens and Mrs Macquarie's Chair. For an extended tour of the city center, covering these and other major sights, see Walking tour of Sydney.
Sydney has three indoor ice skating centers in the suburbs. The closest to the city centre is:
- Macquarie Ice Rink. Macquarie Ice Rink is located in the vast expanse of Macquarie Shopping Centre in North Ryde. Activities include training sessions, birthday parties and casual visits. Skates are available for hire (usually a bit worn and not necessarily sharp), or bring your own. Phone to enquire about public session times as the ice is shared between many other users (like hockey teams) and may not be available for the whole day.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Sydney Harbour Bridge has an excellent view of the city, especially at dawn and dusk, although the drivers and train passengers relegated to the middle of the Bridge don't see it. There are several things to do on the Bridge:
- Cross it on one of the protected lanes on either side of the bridge accessible from Milsons Point in North Sydney or the Rocks in the city. The eastern side is reserved for pedestrians and the western side for cyclists. There is no toll for crossing by foot or cycle.
- Climb to the Pylon Lookout on the south east pylon. ph 02 9240 1100, fax 02 9241 2151  . See the bridge climb view for less time and money, with a little less excitement. The pylon is open 10am to 5pm every day except Christmas Day. Admission is $8.50 adults, $3 children under 13, and free for children under 7.
- Bridge Climb, 5 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, ph 02 8274 7777, fax 02 9240 1122  . Climb to the very top of the Bridge. Note that this climb is more demanding than climbing a set of stairs (although it is not so demanding as the name implies): you will be fitted with special climbing suits and secured and you must be 10 or over to climb. The climb takes three and a half hours and a climb leaves every ten minutes. You can climb during the day, at twilight and at night. Book your climb as early as possible as the climb is very popular. Loose items including cameras are prohibited on the climb; Bridge Climb staff will take a photo of you, but you may not take photographs yourself. Standard rates are $160 adults and $100 children (Monday to Thursday, day and night climbs), $185 adults and $125 children (Friday to Saturday, day and night climbs), and $225 adults and $175 children (all week, twilight climbs). Peak rates are in place between the 25th December and 9th January and are $195 adults and $125 children (day and night climbs) and $250 adults and $175 children (twilight).
Sydney is home to a number of major and minor festivals and calendar events each year. Listed chronologically these are:
- The Sydney Festival  is an arts festival held in January each year. It aims to be international in reach, inviting acclaimed international artists to exhibit their work or perform in Sydney. A number of free outdoor events are held alongside the festival including the hugely popular Jazz in the Domain and Symphony in the Domain concerts held in the Domain in the city.
- The Field Day Festival occurs on January 1 of each year, attracting the infamous Sydney NYE party-goers, or well-rested Sydneysiders. The festival offers an exemplary cross section of leftfield bands, artists and DJ's for the true music lovers' delectation. Past artists have included The Presets and Kaskade.
- The Bacardi Latin Festival in Darling Harbour is held in early January as part of the Sydney Festival, and contains a week of Latin dancing and music.
- The Big Day Out , an Australia-wide rock/alternative music festival with a side of dance, plays to up to 60 000 Sydneysiders at a time for one or two days in late January (normally on the January 26th public holiday). Past acts have included Nirvana, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against The Machine, the Chemical Brothers and Marilyn Manson from overseas, and Powderfinger, Regurgitator and Gerling from Australia. It normally sells out about a fortnight after tickets are released.
- The St. Jerome's Laneway Festival  is alternative/indie music festival held in January/February each year (see website for upcoming dates), where bands play in laneways around the city, this this festival a rather unique vibe and atmosphere. The Festival attracts both international and domestic artists, which has included such artists like Feist, Architecture in Helsinki and Born Ruffians. If you're interested in getting involved in the Sydney 'underground' or alternative/indie scene, this festival is a good start.
- The Good Vibrations Festival  is a multi-genre festival held in February every year attracting major international acts like Fatboy Slim, Cypress Hill, Kayne West, Beastie Boys and Snopp Dog.
- The Future Music Festival is held in late February every year, drawing in an enviable array of international and domestic artists like Paul Oakenfold, Basement Jaxx, N*E*R*D ft. Pharrell Williams, and CSS.
- The Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras  is a festival organized by and for the queer community. It includes sports, cultural and arts events that run throughout February, culminating in the Mardi Gras parade in Darlinghurst on the first Saturday of March each year. The festival began as a street protest, and has grown into a huge celebration.
- The Royal Easter Show  is the major agricultural show in New South Wales, and is held around Easter each year at Sydney Olympic Park in the Outer West. Farmers from all over the state come to show their prize produce. But it isn't just an agricultural show: a huge number of amusement ride operators set up for the Show as well, together with vendors of the worst kind of child baiting junk food: fairy floss and deep fried hot dogs (known as "dagwood dogs" or "pluto pups").
- Chinese New Year is widely celebrated by Sydney's Chinese community, with the center of festivities being at Chinatown. Look out for Lion dancing, Dragonboat races at Darling Harbour, and of course plenty of good food.
- The Sydney Fringe Festival  runs from mid-January to mid-February each year, and features fringe art in the form of film, TV, performance and sport.
- The "Sydney French Film Festival", or officially 'The Alliance Francaise French Film Festival  occurs in March every year. The festival offers an impressive and ambitious panoramic view of contemporary French cinema, screening the films at Palace Academy Twin (Oxford St, Darlinghurst), Verona (Paddington) & Norton Street (Leichhardt).
- The V Festival is held in Sydney in March every year, showcasing a huge array of international and domestic musical acts. Previous artists have included The Pixies, Beck, The Rapture, Groove Armada, Phoenix and The Pet Shop Boys. The 2009 lineup can be found on the website  and includes such artists like Jack Johnson, The Killers, Snow Patrol and The Human League.
- The Cockatoo Island Festival is held every year on 25-27 March where lots of friendly people enjoy a fabulous mixture of music and culture while discovering one of Sydney's best kept secrets.
- The "Sydney German Film Festival", or officially the Audi Festival of German Films in Australia occurs in Sydney during April, showing contemporary German films.
- The Sydney Spanish Film Festival  occurs in May every year, showcasing the best that Spanish cinema has to offer.
- The Sydney Film Festival  is held in June each year and shows over 200 movies in 16 days, including an enormous number of Australian movies, most of which will premiere at the festival.
- The Biennale of Sydney  is a contemporary arts and multimedia festival held in winter in even numbered years.
- The Musica Viva Festival  is Sydney's premier chamber music festival. The festival presents a rich feast of masterworks and musical treasures played by some of the world's finest practioners, interspersed with music of different cultures. It will be first held in October 2008.
- The Lavazza Italian Film Festival [www.italianfilmfestival.com.au] is held between September-October, and showcases the finest that Italian cinema has to offer, picking contemporary films from the vibrant Rome International Film Festival to the more established events such as the prestigious Berlinale and the world-famous Cannes Film Festival; and a selection of Italian Classics from the archives of the Cinecittà Studios in Rome.
- Sculpture by the Sea  Join tens of thousands of Sydneysiders as they take a leisurely walk between Bondi Beach and Tamarama Beach to admire the numerous larger than life sculptures set up at both beaches and along the walk. Bring a camera to take snaps of the weird and wonderful exhibits. Free. Runs for 2 weeks mid October to beginning November each year.
- The Homebake festival  is a rock/alternative/dance festival featuring only Australian acts. It is held in the Domain in the city each year in December.
- Carols in the Domain  are held annually in the Domain in the city on the last Saturday before Christmas. 100 000 people with candles sing along as night falls and the show is also telecast live.
- New Year's Eve has fireworks display ranking among the world's best. Displays of pyrotechnics center around Sydney Harbour, near the Harbour bridge (including fireworks shot from the bridge itself). There are two shows, a "family show" at 9pm, and the major fireworks display at midnight. Immediately following the 9pm Family Fireworks, the spectacular Harbour of Light Parade will begin. Over 50 vessels make a majestic passage on a 15km circuit around the Harbour, featuring illuminated emblems representing the Sydney New Year's Eve theme, glittering either on their hulls or masts. To book your place on board one of the participating vessels, contact Flagship Charters  where you will not only enjoy a front row seat for the fireworks but also uninterrupted views of all the action throughout the night. Tickets sell out fast so don't miss out! Prestige Harbour Cruises  and Sydney Boat Hire  offer a number of ticketed cruises and private boat charter options for prime views of the celebrations. Many of the hotels and bars near the Harbour hold special parties as well.
You can take language classes, join a cafe book group, learn to draw, sign up for historical or foodie walks, or take computer or business classes at City of Sydney Library, where you can sign up to borrow books or just read magazines in their café as well.
See the Sydney District Pages for things to buy in the City, and other Sydney districts.
While cities such as London, Milan, Tokyo, Paris, and New York City are traditionally regarded as the fashion centres of the world, these days Australia's unique style and creativity means Sydney is also mentioned as 'must-visit' centers on the international fashion circuit. When it came to fashion, Australia used to be seen as isolated and out-of-touch. That notion is now out-of-touch itself, as designs from Australians such as Wayne Cooper, Collette Dinnigan, Akira Isogawa, Lisa Ho, and Easton Pearson are seen around the globe. In fact, around 60 Australian labels are currently exporting their designs to boutiques and department stores in Asia, Europe and the United States.
Anything and everything you could possibly want to buy is probably available in Sydney, it may be scattered all over the city, but it will be there. Areas range from the more up-market to bargain and moderately priced items.
- Pitt Street Mall is a pedestrian mall in the CBD. It is one block long between Market Street and King Street and is one of Australia's busiest and most cosmopolitan shopping precincts. Despite the areas small size, it is home to many flagship chain stores.
- Queen Victoria Building in the CBD is a renowned 19th century building, home to over 400 stores. The building retains a historic architectual style. Located on George St adjacent to Town Hall.
- Castlereagh Street in the CBD is lined by many of Sydney's most expensive boutiques and jewellery stores.
- Oxford Street just east of the CBD is lined with shops, bars and nightclubs.
- Westfield Shopping Centre  Large shopping malls at Chatswood, |Bondi Junction, and Parramatta. Also in Chatswood, the more up-market mall Chatswood Chase. All are easily accessible by car and public transport, see the district articles for details.
- Birkenhead Point - A multi-story factory outlet in Sydney's Inner West. Short bus ride from the Sydney CBD. Also accessible from the city center by ferry from Circular Quay, though the usual trip time is far greater than the equivalent bus trip.
- DFO  is a place to shop for brand name fashions at discount prices. It is located near Sydney Olympic Park at the corner of Homebush Bay Drive and Underwood Road. By public transport, take the 525 bus from Strathfield Station to the last bus stop on Underwood Road.
For essential supplies or those looking to cook their own food, the main Supermaket Chains in Sydney are Coles , Woolworths , Franklins  or Aldi . Next to Town Hall or Wynyard stations in CBD and in many suburban locations.
You never have to go far to find food in Sydney. As a rough guide, cafés serving breakfast menus start opening at 6am and breakfast is usually served until 11am, or occasionally all day. Orders for lunch start at about noon and continue until about 3pm. Orders for dinner start around 6pm and while there are exceptions (usually concentrated in areas with active nightlife), last orders for dinner are typically taken around 10pm.
There are a large number of restaurants, takeaways, and food of every description in the City. There are several other districts well known for having a large amount and variety of restaurants. In the north, try Crows Nest, Cremorne, Chatswood, Neutral Bay, Mosman and Lane Cove. In the west - Parramatta, Beverly Hills and Cabramatta each have large restaurant districts. In the East/Inner-city - Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Bondi, Coogee are well-known eating spots.
Take away food in Sydney can be as cheap as buying the ingredients and making it yourself, and many stores specialise in take-away food. There will usually be a picnic table, park or beach nearby to eat whatever you can select.
Most restaurants will do take-away food as well. Outside of the city they may offer a small discount for take-away.
Thanks to Sydney's multicultural mix, the range of food available is huge and isn't necessarily expensive. It is usually possible to find a restaurant of any nationality, specializing in almost any cuisine.
- Yum cha in Chinatown is very good, arguably even better than Hong Kong since many of their best chefs moved to Sydney in the 1990s. Yum Cha is an entire meal comprising many small dishes. Dim Sum (Mandarin: Dian Xin) means small snacks e.g. spring rolls.
- Visit the Sydney Fish Markets in Darling Harbour for a lunch of fresh seafood of almost any description.
- Eat Chinese in Chinatown, as well as in Chatswood on the North Shore, Eastwood to the north west, Ashfield and Strathfield in the Sydney/Inner West, and Hurstville in Sydney's southern suburbs.
- Eat Thai in one of the many low priced Thai outlets in Newtown's King Street in the Inner West.
- Eat Italian in one of the restaurants in Leichhardt's Norton Street, or nearby Ramsay Street, Haberfield in the Inner West. Or in Stanley St in East Sydney - a walk from the CBD.
- Eat Spanish in Liverpool Street in the city.
- Eat Portuguese in Petersham in the Inner West.
- Eat Indian in one of the many restaurants in the Outer West with all types of Indian cuisine (North Indian, South Indian, Vegetarian, meat, etc.)
- Eat Korean in Liverpool & Pitt St in City, Strathfield and Eastwood.
- Eat Japanese in Neutral Bay.
- Eat Nepalese in Glebe Point Road, Glebe, in the Inner West.
- Eat Turkish in Enmore Rd Enmore / South King St Newtown in the Inner West. Get your Sucuklu and Pastirmali here.
- Eat Lebanese in Cleveland Street. Baba Ghanouj, Lahem Begin and Baclawa here. Salam Alaikum.
- Eat Vietnamese. The most authentic Vietnamese can be experienced in Cabramatta.
- Eat Kosher in Bondi. Many great restaurants throughout the area.
- Eat Indonesian in Anzac Parade, Kingsford & Maroubra.
Many of the areas mentioned above also sell produce related to the original nationality of the locals.
- Lastly, if you're simply looking for a good steak, many of Sydney's pubs serve excellent examples. Try pubs in North Sydney, Chatswood.
Sydney is also home to some of the world's best restaurants (though none are Michelin rated). In the City itself, try Tetsuya's  in Kent Street (be warned, there are no walk-ins and bookings are taken only one month in advance, often filling up on the first day of bookings), Becasse  in Clarence Street or Rockpool  at The Rocks.
Vegetarian and special diets
Vegetarians are well catered for. Every restaurant will usually have at least one vegetarian dish. Indian retaurants can be relied upon to provide a wider selection. The trendy East Sydney and Inner West suburbs are likely to give you a large choice as well.
There is an awareness of gluten-free and dairy-free diets in Sydney, and again the more trendier inner city suburbs are more likely to cater for these diets.
The general rule on tipping in Australia is that it is not compulsory and generally not expected. This remains true for most cafes, and for counter service in Sydney. However for a full service restaurant in a tourist areas a tip would be expected by the waitstaff, Many Australians will still not tip, on principle and you should feel free to follow their lead should you wish to. Nobody will follow you or give you a hard time if you do. Otherwise a 10% tip added to the bill will usually meet their expectations. They may be expecting a little more if you have an American accent, as they are well aware of what Americans tip at home.
Sydney has an enormous number of places to drink and party. A limited number of venues have 24 hour licenses, however the majority close before 3am and some as early as 11pm, particularly if there are nearby residents. Most venues will have door staff checking photo identification to determine that you are over 18. Admission is also commonly refused to those who seem visibly drunk to the staff. More popular venues have discriminatory door practices, the most common of which is refusing entry to groups of men who are not accompanied by women.
Most places have at least a basic dress code. If you're not sure where you're headed and want to get into most generic pubs and clubs you come across, men should wear a collared shirt, neat full-length pants (not jeans) and business-style shoes. Cheaper pubs have looser requirements, and of course different groups follow different fashions. This recipe won't work for entry to a goth club. In almost all cases, women can dress more freely, but a small number of places require closed shoes.
Entry charges for live music or DJs are usual and range from $5 to $30 depending on clientèle. Entry charges are rare if you're going into a pub for a drink.
Note that there is a taxi shift change at 3am, and it is notoriously difficult to catch a taxi anywhere between 2:30am and 3:30am. Also beware that there is currently a government enforced lockout at many establishments between 2 and 5am - which means that you need to stay inside or you won't be able to get back in - even if you go out for a cigarette (smoking is illegal inside). Ask the bouncers or some locals if you're unsure and they will tell you which places are affected by the lockout and which aren't.
Some types of nightlife are concentrated in particular areas:
- Backpackers drink near the hostels, and will find a lot of fellow budget travellers in pubs in the Eastern Suburbs Beaches like Bondi Beach and Kings Cross.
- In some ways Irish pubs are a global phenomenon, but they've certainly taken Sydney by storm. Irish pubs are concentrated in both The Rocks area and the southern area of the CBD. They are outrageously popular on the 17th March for St Patrick's Day.
- Business pubs also cater to the city crowd: lawyers, financiers and brokers and are very busy Friday nights when the city workers are let loose for the week.
- Large nightclubs are concentrated in the Darling Harbour area.
- Sydney's large gay scene is concentrated on Oxford Street in Darlinghurst although it still has a large range of pubs and clubs for all ranges of sexuality and is a prominent nightspot for a lot of party-goers.
- Sydney's students drink in the Inner West.
- Some nightclubs and Sydney's younger party-goers are found in North Sydney.
There are many great nightclubs in Sydney, unfortunately they are very spread out so it would be a good idea to get an idea of were you want to go. A free magazine called 3D world can be picked up at most clothing stores and music shops which hosts a large range of night spot opportunities. Also a new website GuestlistSydney  lists a large number of nightclub events each week.
Sydney is such a large city that we've put individual hotel listings in the district pages-- here are some suggestions for districts to stay in
Sydney has a wide range of backpackers' hostels - popular districts for these include the southern half of the CBD and Haymarket , Glebe and Kings Cross, the Eastern Suburbs(Bondi, Coogee) and the Northern Beaches (Manly).
You find many mid-range accommodation providers within the CBD, and within a short distance of the city by public transport, including in North Sydney, the Inner West and the North Shore. Sometimes a cheaper motel style accommodation can be obtained on the roads leading into Sydney, particular in South Western Sydney
There are luxurious hotels that can be found all over Sydney. The most expensive hotels are generally located in the CBD and the Rocks district, near the business hub of Sydney, close to many restaurants, often featuring spectacular harbor views. Some other high quality hotels are located in Darling Harbour.You may check the list below for specific locations.
Please visit one of the various Sydney districts described in the Districts section above to see the accommodation listings.
Serviced, short-term apartments are widely available throughout Sydney and are available for stays as short as one night. Amenities typically include kitchen, washer and dryer, and separate bedrooms. A range of properties exist from budget to five-star.
Please visit one of the various Sydney districts described in the Districts section above to see the accommodation listings.
- Robert Hughes, The Fatal Shore - The early chapters in this fantastically evocative treatment by a born and bred Sydneysider is a real eye-opener to Sydney's convict beginnings. Highly recommended.
- John Birmingham, Leviathan, The Unauthorised Biography of Sydney - A history of Sydney from its beginnings as a penal colony to contemporary times. Non-fiction, it discusses incidents and themes in an anecdotal fashion. Definitely not your usual historical work.
Sydney has similar crime issues to most large western cities. Be on the lookout for the usual big city crime problems such as pickpocketing, and exercise caution on the rail system late at night, as you would in other cities. It is generally advisable to travel in the carriage closest to the guard's compartment, which is marked with a blue light on the outside of the train. Drunk people are common on trains late at night, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights.
Homeless people begging for money or cigarettes may come off as intimidating to some tourists, but they are generally harmless. They will often make up elaborate stories about needing a train fare etc. If you don't wish to give them money (you can generally tell which ones are genuine), simply say "Sorry, no" or pretend to not speak English and continue walking and they will leave you alone.
Alcohol fueled violence
Take care walking around George Street, The Rocks or Oxford Street especially on Friday and Saturday nights as there are many drunk people around who can get into fights. Usually fights with drunks are not completely random, and start with some sort of engagement. Avoid trouble, and don't hesitate to call police if you feel threatened.
Other violent crime
There are few complete no-go areas in Sydney.
The Block on Eveleigh Street in Redfern, directly opposite Redfern station, is still to a certain extent an area demonstrating urban Aboriginal disadvantage. It is slowly being redeveloped, and the murals, vandalism, drugs and hopelessness being bulldozed. Common sense would tell you to avoid this area, unless you have a desire to see this side of Sydney, in which case take care.
Some areas of South Western Sydney, like Cabramatta, Lakemba, have a reputation. The reality is that the risk of violent crime to travellers is no greater here than in the city, especially during the day, when they are busy, vibrant centres.
Be careful in the red light area of Kings Cross at night. Although the main street in this area has been cleaned up immeasurably by the police, crime does still occur and pickpocketing or mugging can happen to the unwary, especially in quiet laneways. Women should take care at bars and keep an alert companion at hand, especially in the central hostel area, and take precautions against spiked drinks.
Public transport after dark
After 9pm, smaller outer suburban stations can be very quiet, and many are totally unstaffed after this time. The trains can also be empty when they get towards the end of the line at this time. Don't expect a taxi to be waiting at every station - only usually the major ones will have a well patronised taxi rank.
Nightride buses, which replace trains after midnight, can arrange for a taxi to meet you when you get off, if you speak with the driver.
If you feel uncomfortable on a Cityrail train, you can call 1800 657 926 to speak with Cityrail security, then can usually arrange for a transit patrol to board the train and provide assistance. In more modern trains you can press the button in the entry area to speak with the guard. Every train station has an orange emergency help point monitored by CCTV that connects to Cityrail security, usually towards the centre of the platform.
If you are going to the beach, take the same precautions as you do anywhere in Australia. See Beach going.
Sydney has no really dangerous jellyfish. Bluebottles (Portugese Man-Of-War) are blueish-purple stingers that hit the Sydney beaches a couple of days every sommer, when the wind direction is right. They have an air-bladder that floats on the water, and stinging tenticles. Often the air-bladder can be no bigger than a coin. You will see the evidence of them with their air-bags washed up on the beach if they are present. They can give a painful sting - even when on the beach - but it won't keep everyone out of the water. Apply a heat pack if you can, or ice, or salt water. Vinegar is useless. Sometimes small transparent jellyfish appear in the harbour and estuaries. You can usually avoid any groups of them, but they are mostly harmless. More rarely larger purple jellyfish are in the harbour and other estuaries. If you see these in the estuaries, best to stay out of their way. Probably more of an issue to water skiers than to swimmers.
Sydney ocean beaches all have shark mesh nets around 100 metres out to sea, and are regularly patrolled by air for sharks. A shark alarm will sound if any are sighted, and you should get out of the water. The risk of shark attack swimming on a patrolled beach between the flags is virtually nil. Shark attacks are rare on Sydney beaches, but they have occurred, although there have been no fatal attacks for 45 years. Advice is to avoid swimming in murky water after storms, or at dusk or at dawn, and to swim in the netted enclosures within the harbour and other estuaries.
Take note of the general issues regarding staying safe in Australia.
There are a number of good one or two day trips from Sydney:
- Drive across the Bell's Line of Road over the Blue Mountains to Lithgow. Buy some apples from the orchard vendors at the side of the road if driving over in autumn. Lithgow is accessable on the Cityrail and Countrylink networks.
- Travel up into the populated area of the Blue Mountains. There are a number of good day walks in the Katoomba area, or you could tour Jenolan Caves. These are easily accessable on the Cityrail network to Katoomba.
- Royal National Park, in the south of Sydney and accessible by train has nice 1 to 2 day walks.
- Newnes Glen in Wollemi National Park.
- Kanangra Boyd National Park.
- Take a tour of the Hunter Valley wineries.
- Wollongong is a lovely small city south of Sydney, accessible by driving down the F6 freeway or taking an hourly Cityrail train.
- Head up to Gosford or Woy Woy for some quieter, but picturesque beaches. Both of these towns are accessible by the Central Coast and Newcastle Cityrail lines.
- Head up to the regional city of Newcastle by Cityrail train and take in some of the victorian architecture and fantastic city beaches.
Or if you are moving on:
- Travel to Melbourne, Australia's second city (although don't mention that when you get there).
- Its 1000km closer and often cheaper to get to Auckland than it is to get to Perth.
This page was last edited at 05:42, on 27 March 2009 by Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Based on work by Ian Sergeant and Giancarlo de Vera, Wikitravel user(s) Ronaldo123, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.