How to Maximise your Holiday in Sydney?

By: Brandon

The mountains, the beaches and the city center. There is such a rich variety of things to do in Sydney, but budget travellers may not find it easy to stay too long, as accomodation is expensive and budget accomodation is not always available (for last minute bookings) in the city. Best is to lodge in with a friend, and hopefully that friend stays near the eastern suburbs - near the beaches.

My favourite beaches are Maroubra beach and the beaches in north Sydney. Maroubra is less crowded than the popular Bondi and Coogee beaches, and the waves a bit rougher, but a perfect place for bbq, ball games at the field (a bit south of the beach). As for the north side... (right up to Barren Joey Nature Reserve), I cannot imagine any place more peaceful and idyllic. The same goes for the western suburbs, Blue Mountains... perfect place for retreats, nature walks, spending time away from cell phones and computers. About 3-4 days up in the mountains will be great, and as for beach hoping in Northen Sydney, you can make it up and down in just about 1 full day. For beach hoping, it's best to rent a car and read the map as you go. As for the more famous Blue Mountains, there are packages readily available from tour agents in the city.

Covering the north and western front and having spent enough quiet time, you can spend some time in the city!. Visit the malls/shops along Elizebeth/George Street near Hyde Park and the small shops/boutiques around Paddington (if time allows for detour). After running around the city center, you can head south towards chinatown, and reach Darling Harbour for lunching (more touristy stuff). If you are confident of not getting lost, look for directions on how to get to Fisherman's Wharf which is near Darling Harbour (by tram, walk, taxi).

Alternatively, you could head east-wards through Hyde Park and visit the grand Art Gallery of New South Wales. That will take a long time to cover I reckon. If you do visit the gallery and finish looking through it (about 3-4pm?), you can take a walk through the park (northwards) for 25-30minutes before reaching Circular Quay (yes yes... Opera House). If not, take a bus from Hyde Park, East Side, along Elizebeth Street.

Circular Quay ("Opera House + Sydney Bridge place") is where you can take many different ferry rides to north sydney, get you touristy pictures, even catch a movie at a mini cinema(more art films) if it is late at night. Should you be taking ferry rides, best to do it when it's early and sunny in the day. You can purchase a round trip to Watsons Bay up north for Fish and Chips. At Watsons Bay, climb up to broken head point(?) for a magnificent view of the city and Sydney harbour mouth (You can see the narrow gap between North and South Sydney, and the opening from the river to ocean)

Back at Circular Quay, you can book a cruise (if your budget allows) that comes with lunch. Besides cruise luncheon, there are many restaurants and pubs to dine in at Circular Quay.

Eating at Circular Quat is particularly popular, even North Sydney folks come down for a bite... I do miss Pancakes at the Rocks... bbq pork ribs...There are many other restaurants, Japanese, Swiss that I've not tried, but are very popular too. If you are eating at around 6-7pm without reservations... you might have a problem with queues. Stranded in Circular Quay without a place to eat is not great... if that happens, the nearest alternative I can think of it a 20-30minute bus ride back down to ChinaTown/Darling Harbour area for cheaper food alternatives.

Alternative shopping areas apart from the city center are Bondi Junction, Chatswood (North side), or even further into the western suburbs - Paramatta.

To view the magnificent coast lines away from the tourists. Visit La Perouse (where one of the Mission Impossible movies were filmed) and more importantly, Royal National Park (world's second oldest national park) a few hours down south. There are hiking paths that span from half a day, to one full day and even more. I've only tried a full day and half day hike before. Recommend the full day hike that allows you more oceanic views. At some points of the hike, the view is even more beautiful than the ocean drive along Melbourne's coast line. Bring your cameras along and be sure to ask the park ranger for recommedations (depending on what you hoping to see), there are many paths to choose from. Also, dun forget to bring drinks, food and grab a map before u start.

Oceania Destinations
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