The city of Sydney is a vibrant and dynamic urban center – I like treasure hunting in markets and boutique shops in Paddington, sipping coffee in local bakeries, admiring the modern architecture, catching a show, and going to an event… (Sydney, City Snapshots). The entire city is filled with friendly people and a relaxing vibe.
The city center is surrounded by nature. Although I can’t cuddle a Koala in New South Wales now, it was almost therapeutic watching them just lazing on a tree, doing their own thing. Feeding the wallabies was fun, while Australia offers distinctive endemic species, or the marsupials, that could be rarely seen elsewhere in the world. Another place that I recommend is the Taronga Zoo, a city zoo located in North City by the water. Of course, glamping in the Zoofari Lodge and ‘meet and greet’ with the giraffes in the morning would definitely be a highlight of the trip!
The Blue Mountains is Sydney’s backyard. The Scenic World Blue Mountains Australia took me through an incredible scenic trip through the mountains, and I was stunned by the blue haze the covers the mountain ranges. There was a reason that the mountain looks blue and it was amazing witnessing it with my own eyes (Nature Calls… & the Blue Mountains).
The Sydney Harbor is one of the largest natural harbors in the world, and the city thrives on it. There are lots of amazing spots a traveler would explore! As I was flipping through my photos during my BridgeClimb experience, I thought I would give myself a reminder of some of the favorite places around the harbor.
Sydney Harbor Bridge… & it’s Climb
The Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb is, to me, one of the best ways to have a great panoramic view of the Harbor and all its glory. The bridge is technically one of the tallest structure in the city – nothing escapes your eyes when you are standing on the top of the bridge, in the middle of the harbor. The climb is actually pleasant and safe, for more tips and afterthoughts, visit Sydney, Up!
Manly Beach Ferry & Sydney Opera House
There are two iconic structures in Sydney that known to almost everyone in the world. The Sydney Bridge is one, and the Sydney Opera House is, of course, the other. The opera house is one of the most recognizable architecture that no one would be mistaken and it can’t be replaced. While visitors could get up close and personal, or have a fun night out in the Opera bar, one way to have a good look of the architecture at the front is to take a ferry. The opera house is located in the Circular Quay, and there are a number (F1 to F7) of ferry lines servicing the city and the ferry to Manly (F1) are my favorite.
First of all, the ferry ride is everything but boring. The historic ferries were in service since 1959 and the view on the route is breathtaking. For around $15 two-way, the ferry is a great way to get a good look of the two iconic architectures from all angles, as well as the eastern part of the harbor at a lower price.
The ferry ride reaches the Manly Wharf in about 30 minutes one way, and Manly is a beachside suburb of northern Sydney. The Corso is the commercial area that leads to the Manly Beach from the Wharf. It’s what Manly is all about: leisurely walk along the pedestrian street, grab some fish and chips and then enjoy it sitting on the beach. Beware of seagulls attack though! The Manly beach is also a famous surfing spot, if you are into surfing, you might even consider staying by the beach for 1 to 2 days. There are surfing supplies available in the shops around the beach.
Darling Harbor & Fish Market
The Daring Harbor is open to the public. The curvy coastal line offers a long waterfront promenade, with food, shops, and entertainment. The Wild Life Sydney Zoo and Sea Life Sydney Aquarium allow travelers visit the cute animals without getting out from the heart of the city. The Koala Breakfast is an incredible and unique experience. It’s an opportunity to meet the adorable koalas while enjoying a hot or cold breakfast buffet in a bush gardening setting. Remember to make a reservation because seats are limited and they are filled up pretty fast.
I visited the zoo and the aquarium with a combo ticket offer and it has a lot to see. They have a collection of koalas, wallabies, kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, wombats, crocodiles, and other reptiles, birds and fish that opened my eyes.
Australian National Maritime Museum is on the other side of the harbor and the museum showcases the maritime history and the discovery history of Australia. The great thing about visiting these places is that they are so close to the city center. Once I got out and I could go right back to the hustle and bustle nightlife in the evening.
One more thing, if you are into seafood, don’t forget to take the Light Rail and visit the Sydney Fish Market! The Light Rail takes off from the Central Station at Haymarket and it goes around the Darling Harbor. The Fish Market offers an array of seafood – buy the food that you like and the shops will make them to the way you like it. I had a giant plate of oysters, prawns, and mussels and I could barely eat anything more for a price of under $15. I saw the diners at the next table were having a giant crab and the claws is the size of a 16-ounce steak…?!
Bondi Beach & Bronte Coastal Walk
Lastly but definitely not least, visit the Bondi Beach. It’s amazing that in merely 45 minutes, we were at the world’s famous beach from the city center. Take a train to Bondi Junction, and there are buses lined up outside that head to the beach for about 20 minutes. I was distracted by the amazing view of the blue water, and I left my camera on the bus when I got off, I had to chase the bus all the way uphill to the Campbell Parade and luckily the camera was still there! For anything, it was the best location to have a little jog. The sand of the beach is fine, and the color of the water is indeed mesmerizing. If you are visiting during summer, you must not pass up the chance to spend some time on the beach and enjoy some sunshine.
Even if you are there in winter (which might not be ideal to go into the water) there are other things to do other than beachy things: Skateboarding, surfing, and exploring the Bondi Markets. Just sipping a cup of coffee at the Bondi Pavilion and enjoy the view. To be a little bit more luxurious, visit the Bondi Icebergs Pool. It’s a well-known winter swimming club with outdoor pools by the Bondi Beach. However, travelers may not be able to have a dip, it is possible to visit the club’s bistro there it offers indoor and outdoor seating and a panoramic view of the Beach and the pools.
One of my favorite beaches is the Bondi beach in Sydney – I like visiting there especially when it’s not scorching in the summer, but the sun comes out and the beach is not so crowded. I love the beach because of its variety and accessibility: It is merely 30-minute away from the bustling city center, and even if visitors don’t plan on swimming or surfing on the beach that day – they could have a walk along the waterfront, chill out on the sand, marvel at the magnificent views along the Coogee walk, or simply enjoy a cup of coffee at a beachside cafe. There’s always something to do and have fun, the place is dynamic but also relaxing.
More, the Icebergs’ swimming club has an infinity pool right by the ocean. It has the best views of the Bondi beach and a cute little cafe, while the swimmers could still have a taste of the Pacific Ocean’s water.
After a drink in the club, go out and walk along the coast to Coogee and Bronte. The edge of the cliff is a breathtaking urban coastal walking track with a breathtaking view and special rock formations.