Australia is a truly awe–inspiring country, blessed with not only some of the most unique and memorable countryside on the globe, but also with some fantastic cities just waiting to be explored. Each of the country's 5 states and 2 territories have vibrant capitals, each offering diverse and exciting city holidays for those wishing to see somewhere new. In the following paragraphs we will give you some ideas on the things you can see and do in places as geographically different and culturally varied as Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, Hobart, Adelaide and Canberra.
Sydney is modern, cosmopolitan city which has spread from the famous Sydney Harbour at it's centre to the beautiful Blue Mountains to its west, from the glorious beaches of Cronulla to its south, through the trendy eastern suburb beaches of Coogee, Bronte and Bondi, onto Manly and the exclusive Palm Beach to its north. Sydney is the poster girl of 21st century Australia with her spectacular harbours and beaches, iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House and world-class restaurants, bars, hotels and shopping. Book your city holiday here and you'll be overwhelmed by all the things you can see and do.
– The area around Sydney's CBD has some fantastic bars, cafes and restaurants and all the big main shops. It is has a large number of both cheap hostels and budget hotels, for backpackers and holidaymakers alike, as well as luxury accommodation. If you're looking for a city holiday slap bang in the centre of Sydney, perhaps you should consider one of the many serviced apartments that are available – many of them have wonderful views over to city skyline to the Harbour, or even the ocean. Apart from the plentiful accommodation, another advantage of staying in or near Sydney's CBD is that it is extremely convenient for many of the 'Harbour City's' famous tourist attractions – Darling Harbour, Sydney Harbour and the Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House and the beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens are all located a short walk (or quick train/bus ride) from most CBD accommodation. And if you fancy something a bit more exotic, China Town and Little Korea, with their great yum cha and barbecued meat shops, are located just south of the city centre.
Kings Cross and Darlinghurst
– Home to Sydney's red light district, Kings Cross is edgy and colourful and has some great accommodation which puts you right in the middle of all the action, both day and night. Don't be put off by the seedier side of this area. Kings Cross and the nearby Darlinghurst and Oxford Street have some fabulous cafes, restaurants, bars and nightclubs – this golden triangle is Sydney's party central! If you're thinking of combining your city break with Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, then Darlinghurst and Paddington are the ideal places to book your accommodation, being within striking distance of the parade route.
– A quick drive over Sydney Harbour Bridge lies bayside North Sydney and her neighbours Neutral Bay, Kirribilli and McMahon's Point. This a good spot to look for hotels and apartments as the accommodation may be a little bit cheaper than you would pay for central Sydney hotels. Plus you get the added bonus of looking back from the north side of Sydney Harbour at the many of the sights that she is renowned for.
– Once the heart of the city, Parramatta is an interesting substitute for staying in central Sydney. With quick and efficient access to Sydney CBD and from there on to wherever you like via the river, trains and road, Parramatta is surprisingly pretty and offers some interesting cultural attractions along with some great ethnic restaurants.
– If the bustle and energy of a big city is too much for you, take a look at basing your Sydney holiday in one of her many lively and varied suburbs. The beauty of a city like Sydney is that all the suburbs have their own individual atmosphere (and often cultural identities) making them feel like a series of villages encircled by the larger city's embrace. The other joy of hanging out in one of Sydney's suburbs is that the transport system is so good that getting in and out of the city centre to do your sightseeing, or organising excursions to other parts of the town, is a breeze – just hop on a train, bus or ferry and enjoy the ride.
Things To Do and See
– The obvious must-see Sydney attractions include the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour and Sydney Harbour Bridge and to get the most out of them you'll need to spend some time down at Circular Quay. There are some great hotels and apartments down by the Quay, but they tend to be pretty expensive. A cheaper option is to take a free walk along the promenade, book a Sydney Harbour cruise and perhaps take a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House. At the opposite end of Circular Quay from the Opera House is the old dock and warehouse district called The Rocks, which has a great arts and craft market, a long with some excellent eateries and shopping.
Another way to see a bit of Sydney Harbour is to take the ferry over to Manly for a day trip. Once you get there you can enjoy the beach culture and surfing and sample some of the best fish and chips in Oz. Alternatively, catching the ferry over to Taronga Zoo is great way to get a cheap Harbour cruise and experience some fantastic wild life in what has to be one of the most stunning zoos in the world.
Make sure you ride the bus up the winding roads to glamorous Palm Beach and neighbouring Whale Beach, where the rich and famous have their weekenders. Other well–known Sydney beaches include iconic Bondi with its surf and sea culture, and Coogee, Clovelly and Bronte, which combine great sand and sea fun. For a totally different waterside experience check out the delights of some of the harbour beaches like swish Balmoral and Clontarf.
Getting to and from Sydney is easy with good road and rail connections and Sydney flights coming in from all major Australian cities and a number of regional centres.
A Sydney holiday can be pretty much anything you want it to be – waterside or urban, city or beach, chilled and relaxing or fast–paced and frenetic. It all depends on what you want from your city holiday. Once you're decided on the best place to find accommodation and have booked your room, why not look into the city tours and day trips available around Sydney? There are some incredible sights to see and experiences to be had.