Sydney is the glorious capital of the state of New South Wales, in eastern Australia. With a population of a little over 4 million people it sees a wide range of weather – from blistering heat in the summer to freezing winds and rain in the winter. Luckily, though, it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and boasts attractions such as the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge (the latter conducts ‘bridge climbs’, where you can walk over the bridge on the top of the arch). Another great tourist must-do is the Centrepoint Tower Skywalk, where visitors can stand on the open air dais, over 300 metres up, and view the city. With these and many other attractions, the weather pales in comparison and becomes bearable.
When you first arrive in Sydney (usually by plane if you’re coming from overseas) you’ll catch the expensive but super convenient rail link to almost anywhere in the city centre or the surrounding suburbs. If you’re arriving by boat then of course you’ll pay so much more, but you’ll come in under the Harbour Bridge and dock near to Circular Quay so the tradeoff is worth it. Come in on a weekend, and you’ll be able to catch the Rocks Markets, held in the historic Rocks area. Offering many unique and original arts and crafts, it’s the best place to stock up on gifts to take back home. There are also historic walks – not to mention ghost tours – to be had in and around the area. Paddy’s Markets are another great place to find a bargain, and are close to China Town (excellent for cheap Chinese food and goods).
Established in 1850 is the architecturally stunning University of Sydney. Sit and take in the atmosphere of the Main Quad, and stroll through the adjacent Victoria Park. Another beautiful park in Sydney is the Royal Botanical Gardens. Just north of the city (over the bridge, in fact) is the Taronga Park Zoo. Catch the ferry across and on the way back stop in at Circular Quay for a gelato and a superb photo opportunity. Walk around to the Opera House for more spectacular photos (and perhaps another tasty ice cream). The Opera House Markets runs from this area, and it can get quite crowded along the promenade.
Still on the water front, but in the other direction, is Darling Harbour – a large shopping and eating precinct close to the Entertainment Centre, Sydney Aquarium and Sydney Wildlife World. Walk up the hill back to the famous George Street and you’ll pass by the Queen Victoria Building, completed in the late 1800s and home to fine dining and exclusive shops.
Of course there are many other tourist attractions to be seen – too numerous to mention here – but all can be seen via the public transport system, the monorail and of course, Shank’s pony. There’s no better time to see Sydney; the weather is great all year ‘round and there’s always plenty to see and do.