Australia’s capital city is a haven of outdoor pursuits, beach retreats and multicultural dining
Australia’s largest city is the state capital of New South Wales, located on the country’s south-east coast. The city is home to around 4.5 million Sydneysiders, with a multicultural mix of inhabitants. Sydney is a gem of a city, with world-class galleries, museums, shops, restaurants and bars built up around spectacular sights and beautiful beaches.
While it may involve a lengthy flight, a holiday to Sydney offers rich rewards for braving 24 hours on a plane. The Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge are the must-see sights, offering great photo opportunities by the harbour. While you’re there, you’ll be spoilt for choice for bars, restaurants or boats to ferry you off to nearby beach retreats.
Perfect for adrenaline junkies, beach bums, shopaholics and intrepid tourists, Sydney has something for everyone. If you’re looking for a packed city break, roam the busy city streets, take a stroll in the Royal Botanical Gardens, pop to the 19th-century Queen Victoria Building for a shop, head to The Rocks' for quirky souvenirs, or escape to the Blue Mountains for some beautiful hiking terrain. For a more relaxing stay, enjoy sailing in the harbour, waterfront dining and a superb selection of 70 nearby beaches.
When to go?
The Sydney summer runs from October to March, so it’s a perfect choice for a spot of winter sun. However, if you’re looking for a cheap flight, head over from April to August when air fares are at their lowest. The mellow Autumn months of March to May offer warm, sunny weather ideal for outdoor activities - you can also catch the Anzac Day celebrations on 25 April.
How to get there?
British Airways, Qantas and Virgin Atlantic all offer non-stop flights from London Heathrow. However, one-stop services can be cheaper and also offer the opportunity to stretch your legs for a day or more en route. Emirates fly via Dubai from several UK airports, and Etihad offer flights with an Abu Dhabi stopover.
By day, ride the elevated monorail past skyscraper apartment buildings to Darling Harbour, Sydney’s waterfront entertainment precinct. Visit the Powerhouse Museum to brush up on your Australian history, observe sealife swimming overhead at the Aquarium, or step aboard the re-created replica of Captain James Cook’s ship The Endeavour at the National Maritime Museum. Alternatively, take in some amazing art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales or the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Be sure to check out the Sydney Harbour Bridge – the hardy should experience it first-hand with a bridge climb, or take a more relaxing stroll through the Royal Botanical Gardens. If you fancy a day trip, try a hike in the Blue Mountains (keep your eyes peeled for kangaroos) or go wine tasting in Hunter Valley.
Catch the Bondi Explorer bus from Circular Quay which takes a seaside route past Sydney’s most picturesque beaches including Bondi, Bronte and Coogee. Alternatively, catch a ferry across the harbour to the seaside destination of Manly, with its sandy beaches and café-lined main street. Be sure to take your swimsuit and your appetite.
Sydney offers a plethora of multicultural wining and dining experiences – opt for one of the sleek restaurants or rooftop bars lining Circular Quay with great views over Sydney Harbour or head to the chic Darling Harbour. Later in the evening, catch a performance at the Sydney Opera House or head to Kings Cross for some late-night beers.