Our final stop in Australia lead us to Sydney. The site of Captain James Cook’s original landing in Australia, and the place where the first European settlement was established in 1788, now a mega city with over 4 million inhabitants.
Things To Do:
You can’t visit Sydney without going to the opera house, shows start at around $50 each but need to be booked well in advance, everything had sold out by the time we got there. Guided tours start at $37 each, if your on a tight budget, skip the tour and just visit the gift shop and toilets for free, it will give you an idea of the rest of the interior of the building. #thebackpackerway 🙂
Customs house is free to enter and has a really cool, scale model of Sydney. Certainly pop in for 10 minutes on your way to the harbour.
The Rocks is the only really historical part of Sydney. It’s where all the convicts lived long before the days of shiny skyscrapers, its now a home to trendy bars and restaurants.
If your interested in architecture then you must visit the Dr Chau Chak building at the university of technology. Built by the famous architect Frank Gehry and costing $180,000,000, it is an incredible work of art, I’ll let you decide if it’s worth the cost!
Darling Harbour is home to a lot of tourist attractions, aquariums and museums etc with lots of places to eat, the National Maritime Museum is free to enter.
Hide Park in the centre of the city is perfect for a relaxing picnic, it’s also home to St Mary’s Cathedral.
Best Photo Spots:
1. Mrs Macquarie’s chair, located inside the botanical gardens, free to enter and gives a great view of the opera house with the bridge in the background.
2. Observatory hill, gives a great view over the bridge and looks down over the harbour.
We did 2 free walking tours in Sydney, both were super interesting and informative. The Sydney Sights tour leaves from the spot in between the town hall and St Andrews cathedral every day at 10:30 and 14:30. The Rocks tour leaves from Cadmans Cottage at 18:00 every day. There’s no need to book onto any of the tours, just show up and look for someone in a bright green t-shirt. See www.imfree.com.au for more info.
Paddys Market is absolutely the best place in Sydney to buy souvenirs and gifts, located in China town and open every day.
The main shopping area is on Pitt Street if you have time to waste and some spare cash.
How Long To Visit:
There is absolutely loads to see and do in Sydney, if you were to do all the day trips to the Blue Mountains, Manly Beach etc you could easily fill 5 or 6 days. But if you’re short on time, the main sights can be ticked off within 1 day, especially if you do both walking tours.
Where To Eat:
Food in Australia can be expensive, for good meals under $10 visit a food court, our favourites were:
Australia Square food court, for everything from sandwiches and pies to pizza and pasta. (Only open on weekdays.)
Harbour Plaza food court in China town, open every day till late with large choice of Asian food, our favourite was the Malaysian street food.
We used the Greyhound for the last time getting to Sydney, it took just under 3 hours from Newcastle.
A shuttle to the airport cost $15/pp and took around 20 minutes.
Where To Stay:
Hotels in Sydney are really expensive, we stayed at the Pensione Hotel in China town, I used Hotels.com vouchers and only paid £12 per night, the actual cost should have been £61 per night, but even that included a Hotels.com flash sale. The hotel was nice and clean and close to China town.