Sydney.com.au: General Overview
Sydney, with a population of almost 4 million, and covering almost 1120 square kilometres (700 square miles), is a remarkably easy city to move around in. An excellent train, bus and ferry service covers all points of the greater metropolitan area. Roadways, although congested in peak hour times, are generally well planned and driving is not too harrowing an experience.
Unless visitors to Sydney are specifically seeking out friends in outlying areas, most will have no real need to travel too far away from the central city area and the harbour. Most Sydney tourist attractions are either within the central business district, close to the CBD, or at points around the harbour. The exceptions are Bondi and Manly - surf beach suburbs situated south and north of Sydney Heads.
Sydney Attraction Pass: Smartvisit Card
See Sydney and beyond with a Sydney Attraction Pass. It's the smart travel companion for every visitor to Sydney. There are various options to choose from, allowing you to select the best card to suit your itinerary. It offers transport options and up to 50% savings. You can choose from six different passes to create your own sampling of Sydney's top attractions. Or you can opt for unlimited access to 40 top attractions, enjoy free attraction guides to help you choose, and even take your choice of public transportation to get around.
A 1-Day Attraction Pass allows you to visit three of Sydney's top attractions in one day exclusive of transport. A 2-, 3- or 7-Day Sydney Attraction Pass (with or without transport) gives you unlimited access to 40 of the city's top attractions and experiences over two, three or seven consecutive days. You can also avail of the Sydney Transport Pass that gives unlimited travel on Sydney's buses, trains, Sydney Harbour ferries and light-rail for the duration of your pass.
The Sydney Flexi Five Attraction Pass gives you entry to your chosen five of Sydney's top attractions over a three-month period exclusive of transport. The Sydney Flexi Seven Attraction Pass (available from April 1, 2014) allows you to explore your chosen seven of Sydney's best attractions over a three-month period exclusive of transport.
Sydney Taronga Zoo
Come nose to nose with animals of the world at Sydney Taronga Zoo located on the foreshore of Sydney's magnificent harbor. Zoo offers keeper talks and presentations all throughout the day, animal encounters and free flight bird show and seal show. It has 10 themed areas including Wild Australia, Wild Asia and the new Great Southern Oceans where you can see animals living in unique displays imitating their natural habitats.
Sydney Aquarium, Darling Harbour, takes you on a tour of the seas and oceans surrounding Australia's vast coastline and the rivers, waterways, estuaries and swamps of our large and diverse yet dry land mass.
Situated in Darling Harbour, the aquarium houses over 13,000 animals from over 700 species of Australian fish, reptiles and mammals that have an affinity with water.
Joined by near to 60 metres of underwater tunnels, the Sydney Aquarium presents the animals in 14 themed zones. The zones include habitats for animals that reside in: Sydney Harbour and along the shoreline, in mangrove swamps, shark habitats and habits, fresh water streams and billabongs, the Great Barrier Reef and rockpools, We get up close to sharks, crustasians, rays, penguins, seahorses, octopuses, jellyfish, turtles and dugongs.
Six million litres of water house this varied and colourful exhibit. See these animals up close, as they swim about in their "near to natural" environments and observe them as they look back at you and as you wonder about them, they're probably doing the same of you.
Harbour Bridge Climb
The Sydney BridgeClimb® is a 3½ hour unparalleled experience. In groups of 14 climbers you make your way from the base to the summit of Sydney Harbour Bridge's famous arch. The Climb takes you over ladders, catwalks and arches, in all weather conditions (excluding electrical storms) during the day, in twilight or at night.
Sydney Opera House
Perhaps you've dreamed all your life of seeing the Opera House with your own eyes and finally the moment has arrived. If you've travelled from near or far – we'd like to welcome you and make your visit a little easier.
Catch one one of the many amazing performances by Opera Australia at the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House. Performances are held in the Opera Theatre. With seating for 1547 people, it is the second largest venue at Sydney Opera House. With your choice of seating, the 2014 season includes performances of Carmen, Rigoletto, Eugene Onegin, The Magic Flute and The Turk in Italy.
In 2015, opera will open on March 27 for an exclusive nightly four-week season. 'Aida' by the Handa Opera features a royal love triangle, a war and the famous triumphal march with Egyptians en masse will light up the waters around the floating stage with the Sydney Harbour Bridge as backdrop.
View of the City: Sydney Tower
The Sydney Tower sits a whopping 250 metres above Sydney city and with a capacity of 960 persons. The tower has two levels of restaurants, a coffee lounge, an Observation Deck, two telecommunication transmission levels and three plant levels. The views from the tower are breathtaking and take in from as close as the Harbour Bridge and Opera House to sights as far away as the beaches to the mountains. You'll look down on one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Bondi Beach Australia's most famous beach is more than 100 meters wide and stretches for well over a kilometer. This allows plenty of space for the overwhelming amount of tourists -- and locals -- that park themselves along the sands. On a good day every grain of sand is covered with bodies, with crowds swelling into Bondi Park and into nearby bars and cafés.
In the summer season Bondi is a thriving cosmopolitan centre for sun, surf and fun. The beach is part of a large moon shaped bay of white sands and breaking surf. It is fringed by parks and apartments that overlook the blue waters.
Scenic Flights, Sydney
Embark on a unique journey with Sydney Seaplanes. Every flight showcases the panorama of the city skyline, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, Taronga Zoo, and many of the secret coves and islands dotted throughout famous Sydney Harbour.
A sea plane offers a unique view of the city and surrounds and flies at a sedate and relaxing pace offering excellent conditions for both still and video photography.
Sydney Harbour Cruises
On any day, the Sydney Harbour is a vibrant blue and dotted with hundreds of sailing boats, cruise boats and ferries.
One way to fully enjoy the harbour and visit its many sights is to take a cruise. Cruises are many and varied and include, cocktail cruises, lunch time cruises, dinner cruises, night cruises, sightseeing cruises and specialised cruises for Christmas, New Year's Eve, Mother's Day among others.
Jet Boat Rides on Sydney Harbour
Sydney's Jet Boat Rides is the ride of your life! A totally awesome way to see Sydney Harbour at its best! Imagine racing at 75km per hour through Darling Harbour, under the bridge, past the Sydney Opera House and the Australian Navy Fleet, before skimming around Fort Denison and the Prime Minister's Sydney residence.
Jet to the closest calmest Harbour Bay and commence a mix of 270-degree spins, wild fish tails and awesome power brake stops all at 75km/h while a continual mix of music keeps the jet boat rockin. This is the best way to experience the Harbour - its sights and sounds!
Sydney's Watsons Bay
Watsons Bay is where Governor Phillip first landed in Australia. It's also recognised as Australia's oldest fishing village, having been established in 1788.
The Bay is famous for being the home of the first Doyles Restaurant. The site on which the restaurant now stands is where Doyle originally sold his daily fish catch in 1845. It's well worth the trip to Watsons Bay to eat at the restaurant or, alternatively, for a more informal meal, buy a take-away lunch from Doyles' fish and chip outlet, located on the wharf, and eat it in the park and feed the seagulls.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney
The Royal Botanic Gardens, which are just a short walk around the water's edge from the Sydney Opera House, is breathtakingly beautiful with the gardens filling an area of land between the harbour and the eastern part of the central business district.
The gardens are an excellent place to escape the noise of the city. A walkway skirts around the harbour front at the lower part of the gardens and is popular for lunchtime walks or jogs. The gardens have more than one million specimens and there is even a hop-on hop-off "train" for the less energetic. They open daily at 6.30am and close at sunset. Entry to the gardens is free.