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Sydney Holidays

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Holidays to Sydney

Book any of our Sydney holidays and you'll discover why it is known as sunny, seductive and is a high contender for the title of the world's most ideal city. It is slick and smart, the streets are clean, the parks sublime, the water in the huge harbour bright blue, and the landmark buildings breath-taking. Sydney's population is approaching five million, but it is easy to leave the frenetic urban pace behind with just a simple ferry ride to the North Shore for a bush walk, or a stroll along the harbour beaches, or any one of a number of day trips to explore the 'real' Australia on the city's doorstep.

Just like its characteristic white-sailed Opera House, Sydney seems to cruise effortlessly through nights and days filled with myriad entertainment opportunities, sophisticated shopping, memorable museums, and strings of beautiful beaches. Visitors find it exhausting to take it all in, even though the tourist precinct where most of the interesting attractions are to be found is concentrated in quite a small area around the downtown waterfront and harbour.

The fact that Sydney is a thriving seaport and industrial city has been cleverly concealed behind attractive pleasure and leisure grounds and residential suburbs, making full use of the scenic, watery geographical location. The harbour area is dominated by the span of one of the world's largest arched bridges, backed by towering skyscrapers.

Another plus for visitors is that compared to most big cities Sydney offers excellent, reasonably priced food, accommodation and public transport. The city also has an excellent suburban rail network, with its hub at Circular Quay in the city centre, and full use is made of the waterways with ferries and passenger jet boats plying to and from various points.

Top 5 Things To Do in Sydney

Sydney Opera House - The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre in Sydney, Australia. It is one of the 20th century's most famous and distinctive buildings.
Sydney Harbour Bridge - The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a steel through arch bridge across Sydney Harbour.
Darling Harbour - Darling Harbour is a harbour adjacent to the city centre of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Queen Victoria Building
St Mary's Cathedral - The Cathedral Church and Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Mother of God, Help of Christians is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney.

Detailed City Overview

Sydney in detail

Sunny Sydney is a high contender for the title of the world's most ideal city. It is slick and smart, the streets are clean, the parks sublime, the water in the huge harbour bright blue, and the landmark buildings breath-taking. It is easy to leave the frenetic urban pace behind with just a simple ferry ride to the North Shore for a bush walk, or a stroll along the harbour beaches, or any one of a number of day trips to explore the 'real' Australia on the city's doorstep.

Just like its characteristic white-sailed Opera House, Sydney seems to cruise effortlessly through nights and days filled with myriad entertainment opportunities, sophisticated shopping, memorable museums, and strings of beautiful beaches.

Another plus for visitors is that compared to most big cities Sydney offers excellent, reasonably priced food, accommodation and public transport. The city also has an excellent suburban rail network, with its hub at Circular Quay in the city centre, and full use is made of the waterways with ferries and passenger jet boats plying to and from various points.

To the north of Sydney is the Pacific Coastal route, which passes beautiful coastal scenery, laid back seaside communities like Byron Bay, and excellent surf, with nearly 249 miles of beaches to explore. Whale watching is popular in season and the region is also dotted with numerous national parks and nature reserves that offer activities from hiking to kayaking in the Myall Lakes. The Waterfall Way, which winds up to the New England Tablelands, is one of the most scenic drives in the world, taking in the vineyards of the famed Hunter Valley. To the south of Sydney is Australia's only alpine habitat in the Snowy Mountains, where winter skiing is the main attraction. In summer the mountains become a playground for whitewater rafters, fishermen, kayakers and hikers.

Getting Around

Sydney has a good network of buses, trains and ferries that make getting around the city and the surrounds easy. The bus network is the most extensive and cheapest mode of public transport. There are also several hop-on hop-off Explorer buses for tourists that take in the major sights and surrounding beaches.

The underground city centre train loop is the fastest way to get around, but many of the tourist areas, including Darling Harbour, Bondi Beach and Manly, can only be reached by further ferry or bus connections.

The most pleasurable way to get around is by ferry - the main terminal is at Circular Quay. There is also a 10-minute monorail loop from the city centre to Darling Harbour and back, and a Metro Light Rail 'tram' system between Central Station and Wentworth Park in Pyrmont. In addition, metered taxis are plentiful and fairly economical.

Nightlife

Sydney's nightlife is all go, with everything from pubs and jazz bars to rock venues and nightclubs. For live music listings and free weekly entertainment guides look out for publications like Time Out, Metro and Drum Media.

The best party areas include Darling Harbour, Oxford Street and The Rocks. Sydney is also renowned for its performing arts, the most notable venue being the iconic Sydney Opera House.

Shopping

Shopaholics will not be disappointed with Sydney, a cosmopolitan city that offers international as well as local name brands, world-class shopping centres, streets that reveal a host of fascinating speciality shops, and discounted market stalls that offer anything from clothes to arts and crafts and edibles.

Most of the large department stores are within the city centre and within a few blocks of each other. For exclusive shopping, the QVB, or Queen Victoria Building, is an architectural masterpiece housing a large variety of designer label and speciality shops, while in a similar vein the nearby Strand Arcade houses some of Australia's top designer labels, as well as boutiques, jewellery shops and beauty salons. Downtown Duty-Free in the basement is a great place to pick up some bargains. Other centres include the magnificent Grace Bros department store, boasting vast quantities of goods; Sydney's oldest department store, David Jones; the Harbourside development at Darling Harbour; MLC Centre; Picadilly; and Centrepoint. Explore the streets of The Rocks, which hide myriad speciality shops, while Skygarden centre is home to the biggest bookstore in town, Borders, which also stocks a wide selection of magazines, CDs and DVDs.

Sydney's biggest market is Paddy's, open from Thursday to Sunday, which offers discounted mainstream items, while the Glebe (Saturday) and Bondi (Sunday) markets are traditional alternative markets with a good selection of clothing, arts and crafts, and second-hand goods. The Rocks has weekend stalls trading mainly in good quality crafts, collectables, and art. For something totally different the daily Sydney Fish Market is a fishy spectacle as well as a great place to feast on fresh seafood. A wider variety of food can be bought at Coles or Woolworths supermarkets.

Sightseeing

Sydney is one of the world's top holiday destinations, offering a variety of attractions for all ages. Families can explore the sights at Darling Harbour, including one of the biggest and most impressive aquariums in the world; observe some fascinating Australian fauna and flora at Wildlife Sydney Zoo, and watch a film on the huge screen at the Imax theatre.

Those interested in history will want to explore the cobbled streets of The Rocks, a restored 19th-century village that was the site of Australia's first European settlement in 1788. The Rocks also gives access to the Pylon Lookout on the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge for an amazing view of the harbour, Sydney Opera House and beyond. Adventurers will definitely want to experience the iconic bridge from a more thrilling perspective though and can take part in an organised climb to the top of Harbour Bridge for breath-taking views and a sense of bold achievement. For even greater heights, visitors can test their mettle by experiencing the view from the open air, glass-floored viewing platform at the top of the 853ft Sydney Tower.

When it comes to something more relaxing, Sydney boasts a large array of golden beaches for sun-lovers, from the famous Bondi Beach, lined with surf shops and designer cafes, to one of the many smaller beaches around Sydney Harbour. The Royal Botanic Gardens are also a joy to wander through, and a good spot for some exercise or a picnic.

For Kids...

Boasting a plethora of outdoor activities and world-class attractions, Sydney is a fantastic place for children on holiday and parents will have a hard time choosing one from the huge list of activities and sights that are geared towards children.

While you're down under, might as well take the kids to see all that is Australian at the Australian Reptile Park, including gigantic crocodiles, indigenous spiders, snakes, possums, kangaroos and of course, Tasmanian devils. Children will love exploring the park and discovering the exotic and indigenous animals.

The Australian Museum features everything kids love - fossils, dinosaurs, animals and plenty of other fascinating exhibits to look at. The Australian museum also features 'Kidspace', especially for the little ones. This mini-museum will help expand their minds and show them about the history of nature in a fun and colourful way.

Calmsley Hill City Farm is a working farm is a must for parents with little ones. Kids will be able to watch cows being milked and the daily goings on of a farm, as well as getting to play and pet the animals. Kids can enjoy shows such as the sheep shearing show, working dog show, animal feeds and even tractor rides.

Children who visit the Featherdale Wildlife Park will be able to interact with and observe koalas, wallabies and emus up close and personal. Kids can have their photograph taken with one of these fuzzy animals and petting the koalas is also allowed here, something you won't find anywhere else in New South Wales.

Restaurants

A multi-cultural and cosmopolitan city, Sydney has a wide variety of restaurants and cuisines showcasing diverse influences from around the world, but particularly from Asia. Along with modern Australian ('Mod Oz') cuisine, which combines fresh ingredients with a creative blend of European and Asian styles, restaurants serve almost any type of fare imaginable, from Tibetan to African, from Russian to American. Some areas or streets are dedicated to one type of food, while other areas in the city offer a variety of styles. The range also varies from award-winning, fine dining restaurants - situated mainly around the harbour or attached to five-star hotels - to international fast food takeaways such as McDonalds or Pizza Hut. Fresh seafood is in abundance, and steak is a staple that can be found in a selection of steakhouse chain restaurants scattered around the city.

Sydney Highlights

Sydney Bridge Climb - Day Climb

From £192 per adult, £130 per child (8-15)

A memorable and exhilarating adventure, climb one of the world's most iconic modern structures and enjoy stunning 360° views of glorious Sydney Harbour.

After meeting at the Harbour Bridge, this unique and unforgettable experience begins with a comprehensive briefing and safety demonstration where you will be given a bridge suit, communications equipment and safety harness.

Then, with your harness linked to a static line, you will be led by one of BridgeClimb's professional Climb Leaders, on a 3.5 hour guided journey (including preparation and briefing), to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Climb takes you along the outer arch of the Bridge on catwalks and ladders all the way to the summit, 134 metres above Sydney Harbour. The steady incline to the summit leaves you free to focus your attention on the surroundings, with the opportunity to witness 360-degree views of Sydney including east to the Sydney Opera House, west to the Blue Mountains and the Harbour city surrounds.

When to Visit

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
  • Currency Australian Dollar ($)
  • Flying time from UK The average flight time from the UK to Sydney is 22 hours.
  • Primary Language English
  • Passport & Visas UK nationals must have a passport valid for intended period of stay. A pre-arranged Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) is required for stays of up to three months.