Although it’s not Australia’s capital, Sydney undoubtedly feels like it. If you have any prejudices or expectations regarding this Aussie city par excellence, it will only confirm them. Its glitzy side and the fact that always something exciting is going on there make visitors fall in love at first sight with Sydney. However, once you scratch the surface, this thrilling city only gets better! Here are 5 things you should not miss on your trip to Sydney!
Enjoy the Mesmerizing Ocean Beaches
Without at least one day at the beach, you cannot have a complete trip to Sydney. Taking an afternoon walk along the coastal path that stretches from Coogee to Bondi is the best way to feel the true taste of this city. Sydney’s eastern suburb beaches with exceptionally clean sand and water are undoubtedly one of its greatest natural joys. In June and July, southern right and humbpack whales can be sighted from the Sydney headlands on their regular migratory path from the Antarctic ocean to the warmer waters of Queensland.
Although it’s legal, topless bathing is frowned on at some beaches but accepted at others. Act like the locals do and you’ll be just fine. Around the Sydney Harbour there are two official nudist beaches.
Visit Circular Quay
The launching pad for river and harbour sightseeing boats and ferries, as well the major suburban train station, Circular Quay is located at the southern end of Sydney Cove. This place is always bustling with people enjoying themselves or commuting during the week, buskers, vendors of trinkets and newspapers. Ferries coming and going and the gentle sun reflecting on the water make for an ideal setting, especially if you enjoy a beer at a nearby bar. While strolling around the waterfront, pay attention to the Writer’s Walk, the inscribed pavement-plaques and a great introduction to the literary canon of Australia and quotes on what it means to be Aussie.
Circular Quay is the best place to start your ferry ride or sightseeing cruise. But, if you prefer to stay on dry land, most of Sydney downtown sights are at the walking distance: the infamous Opera House, The Rocks, city’s first settlement and the Royal Botanic Gardens.
A Day Trip to Blue Mountains
UNESCO World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains offer scenic viewpoint and out of the beaten track bushwalking. The region makes a lovely day trip or weekend break from the city, with eucalyptus-infused air and stunning views complemented by a wide range of restaurants, cafes and accommodation in the nearby resorts. Sydney Blue Mountain wilderness got its name from the blue mist that rises from billions of eucalyptus trees that tint the sky. In fact, in the early days of the colony, this region was believed to be an impregnable barrier to the west.
Hunter Valley Wine Tasting
Australia’s best known and oldest wine-growing region is located northwest of Newcastle, in the heart of the coal-mining country. So far from the wasteland, the Hunter Valley is the place where visitors can sample the fine wines, but taste some of the best food in Australia, too. Check out Sydney Wine Tasting Tours to enjoy earthy and soft Shiraz and citrusy Semillon, gourmet delis, vibrant festivals and outdoor events.
The first Mardi Gras parade was held as a gay-rights protest back in 1978 and nowadays it’s the world’s biggest celebration of gay and lesbian culture. It culminates with a massive party and parade down Oxford Street usually on the first weekend of March. Participants devote weeks to prepare outrageous costumes at workshops and beautiful bodies in gyms! If you want to get a party ticket, you should plan well in advance since this Mardi Gras night-time parade attracts more than 25,000 people each year.