Sydney really does have the lot – a majestic harbour, famous sights, world class beaches and fabulous shopping and dining – all wrapped up in a climate that is hot in summer, blue-skied in Spring and Autumn and fairly mild in winter. In fact, the only problem that you’re likely to have is deciding what to fit in if you’re only visiting for a short break.
Book a hotel near Circular Quay and you’re right on the doorstep 2 of the most recognizable sights in the country – the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Apart from that, you’re also next to the ferry wharfs which link you to places like Manly, Balmain, Mosman and Taronga Zoo – all terrific choices for a day trip if you can find the time – as well as housing various companies running harbour cruises and jet boat rides.
If a boat trip isn’t really your thing, why not enjoy some people watching whilst sipping a cold drink at one of the many bars along the quayside or take a stroll around the Sydney Opera House or over the Harbour Bridge?
Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb has become an enormous tourist attraction and in 2010 was named in the Lonely Planet’s list of top ten experiences in the world – not a bad recommendation! The Bridge Climb team can be seen leading groups up ‘the coat hanger’ from dawn until well into the evening and for many people it is the highlight of their Sydney getaway.
Sydney Opera House Tour
The Essential Tour – provides a fascinating insight into Jorn Utzon, the Danish visionary who designed the glorious Sydney Opera House, and fills visitors in on the challenges he faced in creating this astounding building.
The Backstage Tour – takes visitors behind the scenes in the Sydney Opera House and entertains with stories about the dramas and renowned performers that this famous landmark has witnessed.
The Royal Botanic Gardens
From Circular Quay you are also within walking distance of the wonderful Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, which stretch invitingly from glorious Sydney Harbour, up the right flank of the ‘Quay and on to Woolloomooloo and city’s eastern side. Ideal for a picnic on a sunny day, the Botanic Gardens are also popular with joggers and exercise classes as well as young lovers, families and office workers all taking the opportunity to relax in its lush and leafy surrounds.
The ‘Gardens are also the location of the St. George Open Air Cinema, where a diverse selection of movies are screened during the summer months at the water’s edge in the Botanical Gardens against a backdrop of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. If you are planning to visit Sydney whilst this event is on it is well worth doing for the setting alone!
Finding a hotel near Circular Quay also puts you within easy reach of The Rocks, a historic area full of renovated warehouses and pedestrian precincts, which is great for both shopping and dining and has a real buzz in the evenings. And don’t forget the 2 fantastic markets – the Rocks Weekend Market is on every Saturday and Sunday and carries designer items, unique gifts and handicrafts and superb food stalls whilst The Rocks Foodies Market is on Fridays and features local and international produce, delicious prepared meals and fabulous preserves and condiments.
The CBD & Beyond
Great for shops and restaurants, the CBD also has cool bars with superb views over the city to the ‘Harbour and beyond – fabulous for twilight cocktail with someone special!
To the south lies Sydney’s China Town where you can get some excellent authentic Chinese food and to the east is Oxford Street, home of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and a great place to stay if you’re a party animal as you’re bang as the middle of some of the best bars, clubs and cafes in town.
Alternatively, rent an apartment on one of Sydney’s beaches and enjoy the sun and surf lifestyle of tourist haunts like Bondi, Coogee, Manly and Bronte. If you’re looking for somewhere a little quieter for your weekend away, try the northern beaches of Avalon, Whale Beach and Palm Beach for a more sophisticated feel.
All of the seaside suburbs have loads to do apart from swimming and sun baking as for Sydneysiders, living by the sea really is a lifestyle choice. There are plenty of fabulous little cafes and bars to try and some fantastic markets and boutiques for when you get bored of all those golden sandy beaches!