You’ll know confident, cosmopolitan Sydney for its icons; the great curves of its Harbour Bridge and Opera House adorn glossy travel mags the world over. However, in between its poster children, there’s much to discover. There’s a world-class restaurant scene, plenty of outdoors fun and a year-round calendar of festivals to keep Sydney’s cultural beat thumping strong.
Discover the rich history behind Australia’s first settlement at the historic Rocks district. Among its small cobblestone lanes and courtyards you'll find heritage cottages, harbour-view hotels and even convict-era pubs. Enjoying something of a renaissance, its legacy architecture is now host to a growing collection of award-winning galleries and hip bars.
However, it’s perhaps Bondi that’s Sydney’s most emblematic suburb. Learn to surf at its famous beach and soak up the boho chic before exploring a delightful collection of coastal paths. However, you don’t have to head out of the city centre for a walk. More than 16 routes hug the harbour foreshore, with some of the best around Mosman Bay, Vaucluse and Cremorne Point.
Or, take a ferry from central Circular Quay to Manly. It’s the chance to experience a slice of coastal life in the city, complete with scuba spots, beaches and a superb selection of waterfront cafés and restaurants. It even offers the opportunity to wander through native bushland and make like a local with a secluded picnic.
Back towards the centre, inner-city Paddington is a hive of happening, host to boutique markets, a chic café culture and lively pubs. It’s all set to a backdrop of wide, leafy streets and Victorian terraces. Not to be outdone, next-door Woollahra features a delightful collection of upmarket antique shops and art galleries.
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Top itineraries in Sydney
Discover the city sophistication of Sydney, the monolithic beauty and Aboriginal culture of Uluru and the underwater wonders of the Great Barrier Reef.
Free car hire
Be charmed by Sydney before discovering the stunning beaches, coastal towns and lush hinterland of Australia’s East Coast as you wind your way north.
Between taking in the icons of Sydney and the riverside idyll of Brisbane, hop out to the white sands of the Whitsundays to enjoy some island relaxation. Here, you’ll divide your time between white sands and the chance to explore with everything from hikes and cruises to kayak and snorkelling trips.
Free car hire
Discover the dramatic coastline between Sydney and Melbourne and enjoy penguin parades on beautiful island reserves and a luxury bush camp stay in Jervis Bay.
Top places to stay in Sydney
Shangri-La, Sydney offers fine facilities and finer dining set back from Sydney harbour. Its location gives it superb access to both the waterfront and the city centre.
Ovolo 1888 is one of Sydney’s most unique hotels. The modern rooms are stylishly decorated in bold colours that belie the hotel’s friendly, boutique atmosphere.
Lily Pily is no ordinary B&B. Cutting a perfect balance between modern and eco-living, the house’s stunning architecture is second only to its beautiful locale.
When to go to Sydney
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