Explore the harbour, beaches and inner-city precincts of this exuberant city. See dawn break from the top of the Harbour Bridge or the sun set on the Opera House. Fine dine along the Woolloomooloo finger wharf or experience theatre and dance along the redeveloped wharves of Walsh Bay. Take the ferry to Manly, walk from Bondi to Bronte along the spectacular sea cliffs or relax in a beer garden with harbour views in Watsons Bay. Discover the unique character of Surry Hills, Kings Cross, Glebe, Newtown or Balmain. Spend your final day indulging at wineries, restaurants or day spas of the Hunter Valley.
Hug the harbour
Start your Sydney vacation around its harbour. Wander the cobblestone cul-de-sacs and peruse the weekend markets in The Rocks, the historic precinct where Sydney began. Climb the Harbour Bridge or catch a ferry to Taronga Zoo. Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art on your way round Circular Quay. Stroll through the sculpted Botanic Gardens to the Art Gallery of NSW or the museums and historic sites along Macquarie Street. Keep walking to the fine dining strip of Woolloomooloo wharf and cosmopolitan Potts Point. Hop on a bus to Rose Bay, where you can hire a kayak and spend the afternoon paddling round the inner harbour. Or continue onto Watsons Bay and watch the sun set over Sydney’s skyline from the beachfront pub. In the evening, dine out in a restaurant along Cockle Bay Wharf after visiting the many attractions of Darling Harbour or enjoy the nightlife hot spots of Surry Hills or Kings Cross. Complete your first Sydney day with a performance at the iconic Opera House.
Explore Sydney’s beaches
Take a bus to Bondi Beach, where you can swim, sign up for a surf lesson or just take in the view from the grassy hills. Browse the back-street boutiques and brunch next to backpackers and fashionistas at one of the funky cafes. On Sundays, you can pick up vintage clothing and pieces by local designers at the Bondi Beach Markets. Walk the winding, sea-sculpted cliffs from Tamarama to Coogee, stopping for a coffee in a busy beachside cafe. Alternatively, ride the ferry across the harbour to Manly, which sits between ocean surf and gentle harbour. Do all or part of the scenic walk stretching from Manly to the Spit Bridge. Picnic at Shelly Beach, scuba-dive in Cabbage Tree Bay or bike ride to Fairy Bower. In the evening, head to Walsh Bay, home to the Sydney Theatre Company, Sydney Dance Company and Bangarra Dance Company. Or discover the eateries, intimate bars and packed pubs in Glebe, Newtown or Balmain.
Head to the Hunter Valley
Hire a car, take a bus or join a tour of the Hunter Valley, a vine-lined region just two hour’s drive north from Sydney. Bike ride to some of the 120 wineries or tour them in a horse-drawn cart. Sample the region’s fine semillon in Lovedale’s boutique wineries and team shiraz with handmade rind and white mould cheeses in Pokolbin. Taste local olive oils and take a gourmet cooking lesson or food and wine-matching course. Alternatively, pamper yourself in a day spa or tee off in one of the region’s three championship golf courses. Horse ride across the rolling countryside or float over the vineyards in a hot air balloon. Bushwalk through Yengo National Park and see Aboriginal rock painting at Milbrodale. Browse the galleries, antiques, cafes and craft stores in the historic villages of Morpeth, Wollombi and Broke. Spend the night in a guesthouse, bed and breakfast or in elegant boutique accommodation.
More Vacation Ideas
See what else there is near here to inspire your vacation planning.
Explore Sydney by foot, bus, train or ferry. Drive to the Hunter Valley in about 2 hours.
You can drive to the Hunter Valley in approximately 2 hours or take a train to Cessnock or Maitland.
Port Stephens is near the Hunter Valley, 2 hours from Sydney. It’s a great place to see dolphins.
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