Surrounded by hundreds of kilometres of shoreline, national parks and historic sites, the sparkling waters of Sydney Harbour are synonymous with the NSW capital city. Alive with the movement of ferries, yachts and kayaks, it’s a prime spot for spending a day out on the water. Experience its beauty from the decks of a Sydney ferry en route from Circular Quay to Manly, or from above in a Sydney Seaplane.
Sydney is one of the world's greatest dining destinations where chefs break with culinary tradition to create exciting new dishes that marry fine dining techniques with fresh, quality produce. Enjoy Harbourside dining in award-winning restaurants such as Quay or Bennelong, take in the views from one of Sydney’s famous rooftop bars such as the refurbished Palisades Hotel, or discover new food precincts such as Chippendale’s Spice Alley, Glebe’s Tramsheds or the recently-opened Streets of Barangaroo.
Theatres, museums and galleries are dotted throughout the city. Take in an opera at Sydney Opera House, stroll between the Museum of Contemporary Art and Art Gallery of NSW to discover Australian art, or head to creative hub Chippendale where the White Rabbit Gallery houses modern Chinese art. While in the area, check out the hawker food in Chippendale’s tasty Spice Alley.
Don’t miss a trip to Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. Not only does it boast amazing views of Sydney Harbour, the Zoo offers visitors the chance to get close to Australian native animals including koalas, kangaroos, wallabies and platypuses.
Creative talent, skill and ideas have made Sydney a thriving centre for artisan industry, and colourful shopping experiences await. Make your way to Castlereagh Street for designer brands such as Chanel and Prada, or look for local designers at Paddington’s The Intersection. The Strand and the Queen Victoria Building marry old world charm in their sandstone and stained glass precincts with designer shopping.
Sydney Cove is also home to the country’s first European settlements, and much of Sydney’s colonial past can still be found in historic The Rocks area, where you can join a free walking tour. Visit the Hyde Park Barracks Museum to learn about Sydney’s convict history at this UNESCO World Heritage listed former prison.
During Winter months, Sydney is home to the National Rugby League (NRL), Australia’s favourite football code. Visitors shouldn’t miss a genuine Aussie game held weekly through winter.
Sydney is home to a world-class calendar of events including Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas which brings projections and light art and installations onto the streets of Sydney. A highlight is the lighting of the Sails of the Sydney Opera House which feature new spectacular artworks each year.
Spectacular scenery and regional experiences await on Sydney’s outskirts. Head to the Blue Mountains to see the famous Three Sisters rock formation, and travel along the world’s steepest passenger railway to the ancient rainforest on the Jamison Valley floor.
Just two hours north awaits the Hunter Valley, Australia’s oldest wine region famous for its Shiraz, Chardonnay and Semillon wines. Set against the backdrop of the Broken Back Mountains, the Hunter is home to amazing restaurants, golf courses and more than 150 cellar doors.