Some Key Attractions:
Sydney is the oldest settlement in Australia, established
in 1788 as a penal colony by Captain Phillip.
Originally the colony was to be established by the English at
Botany Bay, but this was ignored and the settlement is where
it is today. Faced with the native aboriginals and strange
animals such as kangaroos, it must have been an unusual experience
for those early British colonists.
Today, Sydney hugs the beautiful Sydney Harbour and the Australian
coastline. The harbour and the beaches give Sydney a magnificent
natural beauty. The harbour's many natural inlets make it possible
for many people to live on the water or within site of the water.
Sydney Harbour has 188 miles of shoreline and 35 miles of city
beaches. One of the main methods of getting around Sydney is via
the Harbour. This makes the waterways a busy venue for traffic
with commuters and tourists making there way around the city.
Sydney is packed with excellent hotels,
restaurants, shopping and
offers music and the arts to rival any city in the world.
The new meets the old near Sydney's central business district.
The Rocks, which is area of the first settlement, is full of old
buildings that remind you of the early days in Sydney. Nearby
you will find tall modern skyscrapers similar to many U.S. cities
and other wonderful original structures such as the Sydney Opera
House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Today, The Rocks is a great
place to explore Sydney's past, shop for Australian
merchandise or to just sit at a harbourside restaurant
where you can try the local food and a glass of the local
Sydney Opera House:
Opposite The Rocks, you will find the Sydney Opera House.
It is situated on Benelong Point and was designed by a Danish
architect, Joern Utzon. The project was budgeted at A$7.5 million
but the project cost grew to the final A$100 million. The pressure
from officials eventually caused Utzon to flee back to Denmark.
Today the Opera House is open for tours and obviously for the
performing arts. It is an easy walk from The Rocks.
Sydney Harbour is a site to see in itself. We recommend
that you take a tour on one of the many
cruise providers such as Captain Cook Cruises. If you like
something more exclusive, try one of the many yacht charter services.
Another fun way is to just rent one of the water taxis. The water
taxis are Sydney's equivalent to the New York Yellow Cab or the
Not far from the Sydney central business district and The Rocks,
you will find a modern section of Sydney called Darling Harbour.
It was once a derelict area of rotting wharfs and wharehouses
but is now a totally redeveloped area full of places to shop,
museums and restaurants. It's the place where Sydneysiders go
to stroll the harbour foreshores, meet for a coffee or a meal
at one of the many waterside cafes and restaurants,
visit one of the unique attractions or enjoy the many events and
festivals held throughout the year. Some of the attractions include
the Sydney Aquarium, Cockle Bay Wharf, the Powerhouse Museum and
the National Maritime Museum.
Park: The Olympic Park is located in
an area called Homebush. It is too far to walk and you can best
get there by taxi, train or a car
rental. Bus tours are also available on the Olympic Explorer,
where you will visit the major sites in the Homebush area and
be able to listen to a commentary. Some of the major sites visited
are Stadium Australia, the Aquatic Centre and the Superdome.
AMP Tower is the tallest building in Sydney and the observation
deck is the highest in the southern hemisphere. From the observation
deck, you can enjoy a 360° view of Sydney. Also located in
this building is the Skytour which is a basic but entertaining
view of Australian life. If you have a busy schedule, you can
easily miss the Skytour.
The Sydney beaches are a wonderful way to break up your site
seeing and just relax in the sun. Bondi and Manly are probably
the two most famous. Manly, the first of Sydney's Northern Beaches,
sits on an isthmus that separates the calm waters of Sydney Harbour
from the ocean swells of the South Pacific and is easily accessible
from downtown Sydney by ferry. Bondi Beach is located in the Municipality
of Waverley in east Sydney. The beach, roughly a kilometre long,
is enclosed at the north and south by headlands. Every day of
the year lifeguards patrol the beach between the yellow and red
flags. Take a stroll along the beachside promenade. Away from
the beach there are numerous cafes and restaurants, as well as
hostels, hotels and a great variety of shops.
Learn some trivia facts about
the City of Sydney.
The Blue Mountains are west of Sydney. Its is a relative
short drive to the central hub, Katoomba, which is 110km (69miles)
west from Sydney and takes approximately two hours. From Parramatta
Road, take the Western Motorway (M4) at Strathfield.
Or, for a more scenic route divert from the Great Western Highway
north-west onto the Cumberland Highway to Windsor Road. From Windsor,
take the Richmond Rd, which becomes the Bells Line Road.
This makes the Blue Mountains easy to see on a day trip or you
can stay longer at one of the many lodgings such as bed
and breakfasts. The scenery is often a majestic collection
of rocky outcrops, ravines and rugged cliffs that are said to
be 250 million years old. This area was home to the local aboriginals
for 14,000 years before the arrival of the English. The mountains
get their name from the eucalyptus forests which produce an oil
that gives a blue haze to the mountains.
There are several towns such as Katoomba, Leura, Blackheath and
Springwood along the way or in the Blue Mountains where to you
can look for accommodation or just find a meal and take a break.
Some of the key sites to see are the Three Sisters, Jenolan Caves
and Wentworth Falls. The Three Sisters is a spectacular rock formation
formed by years of erosion and Jenolan Caves are nine spectacular
limestone caves that are open to the public.
The Hunter Valley Wine Country: As the NAPA Valley is
to the U.S., the Hunter Valley is to Australia. A mere two hour
drive north west of Sydney, Hunter Valley Wine Country is much
more than just wine. There are vineyards, bed and breakfasts,
hotels, tours and more. This is the site of Australia's first
vineyards which were started in the 1830's producing fortified
wines. Today, the Hunter Valley is the home of some of the world's
best and most famous wines such as Lindemans, Rothbury Estates
and Tyrells vineyards. The town of Cessnock is the gateway to
the Hunter Valley and is home to the Hunter Valley major visitor
center. There are many cafes and restaurants in the town of Pokolbin
and many of the wineries have restaurants as well.
The Snowy Mountains stretch from the Canberra area to
Victoria for approximately 300 miles. They are the home to Australia's
highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko and Australia's ski resorts
such as Thredbo and Perisher.
The South Coast of New South Wales runs north for approximately
250 miles from the border of Victoria. It consists of a collection
of beautiful beaches, small seaside towns and fishing villages.
This makes this coastal area a good place to access whale watching
cruises, to camp and to hike in the national parks or to just
take a long walk along the unspoiled beaches. Some of the more
popular locations include Eden, Jervis Bay, Batemans Bay, Pebbly
Beach, Merimbula Beach and Ben Boyd National Park.
Eden (South Coast):
Eden is set in rugged beauty with golden sandy beaches
and crystal waters to the east and forests and parklands to the
west. Eden is a popular town to fish or begin a whale watching
Jervis Bay (South Coast):
Jervis Bay is just 2.5 hours from Sydney and 3 hours from Canberra.
Its is famous for it's beautiful sandy beaches and clear blue
waters. These waters are home to bottlenose dolphins and the opportunity
to sight the dolphins is one of the major features that make this
area a popular spot for nature lovers. Whale sightings are also
possible in and around Jervis Bay.
Batemans Bay (South Coast):
Batemans Bay and its neighbouring area boast some of the most
spectacular and unspoiled coastline in New South Wales.
The North Coast of New South Wales is one of our favorite
areas of Australia. The further you drive north the more topical
the country becomes. This coast runs approximately 560 miles north
from Sydney to the Queensland border. Some key towns along the
way are Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour and Byron Bay.
Port Macquarie (North Coast):
Located on the New South Wales Holiday Coast at the mouth of the
Hastings River, Port Macquarie boasts some of the most pristine
waterways and magnificent beaches in Australia. With an abundance
of things to do, beautiful nature reserves, and a colourful history,
Port Macquarie is a coastal resort town that has something for
everyone. The climate is noted for being one of the best in Australia
with average temperatures ranging from 20C - 32C in Summer, and
from 8C - 21C in Winter.
(North Coast): A major coastal resort town which
is also famous for its bananas and fishing. Its located on Australia's
holiday coast, where the mountains meet the sea some 570kms north
of Sydney and about 350kms south of Brisbane. The town of Coffs
Harbour has a population of over 20,000 people with average summer
temperatures of 26C and an average winter temperatures of 18C.
Byron Bay (North Coast):
Byron Bay is located on the far north coast of New South Wales
and is Australia's most easterly town. Situated between the major
Australian cities of Brisbane (175 km to the north) and Sydney
(800 km to the south) the region is recognised as an international
travel destination. Byron Bay enjoys a year-round subtropical
climate with an average temperature of 25 degrees Celsius.
Howe Island is a little known paradise to many visitors to
Australia and to many Australians also. Rising out of the sea
off the NSW coast is one of Australia's tiniest treasures
the dreamy, crescent-shaped Lord Howe Island. Just 11 kms long
and 2 kms wide curved round an aquamarine lagoon, the island was
World Heritage listed in 1982 for its unique beauty and rare collection
of flora, fauna and marine life.
So, you can see that New South Wales offers a wide range of sites
and activities from the cosmopolitan city of Sydney to the beautiful
coastal beaches and the rugged Blue Mountains. Sydney is an ideal
starting point to spend a few days and there are many places to
visit outside of Sydney that are just
a short drive away or, if you feel ambitious, you can drive
all the way to Melbourne or Brisbane.