My daughter is currently travelling in Australia and my husband and I are going to Sydney to visit her in August. We are staying in Sydney for three weeks and want to cram in as much as possible, what would you recommend?
Sydney is located on Australia’s south-east coast and is a place full of things to see and do, so you won’t have trouble filling your three weeks. August is mid-winter there and although Sydney enjoys a milder climate than Ireland it can still be cool.
As first-time visitors to Sydney, I recommend that you start your sightseeing at Sydney Harbour. This beautiful meandering waterway is famous around the world and is a natural playground for Sydneysiders and visitors who use it for sailing, swimming, diving and leisurely walks.
The harbour is also home to the iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Designed by Jørn Utzon and constructed under some controversy, Sydney Opera House is regarded as one of the modern wonders of the world and is truly a sight to behold. There are daily guided tours and if possible, try to catch a show there during your stay.
Your next port of call should be Sydney Harbour Bridge, which is affectionately known as the ‘coat hanger’. It is the world’s largest steel arch bridge and contains six million hand-driven rivets. For a spectacular view of the harbour, you can climb to the southern east pylon, but be warned; it’s not for the fainthearted as there are 200 steps to the top!
While in Sydney, Taronga Zoo is well worth a visit. The zoo is home to a wide variety of native Australian animals including kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, dingos and possums. What makes Taronga really special is its location – the zoo is situated on elevated land along the waterfront in one of the most beautiful vantage points on Sydney Harbour; overlooking Sydney Cove, the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.
For some retail therapy, Westfield Shopping Centre at Bondi Junction is one of Sydney’s largest shopping centres. For a day out of the city, escape to the fresh air of the Blue Mountains.
No trip to Sydney would be complete without a visit to Palm Beach. Less than an hour from Sydney, Palm Beach is home to some of Sydney’s most wealthy inhabitants and is the location for the popular Australian soap Home and Away. Fans of the show can walk along the famous ‘Summer Bay’ beach as well as spot many of the show’s famous landmarks including the Surf Club and Pier Diner, while you can even climb the imposing Stewarts Point, or West Head Lookout as it is actually known.
Where to stay
Seasons Darling Harbour Sydney (****)
Prices start from €63 per room per night on Hotels.com
Located in Sydney’s fashionable Darling Harbour, this boutique hotel offers a range of spacious hotel suites and holiday apartments. To relax and unwind, take advantage of the hotel’s outdoor pool, spa and steam room. The hotel is close to The Chinese Garden of Friendship and Powerhouse Museum with The Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge only a short distance away.
Vibe Hotel Rushcutters Sydney (****)
Prices start from €118 per room per night on Hotels.com
This four-star hotel offers a sense of style and luxury while enjoying beautiful views of the Lavender Bay and Kirribilli. Enjoy a drink in the Curve Café and Bar where you can take advantage of a private terrace overlooking the bay. Guests can enjoy complimentary use of the heated outdoor pool and hotel sauna.
Aspire Hotel Sydney (***)
Prices start from €69 per room per night on Hotels.com
This three-star hotel is close to the Powerhouse Museum, Darling Harbour, and Sydney Opera House with Circular Quay and Sydney Entertainment Centre close by. All rooms enjoy a private balcony, air conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities and a fridge. Rooms on the top floor enjoy particularly spectacular views of the city.
For more information and travel tips on planning your holiday visit www.hotels.com or call 1800 55 3338 to wake up happy on your holiday!