Iconic Sydney is the city that has it all

Iconic sights, gourmet delights and the perfect blend of city and beach: Sydney is the city that has it all

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The Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House may be among the most recognisable landmarks in the world, but this Australian city is not one to rest on its laurels.

From hipster food joints to fine art galleries, and boho-chic cafés to buzzing social events, Sydney’s personality shines like a beacon, calling travellers from nations all over the world.

No trip to Australia is complete without spending a few days exploring Sydney

This is a city that blends blissful beaches with exquisite cuisine, Aboriginal culture with incredible urban parks and fantastic wildlife.

As the ultimate gateway to New South Wales and Australia, no trip is complete without spending a few days exploring Sydney. Here are a few ideas to make your stay in this vibrant city truly unforgettable.

Explore iconic sights

A kayak is a wonderful way to see the famous sights surrounding the harbour 

Try a new way to explore Sydney’s famous harbour with a kayaking expedition, stopping for photo opportunities as world-famous sights slowly come into view.

Paddling at sunrise, you’ll be treated to glorious skyline vistas, still waters and an explanation of Sydney’s rich history as you cruise past important landmarks and sites.

Get a bird’s-eye view from the heights of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Scale one of the world’s longest steel arch bridges on this daring excursion and enjoy stories from an Aboriginal guide as part of the Burrawa Climb experience.

For those who prefer a more relaxing experience, a cruise of the harbour at sunset is an unforgettable way to get acquainted with the buzzing city.

While a performance at the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House is an unmissable experience, there are other ways to enjoy this remarkable building, too.

From architecture tours to foodie experiences in its amazing restaurants and bars, and an intimate backstage tour, there are so many ways to go behind the scenes.

Discover the dazzling coastline

The walk along the coastline is the perfect way to experience some of Sydney’s most popular beaches and soak in the incredible views

With more than 100 beaches ranging from secret coves to sweeping stretches of pristine sand, in Sydney life is lived at the beach.

At Bondi Beach, this outdoor lifestyle is presented in the lines of cafés, designer boutiques, gourmet restaurants and hotels that line the picturesque seafront. Yet tranquillity can also be found, in the calm waters of Balmoral Beach and the secluded shade at Nielsen Park.

Bronte beach is just 40 minutes’ walk from the central Bondi Beach and offers a slightly quieter vibe

Hike the four-mile Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, and enjoy a string of dazzling beaches and sweeping bays. Make a stop at Wylie’s Baths, a historic ocean tidal pool dating back to 1907, or halt your walk at Bronte Beach for an afternoon splashing in the ocean pool built into the sandstone cliffs.

The Bondi to Manly route runs for almost 50 miles along the undulating coast, but you can break it up into easy six-mile sections that take in cliffs, bush walks and both Aboriginal culture and colonial history.

Of all the surfing hotspots in Sydney, Bondi Beach is the most accessible for all, with some awesome swells in the centre of the beach and protected water in the north. Join the pros in the water, or sign up to surf school for some expert tips.

Feast on foodie delights

Enjoy an exquisite experience with a view at Cafe Sydney, overlooking the harbour

From food trucks to fine dining establishments, Sydney’s chefs are inspired by the abundant fresh produce found across New South Wales, by Aboriginal knowledge of native ingredients and the diverse communities from all over the world who call the city home.

Icebergs is a seaside sanctuary overlooking Bondi Beach and offering world-class Italian cuisine, from fresh linguini to local lobster and Murray cod.

From the rooftop of Customs House, you can enjoy harbour views, Sydney Rock oysters, local crab and crafted cocktails at Cafe Sydney, while Bennelong sits within the Sydney Opera House serving international dishes crafted with local ingredients, such as line-caught coral trout and southern squid.

Grab your camera and head to Chinatown for regional delicacies and the Friday night market, walk down Spice Alley in Chippendale, a lantern-lit lane bustling with Asian food stalls and swanky restaurants, or head to Surry Hills, next to the Central Business District (CBD), where you find a thriving café and bar culture.

Dive into culture

The Australian Museum gives a fantastic overview of nature and culture in Australia

Australia has a rich history dating back millennia, and its heritage is full of secret wonders waiting to be explored. With Aboriginal ancestry being traced back some 75,000 years, it’s no surprise that this culture holds such a deep well of artistic expression, soulful music and spiritual traditions.

Join an Aboriginal culture tour to discover the ancient history behind some of Sydney’s most famous neighbourhoods, visit sacred sites and try bush tucker, all led by an Aboriginal guide.

Sydney’s more recent colonial history can be explored in depth around the historic Rocks neighbourhood, where relics of the industrial age stand beside gourmet food trucks and boutique fashion stores.

The Australian Museum gives a fantastic overview of nature and culture in Australia, as well as an in-depth look at the rich variety of First Nations cultures across the country. And the ambitious Sydney Modern Project has transformed the Art Gallery of New South Wales with double the exhibition space, a public art garden and exciting new ways to experience art.

Soak up amazing events

Looking to add a little extra to your visit? Coincide your trip with one of Sydney’s many events to join locals in celebration.

Vivid Sydney takes place from May 26 to June 17 in 2023 and illuminates the city’s most famous buildings with impressive light displays, accompanied by music, food and a world of creatives who make up Australia’s biggest festival.

For more impressive views, join the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, set on a specially designed stage, for open-air performances set against a truly impressive backdrop.

Join the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras from February 17 to March 5, culminating in a glittering parade. And this year the celebration is even bigger, with Sydney hosting WorldPride 2023 – the first in the Southern Hemisphere – and staging more than 300 unique events.

And sports fans will be flocking Down Under in 2023 for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Join the fans in Sydney for a host of important games and the final to see which team will be crowned world champions.

From fine dining experiences to wildlife encounters, dazzling events, rich history and beautiful beaches, Sydney is the perfect place to start your trip.

Find out more and book your holiday at audleytravel.com

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