SYDNEY – WHY GO?
Party central is the best way to describe Sydney. Full of life, it’s the city that rarely sleeps. Sometimes mistaken for Australia’s capital (Canberra, in case you’ve forgotten), it’s the gateway to the rest of Oz. Affable Sydneysiders love to work hard, play hard – and somehow manage to combine honing a great tan and plenty of weekend socialising with getting ahead.
MUST SEE, MUST DO
Sydney Harbour, the most photogenic in the world, is a great place to start an Aussie adventure – after all, it’s where the country’s settlement began at The Rocks. There’s an endless list of things to do here: climb Sydney Harbour Bridge, enjoy a show at the iconic Opera House, kayak on the harbour or take a ferry ride to Manly.
Hit the beach
Have a dip in the ocean from one of Sydney’s famous beaches, scoff some breakfast at an outdoor café, cruise around one of the city’s markets (Balmain is a good one) before ending the day with some newfound mates on a pub’s veranda. Join the locals on the Coogee to Bondi walk for a real taste of Sydney living.
Explore some Sydney neighbourhoods – Kings Cross, Paddington and Darlinghurst should be at the top of your list – and take your own bottle of grog to a BYO (bring your own) restaurant to try some local seafood. Wander through Darlinghurst – Sydney’s answer to SoHo – and mix with eclectic café society. Stroll past Paddington’s galleries and pretty Victorian terraces, or take in the antique shops of nearby Woollahra.
Check out some of the trendy bars and eateries around the Harbour (they won’t be cheap but the views are worth it) and watch movies under the stars at the Moonlight Cinema – only open in summer – in the Royal Botanic Gardens. If the movie’s dull, just feast your eyes on the silhouetted Sydney skyline.
MAKE A DATE
Make sure you’re around for the Australia Day fest on the 26th, when Sydney becomes one big party town.
Mardi Gras Aussie style! A month-long series of arty, social and sports events culminating in an outrageously pink parade.
Known as the Great Australian Muster, the two-week Sydney Royal Easter Show gets underway at the city's Showground.
New Year’s Eve
Apologies to Edinburgh, but Sydney is THE place for New Year’s Eve. Celebrations culminate in spectacular fireworks on Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Soak up the dizzying views from Sydney Tower or fly high over the city in a helicopter or seaplane for a truly special treat.