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Discover Sydney. Australia's Eastern Gateway

Aug 17, 2007
Most visitors to Australia commence their travels in Sydney. This is not surprising. The beautiful harbour city is Australia's premier holiday destination.
Here are 7 of its top attractions.


To really appreciate the natural beauty of Sydney, take a train and alight at Circular Quay station. Circular Quay is the gateway to the harbour and the visual impact is stunning. There in front of you is the broad expanse of water, Sydney Harbour, stretching from "the heads" where it enters the South Pacific Ocean, to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Taking the escalator down to Circular Quay, you have a number of choices. Here are some suggestions:


This is a great introduction to Sydney. It passes many of the major Sydney attractions including the Opera House and Fort Denison. The journey takes less than half an hour. It is worthwhile spending 2 or 3 hours at Manly enjoying the village atmosphere and if the weather is warm, enjoying a swim at one of Sydney's top beaches. If time permits, take a bus to some of Sydney's northern beaches and the beautiful inland waterway, Pittwater.

On the return ferry journey, try to time it so that you arrive at Circular Quay just on sunset. The outline of the bridge, with the setting sun in the background, is a magic holiday moment.


Take the ferry from Circular Quay to visit Australia's best zoo. You will have the chance to see some of the wild life unique to Australia, including koalas, wombats, kangaroos and the very shy platypus. The views over the harbour from Taronga Park are stunning.


A brief walk west of Circular Quay takes you to the original site of convict settlement in Australia. It boasts some of Sydney's best restaurants. The Rocks
contains many old restored buildings and is a popular market area. It is worth a visit at any time but a "must see" on Sunday mornings with the popular Rocks Market. The area comes alive with hundreds of street stalls selling food and a wide range of gifts. It is an ideal place to purchase unique Australian souvenirs.


Start from The Rocks, alongside the south portal of the bridge. Take the stairs to the walkway across the bridge and enjoy this spectacular free walk with some of the best views in Australia. On your right, is the Opera House and Circular Quay, in the middle, the harbour, stretching to the Pacific Ocean and on your left is north shore and Kirribilli, home to Australia's Prime Minister.

When you reach Milson's Point on the north side of the bridge, why not buy a takeaway meal, walk to the water's edge and enjoy the views of the Sydney skyline, the bridge and the busy activity with ferries, yachts and cruise ships.

A short waterfront walk eastwards takes you to Kirribilli Point and more spectacular views. If you don't feel like the walk back over the bridge, take the train back to the city from Milson's Point station.


It's expensive, but if you have a sense of adventure and aren't afraid of heights, try it. You will be rewarded with spectacular 360 degree views. The Bridge Climb check-in is located at The Rocks, a short distance from the stairs leading to the bridge walkway.


Enquire about the guided tours, conducted regularly during the day. In the morning, you may witness concert practice for evening concerts. The tours are comprehensive and a "must see" for your visit to Sydney. It is well worth booking for an evening concert, just to experience the atmosphere of the main concert hall. The outside promenade area is a great place for viewing the Sydney skyline and the bridge.


Sydney offers a wide variety of quality accommodation from 5 star hotels to backpackers. Many of the top hotels are located in The Rocks and Darling Harbour areas, most with spectacular views. A number of 3 and 4 star hotels are located at King's Cross, a popular area for restaurants and the "nightlife" hub of the city.

Sydney is a popular destination with backpackers. They love the night life, shopping, beaches, scenery and climate. Backpackers of all age groups from 20 to 80 are looking for clean, cheap and safe accommodation and youth hostels are the answer. When I visit Sydney, I always stay in YHA Australia accommodation. There are 3 main hostels in Sydney and I have stayed at Sydney Central and Glebe. Both are clean and convenient. Sydney Central is conveniently located just a few minutes' from Central railway station. My daughter aged 22 stayed in both on a recent visit to Sydney and she commented on the friendliness of the staff and how she felt "safe". This is important for women traveling solo, in many cases, a long way from home.
About the Author
Want to read more on travel health, fitness and energy? Check out Graeme Lanham's latest book, "Your Life Fitness" at: http://www.yourlifefitness.com As an extra bonus, receive FREE health reports and a FREE subscription to his subscribers only newsletter.
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