Even though I’m gearing up for Scottsdale, part of my heart will always belong in Australia. I love Australia so much that it cannot fit in one post. So let’s start with Sydney!
Sydney is the capital of New South Wales and is the most populated city in Australia with almost 4.6 million residents. A hub of activity and a top tourist destination in Australia, Sydney is a temperate climate with warm summers and mild winters. Similar to Chicago, Sydney is broken up into neighborhoods: City Centre, Kings Cross, The Rocks, Darling Harbour, Paddington, etc.
In my opinion, the two most iconic structures in Sydney are the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. They create an extremely unique skyline for Sydney and still take my breath away.
My recommended tourist destinations in Sydney for the active tourist:
- Sydney Opera House – the tour and/or a show
- Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
- Taronga Zoo
- Sydney Aquarium
- Luna Park
- The Royal Botanic Gardens
- Explore The Rocks
- Art Gallery of NSW
- Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair
There are SO many more — trying to be brief!
And now to the beaches. I LOVE a good beach day. The sound of the waves crashing is literally one of my favorite sounds of all time. Luckily, Sydney is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches, some of my faves?
- Manly Beach
- Coogee Beach
- Bondi Beach
- Palm Beach
- Shelly Beach
- Bronte Beach
When to GO:
You can literally go year round. I recommend Australia’s summer (US winter) first. If that doesn’t work then spring or fall. Last choice as Australia’s winter (US summer). If you didn’t realize, being in the southern hemisphere, they’re seasons are the opposite of the US.
Where to stay:
I recommend Circular Quay (or the City Centre) since it’s in the middle and close to transportation or walking distance from most awesome things to do.
The transportation in Sydney is unique in that it is a system of buses, trains and, most importantly, ferries. It’s quite an easy system to learn. You can get singular passes or longer use passes.
Toss out those silly US dollars, Australia runs on Australia dollars. The current exchange rate is $1 US dollar = $0.95 Australian dollars – basically 1-for-1.
***Passport is required for this trip!
Last but not least, a couple of my favorite Sydney fun facts:
- Australia is the only continent that eats their national symbols: Emu & Kangaroo
- The top sports in Australia are rugby, Aussie rules football, cricket and soccer
- Australians drive and walk on the left
- Australia has a similar history to the US — the original inhabitants are the Aboriginal Indigenous Australians
- Vegemite is the most popular food in Australia, it’s a vegetable paste
- Australia is the world’s smallest continent but sixth-largest country