Australia is world famous for its rugged Outback, but it has more than its share of sophisticated cities. Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and others offer cosmopolitan charm with a distinctive Aussie flavor. Sydney, though, retains a special spot in the hearts of world travelers. The oldest and largest of Australia’s urban centers, Sydney is home to iconic architecture, awe-inspiring natural beauty and wildlife, diverse culture, and many of Australia’s most revered historical landmarks. A visit gives you the opportunity to do everything from shopping for designer clothes and taking in a show to surfing at Bondi or paddling down the Georges River.
There is something for everyone in this dynamic city. But there is also something everyone must do: visit the Sydney Opera House! This is arguably the most famous opera house in the world, and with over 40 different shows each week, there is certainly a performance for you. In addition, you can dine and shop in the historic building. You can also enjoy the unique architecture from the outside with a boat tour of Sydney Harbour or by simply walking (make your end stop the Royal Botanic Gardens – a refreshing treat after the Australian heat!).
Sydney Harbour Bridge offers an abundance of activities in itself. You can walk or bike and work off an extraordinary meal, or bring your extraordinary meal there and picnic under the bridge. These activities are free and provide stunning views of the city. Other items of interest are the Olympic Park, Darling Harbour, Luna Park (a theme park), the Rocks (preserved from early Sydney settlements), and a variety of museums and art galleries.
Nature lovers are in luck: Sydney may be a city, but its furry and four-legged friends have not all moved out. Some, like the residents of the Taronga Zoo, have views the rest of us envy. Visit giraffe, koala, leopard seals, lemurs, lion, elephant, ostrich, emu, and other favorites and listen in on one of the expert talks. Bring sunscreen and a picnic, and you have a great day ahead of you. Other parks include the Koala Park Sanctuary, the Sydney Aquarium, and Sydney Wildlife World. If you are up for a drive, try the Australian Reptile Park to see the native wallabies, kangaroos, and dingos. You might also keep an eye on Darling Harbour or the Circular Quay for whales.
Sydney is one of the world’s most exciting, hospitable cities. You will never lack for adventure – or leisure!