Sydney Opera House, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Holidays to Sydney, Australia
London has Big Ben, Paris has the Eiffel Tower and Sydney has its Opera House. Whilst it may not be Australia’s official capital (that honour goes to Canberra, 285km to the southwest) Sydney is the cultural heart of its east coast, and its most instantly recognisable landmark has established itself as an icon for the entire nation. Bold, quirky, connected with Old-World culture yet also unashamedly modern, it’s not a bad symbol for all things Australian, either.
Sydney itself – the most populous city in the Oceania region – reflects all these values. Hip, happening and one of the most multicultural cities in the world, it is also Australia’s oldest city and site of its very first settlement. Aboriginal peoples had inhabited this area for at least 30,000 years before Captain Cook turned up in Botany Bay in 1770, but its advantages – Sydney Bay had what Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the First Fleet, called the ‘the finest harbour in the world’ – were immediately obvious. First a penal colony, it was incorporated as a city in 1842, undergoing rapid growth from the 1850s during Australia’s Gold Rush – by the end of which it had established itself as a thriving port with its own university and railway links.
Modern Sydney, with its gleaming skyline, remains a city connected to, and defined by, the sea. Its heart is the waterfront around Sydney Harbour, and water taxis and ferries are as much a part of life as its buses; even the white sails of the Opera House evoke the sea. The Central Business District on the waterfront is home to a lively café culture, art galleries, green spaces, food markets and skyline bars – a foodie’s paradise – while the hilly area known as The Rocks offers a glimpse into the city’s historic past, with cobbled lanes and Australia’s oldest pubs.
There’s plenty to do here. Darling Harbour and the smaller Circular Quay port are the hubs of waterside life, with the famous Harbour Bridge and much loved Royal Botanic Garden nearby. The Sydney Tower Eye’s observation deck is 250 metres above the city streets and offers 360-degree views of the city. Sydney Fish Market has a working seafood auction and restaurants serving the day’s catch. You can take a behind the scenes tour of this large market, remember to book ahead. There are amazing multicultural dining opportunities all over the city, including Haymarket’s Chinatown and the restaurants serving the local Italian community in Leichhardt.
A ferry ride through the harbour is a great experience, when visiting outer Sydney destinations such as Bondi and Manly Beaches. Both are, of course, world famous for their surfing, and also offer a taste of that outdoorsy, active and yet uniquely laid-back lifestyle that has become the quintessential Australian identity.
Catch some waves at Bondi and Manly Beaches
Cruise along Darling Harbour
Spend a night at the opera
Trips that include Sydney
Here are some trip ideas that include Sydney. All of our trip ideas shown below are examples, and we’ll amend, adapt or start from scratch, until we’ve created the perfect trip for you. See one you like, or have a trip in mind? Call us now to book: 01483 319 333
Things to do in Sydney
Here are some of the things you can do in Sydney. When you’ve chosen your favourite experiences, just give our Travel Designers a call and they’ll put a trip together for you. If you need help choosing an experience, or if you want to learn more about it, our Travel Designers will be more than happy to talk to you. Just call them on: 020 3510 5777