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Vacation Sydney

Tourist Guide

Sydney: City of Sunshine and Clear Skies
One of the World's Multicultural Metropolises

Sydney Harbour Bridge with 'Bridgeclimb'
Sydney Harbour Bridge with 'Bridgeclimb'


If you're staying at the top end of town near Circular Quay there are plenty of café options for breakfast, such as Bar Bello Café. An alternative, and only a ten-minute walk from Circular Quay, is Maximus Atrium Café in the historic GPO building at No. 1 Martin Place. The café has a selection of toasts, croissants, and a wide range of coffees all for under $5. From here you should visit the nearby Museum of Sydney. Head east on foot along Martin Place, turn left at Pitt Street and then right at Bridge Street, and the museum is on your right (corner of Phillip and Bridge Street).The museum is located on the site of Australia's first Government House, constructed in 1788. As well as giving visitors an insight into early Sydney life it has a wonderful art installation entitled "Edge of the Trees," which marks the site of the first contact between the British colonizers and Australia's first indigenous inhabitants.

Pyrmont Bridge, Darling Harbour
Pyrmont Bridge, Darling Harbour

From the museum head north along Pitt Street down to Circular Quay for a scenic harbor cruise. Missing out on a Sydney harbor cruise is like going to London and not seeing Buckingham Palace. Board the Magistic Two (from the Blue Line Cruises), which picks up passengers at King Street Wharf 5 at Darling Harbour at 12:15 p.m. and at Jetty 6, Circular Quay at 12:45 p.m. A generous buffet rich in fresh Australian seafood is prepared by chef Ian Crotty. Total cost of the cruise starts at $A65 per adult and $A45 for children aged five to 14. Rest your legs for a couple of hours while the two-hour cruise takes you down the harbor past the Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Fort Denison, Luna Park and Sydney's million-dollar waterfront mansions. On the return trip, via Middle Harbour, you will be able to see some of Sydney's most exclusive properties. If you're still hungry or thirsty after lunch, food and beverage facilities are available on board. Captain Cook Cruises also offer a variety of cruises on Sydney Harbour.

Manly Ferry and Sydney Harbour
Manly Ferry and Sydney Harbour

Back at Circular Quay, take a ferry for the short trip to Darling Harbour (passengers of Magistic Two can disembark from the lunch cruise at Darling Harbour). Here you can visit the Sydney Aquarium, The Maritime Museum, the IMAX Theatre, Sydney Wildlife World or the tranquil Chinese Friendship Garden with its pavilions, traditional gardens and terrace tea-rooms (an oriental haven with the Sydney skyline as a backdrop). Those with children should not miss a visit to the nearby hands-on Powerhouse Museum.

Have a drink at one of the chic cafés at Cockle Bay Wharf or King Street Wharf before you catch the monorail back to town. Get off at Sydney's Chinatown, where you can feast on a seafood extravaganza at the Golden Century at 393 Sussex St. Make your choice from the many tanks of live fish, crab, crayfish and other creatures of the deep.

For an alternative to Darling Harbour, catch a ferry to Manly on Sydney's north side. This seaside village has a spectacular beach, beach walks and plenty of restaurants and cafés. Shore is one of the relative newcomers well worth a visit.

The Hotel Steyne (75 The Corso, Manly Beach) is a northern beaches institution for live bands, and a great place to rub shoulders with the locals. It is reportedly where legendary Australian band INXS with lead singer Michael Hutchence played before they shot to international fame. If you're there on a Sunday evening you're in for a fun-filled night of reggae music.

Continue to Day 3


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* Manly Ferry and Sydney Harbour image by Hamilton Lund; TNSW; Pyrmont Bridge, Darling Harbour image by Pierre Toussaint; Sydney Harbour Bridge with 'Bridgeclimb' by Bridgeclimb Sydney

(Updated: 10/21/11 SG)

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