Sydney Harbour is one of the most beautiful natural waterways in the world, with ferries, yachts and tall ships criss-crossing the sparkling blue waters. Aboriginal people have a deep connection with the harbour, dating back at least 50,000 years. Take a ferry from Circular Quay to Manly or Watsons Bay. Cruises depart from the quay and Darling Harbour. You'll also enjoy stretching your legs on delightful walking trails around the harbour foreshore.
Beautiful against the backdrop of Sydney Harbour, the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House is a thriving hub of art, culture and history. As "one of the indisputable masterpieces of human creativity, not only the 20th Century but in the history of humankind," according to a World Heritage report, it attracts millions of visitors from all over the world each year. Experience all that the Sydney Opera House has to offer by taking a guided tour, watching a show, and enjoying a cocktail at Opera Bar at sunset or delicious food in the acclaimed Bennelong Restaurant.
One of the most exciting ways to experience the Sydney Harbour Bridge is to climb to the top of it. Exhilarating and utterly unforgettable, BridgeClimb gives you the opportunity to walk to the summit of the bridge and enjoy one of the world's most spectacular views, 134 metres (440ft) above the water. Standing above Sydney Harbour - on the world's largest (but not longest) steel arch bridge - gives an incredible panoramic vantage point of the city, its harbour and waterways, and the dynamic lifestyle it affords locals and visitors alike.
The magnificent harbour is one of Sydney’s greatest assets. For splendid views, take a cruise and enjoy one of the world's most beautiful natural harbours. There are dozens of cruises to choose from, starting with the famous Captain Cook lunch or dinner cruises. Public ferries depart from Circular Quay, or you can take a Tall Ship from The Rocks, a whale-watching cruise from Darling Harbour, or sail aboard a catamaran from Rose Bay.
SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium in Darling Harbour is one of the world's largest aquariums, with 650 species and 12,000 animals in six million litres of water. It has two of only five dugongs on display in the world. Go on a journey of amazing discovery through the Tropical Bay of Rays, Discovery Rockpool, Mangrove Swamps, South Coast Shipwreck, Dugong Island, Shark Walk and the stunning ocean tunnel walk through Shark Valley.
Taronga Zoo is a delightful ferry ride across the harbour from Circular Quay. With spectacular harbour views, the award-winning zoo is home to more than 4,000 animals. Kangaroos, koalas, platypus, wombats, wallabies, emus and crocodiles live side by side with gorillas, tigers, snow leopards, bears, chimps, giraffes, zebras and elephants in this zoological garden. The zoo is a must do for families and people of all ages. Don't miss the amazing bird and seal shows.
Experience an outback animal adventure right in the centre of the city. Walk through different Australian habitats and encounter some of the most loved, feared and unique native animals. Meet the huge crocodile called Rex, say hello to kangaroos, wallabies and emus, encounter cuddly koalas, beautiful butterflies and more! WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo features interactive displays, and daily keeper talks. You can even fly above Rex on the WILD Flight zip-line.
Established in 1871, the Art Gallery of NSW showcases fine Australian and international modern and contemporary works in expansive, light-filled spaces. The Grand Courts are home to a collection of colonial Australian works and European old masters, while dedicated galleries celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artwork and Asian collections. Regular guided tours are offered in Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese and Korean.
The MCA is on the edge of Sydney Harbour and is Australia's leading museum dedicated to contemporary art from across Australia and around the world. In the historic Rocks, the MCA has steady stream of exhibitions and events are hosted throughout the year. From established artists to new work by emerging artists in painting, sculpture, video, installation and more, there's something to inspire everyone at the MCA. And there are harbour vistas from the rooftop cafe.
Sydney Tower Eye takes you to the highest point above Sydney for breathtaking 360-degree views of the beautiful harbour city, from white sandy beaches and Pacific Ocean horizon to the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains. Upgrade your ticket to include the SKYWALK - Sydney's highest outdoor adventure. It is an exhilarating walk, 268 metres above the harbour city - double the height of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Step back in time aboard an historic Tall Ship, in the tradition of those sailors who first sailed into Sydney Harbour back in 1788. These restored antique ships come complete with a crew of old salts - your hosts for the day. You are welcome to get involved and help hoist the sails, take a turn steering the ship or simply sit back and relax. For exhilaration and awe-inspiring views, you can scale a mast in the Mast Climb experience.
Enjoy all the fun of Luna Park, an amusement park on the edge of Sydney Harbour. It was originally built in the 1930s and rides include the fabulous Ferris Wheel, the Tango Train. the Giant Slide, the Space Shuttle and the Big Dipper rollercoaster. There are side shows - the Laughing Clowns, Crazy Crooners and Goin’ Fishin’ - complete with classic carnival prizes. Treat yourself with hot dogs, fairy floss and fish 'n chips. This iconic landmark is on the State Heritage Register, and has been a family favourite for generations of Australians.
Sydney Fish Market at Pyrmont is one of the largest fish markets in the world. Business begins at 5.30am, when seafood buyers arrive to vie for the best of the day's catch - 2,700 crates of fresh seafood. Buy something for the barbecue, or enjoy lunch on the wharf overlooking the water. You can also reserve a behind the scenes tour to see all the action or join a seafood cookery class hosted by one of Australia's leading chefs.
Get up close and personal with over 75 of the world's most iconic celebrities and Australia's very own stars. Celebrities on display include Lady Gaga, Leonardo Di Caprio, Justin Bieber, Kylie Mingoue, Michael Hutchence, Jimmy Barnes, Mark Webber, Nicole Kidman, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and many more, along with fascinating facts on every star. Walk along the red carpet and revel in the unique atmosphere of glamour, fame and history at Madame Tussauds Sydney and go on an interactive star-studded journey through the world of music, sport, culture, film and much more.
Discover Sydney's convict history in the cobbled laneways near the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Rocks is where Britain began its colony in 1788. This is a picturesque destination, with a maze of sandstone courtyards, workman's cottages, elegant terraces and Sydney's oldest pubs. Discover vibrant weekend markets, theatres, cafés and bars, as well as several of the city’s best hotels and restaurants - you'll love The Rocks.
A Sydney icon, and known locally as The Coathanger, the impressive bridge has six million steel rivets and carries rail, bicycle, car, bus and pedestrian traffic across the harbour. It's 134 metres (440ft) from the water to top of the steel arch. The bridge is inspiring to look at, and even more exhilarating to walk across, as many Sydneysiders do, to get to and from work each day. Climb to the summit with BridgeClimb and be stunned by one of the world's most spectacular views.
As a harbour city, Sydney has long relied on these grand old ladies - the Sydney Ferries - to criss-cross the sparkling waterways. Take the iconic Manly ferry across the harbour to Manly peninsular and stroll along the Corso to Manly Beach, where the first world surfing championship was held in 1964. Go for a surf, or rent a bike and ride to Fairy Bower and picnic at gorgeous Shelly Beach. Wine and dine at Manly Wharf before taking the ferry back to the city centre.
The Royal Botanic Garden is an oasis of 30 hectares in the city. Wrapped around Farm Cove, from the Sydney Opera House to Woollomoolooo, the landscaped Garden is in one of Sydney's most spectacular positions and is home to an outstanding collection of plants from Australia and overseas. Wander through the garden, established in 1816, to Mrs Macquarie's Chair, which was carved out of a rock ledge for colonial Governor Macquarie's wife, Elizabeth. To this day, the views she so famously loved, are truly spectacular.
There's no better way to enjoy the beauty of the Sydney coastline than from the winding cliff walk between Bondi and Coogee beaches. These paths become a stage for whale watching between May and November, the backdrop for Sculpture by the Sea in October-November, and a year-round vantage point to watch surfers carve up the waves. Take in Aboriginal rock carving at Mark's Park, big surf at Tamarama, snorkelling at the coves of Clovelly and Gordons Bay, and the white sands of Coogee Beach. Stop off at the Bronte café strip along the way and cool off with a refreshing dip in an ocean pool.
A lively entertainment precinct, Darling Harbour is a 10-minute walk from Town Hall in the city centre. One of Sydney's largest harbourside dining, shopping and entertainment precincts, Darling Harbour enjoys a full calendar of events as well as one of the city's most enchanting gardens - the Chinese Garden of Friendship. You'll also find a zoo, aquarium and a maritime museum. Cockle Bay and King Street Wharf offer funky nightclubs, wine bars and bistros serving fine food and great cocktails.
Stepping into this fascinating garden in the middle of bustling Chinatown, is like stepping into a haven of tranquillity. The garden combines old world Chinese architectural principles, with an harmonious balance of running waterfalls, wooden bridges, towering willow trees and colourful koi and carp swimming in lagoons dotted with lotus. Visit the Courtyard of Welcoming Fragrance and the Twin Pavilion, then take a jasmine tea in the traditional Chinese Teahouse.
An area rich in diversity, Kings Cross is a true melting pot of travellers, stylish restaurants and inviting bars and cafés, and locals from many walks of life. Bronze plaques honouring famous people and venues in the Cross are set in the pavement on Darlinghurst Road. Fitzroy Gardens contains the El Alamein memorial fountain, which flows like a giant dandelion. Theatres such as SBW Stables complement the nightclub acts. Look for the giant neon Coca Cola sign and people dressed to party, and you'll know you've arrived in the Cross.
Australia’s oldest park is 16 hectares of beautiful gardens in the heart of the city centre. Replete with 580 exotic and native trees, art works, monuments and water features, Hyde Park is a favourite lunch time spot, and hosts a number of cultural events such as the Night Noodle Markets for Good Food Month each October. Divided by Park Street, the northern end contains the beautiful Archibald Fountain, with its bronze figures from ancient mythology, and a charming avenue of Hill’s Fig trees. The southern end features an ANZAC War Memorial and Pool of Reflections.
Established in 1827 and the first in the country, the Australian Museum has an international reputation in natural history and in indigenous studies, research, community programmes and accessible, innovative exhibitions. View unique and extensive science and cultural collections, multimedia exhibitions of physics and of indigenous Australian culture and native animals. The permanent Dinosaur exhibition features an awe-inspiring collection of skeletons and answers many age-old questions.
A short bus ride from the city centre, Centennial Parklands contain beautiful gardens, an entertainment quarter, 18-hole golf course, sporting fields, tennis courts, equestrian facilities and Fox Studios, which makes films. About 15,000 trees grow in Centennial Parklands' three parks - Centennial Park, Queens Park and Moore Park. Enjoy a picnic under one of the trees or by a tranquil pond. In Centennial Park there's a cafe and a restaurant, and the EQ Village Markets are open on Wednesdays and Saturdays in Moore Park.
A short ferry ride from Circular Quay in the city centre is Sydney Harbour's largest island and one of Australia's most fascinating historical sites that's on the World Heritage list. Take an audio tour or self-guided journey and explore the island's convict and ship-building history. Cockatoo Island is the only Sydney Harbour island where you can stay overnight in what Lonely Planet described as "one of the world's most spectacularly located campsites".
Built on the site of Australia’s first Government House, a stroll from Circular Quay in the city centre, the Museum of Sydney is a fascinating place to explore some of Sydney's dramatic history. The museum uses imaginative and interactive displays, like a miniature First Fleet, offering the visitor a journey back to the moment when the first European eyes set sight on what the First Fleet captain and first governor Arthur Phillip described as "the finest harbour in the world".
Sydney is blessed with many surf beaches that cater to all levels of surfing skill, from small waves for beginners to big breaks for the more experienced and adventurous. Sydney beaches featured on the National Surfing Reserves, a list of iconic surfing locations in Australia, are Manly and North Narrabeen in Sydney's north and Maroubra and Cronulla in Sydney's south.
Need a lesson? Beginners can find accredited surf schools at many of Sydney's favourite surf beaches, each school offering its own unique techniques for teaching you how to catch a wave. For an iconic Sydney surfing experience with experienced teachers who know the waves, head to Bondi or Manly beaches. You'll also find accredited surf schools at Maroubra and Cronulla beaches.
White sands, turquoise waters and perfect waves make Bondi Beach one of the most popular destinations in the world, and you'll discover plenty more to do beyond the great surf and fine sands. Gourmet dining, eclectic shopping markets, gorgeous coastal walks and a buzzing nightlife can all be experienced in Bondi. The promenade along the beachfront is a favourite track for joggers and walkers, and you'll find plenty of inviting cafés and wine bars on Campbell Parade and in Hall Street.
Manly is a delightful destination for the whole family. Near the wharf where the ferry arrives, there is sheltered swimming in the netted harbour pool at Manly Cove, plus Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary, cafés, restaurants and ice-cream shops. The paved Corso leads you past surf shops and pubs to Manly Beach. Walk or cycle along the Norfolk Pine tree-lined Steyne promenade from the white sands and rolling surf of Manly Beach to the neighbouring haven of Freshwater Beach.
With a shimmering bay, magnificent coastal walk and a protected Marine Reserve that attracts snorkellers and scuba divers, Coogee epitomises the classic Sydney beach scene. When you're not lying on the sand or frolicking in the waves, explore the parks and ocean pools. Grab an icecream, a coffee or look out for great clothing bargains as you wander up Coogee Bay Road. For cool drink, visit one of the beer gardens, or check out the latest movies in the Art Deco grandeur of the heritage-listed Ritz Cinema at The Spot in Randwick.
Sydney's coastline features a number of delightful outdoor pools, carved into rock platforms. These saltwater pools are a perfect complement to the surf – ideal for lap swimmers, families or those who just want to relax and float. You'll find many of the ocean pools tucked into the corners of Sydney's surf beaches or down a cliffside, such as the women's baths at Coogee, In Sydney Harbour, outdoor pools include the Andrew Boy Charlton pool at Woolloomooloo, near the Art Gallery of NSW, Royal Botanic Garden and Mrs Macquarie's Chair.
Palm Beach is Sydney's northernmost stretch of sand, featuring great surf and coastal walks. It's famous as the gorgeous setting in the long-running TV soap Home and Away, which has a huge international following. Known to locals as Palmie, the northern end of the beach is good for surfing and the southern end offers protected swimming, including a 35-metre ocean pool. Enjoy spectacular views of Palm Beach and Pittwater from the historic Barrenjoey Lighthouse, or fish from Palm Beach Wharf.
A great way to marvel at the beauty of Sydney Harbour and the enchanting bushland on the foreshore is on foot, and one of the best walking trails is the Manly Scenic Walkway. This 10 km path meanders through the bush around the harbour foreshore from Spit Bridge past gorgeous Clontarf Beach to Manly. Stop at the crest of Dobroyd Head and look straight out to sea through the Heads, the entrance of the harbour. There are six entry and exit points for shorter strolls, and the whole walk takes 3-4 hours. Enjoy a post-walk feast at Manly Wharf before taking the iconic Manly ferry across the harbour to Circular Quay.
Quiet, secluded beaches sprinkled around Sydney Harbour and along the coast, are charming spots to relax and unwind. Pack a picnic and head off to discover your own secret beach hideaway, many of which are accessible by ferry. The picturesque Milk Beach is a small stretch of white sand hidden within Sydney Harbour National Park, near Vaucluse, in Sydney's east. In Sydney's north, relax on Shelley Beach, near Manly, and Chinaman's Beach, near Mosman. In Sydney's south, the Royal National Park is home to Jibbon Beach.
Australia's oldest fishing village is Watsons Bay in Sydney Harbour, and home to the famous seafood restaurant Doyles on the Beach. Take a ferry from Circular Quay to Watsons Bay Wharf, or take in spectacular views aboard a bus on the cliff-hugging drive down to Watsons Bay. Enjoy fish and chips at the wharf along with splendid harbour views. You can walk to the lighthouse at South Head and swim in the harbour pools. There's also a pub, Watsons Bay Beach Club, with great vistas, drinks and food - and jazz every Sunday. The sunsets from Watsons Bay are glorious.
With a snorkel, mask and flippers, you can explore a huge range of marine life from starfish and sea anemones to spotted goatfish and cuttlefish, coral and more, at Sydney's many sheltered seaside coves. Clovelly Beach is a natural rock pool, and one of Sydney's best snorkelling spots - keep an eye out for the famous blue gropers. Nearby, Gordons Bay is protected by a reef and is an ideal site for beginners and families. Great snorkelling can also be enjoyed around Coogee's rock pool at the northern end of the beach.
Sydney Tower Buffet offers an extensive banquet-style dining experience with uninterrupted revolving views of the city, providing the perfect relaxed dining environment for locals and visitors alike. With over 60 dishes prepared daily across a range of cuisines including Modern Australian, Vietnamese, Italian and Japanese, guests can choose from a large selection of fresh seafood, salad, hot dishes and sweet treats.
Owned by chef Matt Moran and renowned restaurateur Peter Sullivan, ARIA is a prestigious chef's hatted restaurant on the edge of Sydney Harbour at Circular Quay. ARIA offers an unparalleled dining experience with striking views, an award-winning menu and extensive wine list, served in an elegant dining room.
On the roof of the 19th century Customs House, this restaurant captures the very essence of Sydney dining with spectacular harbour views, an outdoor terrace for fine days and delightful nights, a cocktail lounge, and a relaxed modern interior. The menu features contemporary classics using fresh seasonal produce, with seafood a speciality.
Located in the beautiful neighbourhood of Woollahra in Sydney's east, CHISWICK is a superb casual dining venue co-owned by Matt Moran and Peter Sullivan. With charming floor-to-ceiling French windows, and an open kitchen where chefs prepare dishes to share made from fresh produce straight from the kitchen garden outside - this restaurant is a delight.
Take a seaplane and enjoy a bird’s-eye view of Sydney before landing on the picturesque Hawkesbury River to dine at this chef's hatted riverside restaurant. Surrounded by the stunning Ku-rin-gai Chase National Park this beautiful location is matched by a menu that strongly supports fresh local produce, with an emphasis on seafood. You can also get a ferry from Palm Beach to Cottage Point Inn.
Set within a heritage dining room with soaring white columns, est. is elegant dining at its best. Consistently awarded chef's hats, executive head chef Peter Doyle delivers his delectable contemporary Australian food, executed with French precision. Add excellent service by Sam Di Stefano and a wine list by Franck Moreau MS, and you'll see why est. is one of the city's most impressive restaurants.
Named after Sydney’s iconic swimming club - Bondi Icebergs - that swims in the ocean pool at Bondi Beach, Icebergs Dining Room and Bar is consistently awarded chef's hats. Since opening in 2002, the restaurant's spectacular views, superb cuisine and atmosphere of relaxed elegance have delighted visitors from all over the world. Under the direction of head chef Paul Wilson, the menu focuses on seafood dishes with an Italian flavour.
First opened as a roadhouse in 1929, Jonah’s has become a luxury retreat, offering delicious food and opulent accommodation. The views of the Pacific Ocean are spectacular and it's easy to while away the hours on the beautiful outdoor terrace. An outstanding menu of fresh local seafood makes this chef's hatted restaurant well worth the hour's drive north from the city centre. Or you can fly in a seaplane from Rose Bay to Pittwater.
Even waiting for a table in the lounge bar is a pleasure at this chef's hatted restaurant in Surry Hills, near Central Station. After a cocktail or two, move to a communal table in the chic dining room of this spacious, renovated warehouse. The menu is a mouth-watering blend of South-East Asian dishes to share.
An impressive Cantonese palace with its lavish menu of delicious seafood dishes, Golden Century Seafood Restaurant is famous for its live fish, lobsters, crabs and abalone. And it stays open until the early hours of the morning. Busy most nights of the week, it's definitely worth the wait - or make a reservation.
Established in 1983, the reputation of this Paddington restaurant never falters. With consecutive chef’s hats for the exceptional Northern Italian food, plus excellent service and magnificent Australian art lining the restaurant walls (artist John Olsen, who painted Five Bells, designed the menu covers), the passion for food and art of owner Lucio Galletto OAM is fully realised.
With beautiful Freshwater Beach as a backdrop, enjoy delicious Italian cuisine at this award-winning restaurant in Freshwater, just north of Manly. You’ll enjoy spectacular seaside views through big bay windows in an elegant yet relaxed setting. It was awarded two hats in the 2016 Good Food Guide.
This is the first Momofuku restaurant established outside of New York City and already a multi-award winner - three chef's hats. David Chang's restaurants are recognised worldwide for innovative food and great service, and for supporting local, sustainable farmers and food purveyors. The tasting menu is constantly changing and the five-seat bar serves a limited menu, too. Reservations are essential.
Brent Savage and Nick Hildebrandt, of the renowned Bentley in the city, launched Monopole Restaurant and Bar in the heart of Sydney’s elegant Potts Point in 2012. Monopole is a chef's hatted restaurant. Brent’s unique, award-winning dishes and Nick’s incredible list of over 500 rare and boutique wines are worth experiencing, as is the rich dark wood and industrial metal interior and open bar.
Under the iconic ‘white sails’ of the Sydney Opera House, Bennelong showcases Australian produce and wine in a majestic setting. One of the world’s top chefs, Peter Gilmore, is at the helm of Bennelong. Awarded two hats in the 2016 Good Food Guide, Bennelong offers several dining options.
This grand 240-seater is a love letter to the great Cantonese restaurants of Hong Kong. Timeless colonial furnishings - timber floors, bamboo French chairs and slow turning fans - and the Cantonese-influenced contemporary Chinese menu of over 60 dishes, have won Mr Wong multiple restaurant awards including two chef's hats.
The menu at Porteño - awarded two chef's hats - comes to you straight from the kitchens of Argentina via the imaginations and culinary artistry of chefs and owners, Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz. Authenticity is the order of the day, with the best meats in town prepared front and centre for all to see on a traditional Parilla (barbecue) and Asado (pit of fire). Ask the staff for tips on the exclusively Argentinean wine list.
Named among the top 50 Restaurants in the World, this multi-hatted award winner is almost suspended over Sydney Harbour, with floor-to-ceiling windows allowing for breathtaking views. The food is as splendid as the outlook: creativity and quality, textural variety and complexity as well as beautiful plating are all features of chef Peter Gilmore’s gastronomical dishes, in which he utilises rare local ingredients. Dining at Quay makes for a truly special occasion.
Neil Perry’s name is highly regarded among lovers of fine food and in the restaurant world with a series of award-winning restaurants in Australia. With two chef's hats, Rockpool Bar & Grill showcases high quality Australian cuisine that's ethically and sustainably sourced. Seafood and beef are the basis of Perry's balanced and harmonious menu, with exquisite Asian influences. Elegant dining in an impressive Art Deco building in the city centre.
With consecutive Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year awards and three chef's hats, Sepia is a winning combination of Sydney's renowned seafood wholesaler George Costi and chef Martin Benn’s sophisticated and surprising technique. Sepia offers five-course and nine-course degustation menus that evolve each week. The menu focuses on all things Japanese (sparked by Benn's many years as head chef at Tetsuya’s) plus superb seafood. Deliciously delicate.
Out of the Neil Perry (Rockpool) stable, Spice Temple offers regional Chinese cuisine. Think Sichuan, Yunnan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Guangxi and Xinxiang. There’s a whole lot of chilli for those who like it hot, subtlety for those wanting something milder and plenty of spice to boot. The atmosphere is elegant, underground and seductive, with acute attention to design.
Sydney Fish Market’s six main fish retailers offer Australia’s biggest variety of fresh seafood and over 100 species of fish as well as crabs, lobsters, oysters and other succulent seafood. One of the biggest seafood markets in the world, the site also features numerous restaurants, including Peter's Seafood Grill and Doyles, as well as cafés, a bakery, gourmet deli, greengrocer, bottle shop, fishing supplies store, butcher and gift shop. The daily fish auction starts at 5.30 am in the morning.
Ranked among the world’s top restaurants, Tetsuya’s has held chef's hats in the Good Food Guide for more than 20 years. The heritage-listed Kent Street restaurant is a temple of restrained chic and refined French-Japanese culinary masterpieces with a degustation menu that constantly evolves in the acclaimed chef Tetsuya Wakada’s kitchen. This is a truly impressive dining experience.
Named the Good Food Guide 2016 Restaurant of the Year, the Bridge Room is the creation of Ross Lusted, who was awarded Good Food Guide Chef of the Year in 2014. He has an innovative style. With three chef's hats, Lusted crafts eclectically inspired dishes using the best seasonal produce, sometimes cooked over charcoal and slow smoked in the Japanese Robata method. With a lightness of touch, Lusted delivers fine flavours. Look out for his unique handmade tabletop pieces – attention to detail is this chef's forte.
Head underground to the candle-lit basement of the Baxter Inn. 360 premium whiskies line the cabinets of this speakeasy-themed drinking den. With thick carpet, jazz and blues, beer on tap, a wine and port cellar, and a whisky for every day of the year - Baxter Inn is more than inviting. To top off the great service, you also get bartenders dinging an old boxing bell and tooting a trumpet at shot time.
On the fourth floor of the Establishment is a world of opulence, inspired by the sophistication of the Ottoman Empire. Hemmesphere, derived from the surname of founder Justin Hemmes, features exotic furnishings, low lounges and ambient lighting which create an intimate atmosphere for any evening out. Fancy cocktails are available in abundance, vintage drams and select wines add to the mix; as does a compact menu of Japanese bento boxes, platters and supper snacks.
On the Manly Wharf, Hugos Manly is one of Sydney's waterfront restaurants with spectacular views of Sydney Harbour. A delicious mix of pizza and pasta, the menu was created by celebrity chef Pete Evans. You'll also be impressed by the skills of the award-winning bar team. Take a ferry from Circular Quay across the sparkling harbour and soak up the lovely atmosphere of Hugos Manly.
Ivy is an entertainment palace in the city centre. From cocktail bars and dancing to bistros and a rooftop pool bar, ivy is a Sydney party destination. Enter via Angel Place laneway and head to French bar and bistro Felix for a dry Martini, or to Ash Street Cellar for tapas. Palings, on level one, delivers Mod Oz cuisine. Up the elevator you’ll discover a sparkling rooftop pool at Ivy Pool Club. Friday hip-hop nights and Pacha Saturdays offer dance party heaven.
Built in 1893 and preserved in all its opulent glory, the Marble Bar is a delightful Victorian-era bar underneath the Hilton Hotel in the city centre. A hundred tonnes of the best marble in the world were used to build the bar, creating a splendid ambience. The Marble Bar is a great place to enjoy fine Australian wines and beers and classic cocktails and Australian beer. Enjoy live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
A stylish escape 47 floors up in the sky, O Bar and Dining's vast circular layout provides 360-degree views of beautiful Sydney and beyond. Located at Australia Square, a landmark building near The Rocks, the ambient light, plush couches and deep leather chairs ensure a night at O Bar is an enchanting experience. There's tapas for sharing, and the delightful cocktail list is based on fragrance and seasonality. On the revolving lower level guests can recline while dining on a Modern Australian menu and enjoying spectacular views.
Opera Bar has spectacular views of Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the lower concourse of the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House. You'll enjoy delicious food prepared by talented chefs at this world-class destination for dining and drinking. Enjoy drinks and dinner before a performance at the Sydney Opera House. In a truly splendid setting, Opera Bar is great fun, with a buzzing atmosphere, any time. And the sunsets are glorious.
Hidden up a laneway with a secret entrance, this swanky underground cocktail bar - beneath the Establishment - has an American-inspired bar menu, with dishes like pastrami on rye and macaroni and cheese, and an incredible list of drinks and cocktails such as the power-packed Prohibition. Bartenders are dressed to the nines in Great Gatsby style, to capture the spirit of the Roaring Twenties. Settle in to a lounge, take in the live music and enjoy the warm glow.
This three-storey heritage hotel in The Rocks has a rooftop bar with 180-degree views of Sydney Harbour and the city centre. On the middle floor is the lounge cocktail bar, with Juliette balconies and an elegant ambience for gatherings of friends or family. The ground floor has traditional pub vibe. A great place to meet for lunch or after-work drinks.
Sydney’s first boutique brewery and the oldest in Australia, the Lord Nelson is famous for it's award-winning 100% natural ales. Fermentation occurs at the brewery at the rear of the bar, and the beer is matured in the cellar, then perfectly conditioned before heading straight to the taps on the bar, and into your schooner or pint glass. The pub itself has been restored to its former 1852 glory, revealing a beautiful sandstone facade plus high ceilings, blazing hearths and convict history.
This small, sophisticated bar is stocked with a veritable library of wines. You can choose from than 500 wines, with a great selection of Australian and international wines. You'll appreciate the casual, cosy seating nestled around the warmly lit bar. Afternoon snacks and pre-dinner drinks are available at the bar, and there is also a separate dining area and a secluded, intimate outdoor oasis.
Lo Lounge is on one of the world's longest timber wharves, Woolloomooloo Finger Wharf, and is a splendid place to enjoy delicious food and drinks. Part of the gorgeous Ovolo hotel at the wharf, Lo Lounge is a bright and vibrant venue that's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Enjoy a delightful selection of drinks at the bar, from 5 pm, as you marvel at the high ceilings of this beautifully restored historic wharf.
Stylish, sleek and sophisticated, this glamorous bar at the Hilton Sydney has an outdoor terrace overlooking the grand Queen Victoria Building, which was completed in 1898 and beautifully restored in the 1980s. Zeta’s experienced mixologists come from all over the world and consistently drive Sydney’s cocktail culture forward with fresh, innovative cocktail concepts that push the boundaries.
Sydney’s original factory outlet centre offers fashion designer labels at up to 70% off regular retail prices. Located beside the Birkenhead Point Marina, enjoy spectacular views of Sydney Harbour while you browse through a huge range of your favourite fashion and lifestyle brands.
The Bondi Markets, established in 1993, are open Sundays in the beachfront grounds of Bondi Beach Public School. Discover original local designer clothing and imported fashions, handmade jewellery, arts, crafts, homewares, retro furniture, vintage clothes and more. After browsing in the markets, stroll to the world-famous Bondi Beach and enjoy the white sands and curling waves.
Every Saturday, more than 70 farmers and artisan food producers pack their trucks with fresh, seasonal and homemade produce and head for the Carriageworks Farmers Market. Lovers of fresh produce and fine food can find a variety of goods including artisan breads, olive oil, boutique wine, sweets and gourmet fare from dips to chutneys.
A popular shopping destination for its boutiques, Oxford Street stretches through Sydney's eastern neighbourhoods of Darlinghurst, Paddington and Woollahra. Explore designer fashion houses, art galleries, booksellers, furniture shops and take a shopping break in one of the many trendy cafés or enjoy lunch at one of the beautifully restored pubs in the main street or in side streets.
The Intersection is a strip of handpicked boutiques and upcoming Australian designers on the corner of Oxford Street and Glenmore Road in Paddington. It's home to top local designers, such as Willow, Ellery, sass & bide and Josh Goot, who have put Australia on the global map of fashion.
Every Saturday, local fashion designers, craftspeople, jewellery makers and artists fill more than 150 stalls with creative fashion, accessories, handcrafted goods and pictures that keep inspiring new generations of Sydneysiders, year in and year out. In the heart of Paddington, the markets have been operating since 1973.
Paddy's Markets has held a central place in Sydney's history for over 150 years. In the Chinatown area, explore hundreds of stalls stocked with a wide range of goods, from souvenirs to sporting goods, clothes to cosmetics, footwear to sheepskins, plants, fruit and vegetables, an amazing food court and more.
Browse through the many and varied stalls featuring a treasure of goods, from original design clothing to pre-loved attire, books, records, jewellery, accessories, art and bric-à-brac. Enjoy multicultural food stalls and outdoor entertainment including bands, jugglers and acrobats.
Pitt Street Mall is Sydney's fashion central in the heart of the city, encompassing several retail centres across two city blocks including stylish Westfield Sydney, department stores David Jones and Myer and the elegant Strand Arcade. You'll discover all the top international brands and labels as well as top local designers in the many boutiques and stores in this delightful shopping precinct.
The Strand Arcade houses many of Australia's best designer labels, jewellers, coffee shops, gift shops and beauty salons. The majestic Victorian building sits in the middle of Sydney city on bustling Pitt Street Mall, housing many retail outlets that have traded there for decades. Established in 1891 and opened in 1892, the Strand Arcade was the last of the arcades built in Victorian Sydney and is the only one remaining today in its original form.
Rich in history, the grand Queen Victoria Building occupies an entire block on Sydney's George Street, and houses more than 180 of Sydney's finest fashion boutiques, jewellery shops and homewares, accompanied by delightful cafes and restaurants. You can enjoy a morning or afternoon tea at the The Tea Room.
A diverse mix of boutiques and retailers offering fashion, art and music. Give your wardrobe a serious upgrade in a matter of hours, shopping at Incu, Alphaville or Carhartt. Grab a bite to eat at the food hall and a beer at The Arthouse. Browse the latest music and technological gadgets at JB Hi-Fi and discover an extensive range of books at Kinokuniya.
Along with Westfield Sydney in Pitt Street Mall, Westfield Bondi Junction caters for shoppers interested in designer labels, including Louis Vuitton and Chanel, among other prized international and Australian brands. Explore hundreds of specialty stores and services including Australia's largest department stores, David Jones and Myer, as well as a food court, supermarkets, fishmonger and butcher.
Formerly known as the New South Wales Open, this is one of the oldest tennis tournaments in the world, dating back to 1885. Watch an exciting lineup of international stars and legendary players battle for coveted titles at the Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre in January.
Join Sydneysiders and celebrate Australia Day on January 26. Sydney observes the holiday in style, with a host of events taking place on and around beautiful Sydney Harbour and throughout the city centre. Many spend the day on Sydney’s beaches and flock to Darling Harbour to continue the party after sunset.
Celebrate Australia’s love of gardens and outdoor spaces at this four-day event in Sydney’s Centennial Park each spring. Join some of the world’s leading experts in the garden talk series, see cutting-edge designer gardens, spectacular floral installations and take home some great gardening tips.
Celebrate the Lunar New Year during Sydney’s two-week Chinese New Year Festival. Each summer, more than 80 events transform Sydney's streets - many of them free - including exhibitions, night markets and restaurant banquets. Don't miss the spectacular twilight parade and lively dragon boat races.
Australia's largest food festival, The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Month celebrates Australia's extraordinary culinary scene throughout October. Events pop up around the city, such as Good Pub Grub, Bar Hop cocktail and bar snack combinations, Ultimate High Teas as well as parties and hands-on cooking classes. Signature events include the Asian-inspired Night Noodle Markets as well as the Shoot the Chef culinary photographic competition.
Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is a world-famous drawcard with its universal message of gay pride, diversity, equality, love and acceptance. The three-week calendar of shows, parties and exhibitions, kicks off in February each year and culminates in the glittering Mardi Gras parade in March featuring a splendid assortment of lavish floats, eye-popping costumes and vibrant colours.
Enjoy a night of entertainment in the outdoors watching world-class opera with the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge as your backdrop. In March and April, an acclaimed opera is performed on the water's edge in a pop-up opera house next to the Royal Botanic Garden.
Welcome in the new year with one of the world's most impressive fireworks displays and join the 1.6 million along the Sydney Harbour foreshore and filling the city's streets, bars and gardens. A children's fireworks display is at 9pm before the dazzling midnight display on one of the world's most beautiful natural harbours.
Held annually in October-November, this is one of the world's largest annual outdoor sculpture exhibitions. Two kilometres of the spectacular Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk are transformed into a temporary sculpture park featuring more than 100 works of all shapes and sizes by artists from Australia and across the world.
State of Origin is one the highlights of Australia's sporting events. It brings together the best players of the Australian Rugby League competition. Long running rival teams, the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons, play for the best of three games before tens of thousands of fans.
Sydney Festival, in January, showcases the best in performing and visual arts from across Australia and around the world. Exuberant and exciting, the program is eclectic with theatre and dance, indie and world music, and outdoor concerts in the Domain, opposite the Art Gallery of NSW.
The Sydney Film Festival shows the best in cinema from across Australia and around the world, including features, documentaries, short films, retrospectives, restorations, animation and more. Held in June, this is one of the world's oldest film festivals that acts as an annual forum for cultural thought leadership and discussion.
Bringing the country to the city since 1823, the Sydney Royal Easter Show celebrates all things agricultural and attracts about 900,000 visitors each year. It's held during the Easter school holidays in March and April. Taste some of Australia's best fresh produce, discover great shopping, see more than 14,000 animals and enjoy hours of family fun with carnival rides, entertainment and more.
This annual event of light, music and ideas is Sydney’s premier winter festival, held over several weeks in May and June. Watch the city transform into a spectacular canvas of light displays, with signature events such as the Lighting the Sails of the Sydney Opera House and the impressive Light Walk that meanders around Sydney Harbour and the city centre. Catch live performances in Sydney's iconic music venues with the Vivid Music and Vivid LIVE programs. Connect with the world’s creative leaders at inspiring talks and workshops as part of Vivid Ideas.
Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport is the oldest continually operated commercial airport anywhere in the world. It's located on northern shores of Botany Bay. TRANSPORT • Suburban trains operated by Sydney Trains (www.sydneytrains.info) depart frequently from Domestic and International terminal train stations. • Local buses - the 400 bus to Bondi Junction leaves from outside the international terminal (T1) and domestic terminal (T3). • Shuttle Buses to the city can be booked inside the terminals. • Taxis are available outside all terminals. • Rental Cars are available at all terminals. • The car park is free if exiting before 15 minutes.
Taxis are a convenient way to get around Sydney. They can be flagged down, found at a taxi rank, or booked on the phone or online. Taxis Combined Services • Phone: +61 13 33 00 • www.taxiscombined.com.au Silver Service Fleet • Phone: +61 133 100 • www.silverservice.com.au Legion Cabs • Phone: +61 131 451 • www.legioncabs.com.au Premier Cabs • Phone:+61 131 017 • www.premiercabs.com.au St George Cabs • Phone: +61 132 166 • www.stgeorgecabs.com.au
Kings Cross Travellers Clinic • 13 Springfield Ave, Potts Point, NSW 2011 • Phone: +61 2 9358 3066 • Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-1pm & 2-6pm, Saturday 10am-noon • www.kingscrossclinic.com.au St Vincent's Hospital (24hr emergency) • Cnr. Victoria & Burton Streets, Darlinghurst, NSW 2011 • Phone: +61 2 8382 7111 • www.svphs.org.au Sydney Hospital & Sydney Eye Hospital (24hr emergency) • 8 Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW 2000 • Phone: +61 2 9382 7111 • www.seslhd.health.nsw.gov.au/SHSEH/ Travel Doctor • Level 7, 428 George Street, Sydney, NSW 2000 • Phone: +61 2 9221 7133; • Hours: Monday – Wednesday and Friday 9am-5pm, Thursday 9am - 8pm, Saturday 9am-12.30pm • www.traveldoctor.com.au