Sydney Attractions abound in this beautiful city

featuring great beaches, shopping, entertainment..........


Sydney attractions ........ comprise of the wonderful natural assets such as the many beaches, busy harbour, supplemented by expansive parks, gardens and architectural gems....... which are a legacy from Australian forebears. The city is built around Sydney Harbour, which is put to full use, with ferries and all kinds of boats plying the inlets, criss-crossing the harbour,transporting passengers and freight to their destinations.

Sydney has a cosmopolitan mix of people......English, Italian, Greek, Lebanese, Vietnamese, Chinese........are but a few who have gradually made Sydney home, bringing cuisine and cultures to mix in with the existing basically English heritage.

The Rocks is a popular Sydney attraction, being a historic area sitting on the harbour’s edge. Base yourself here and you can walk to the

  • City shopping
  • Circular Quay which has ferries departing regularly to the North Shore and beyond
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Botanic Gardens
  • Darling Harbour
All are within easy reach.

The Rocks Sydney


Around The Rocks you happen on a number of historical sites with a small museum that was shut when we were there, old buildings from the nurse’s home and a number of other interesting cottages and notable features.

In exploring The Rocks you really get the feel of 18th century Sydney as you wander narrow, cobbled lanes with quaint names such as Nurses fronted by designer craft shops and little cafes with homestyle cooking and delicious coffee, yet retaining all the character and charm of their heritage.

alt. The-Rocks-2-Sydney-Australia.jpg

Eating Out in The Rocks

There are at least four Australian Pubs usually crowded with workers socializing into the evening, and a variety of restaurants – many Italian. These are a Sydney attraction that are very typical of Australia. You come across these pubs all over the country where they are a social gathering place.

The Hoffbrau a true German experience. Outside it appears modern, busy and won an award recently.

We had been wooed by the Googie band playing outside, only to disappear as soon as we sat down. So on enquiry we relocated inside. What a surprise to find this large restaurant with two rooms divided by the old stone walls, long narrow tables, and the full Hoffbrau House concert on stage, with drinking and yodeling competitions, and a range of activities the audience are invited........... encouraged...... weeeeell.......... bullied into participating in.

alt.Hoffbrau-House-The-Rocks-Sydney-Australia.jpg If you don’t eat pork, or sausages you will struggle, but the pork hock was delicious. Desserts of course feature with Black Forest cake, apple strudel and other German delicacies. We always go for the deep fried battered apple slices.....they are light and tangy.

On summer Friday and weekend nights, The Rocks is often alive with a free live concert attended by thousands. The weekend open air market with food and crafts stalls is another Sydney attraction that draws the crowds .


Downtown Sydney Attractions

Circular Quay

Just a short walk through a small park and you are at Circular Quay where you can catch the ferry to the North Shore and many bays. Manly with its surf beach is a popular destination.You can also catch the ferry to Taronga Park Zoo


Sydney Opera House and Botanic Gardens

The famous Sydney Opera House designed by Jorn Utzon, a Danish architect, rises proudly above the harbour. You can do tours through this fascinating Sydney concert hall.


Behind the Sydney Opera house is the Botanic Gardens. These gardens are a green oasis in the city ...... enjoyed by office workers, crowds of school children accompanied by their teachers on class trips, young couples, sightseers and tourists....roller blading, running or walking the wide paths that snake through these gardens.........a wonderful gift put in place by long term thinking ancestors.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

With the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge forming a backdrop to this spectacular scene, you can enjoy the active harbour views from a seat under a shady tree. Resting your weary feet, before venturing into the gardens, spending some time admiring the many tropical plantings, the art display, water features etc.You can do a Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb for some spectacular views, and an exhilarating activity. From here you can wander back into the city shopping precinct, and down George Street, to The Rocks.

Manly Sydney

Manly Beach is a 40 minute ferry ride from Circular Quay. Arriving at Manly wharf, there is a long golden sandy beach right there, but it is nicer to walk through the Corso .........the route through the town........ and over to the ocean where there is a surf patrolled beach. alt.Manley-Beach-Sydney.jpg Another length of Norfolk pines, golden sand and glorious blue waves big enough to make any surfer happy.Gorgeous beaches area natural asset for Sydney Australia

You can amble along the path from the surf club end that meanders around the rocks eventually reaching pretty little Shelly beach. Enjoy a snack or drink at Le Kiosk as you look back to Manly, and watch the surfers, divers and snorkellers all enjoying the sea.

Darling Harbour


We walked from our B&B in The Rocks, following the harbour’s edge to Darling Harbour. There are buses, that will also get you there, or a short taxi ride. Ask at your hotel reception. This is a lively place where local Sydney-siders and tourists alike descend for the street entertainment, restaurants, shopping and fun-filled ambiance. There is an aquarium, maritime museum, miniature train, and carousel of interest for children.

Darling Harbour also has several interesting water features..... I’ll let the pictures tell their story.


Taronga Park Zoo

Taronga Park Zoo is a Sydney attraction the kids will love. Taking the ferry, and stepping off right at the zoo door is really special. Start at the top so you get the amazing harbour views across to the Opera House, and Circular Quay as you walk down. You can then catch a gondola to the top to take a different pathway. Taronga Park Zoo has many exhibits and you can even go into some of the enclosure for a small fee.Check the link to find out more.

Outer Sydney Attractions

Sydney attractions beyond the city may be best done as day tours. There are several that are well worth taking.

The Blue Mountains which is part of the Great Dividing Range is a beautiful area. There are several towns....... many well known for their magnificent gardens. Katoomba is the central town, and has a unique historic ambiance with it’s Art Deco cafes, galleries and guesthouses. It is easily accessible by train, which goes from Central Station every hour.

From here you can either take the

  • Blue Mountains Explorer bus which goes to most of the attractions and places of interest in the area.
  • Drive a rental car (109 kilometres from Sydney)
  • Do a day tour.

Sightseeing in the Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains National Park is one of the best known Sydney attractions. Getting out of the city and into the mountains and bush areas they are the place for viewing the

  • Three Sisters – awe inspiring peaks rising above the mountains.
  • The Scenic Railway – this is an amazing little historic railway built in 1880 for the coal miners and it goes down a 45 degree angled drop!
  • The Skyway is a cable car that crosses the Katoomba Falls Gorge
  • The Scenisender is an enclosed cable car.
  • There are many bushwalks –from very short to several days – check at the Information Centre
  • Wentworth Falls – near Katoomba
  • Jenolan Caves – probably Australia’s best known limestone caves opened in 1867. There is a guided tour through 9 of the caves.

If you want to stay in the area there are several options in a range of prices including some historic guest houses.

Ku-rin-gai National Park

This huge area of National Park is only 24 kilometres from the centre of Sydney and popular for day trips. There are walks, wonderful views and Aboriginal Rock Engravings Go to the Visitors Centre for more information on all these Sydney attractions including Palm Beach, Pittwater and the beaches along this coast which are nice to visit for a cool off!

The Hawkesbury River

A Sydney attraction with some history lets you explore this area......... the Riverboat Postman – a mail boat that does a round trip – great for seeing some fascinating architecture with the houses built on the cliffs! There are shorter cruises than this 40 kilometre trip, if time is short.


Hunter Valley


There are day tours to the Hunter Valley wine area. The Hunter Valley covers a large area, and your tour would go to a select few wineries, usually including a meal.The Hunter Valley is also a pleasant route you can take as you drive north.Very picturesque, with historic areas, and a wide selection of wineries, B&B's, winery restaurants, motels and accommodation.

We stayed at Shaky Tables and enjoyed the rustic cabins set in rolling countryside and vines. Even if you don't stay here you should visit this very colourful restaurant.


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