Now that I’ve been back in the US for long enough, it was about time I got my Sydney, Australia travel guide up! It’s only been a month and I’m ready to be on another vacation. Good thing It’s a holiday week and I’m headed back out of town in another couple of weeks. Although, I’ll still be in Texas. I’m actually already planning my next trip out of the country – possibly later this year, but we shall see 😉
Australia has been on my list for quite some time. A fun fact – I really wanted to study abroad in Sydney when I was in college. Unfortunately, it didn’t fit within my curriculum timeline. So, when I was visiting my friend in New York last year and she mentioned she wanted to take a trip to Australia, I took the bait.
After my friend mentioned the trip to a few more friends, it ended up as a girl’s trip – even better! With five girls, that are all pretty good at researching and asking for tips, along with some Australian friends, we were able to make a pretty solid itinerary.
We decided to take the trip alongside Memorial Day so that we could get a free day off work. Keep in mind that Australia’s seasons are opposite of the US, so their winter had just started. I was definitely one of those people that thought winter in Australia was like a California *winter*. I was wrong. Northern Australia was warm, but Sydney, was cold, so keep that in mind. If you’re looking for a beach getaway, definitely take a trip closer to Christmas, New Years, or Spring Break.
Although, because we were going at the start of their winter, our plane ticket through American was only $1000 roundtrip. I know – I was shocked too! We used Hopper to monitor flight prices to find the best price. I would highly recommend it! Another few positive points about going at the start of winter – it wasn’t very crowded and we got to experience Vivid Sydney! It’s where all of downtown Sydney lights up for a few hours at night, like a live light show, and they have a ton of different concerts going on.
If you’re interested in traveling to Sydney, Australia, make a full tour out of your trip. We stayed in Sydney for about 5 days, and I could have stayed an extra two, but I’m so glad we also checked out Port Douglas. If you’re going in the summer, I’ve also heard great things about Brisbane, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, and Melbourne.
So, five days in Sydney, I’ve rounded up where you should stay, what you should do, where you should go out, and where you should eat!
Where to Stay
This is always one of the toughest things when traveling. In a city, you want to make sure you’re in a safe area that also allows you to walk to a lot of main sights and restaurants. After talking to a variety of people who had visited Sydney, we found that the Central Business District was the way to go. It was close to everything – shopping, the harbor, restaurants, and every pick up for the excursions we did.
We ended up in this Airbnb, and I would highly recommend it!
What to Do
- Bondi Beach
- Coogee Beach
- There is a walk between both of these beaches – if you catch it on a good day, the views are beautiful
- Sydney Bridge Climb
- By far my favorite thing in Sydney during the winter
- Be sure to do a night climb so you can see Vivid in action
- I will admit, I was skeptical at first because of the hefty price, but so glad I caved and went
- Be sure to not drink before your climb, as they won’t let you if you have been. Read more about how to prep for your climb!
- Scenes from our night climb
- Kangariffic Wine Tour
- We had a blast driving through the Hunter Valley wine country trying different foods, beer, and wines and checking out the animals along the way
- A scene from the wine tour
- Blue Mountain Tour
- Now this blew my mind! The Blue Mountains is like Australia’s version of the Grand Canyon, and it’s seriously so pretty – it’s a must do, whether you check it out on a tour, or by yourself
- A scene from the Three Sisters Overlook
- Featherdale Wildlife Park or Walkabout Wildlife Park
- Sydney Opera House
- Take a tour of how and why the opera house was made, as well as the cool architecture
- Get tickets to a concert
- Or, just grab a drink at the Opera House Bar and enjoy the views of the harbor, bridge, and opera house
- Manly Beach
- We didn’t make our way out here, but I heard the Spit to Manly walk was a good scenic hike
- You can also take a ferry from the harbor to this beach as well, doubling up on some good views from the water
- Luna Park
- That famous amusement park with the big clown mouth
- May or may not also recognize it by the one in Brooklyn
- Botanical Gardens
- We didn’t get a chance to check it out but heard it was beautiful
- Lots of good restaurants and shopping
- Shopping at Pitt Street Mall
Where to Go Out
- World Bar
- A perfect spot for dancing on a weekend or weeknight
- The Soda Factory
- A speakeasy with a great music selection
- The Star
- If you’re interested in gambling
Where to Eat
- Grounds of Alexandria
- Coogee Pavillion
- Sydney Opera House Bar
- Ostreria Riva
- The Meat & Wine Co