Sydney, located at the east coast of Australia, is a lively city and it calles to everyones imagination. Its famous for its Opera house and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The climate is mild and varies from about 12 degrees in winter to about 35 degrees in the summer. All people have heard about the big fireworks during the millennium change but there is much more to Sydney. It has rich beaches and many parks that are really worthwhile seeing. For seeing the city you will need quite some time. Its a town with great views due to the location it has a hilly structure meaning that from almost each top you will have some marvelous views. Many of the views are ocean views and the more you enter the coastal area the more you will see of them. There is no road along the coast but if you are driving around you will find that it is possible to stay along the coast side for quite some time. some areas are a bit difficult to find but once there you will have great views.
On the other side of Sydney, 2 hours driving to the west, there is a big park that is called the Blue Mountains. This is a big area where the name is chosen right. Due to the oil from the Eucalyptus trees the air has a blueish color and a clear day is not often to be found. Its quite a popular park and going to the default places will result in meeting many other tourists. The only way to see this park on a way that will give it the view it should deserve is by going 'bush' although the roads are not that bad but you could find some nice gravel roads that will lead into the Blue mountains. Asking locals once driving into the area will help you finding your way. The result could be a great sight along the roadside and once walking onto some tops it will become even better. Of course you will need to travel with food and water. To see a small part of this great area you need some days as there are many ways to discover the blue mountains. There are some scenic routes that are really worth while but doing a walk at some water falls will make a great impression. I walked around in some nice places and did not see any tourist so that was a good experience although the paths are sometimes better to go with at least two people or at least take a mobile phone as to my amazement I found they are working on most places unless you go down into a gorge. One of the most famous things to see is the 3 Sisters that got their name after a story of people that turned into stone. Unfortunately this place is also heavily set up to a tourist attraction that is sometimes a bit of a waste but never the less a great place and certainly a place to visit. From here there is also quite some activities one could undertake. There are trike rides (2 people) together with a guide along the great sites that exist here. Another thing is take a train ride that goes steep down (or up) the mountains. A good way of doing this is to climb down the mountains and walk along the big fall. This will take quite some time and on the way back take the scenic train up to the place where you started. Close to the 3 sisters you can find the visitors center where much info can be found of what to do in the area. Make sure you check this out as they have much info available.
For those people that do not want to go away outside the city there is the beach life. Sydney has many beaches of which 2 are quite famous. Its Bondi, to my opinion the nicest, and Manly that is the biggest of the two. Manly looks to me more touristic. But Bondi has a nice street with many shops and restaurants. Parking is not that hard in the area. But there are many great smaller beaches that are much better that the 2 famous ones. Tamarama beach just south of Bondi is one of the examples its really small but a nice place to hang out and have a BBQ as all equipment is close to the beach. Its possible to walk from Bondi to Tamarama beach and it will show you the best sites along the coast inside the city. The other nice place I was introduced with is Balmoral beach. Its a more quiet beach but offers all the things one needs. From here you can do a great wave ride with a very powerful boat that will take you out to the North Head and jump over some waves. And also they will take you out into the Sydney harbour at an amazing speed. Manly is a great beach to go to. If you do please ensure you take the ferry. Its a cheap and great way to see the Sydney harbour. The ferry ride is about 30 minutes and you will see the city as it should be seen... harbour view.... The ride is also quite cheap and once on Manly its nice to get something to eat drink and head back again. Another good thing to do is to get a car and drive up north as there are quite some beaches along the coast. The higher you get the better the beaches are getting. The top beach is called Palm Beach. You need at least a day to enjoy the ride and spend some time at the places. To get some idea about where to find the locations please click here but its a big map so it takes some time to load but its good to have this as a reference. As Sydney is build around a rich water area there is a lot of water activity's so you should enjoy these. South of Sydney center there is botany bay. A nice area to also spend time and enjoy the area. If you want some rest you can drive further down south and enjoy a trip to the 'Royal National Park' this park is great and again takes quite some time to visit. During your drive down south you can visit Coogee beach which is another great beach. If you only passing through the Royal National Park you will have to pay no fees. Although you want to spend some time at some spots and than you need to buy the ticket. Its only about Aus $ 10 so not that bad. In the park you have steep winding roads that you can also find in Yosemite park but also flat roads that have a typical Australian impression and I did not see them anywhere else. As you see the variations are immense and the landscape is really changing at many turns. From almost all places you will be able to see the city skyline that once you have been there will stay onto your eyes and each time you will see the city from any angle you can only love the site.
A great view is if you drive from Bondi north to an area that is called Watson Bay. If the weather is good you get an awesome sight onto the city skyline. This is also the place to get a picnic at night or to see the sun set above the city. On the way to Watson Bay there is a field that is not easy to find but once there you have a great view. And again its normally a quiet place to be although close to the touristic Watson Bay its worth while trying to find it. Watson Bay is a great area to walk around and again you can spend easily one day here. Only the walk to the South head will take quite a bit. Close to Watson Bay, back driving to town, you will find Rose Bay. This is a place where you will see many boats. Its a nice drive towards downtown Sydney. If you have time having lunch at one of the restaurants along the street is a good thing to do.
Before hitting the busy life in the city the quiet and easy going is quickly to be found in this area. From here you can also start a scenic flight above the city but I did not have time to do that yet. Driving to the city you will need to take the bridge if you need to go to Sydney North. The bridge can bee seen from many sides the best way is either climbing the bridge. Seeing it from the Rocks or just driving over it. Climbing the bridge is a cool experience and I can tell you its one of the nicest things I have done there. You start in the Rocks, a very nice area on the town. From there you start the climb on to the top of the bridge. Once there you will cross the bridge and go down on the other side. The climb is not difficult but when its warm as during my trip it will be quite a achievement. It takes about 3 hours to start until you are back. This includes a small training session. You are not allowed to take anything on top of the bridge even metal detectors are used to ensure this. Pictures are taken on the way up and down. The guide will make all the difference and I was lucky to get a good one he told a lot and it was a fun climb. The great weather also made it a good experience.
In the city itself there is also much to do and see. Circular Quay is always a lively site. Also Darling harbour is full of life and activities. Kings Cross is a bit over rated but its nice to visit it once. If you are at Kings Cross just follow the roads to the harbour and you will be surprised after a little walk as again you will come across a great area close to the hostels where you have great views of the city again. Downtown city can offer you the Queen Victoria building that looks great but in the inside its more a shoppers paradise. Good streets are williams street, George Street and Pitt Street. Close to Pitt Street you will find the AMP tower that, once you go to the top, will surprise you with awesome views over the city. In the AMP tower there is also a restaurant where you can enjoy dinner and during that the restaurant will turn 360 degrees during 1 hour. So a good way to see all the sights. From the AMP tower you can see Hyde Park that is a small park but nice to walk through and at night its lit nicely. From Hyde Park you can walk to Oxford street what I guess is the most busiest street in Sydney with really a huge amount of bars and restaurants. A nice thing is that the smaller restaurants that look a bit shaggy often have to offer great meals and its quite cheap to eat out here. If you would walk all the way east on Oxford you will end up at Bondi. By the way around Oxford street you will find Padington which is one of the most expensive places to live. Apartments are really expensive and not easy to get. Another excellent place to visit and have some drinks is the ANA hotel. This is located close to Circular Quay and offers a great place to see the harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera house. At night at the Rocks you will find many bars with life music and if the weather is ok many terasses where you can enjoy the evening. Also at Darling Harbour the terasses are popular and many people enjoy the evening here.
Driving around the Sydney area is something you have to get used to. Its a different style that is a bit different that elsewhere on this planet including Paris. But many cars are the models you would like to have your self. Again driving around the city will show you the skylines at great angles and luckily its mostly good weather so you can really enjoy it. If you are going to spend some time there I hope you will enjoy it as I did and maybe we will find your experience on the net also...
If you follow this link you will find many pictures I took during the tours I made. Selecting a small picture will give you a new session with the picture in full size. Some of them are around 100 K so slow modem users be patient please.
It would be nice to hear from others how you experienced the city...
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