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Welcome to Sydney

Stunning natural beauty meets celebrated modern luxuries, creating an unforgettable experience in Sydney, Australia.

As the state capital of New South Wales, Sydney is Australia’s oldest and largest city. It provides visitors and its residents with a thriving business centre and arts scene, a blooming café culture and a vibrant nightlife and restaurant scene.

As the first city to be established in Australia, it was originally settled by the British in 1788. Therefore Sydney exudes a history that no other Australian city has, epitomised in The Rocks old quarter of the city.

Of course one of the main attractions everyone thinks of when you mention Sydney is its breathtaking harbour with its iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Its natural location is stunning and topped off by the dramatic mountains of the Great Dividing Range that rise to the West of the city.

Sydney’s growing popularity as a holiday destination can also, in part, be associated with its hosting of the 2000 Olympics. This momentous sporting event was epitomised by the construction of the Stadium Australia.

To visit Sydney truly is to experience the great outdoors. Its semitropical summers and mild winters mean that the need to find attractions indoors is rare. Visitors enjoy a cooling dip in the ocean at the world famous Bondi Beach or a coastal stroll to Coogee. You can even learn to surf like a true Aussie at Manly, kayak round the harbour or experience the bush in one of the national parks.

Whatever you are looking for, you will find it in Sydney. It is a modern, vibrant city but one that still offers a sense of history.  


Sydney’s subtropical climate and mild winters make it a great destination any time of year. However the most popular time is the summer season (November to March) when temperatures have been known to reach 35°C. The winters can also be warm but can also occasionally be damp and chilly.  

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The main designer areas of Sydney are Castlereagh and Elizabeth Street (home to Sydney’s largest department store, David Jones). For the more affluent tourist try the Woollahra area for antiques and expensive eclectic boutiques. Double Bay and Elizabeth Bay are also places where top names attract top prices.

For those with a more modest budget try the Central District especially Pitt and George Street. For intimate and individual shopping, Paddington is a great area to explore especially Oxford Street

Much of the best shopping is in the large inner and outer city centre mall complexes. These include The Centrepoint Mall (Market Street), The Harbourside Centre (Darling Harbour), The Chifley Plaza Mall (corner of Phillip and Hunter Streets) and The Queen Victoria Building (city centre).

The Rocks historic area has a market every weekend which sells all manner of Aboriginal crafts, glassware and cheap clothing. Also worth a look is the trendy Paddington market (weekends) and the largest market, Paddy’s which is held every Thursday to Sunday and sells discounted mainstream items.

Food & Drink

  • Summit Restaurant

  • Doyles on the Beach Restaurant

  • 360 Bar and Dining

  • Jordons Seafood Restaurant

  • Bistro Moncur Restaurant

  • Tabou Restaurant

  • Sailor’s Thai Restaurant

  • Suan I-San Restaurant

  • Hikaru Japanese Courtyard Restaurant



There is a vast amount happening in Sydney in the entertainment world so you are sure to find something that suits your tastes.

The best way to find out what is happening where, is to check out the Sydney Morning Herald, and the free weekly entertainment guides Drum Media or 3D World (available in bookshops and record stores).

If you enjoy classical music and opera the best venues are the Sydney Opera House and the Recital Hall (Angel Place). For modern music, check out the Metro Theatre (George Street), Entertainment Centre (Darling Harbour) or The Basement (Circular Quay).

If you enjoy the theatre, other than the Sydney Opera House, The Wharf Theatre (The Rocks) is a great venue to catch a play. Of course, being Australia this section on ‘entertainment’ wouldn’t be complete without mentioning sport. In the harbour you can enjoy sailing, you can learn to surf at Bondi Beach and go diving. If you prefer to spectate, you can catch some cricket, rugby or Aussie Rules Football at Sydney Cricket Ground, Stadium Australia or Sydney Football Stadium.

When the sun goes down if you enjoy clubbing to the early hours there are plenty of venues to choose from. The trendiest venues are at Kings Cross, Darling Harbour and Darlinghurst. Local knowledge is always the best for finding the best places so ask at your hotel for local recommendations. Here are a few names to get you started.

·         Ivy, George Street, Darlinghurst

·         Ruby Rabbit, Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

·         Trademark Lounge, Bayswater Road, Kings Cross

·         Home, Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour

·         The Establishment, George Street

·         The Chinese Laundry, Slip Street

festivals month

  • January

    Sydney Festival; Australia Day
  • February

    Chinese New Year; Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras; Sea Theatre Festival
  • March

    Classic & Wooden Boat Festival; St Patrick’s Day
  • April

    Royal Easter Show; Thai Songkran Festival
  • May

    Biennale of Sydney; Cycling World Cup; Sydney Writers Festival
  • June

    Australia International Music Festival; Sydney Film Festival; Feast of Sydney
  • July

    The Rocks Aroma Coffee Festival; Naidoc Week
  • August

    Sun Herald City to Surf
  • September

    Festival of the Winds (kite festival)
  • October

    Sydney Carnival; Sydney Motor Show; Flora Sydney Marathon & the Sunday Telegraph 10km Bridge Run
  • November

    Japanese Matsuri Festival; Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
  • December

    Carols in the Domain; Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race


Although there is a wealth of attractions within Sydney itself, you may want to take the opportunity to explore more of what this part of Australia has to offer. Your hotel will be able to provide you with details of local excursions and tour operators, but below are a few ideas to get you started.

·         Blue Mountains

·         Hunter Valley Wine Region

·         Central Coast

·         Manly Beach

·         Canberra

·         Nelson Bay

·         Port Stephens


Health & Safety

The tap water is safe to drink in Sydney and remember to drink plenty of it. The sun is very harsh so dehydration can be a problem. Also make sure you are safe in the sun by using plenty of high factor sun cream, a hat and sun glasses and cover-up.

Healthcare standards are very high and therefore very expensive. Doctors and hospitals will require immediate payment for any treatment provided to overseas tourists. There is a reciprocal agreement that means emergency hospital treatment is free to UK residents. However you have to apply for the waiver after receiving treatment.

Any non-essential medical attention (such as ambulance transport and prescription drugs) will be charged for therefore you are strongly advised to ensure you have sufficient medical insurance in place before travelling.

Sydney is a safe city but you should still exercise the usual precautions with your belongings when in crowded areas and on the beach.