We have a HUGE place in our heart for Sydney. Not only because some of our best friends in the world live there, but because we all agree this is one city we’d be able to move to and be happy. The Aussies just seem to get it right…. from their government, socialized medicine, education system, amazing flat white coffee, and don’t get me started on the sausage sarnies.
For most of the world, Australia is an incredibly long plane ride and just seems to be ‘too far’. This is true, our circus has made the 16 hr flight from LAX three times with Qantas. However, each and every time we fall in love with this vibrant city surrounded by water more deeply. Everyone should have Sydney on their bucket list. Here are our top reasons why:
1. Sydney Opera House
The Opera House sitting on the stunning harborside is incredible, and it’s easy to see why it was named one of the new 7 wonders of the world.
It is one of the most distinctive buildings in the world, famous for it’s stunning architecture. Over 8 million people visit it each year.
You should really plan to visit the Opera House at different times of the day to see the different light bounce off this beautiful building.
2. Botanical Gardens
These lovely gardens are in a peaceful setting overlooking the Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
They are a fabulous spot to take a break from the fast pace of the city, and to enjoy nature and the beautiful photo opportunities. Entrance to gardens is free and I’d highly encourage you to carve out a couple of hours to visit.
3. Manly Beach
Manly is a 30 minute ferry ride from the Circular Quay. Once you arrive in Manly you immediately relax and feel as though you are in a laid-back surf town. Which you are.
The air is clear, surfers walk barefoot with their boards tucked under their arm, heading to grab a meat pie and a cold one. Manly has one of the best surf spots in Sydney and the consistent swells make for perfect conditions to catch a perfect wave.
4. Sydney Ferry Rides
Since Sydney is surrounded by water, the Sydney Ferries are a unique means of transportation, and an economical and fast way to move around the different areas of Sydney.
There are plenty of schedules, most depart from Circular Quay, and they even operate late at night. The ferries are so much fun and if you are traveling with children they will love it!
5. Sea Life Sydney Aquarium
SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is Sydney’s best family attraction.
It is located on the stunning Darling Harbor and has over 13,000 aquatic animals from 650 species.
The animals are in unique exhibits and the boys were thrilled to get extra close and personal with the sharks.
One of the most popular areas in the aquarium is the large tunnel where sting rays, sharks, and other animals swim over the top of your heads.
The displays are great and there were plenty of educational, hands-on activities for the boys.
6. Sydney Harbor Bridge
The beauty of the world’s largest steel arch bridge takes your breath away.
There is no better place in Sydney to see the magnificence of the Harbor and Sydney than from Sydney Harbor Bridge.
You can walk across the bridge from the city end and catch the train back from Milson’s Point station. The views are incredible.
If you can handle heights there’s the opportunity to actually climb the bridge, however we passed on that option!
7. Taronga Zoo
Taronga Zoo is one of the prettiest zoo’s we’ve ever visited, as it stands on the hillside overlooking the beautiful Sydney Harbor.
The zoo is home to over 4,000 animals, including Australian native wildlife, as well as rare and endangered exotic animals.
Taronga Zoo is only 12 minutes from the city by ferry, and the boys absolutely loved getting up close and personal with the giraffes and kangaroos.
8. The Rocks and Circular Quay
The first residents of the Rocks were convicts and sailors. The Rocks is the oldest
neighborhood in Sydney and the cobblestone streets are home to more than 100 heritage sites and buildings, including the oldest house in Sydney.
The Rocks is a neighborhood next to the Sydney Harbor Bridge. The open-air market is filled with locals and tourists browsing to purchase homemade crafts, souvenirs, street food, and drinks.
The Rocks has some of Sydney’s oldest pubs and now has many upscale restaurants too.
The many small restaurants on the waters edge and cute shops make it a fun place to spend an afternoon in the sun.
What are your favorite things to do in Sydney?
*** You’ll notice a huge age change in some of the pictures included in this post. I blended pictures from our different visits to Sydney!