Australia should be your first choice for a holiday. We have clean white beaches in abundance, modern cosmopolitan cities, unspoiled rainforests and national parks, the worlds greatest marine attraction and an unequaled number of marine parks, as well as huge tracts of outback for you to explore. Not to mention our weather!
The best part about holidaying in Australia for Northern Hemisphere residents is our weather. Basically when the Northern Hemisphere is in the grips of winter, Australia is basking in summer sunshine. Conversely when the Northern Hemisphere is entering Autumn or Fall, Australia is blooming in spring. Even if you plan to visit Australia in out cooler months, our temperatures are much milder than the Northern Hemisphere with snow restricted to a few Alpine areas.
Sydney is the capital of New South Wales (Australia’s oldest state) and is Australia’s most cosmopolitan city, and is situated right on the spectacular Sydney Harbor. There is accommodation available from the best 5-star hotels, right down to backpacker hostels.
For many visitors to Australia, their first port of call is Sydney due to its busy international airport. If you are anything like me after a long international flight, then the first thing you want to do once you clear customs is head straight to the hotel. Sydney Airport is linked to the city by the usual cabs, limousines, and shuttle buses (many of which are free and run by the better hotels), but if you are a little more adventurous then you could also try the metropolitan rail system which has a station at both the domestic and international terminals of Sydney Airport.
My recommendation is to ask for the railway day pass that also allows you to travel on the famous harbor ferry network as well as the rail network. When I travel to Sydney I usually dump my bags at the hotel and head straight for the ferry terminal (there is a rail station there as well) and catch the ferry over to Manly. This not only allows you to view the city’s most well known attractions (the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge) but you also get up close and personal with the beautiful Sydney Harbor itself. Once at Manly Ferry Terminal it is only a short walk from harbor side to surf side for a swim at the Manly Surf beach. If you are hungry there are multitudes of restaurants there as well. It truly is a great place to chill out after a long flight, and if you like to dine and drink in the open air, you’ll love the options available to you.
If you are on a visiting tour of Sydney, the best place to start is, of course, the Sydney Opera House. It really is worth going on one of the regular guided tours. Likewise, Sydney’s other eye catching landmark, the Sydney Harbor Bridge, also runs climbing tours that take you to the top of the bridge. If thrills are your game, then look out for Luna Park which is harbor side and a fantastic fun park with a huge Ferris Wheel, it is located on the north side of the harbor just west of the bridge.
The central city is brimming with shops, parks, eateries and historical buildings, and well worth a walk around. Another great way to get around Sydney is by the monorail system, which takes you out to Darling Harbor. Darling Harbor is a newer Sydney entertainment precinct that encloses a large number of shops, restaurants and other facilities in a spectacular scenery. There is a spectacular aquarium, maritime museum and many other attractions.
Sydney has many great beaches and attractions to see and all this is easily within reach of the city via train or car. There are also many great day trips that you can take – the rail system extends all the way out to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains.