I had a chance to visit Australia a little while ago for work, and have been meaning to share an itinerary and tips for a while now. Here are a few lists, tips and recommandations for things to see and do in this beautiful city.
72 hours in Sydney:
Start your day with a nice lunch in Sydney's Chinatown. Lots of choices here including Mamak, Din Tai Fung, Chat Thai etc. Grab your fork has a solid list.
Walk up to Hyde park, to gaze at the Anzac memorial and the beautiful fig canopy. At the end of the park is the beautiful St. Mary's cathedral. Cross over to Hyde park barracks and peer into some old colonial houses along McQuaire St. You will pass the Old Sydney hospital to the entrance of the Royal botanical gardens on Bent St.
Entrance to the gardens is free! Make your way in to see very different vegetation. The highlight of the park has to be the 300 or more fruit bats that live here. You'll here them soon enough after you enter. They are harmless to humans, but don't stand under their trees if you can help it! After bat watching, make your way out to the waterfront to Ms. Mcquarie's seat for amazing views of the bridge & opera house.
Walk along the water to the opera house, admire the curves of the building and the seagulls. There are also guided tours of the house if you want to take one, or come back later for a show.
Make your way to Circular Quay (pronounced Key) on the right of the opera house to the ticket booths.
Get a round trip ferry ticket to Manly. The ride is the main attraction here and equals any cruise you might take across the harbor. It takes a half hour and the vistas are amazing.
Get off at Manly and walk up the promenade to the beach. The promenade is like Santa Monica. Don't be tempted by the cheap but mediocre and expensive seafood at the beach. Watch surfers in action all year round. Then catch the ferry back to Sydney, in time for Sunset.
Walk along the right to enter the Rocks historic district. Don't spend time here now, you can come back later another day. Head to Pylon Lookout atop the Harbor bridge to see bridge climbers and amazing sunset views of the Harbor.
Right below the lookout is the Australian Heritage hotel. Head here to have a very Aussie dinner including Kangaroo, Emu and Crocodile on the menu! Also featured are the famous Aussie pies. Pair it with your favorite Australian wine (mostly Shiraz) or beer.
At this point, you should likely call it a day, to make it up nice and early the next day.
Day 2 to follow..