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About Sydney - Accommodation - Tours & what to do - Transport - Photos - Street map

Tours and what to do in Sydneysydney tours and transport

Go for a cruise on Sydney harbour !

As you would expect with a world city the size of Sydney, there is heaps to do !
A city tour can show you all the highlights in a day, there are lots of ways to appreciate Sydney Harbour such as ferry rides, jet boating, sailing, or climbing the harbour bridge, and there are the Opera House, the Zoo, several museums, and only a short drive away the Blue Mountains and the Hunter Valley for some wine tasting !

Search for a specific Australian tour or location on, they are an international online tour booking service with a huge range of tours in Sydney and all over Australia that you can browse and securely book online, avoid the queues!

tours in sydney

Tours To Go is an Australian online tour specialist with a huge range of thousands of Australian tours, attractions, experiences and things to do from a wide range of tour operators and it puts them all at your finger tips in one user friendly website!

Search, compare and book online and enjoy instant confirmation! You can ask questions directly to the tour operators, create itineraries and generally build your holiday touring experience by selecting from Australia's best touring and experience options.

Annual events

If you happen to be in Sydney at the right time you can catch some of these events;

Chinese Newyear - end January or early February this goes off with a bang (quite a few bangs actually) of Chineses fireworks in Chinatown.
City to Surf Run - tens of thousands of people run the 14 km. from Hyde Park to Bondi Beach on the second Sunday in August.
Gay and lesbian Mardi Gras - held every year around February/March, this annual street parade gets watched by well over half a million people that pack Sydney's streets. Gay and lesbian party animals fly in from all over the world for the celebrations that carry on for much longer than the actual parade runs. Visit the festival's website for more info...
Kings Cross Carnivale - held in 'the Cross' at the end of October or early November.
Manly Jazz Festival - lots of jazz music happens in Manly early October on the Labour Day long weekend.
Royal Easter Show - a 12 day agricultural show held at Homebush Bay, great fun for the kids.
Sydney Festival - held in January, art and free outdoor concerts.
Sydney Film Festival - held in June at various cinemas around town.
Sydney Fringe Festival - also held in January, lots of arts around the Bondi pavilion.
Sydney to Hobart yacht race - starts in Sydney on 26 December and runs for 630 nautical miles, roundabout 1200 km., to the Tasmanian capital Hobart. The start is always spectacular and risky as hundreds of other boats steam along to farewell the racing yachts resulting in many near misses or the occasional collision.

sydney to hobart yacht race
Collisions are not uncommon at the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race

Beach/swimmingbondi beach

World famous Bondi Beach
Photo by Kristin King

For a city Sydney has a huge collection of excellent beaches, some internationally famous like Bondi.

The locals like their beaches and several times have been up in arms to protect them. Bondi residents fought long and hard but in vain to stop the construction of a beach volleyball facility for the 2000 Olympics and more recently Bronte beach residents and council stopped Qantas from filming their beach for a commercial, fearing it would bring huge crowds to their favourite spot. Northshore people managed to keep the Baywatch filmcrews out in similar fashhion a few years ago. Though the beaches are popular it does not mean they are always safe, swim in areas patrolled by life guards if possible, some beaches have very strong riptides and undertows and be careful with body surfing too, you would not be the first one to get smacked headfirst into the sand, several paralyzed bodysurfers over the last few years have actually sued local councils for not placing warning signs! Nobody has been eaten by a shark in Sydney since 1963 so that means pretty safe swimming.

Blue Mountainsblue mountains three sisters

A daytour to see Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains is one of Sydney's must do tours...

Sydney is surrounded by National Parks and the Blue Mountains with the famous Three Sisters rock formation and impressive waterfalls are only just west of the city, though only a short drive these lush green forests are a world away from Sydney's hustle and bustle. After the Poms had landed and started their settlement in Sydney in 1788 it took them 25 years to make the first crossing through this jungle. The Blue Mountains are part of the Great Dividing Range that runs all the way into North Queensland. Be aware that due to the higher altitude it is quite a bit cooler than Sydney up here, in summer that will be a relief but in winter time it can be very cold up here, between June and August you can see snow up here. You can escape the city on a daytour that shows you all the highlights of this beautiful area.

Bushwalkinghiking in the national parks

Sydney is surrounded by National Parks so yo never have to go too far to escape the madness of the city.

Blue Mountains National Park - excellent bushwalking here, though in winter time come well prepared, for more info see above.
Botany Bay National Park
- located on the southern side of the city, this was James Cook's first landing point in Australia and there is a monument to mark this spot. Some nice coastal walking tracks, a cycle track and bushland can be found here.
Heathcote National Park - lies on the southside of the Royal National Park and offers great bushwalking and swimming, more info from the Royal N.P. visitors centre.
Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park - this 15000 hectare national park is located at the northern end of the city and has bushwalking tracks, horse riding, Aboriginal rock art and some netted swimming areas to keep you safe from sharks. The nets seem to work as nobody has been eaten here for more than forty years now.
Royal National Park - the oldest national park in the world, located 30 km. south of Sydney. There is a 26 km. walking track that follows the coast and takes two days to do. For permits and info on other walks you can phone the visitors centre on 95420648 . You can also hire bikes and boats here.
Wollemi National Park - A very large park with limited access, so little visited that in 1994 the Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis) was discovered purely by chance by bushwalker David Noble, a NSW National Parks and Wildlife Officer. It is one of the oldest and rarest trees in the world, scientists compared the discovery with finding a live dinosaur.

Discounted tours in Sydney

Diving with sharks

dive with sharks
© Oceanworld Manly

Yes, believe it or not, in Sydney at Manly Oceanworld you can scuba dive with sharks! They have two tours, one exclusively for certified divers and another introductory dive for those who have never dived before. What a blast for your first dive!
More info...

Eating and drinking in Sydney

Sydney is a very cosmopolitan city and being such a melting pot of different nationalities and cultures it has an amazing variety of restaurants. We are not even going to try to list them all here but if you have found a particularly good one let us know and we'll list it. Click here to see a listing of exciting dinner options like dinner cruises and OperaHouse dinner packages.

Eat high

sydney restaurant
Sydney Tower
© Sydney Tower Restaurants

For a truly unforgettable dinner ascend to the top of Sydney Tower and dine while enjoying spectacular views all over Sydney and the harbour. More info...

Eat afloat

sydney dining restaurant
© Captain Cook Cruises

Or for an equally unforgetable dinner dine afloat in the John Cadman Cruising Restaurant aboard the 'MV Sydney 2000' with three separate dining areas, atrium, 360 degree viewing deck, dance floor and music with the John Cadman Trio. Enjoy a three course a la carte dinner from the extensive menu, prepared by International chefs with a comprehensive selection of fine Australian Wines. More info...

Eating guide

This book features 400 of Sydney's restaurants, cafes and bars; it covers the full spectrum - from top end to bargain banquets; reviews organised by neighborhood; each restaurant rated for its vegetarian options; easy-to-use maps showing restaurants, transport routes and parking areas.

Free things to do:

Art Gallery of New South Wales does not charge an entry fee for its permananent exhibitions and has Aboriginal dance shows at noon.
Customs House has free exhibitions.
Powerhouse Museum is free on the first Saturday of each month.

Harboursydney harbour bridge

Sydney harbour bridge

Port Jackson, the official name of Sydney harbour, is a huge body of water and measures 20 km. from the Heads at the entrance to the mouth of the Parramatta RIver on the west side. It contains islands, beaches and many of these places are included in Sydney Harbour National Park. Best ways to see this harbour are either from the water or from a high viewpoint like the harbour bridge or AMP tower.

To enjoy the harbour at water level hop on one of the ferries heading up to the north shore that leave from Circular Quay, join one of the harbour cruises or go sailing. Serious thrill seekers might like to go for a ride on the jet boat.

Several walks along the harbour also give you some spectacular views;
- You can walk or cycle across the Sydney harbour bridge.
- There is a 10 km. walk from Manly Cove to Split Bridge that includes bushland, Aboriginal engravings, a light house, beaches, you can get more info on this at the Manly Visitors Bureau, get there with a ferry from Circular Quay.
- A shorter (4 km.) walk is near the Taronga Zoo, take the ferry from Circular Quay and then find your way to Ashton Park.
- In Nielsen Park there is another walk with nice views, you can also go for a swim at Shark Beach here, scary name but it has nets in place.

To get a birds eye view of the harbour you also have several options;
- you can go to the top of AMP tower on Market St. where you can see (while enjoying a meal in the revolving restaurant), as far as the Blue Mountains in the west and the Pacific Ocean in the east. They are open everyday from 9am till about 10.30pm.
- climb the 200 steps of the Pylon Lookout on the harbour bridge, open everyday from 10 am till 5 pm. Get there from Cumberland St. or from Milson's point on the north shore.
- For the more adventurous there is an even more exciting option, there is a guided tour in which you will actually climb to the top of Sydney harbour bridge!

sydney harbour bridge
© BridgeClimb

To get an even higher viewpoint take a scenic flight on a plane or helicopter, they have regular or charter scenic flights ranging from 15 to 90 minutes.

The harbour also contains several islands;

- Clarke Island; no tours go here but you can get there by water taxi.

- Shark Island: Matilda Cruises do weekend trips from Circular Quay. This island has nice views but does not take long to explore measuring only 100 by 300 metres, in the past it has been used for animal quarantine and as a naval storage depot

- Fort Denison; this island was originally used to keep particularly difficult convicts and later a fort was built to defend Australia against a possible Russian invasion.

- Goat Island; this island has over the years been used as a gunpowder depot, a quarantine facility and as a movie set for the popular Aussie TV series Water Rats. Several tours are available here.


The area known as The Rocks is where Sydney started so that's where you'll find the most historic buildings, you can pick up a Sydney map from the Sydney Visitor Centre on 106 George St. and take a walk to see it all. In its early days this area housed nothing but convicts, hookers, fishermen and steet gangs, later to be replaced by ware houses of which many were also removed again to make room for the harbour bridge. This is a nice area to just stroll around and soak up the atmosphere.

Kings Cross

Also known as 'the Cross', this is the Amsterdam of Australia; hookers, strip clubs, drugs, crime, nightlife, you can find it all here, together with cafes, hotels and backpacker hostels.
Many backpackers start and finish their Australia trip here and buy and sell their cars here.

Kings Cross is a popular area for a big night out with locals and tourists alike. You can book on a guided tour which might make you feel a bit safer and you can enjoy interesting commentary on the wild and wicked things that happen here. Uncover Kings Cross speckled history of fame, fortunes, murders, drug-obsessions, mysteries, crimes and romances.

Mardi Gras

Held every year around February/March, this annual street parade gets watched by well over half a million people that pack Sydney's streets. Gay and lesbian party animals fly in from all over the world for the celebrations that carry on for much longer than the actual parade runs. Visit the festival's website for more info...


Find out what's going on at the Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art

Nuclear reactor

Just for something different for those who are bored with spotting kangaroos and drinking Fosters.

Although Australia does not have nuclear energy for electricity generation it has a nuclear reactor for research at Lucas Heights, and will be open to the public the first Saturday of each month from July 2004.

One way sightseeing tour to Melbourne

6 Day Sydney to Melbourne - Take a walk on the wild side with this 6 day adventure trip along the coastal stretch between Sydney and Melbourne to encounter glorious scenery and wildlife, picturesque countryside and heritage villages.

It’s an unspoiled area of pristine beaches and headlands, coastal lakes and estuaries, small settlements and fishing villages, historic reminders of gold mining and whaling days, shipwrecks and maritime museums, mountains that seem ready to fall into the sea, and Aboriginal cultural sites that attest to strong continuing traditions.

It was the first part of the Australian mainland sighted and charted by Captain Cook in 1769-1770 as he turned north towards Botany Bay. Much of it has been included in a series of marine reserves and national parks and has some of the best opportunities in Australia for sighting a variety of marine life, birds and animals.

The area is rich in natural and cultural heritage, and is inhabited by laid-back, friendly locals who are only too keen to share their good fortune with visitors.

Highlights of your journey through this landscape include:

Grand Pacific Drive and Sea Cliff Bridge - Jervis Bay (world’s whitest sand) – whale and dolphin watch cruise – national parks of the South Coast – Montague Island cruise (seal colony and whale watching) – historic Eden – Twofold Bay whaling heritage – Eden Killer Whale Museum – lighthouse tours – Bataluk Culture Trail – mouth of the Snowy River – Krowathunkooloong Aboriginal Cultural Museum – headland walks in Victoria’s eastern coastal parks – Gippsland Lakes cruise – Ninety Mile Beach – Phillip Island Penguin Parade. More info and reservations....

Opera Housesydney opera house


A design competition in 1955 produced 233 entries but it was Danish architect Joern Utzon who won the job though he never finished it as he quit in 1966 when he ran into huge arguments with the builders who had considerable trouble to convert this idea from a design on paper in to the real thing. Construction took far more time and money than expected and ran from 1959 till 1973 when it was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II . The original $7 million budget blew out to $102 million and a team of Aussie architects were left to finish the interior design after Utzon quit, by then it was realized that though it looks nice from the outside it is a bit cramped inside where beneath the ten spectacular arches lies a complex maze of over 1,000 rooms covering nearly two hectares.
You can go on one hour tours between 08.30 and 17.00, visit the Sunday craftmarket or see a performance of classical music, ballet, theatre, film, or, as you might have guessed, opera. Book your guided walk here.


If your time in Australia is limited you can still see some outback as it is never far away from the coast, this four day tour out of Sydney includes outback, wine tasting, history of the gold rush, Blue Mountains etc.


sailing in sydney harbour
© Australian Eco Adventures

What better way to enjoy Sydney harbour than to sail around it and enjoy the views of the harbour bridge and the city skyline. More info...


Sydney has some excellent beaches for surfing, on the south side try your luck at Bondi, Coogee, Maroubra or Tamarama.
On the north shore there's even more to choose from such as Manly, Curl Curl, Dee Why, Palm Beach, Newport Reef etc.
Avoid the busiest waves unless you know what you are doing, surf rage is a growing problem, to the point where authorities in some places have put up signs to advise new surfies of surf etiquette, Australia might have a laid back reputation but get in the way of a serious surfer and you will find they are not so laid back at all.



alan waddell

Before you explore Sydney on foot visit , the website of 90 year old Alan Waddell who has walked every street of 135 Sydney suburbs. He has done over 2000 kms now without ever having been attacked or threatened, showing you what a friendly city Sydney is.

Wine tasting in the Hunter Valley

hunter valley wine tasting
Hunter Valley Vineyards
© Australian Pacific Touring

Explore the fertile Hunter Valley and taste award-winning regional foods and wines. Enjoy private vineyard inspections and learn of the winemaking process. Spend your time strolling amongst the vineyards, purchase some wines or just enjoy the beautiful Australian countryside. More info....


zoo in sydney
Great view from Taronga Zoo over Sydney

.Just 12 minutes from the city by ferry Taronga Zoo (you can buy a combined ZooPass) is home to more than 4,000 animals on some of Sydney’s best harbour side real estate. Special emphasis is placed on Australian wildlife exhibits for you to be close to koalas, kangaroos, wombats and other famous Australian animals. Open daily, Bradleys Head Rd, Mosman.


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