IFLY tips Sydney
Back to Sydney main page
Bridge climb (2½ hrs)
Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the landmarks of the city. You can see it nearly from anywhere in the harbour. But besides looking at it, it’s a wonderful experience to climb the bridge. And from up there you’ll have a stunning view on the other landmark, Sydney Opera House.
There are three guided climbs that take you to the summit of this world famous Bridge, 134 meters above Sydney Harbour. The shortest tour is the Express tour, which will take you about 2 hours and 15 minutes. The other tours are a bout 3½ hours. At the end of the Climb, you will receive a commemorative Climber Certificate and a complimentary group photograph, with all Climbers in the group receiving an identical photo.
Climbing the bridge is not cheap. Prices may vary from A$188,00 to A$295,00 per person, depending on the type of climb and the time of the day. But it is an absolute unforgettable experience.
Pylon Climb (1 hr)
If you don’t dare to do the Bridge Climb, or don’t want to pay all that money, and still want to get a great view on the Opera House and Circular Quay, you should do the Pylon Climb.
It is the first pylon on the Circular Quay side, which has a museum inside and a great viewing deck on top. Nice detail is that the pylons have nothing to do with the construction of the bridge. They were constructed later and the only reason was to make the bridge look better. On this viewing deck you can bring your own camera, which is not possible for the Bridge Climb.
The Pylon is open daily from 10am till 5pm. The entrance is A$11. And if you still think that’s too much, if you just walk on the bridge to the pylon, the view from there is magnificent as well.
The Rocks (1 - 3 hrs)
When visiting Sydney, you have to visit the rocks. This is a wonderful district in central Sydney with great views on the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, just around the corner from the Circular Quay transportation hub (where all ferries depart and the train station is).
You can walk along the harbour and watch the cruise ships and enjoy the surroundings. The Rocks offers you excellent film and photo vantage points to capture magnificent harbour views of Sydney Harbour. Or you can walk into the beautiful small streets with many boutiques, restaurants and bars. There’s also the Museum of Contemporary Art and many other galleries.
It’s a wonderful place where you can spend your time at any part of the day in any weather circumstances.
Brooklyn Riverboat Postman (1 day)
Brooklyn is a small holiday destination on the Hawkesbury River, not too far from Sydney. This scenic and very pleasant piece of real estate is to be found 47 km north of Sydney via the Newcastle Freeway (the exit ramp is on the northern side of the bridge).
The village itself is not much. During daytime you can spend some time in the harbour, see some local arts and craft shops and there are some restaurants. At night the village is very quiet. There’s a hotel with a pub and a lot of ‘Pokies’ downstairs, and that’s about it.
But there is a really wonderful thing to do in the morning. This wharf is the launching point of Australia's last riverboat mail and groceries delivery service along the Hawkesbury River.
It is possible to hitch a ride on this wonderful boat. And the views on the river are stunning. The boat will depart every Monday to Friday at 9.30 am (returning at 1.15 pm). You can also enjoy an afternoon Coffee Cruise, take a trip on the regular Dangar Island Ferry, or make a special charter for your group. But the real thing is of course the morning cruise, which really delivers the mail and groceries to people’s houses.
Hawkesbury River Ferries: (02) 9985 7566. For more information, click here.
Beaches of Sydney (½ - 1 day)
Sydney has a lot, and we mean really a lot of beaches, and we like to highlight some of them.
Bondi Beach is a suburb of Sydney about 7 kilometers out of the city centre. The beach is about one kilometer long and receives many visitors throughout the year, mostly surfers and backpackers. Bondi is well served by public transport. Bus 380 runs from downtown to the beach. You can also take a train to Bondi Junction and take bus 380 or X81 from there to the beach.
A wonderful walk along the coast is a walk from Bondi (south, so if you arrive at the beach to the right) to Coogee. You’ll pass many beautiful beaches and bays. From Coogee you can take a bus back.
One of the most beautiful beaches is Palm Beach, the northernmost suburb of Sydney, less than an hour drive from downtown. Nestled on a landmark peninsula, it is blessed with a unique contrast of lush evergreen bush land and beaches of golden sand, enveloped by the pristine blue waters of the Pacific Ocean and the calm sailing paradise of Pittwater. A unique environmental awareness blending breathtaking views with quaint cottages and palatial homes ensures that Palm Beach will forever enjoy a lifestyle of relaxed and casual affluence.
Manly Beach (½ - 1 day)
Probably the nicest day or half-day tour to a beach is a tour to the famous Manly Beach. From Circular Quay you can take the Manly ferry. The boat ride to Manly takes 30 minutes. During the boat tour you will get stunning views on Sydney's skyline, opera house, Harbour Bridge and the ocean.
Go sunbathing, swimming, watch the surfers or learn how to do it yourself. Be aware that you can only swim between the red and yellow flags. And Manly town is nice for shopping, dining and lunch as well.
You can buy a return ticket for the boat, but you can buy a day pass as well, which you can use for all boats, trains and busses. You can buy this ticket at a every train station.
Blue mountains (1 - 3 days)
If you need some fresh air and like to explore the nature just outside Sydney, go to the spectacular Blue Mountains region. It is perfect for exploring the best that nature has to offer. Bushwalking, galleries, fine dining, shopping, pampering day spas, golf, and numerous attractions.
The nature is absolutely beautiful and one of the highlights is for sure the Three Sisters. These are three rocks and thank their name to an Aboriginal legend about two sisters from the Katoomba tribe, which had fallen in love with two brothers of another tribe. A witchdoctor from the Katoomba tribe took it upon himself to turn the three sisters into stone to protect them from any harm.
From the nearby Echo Point, a bushwalking trail leads to the Three Sisters and down to the valley floor via more than 800 well-maintained steps called "The Giant Stairway". Then a 1.5-hour walk on The Federal Pass trail leads to the base of Katoomba Falls and the Katoomba Scenic Railway. Walkers who don't wish to climb back to the top can take the Scenic Railway back to civilization for a small fee.
While driving through the Blue Mountains, you should carefully look out for Kangaroos as well. It’s wonderful to see these typical Australian animals in their natural habitat. But be careful, they can kick you very hard.
The most popular means of transport to the Blue Mountains is by car. The entrance to the Blue Mountains at Glenbrook/Lapstone is only around 50 minutes drive from Sydney. The popular tourist destination of Katoomba is about 90 minutes drive from Sydney. From the city, follow the signs to Parramatta. The M4 Motorway starts at Strathfield and takes you through to Lapstone in the Blue Mountains (a toll applies at the Sydney end of the M4).
Sydney Tower Eye and Skywalk (2 hrs)
An absolute great way to see Sydney is from above, and not from a plane, but from Sydney Tower. You can go to the observation deck of this tower for A$25. Even more exciting is to go outside and do a Skywalk around the tower. This will cost you A$40.
You are not allowed to bring your camera outside for the Skywalk, however they take your pictures and a photo pack costs A$49, 95, including a cd-rom with all your pictures. (When you go to the observation deck, of course you are allowed to take your own pictures behind the glass.)
If you book your Skywalk in advance, you get a discount as well. Go to their website to do this.
The Sydney Tower Eye Observation Deck is open seven days a week 364 days a year from 9 am to 10:30 pm. Sydney Tower Eye is only closed on Christmas Day. The entrance of the tower is located in the new Westfield Shopping Centre, at the corner of Pitt Street and Market Street in the heart of Sydney's retail precinct. Head up to Level 5 and follow the signs from the food court.
Hunter Valley vineyards (1 - 2 days)
Australia is a great wine producing country, so you have to drink some good wines. Even better is to visit a winery, see how the grapes grow, perhaps see the harvest time, get some knowledge about the process of winemaking and of course, taste their wines.
Not too far from Sydney, according to Australian standard, is the wonderful Hunter Valley. It is a beautiful wine growing district with about 80 wineries. Australia’s oldest wine region is home of some of the world’s most distinctive and outstanding wines.
Just rent a car and drive there in only two hours. You can just stay for one day, but you can easily spend a few days as well. If you stay only one day, you’ll always need one person who’s not drinking any of the lovely wines. You can also arrange a tour in Sydney, but that can be quite expensive and it’s always better to select your own winery.
If you make a trip for several days, the Hunter Valley can easily be combined with the Blue Mountains. You will reach the area from Sydney with the F3 Freeway (National Route 1), which is part of the Pacific Highway north to Brisbane.
IFLYtheworld.com tries to be up-to-date with all travel information. If you despite our effort experience some things we need to know to update our tips, send us a message.
Prices of tips and articles are shown in local currency. To see it in another currency convert it here.
Prices are of course subject to changes. If you experience another amount as shown in this tip, let us know.
Language of the world
Of course you like to speak a few words of the local language onboard the plane or at your destination. Here you find some simple basics of the main language spoken in Sydney.