Trains, buses and ferries make up the trinity of major transport options in Sydney. Buy a MyMulti pass and spend a day exploring the streets by train and bus from the upscale east to the trendy west. Catch a ferry to experience all the nooks and crannies of the world famous harbour and its majestic Bridge and Opera House.
Sydney is teeming with gorgeous bays and beach esplanades that are perfect for cycling and soaking up the water views at your leisure. A bike will take you most places and you won't have to battle for parking spaces! While the city doesn't yet boast the cycle hire schemes of neighbouring Melbourne or Brisbane, there are still plenty of options.
Rugged cliffs, beautiful stretches of sand and plenty of green spaces make walking Sydney's streets an unforgettable experience. It will also give you time to admire the architecture, from the charming historic terraces of Paddington to the glistening modern skyscrapers in the CBD. With plenty of gentle hills, breathtaking views of the harbour are often just around the corner.
Explore Sydney's outer edges and discover pockets of cultural diversity, bushland and quieter beaches. Renting a car will give you the freedom to roam more of the city than the usual talking points. The Northern Beaches, Hawkesbury River and Blue Mountains are easily accessible and only two hours away. Rental offices are available across the city.
Dedicate an afternoon to discover the inspiring art collection at the Art Gallery of NSW, one of Australia's finest cultural institutions. Wander its halls, admiring the permanent collection of over 29,000 exhibits and a variety of temporary collections. Recent exhibitions have included works by Picasso, Monet and the Chinese terracotta warriors.
Surfing dominates the lives of many Sydneysiders with boards out at dawn. Even if you're not into it, you can't help admire the skills on display. If you do get the surfing itch, there are plenty of courses to try it out all over the city beaches. And if you're looking for something a little gentler, paddleboarding is the latest craze.
The trip to Taronga Zoo is worth it for the amazing views, best seen from the giraffe enclosure. Nestled in beautiful bushland, this urban oasis is a fun family day out. Spend a morning exploring the enclosures, ranging from the famous Sumatran tigers to koalas. The most exciting way to get there is by ferry from Circular Quay, followed by a Skylift through the trees.
Sydney does festivals and events superbly, with celebrations of food and culture running throughout the year. The city comes alive in January during the Sydney Festival with live shows in the Domain, art displays in Hyde Park and cabaret in the infamous Spiegeltent. Vivid Festival is a spectacular light display, which illuminates the Opera House like a kaleidoscope over 10 days in May.
Hop on the M50 bus from the city to Coogee. The coastal walk to Bondi takes you over the cliffs between the Eastern Suburbs' main beaches. You'll tick off Clovelly, Bronte, Tamarama and Bondi. Stop halfway for a snorkel in Gordon's Bay and see if you can spot the giant groupers that gather there. At Bondi, continue strolling along the promenade and dip your toes in the water before heading to Bondi's Surf Lifesaving Club. Watch the water crashing onto the rocks below as the sun sets over the horizon.
The Blue Mountains are just under two hours away by train and offer stunning scenery and the chance to discover old mining towns with quaint tearooms and antique shops. Get off at Katoomba to begin exploring the bushland on accessible nature trails, past trickling streams and roaring waterfalls. A Scenic World pass gives you access to the area's main attractions, like the world's steepest incline railway and the glass-bottomed skyway, taking you on a thrilling ride between the mountaintops.
Head over to Circular Quay and hop on a ferry to Cockatoo Island: an abandoned naval yard where you'll learn more about Sydney's role in World War II. On the return trip, jump off early at Balmain and explore the historic wharf streets. Walk south through Bicentennial Park and on to funky Newtown to explore vintage boutiques and quirky art galleries. Take your pick of restaurants serving cuisine from around the world and watch the eclectic folk wander past.
Head to Milsons Point just over the Harbour Bridge. The Olympic outdoor pool nestled right under the bridge's arches offers an extraordinary setting for a morning swim. Afterwards head to Luna Park next-door: the free-to-enter family icon from the 1930s. Don't leave without a ride on the Ferris wheel! Next, see the beauty of the harbour from above with a heart-racing bridge climb taking you to the pinnacle. See the land and water run for miles around you before you descend. Finish off the evening at the Opera Bar with a cocktail to celebrate your feat!