Your First 24 Hours In Sydney
G’day, mate. You’ll hear that a lot in Sydney. No wonder we have been voted the world’s friendliest city.
After you land the Sydney Central Business District (CBD) is a short hop from the international/domestic airport. You can stop in Sydney for a short and sweet visit. Incredibly, it is totally possible to pack in some of the city’s best sights in just 24 hours by catching a train with your OPAL card in hand. You can spend a memorable 24 Hours In Sydney. Remember #YouGottaLoveSydney!
You’ve just landed at Kingsford Smith Airport. What to do? First off, collect an OPAL card from the ticket counter or the local newsagency and hop on a train that will take you directly into the CBD (approximately a 15-minute trip). Tip: tap on and tap off at your destination.
Why get an OPAL card you ask? You can use it on trains, buses. trams and ferries. And the best thing? It is capped at $16.30 per day. If you stay longer, then you pay no more than $50 in any 7-day period. Cool, huh? And Google will give you access to timetables.
Get off at Circular Quay station. Proceed to wharf number 3 where a ferry departs every 30 minutes to Manly. If you have yet to visit Manly it is one of Sydney’s most beautiful beaches within walking distance from the Manly ferry terminus. Head east along The Corso directly to the beach. Admire people of all ages in their swimmers/bathers as they shop. (Can you guess what a budgie smuggler is?) Great place to get Aussie souvenirs or visit one of the many pubs to take the edge off. Too early for you? Then enjoy breakfast by the sea before you head back to the city CBD. Please do not feed the seagulls. They have become too bold for comfort. Allow at least 2 hours for your return trip.
Once back at Circular Quay, head east towards the world heritage listed Sydney Opera House. Continue onto the Botanical Gardens. A great photo opportunity is available from Mrs Macquarie’s chair. You can frame the Sydney Opera House with the Sydney Harbour Bridge (another world heritage listing). The gardens are very close to the Art Gallery of NSW and NSW Government House. Can you spot the stonemason’s quirky spelling of a famous artist at the Art gallery? Established in 1816 by Mrs Elizabeth Macquarie, the garden is one of Sydney’s oldest landmarks. It is home to a collection of rare and endangered plants from around the world.
Return to Circular Quay. You have three (3) options. 1. Enjoy another ferry ride to Barangaroo wharf one (1). Select one of the many dining options along King Street wharf. Here you’ll have an amazing array of restaurants. Over 23 different styles to choose from to satisfy your hunger. Or 2. jump back onto a train and alight at Central Railway station and walk to Chinatown in the city’s Haymarket precinct. Or 3. in Alfred Street Circular Quay, catch a tram to Chinatown. Alight at the Chinatown stop. Chinatown is one of Sydney’s oldest precincts, it houses a heady mix of Chinese, Malaysian, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, and Korean restaurants from cheap as chips dumpling houses and hole in the wall noodle bars, to more upscale dining. Afterwards, you can choose from an eclectic range of shops for trinkets, Chinese medicines, nick-nacks etc. and it’s alongside the bustling Paddy’s Markets.
After lunch, you can head south (if you are eating at King Street wharf) or head north from Chinatown to Darling Harbour. Whilst you are here, you can get close and personal with a great white shark at Sydney Aquarium and see the under-sea collection of over 700 species of marine animals. Or have a photo opportunity with a koala and/or kangaroo at the Wild Life Sydney Zoo.
Dinner, and later
Make your way to Sydney’s QVB (Queen Victoria Building) for an afternoon of shopping before going underground to catch a train to Sydney’s Kings Cross station. Stand across the road from the largest Coca Cola sign in the southern hemisphere. It is reputed to be seen by the orbital space station. That’s big. There are plenty of tales in this area. And the food once again can match any palette. After some late-night drinking, dancing and carousing? Finish your day at the Bourbon Hotel, 22 Darlinghurst Road open to 6 am. Make sure you call into Dulcie’s Kings Cross, 44 Darlinghurst Road before you finish your 24 hours in Sydney.
We have just outlined a brief summary of what you can do in Sydney. Do you have less time, then break the aforesaid 24 hours into smaller bite-sized chunks? Just complete each of the suggestions into the allotted timing. Or if you want a local to assist, then we are here to help.
Sydney is the greatest city in the world. It has an envious harbour, landmarks and unique customs. No wonder we say #YouGottaLoveSydney. See ya soon!