Sydney is the pride and joy of Australia. Being the biggest city in the country – one that is often confused by foreigners as the capital – it is usually the first and last stop for travellers to Australia from all over the globe.
Sydney has been a place that I call home for the past 1.5 years, and I am still amazed by the new places being uncovered every day. There are enough nooks and crannies to keep me occupied for years to come.
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Sydney Fun Facts
- People who live in Sydney are known as Sydneysiders.
- Sydney is a city that was founded in 1788 when ships of European convicts hit the shores.
- Sydney is home to the Sydney funnel web spider, one of the deadliest spiders in the world.
- About 1/3 of the city’s population was born overseas.
- Sydney is home to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, the largest festival of its kind in the world.
Sydney cannot be conquered in a matter of days.
I hate to break it to newbies, but the places and things that make Sydney so unique mean that it’s not a city that you can really get to know in a short stay. Sure, there’s the Sydney Harbour, Bondi Beach and The Rocks all within easy reach, but the suburbs stretch for miles – and many of them have things that make them special.
For the best Italian food, you would head to Leichardt. For the best Portuguese, you would head to Petersham. Newtown is a suburb with an alternative flair, while Surry Hills is where you’d head for some cafes and classy restaurants.
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The Royal National Park and the Grand Pacific Drive are just to the south of the city, while the Blue Mountains are located just to the west. If you’re looking to down some delicious wine, then there’s the Hunter Valley to the north. There’s just a plethora of options for places to explore, and they are not all within the CBD.
Sydney has more beaches than just Bondi and Coogee.
Bondi is a popular beach for a reason. It’s gigantic, close to the city, and offers an amphitheatre type feel. Bondi is an amazing place, and so it Coogee, but there are definitely more beaches of pristine beauty to visit than just these two in Sydney (and they will be less crowded than these as well).
You can take the ferry to Manly (about 30 minutes north) and enjoy the wonderful beaches there. Garie Beach is a great one to hit down in the Royal National Park that can give you more of a secluded vibe.
Further along the central coast and the south coast provide numbers of beaches, all ready and waiting for people to come and swim.
A visit to Sydney will require the use of a vehicle or public transportation.
I think some of the jewels of this city are overlooked because it takes a bit of effort to get to them. Sydney is a large city, but instead of being built up, it is built out. While you can walk to the CBD and other central Sydney suburbs, getting out to Bondi, Newtown and Manly for example will require a bus, a train and sometimes both. It’s good to get to know the public transportation systems in this city as you’ll definitely have a more enjoyable time by doing so.
With this in mind, it is also extremely beneficial to find Sydney accommodation that is close to a bus line or train station. Optimally, Central Station would be best if you are a first-time visitor needing to explore all avenues from the city.