Now that I have been there, I can state that Sydney is the nicest, most lovely and interesting city I have ever been to! We could have easily spent more than three days there. The people are so nice and helpful.
I wish that I had spent more time learning about how to use the ferry system. We didn’t realize that the F7 to Watson’s Bay had shorter hours than many of the others and missed going to Doyles for fish and chips. The ferries are so easy to use.
I also wish I had bought the OPAL card before I went. The senior rate is only available online and some folks who sell them can’t explain them very well as they recently changed the pricing. You don’t pay more than $15 AU on any day, so this card is a bargain.
Also, we were there in October, and, of course, no one was using the beaches. Therefore, if you are there in the colder weather, Manly or Bondi Beaches might not be as important to you. Just saying…
Harbour or Ferry Cruise: Unless you really want to spend the money for a harbor cruise take the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly and walk the Esplanade to the beach. Cheaper and in many ways more fun. There is a great shop about half way to the beach on the right-hand side for Aboriginal art and handicrafts. Not inexpensive but top quality. There is another in the Rocks in the same building with the Pancake House.
Ferry to Manly: you can buy a hopon hopoff ticket for the ferries for a full day’s travel. You can see more of Sydney’s fantastic harbor with this ticket.
Here is a website one of our fellow passengers recommended: http://www.beyondthewharf.com.au/sydney-harbour-ferry-trip-planner/
Many fellow cruisers stayed near Circular Quay (KEY) but we chose a much less expensive option in Potts Point at the Hotel Challis. The king size room was $113. Taxis are around $12-16 so getting an expensive hotel near CQ may not be necessary.
The behind the scenes tour and breakfast at the Opera House is not cheap and is very early in the morning since that’s the only time that they have access to behind the scenes and on the stages. And the breakfast in the Green Room is a full Australian fry up. You can book it through Viator.
The Blue Mountains – See my review under Blue Mountains on this website. I included photos.
From Donna: We did the fjtours and were very happy with the tour. I would strongly recommend doing a tour from Sydney unless you have a few weeks and want to rent a car or take a train. We had only three days in Sydney.
http://www.fjtours.com.au/ Blue Mountains Day Trip from Sydney Including Scenic World From $104.86
- Full-day tour to the Blue Mountains from Sydney
- Enjoy a close encounter with Australia’s wildlife at the Featherdale Wildlife Park
- Enjoy spectacular views of the Three Sisters, Katoomba Falls, and the Jamison Valley
Blue Mountains Day Trip from Sydney Including Scenic World
Journey to the heart of the Blue Mountains on this full-day tour from Sydney, including hotel pick-up. Kick off your adventure petting a koala or hand feeding a kangaroo at the Featherdale Wildlife Park, then enjoy a dramatic view of the Three Sisters rocks from Echo Point. After lunch (own expense), head to Scenic World to ride the Cableway, Skyway and Railway for unbeatable aerial views of the Jamison Valley and Katoomba Falls. Finish with a leisurely cruise along the Parramatta River to Sydney’s Darling Harbour or Circular Quay.
What to Expect
After meeting your guide at your centrally located CBD hotel, travel approximately 45-minutes towards Featherdale Wildlife Park, one of Sydney’s favorite native wildlife sanctuaries home to iconic Australian animals such as kangaroos, koala’s, and a range of stunning native bird-life. Here you’ll have the opportunity to get up close for a face-to-face encounter as you hand-feed and pose for the camera with the animals.
Next, make your way to Echo Point Katoomba, the perfect vantage point for the iconic Three Sisters; a stunning natural rock formation named after an Aboriginal legend which describes a tale of three sisters turned to stone. Here, let your guide take you back in time as you explore the legends of the local Indigenous people and discover the history surrounding the rock formation. You’ll also have time for the perfect photo opportunity as you look out across the Jamison Valley and view the unique blue haze that covers the skyline.
Up next is Scenic World, one of the Blue Mountains most frequently visited attractions. For the nature lovers, soak up the fresh air and see the world heritage listed rainforest canopy as you make your way through the lush greenery along the boardwalks. If you’re up for a little more adventure, scenic world is home to the world’s steepest incline railway as well as an incredible scenic cable-way ride. The cable-way is a fully enclosed glass floor cabin providing unique views over the valley out to the Three Sisters, Orphan Rock, Mt Solitary and the stunning Katoomba Falls. You’ll feel like you’re flying as you travel over the breathtaking Katoomba Falls – a sight you won’t want to miss. If the glass floor isn’t for you, there is solid flooring with seating available around the outskirts of the cabin.
End your day on a high as you bypass the peak hour traffic with a relaxing cruise down the Parramatta River back to either Darling Harbour or Circular Quay. See some of Sydney’s most expensive real estate as you cruise along the river and end with the perfect harbor photo opportunities as you arrive back in the CBD.
Can be done by train: http://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/blue-mountains/getting-to-the-blue-mountains
Blue Ribbons Tours to the Blue Mountains (another tour company)
Tour http://www.blueribbontours.com.au/ *Free hotel pick up * Entry to Featherdale Wildlife park
*Echo Point – The 3 Sisters *River Cruise return
*Aboriginal Culture * Experienced local Aussie drivers/guides
* Visit Katoomba and Leura *Leura Cascades *Sydney Olympic Park
*Visit Scenicworld – Boardwalk, Railway and 2 Cableways (Entry is extra $39)
Other travel opportunities in Sydney
Botanical gardens https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/- Stunning!
Featherdale Wildlife Park (also see blueribbontours or FJtours above) From Donna- we really enjoyed this experience! I got to feed a kangaroo from my hand but the little bugger grabbed onto my hand and I needed to be rescued. Ouch.
Sydney Public Transportation System:
Rail System Website:
Miscelleneous for Sydney: Things to do and See:
- Sydney Opera House
2. Circular Quay for ferries to Taronga Zoo, Manly beach Watsons Bay and the Gap
3. Cumberland Street pylon access where you can walk across the Harbour Bridge to Milsons Point and Kirribilli, great views of the city and Opera House, and Luna Park
4. Queen Victoria Building, Town Hall and St Andrew’s C of E cathedral
5. Sydney Tower on Pitt St between King and Market
6. Hyde Park, Sydney’s equivalent of Central Park
7. The weekend Market at the Argyle Cut
8. The Garrison Church, oldest church in Sydney and the Hero of Waterloo, one of Sydney’s oldest pubs, both in the Rocks
9. Lots of restaurants and pubs with good food for lunch and dinner at reasonable prices (no need to tip at restaurants in Australia, the waiters all get a living wage at $20 to $30 per hour)Slightly further afield:
Lady MacQuarie’s Chair for great views of the Harbour
NSW Art Gallery
St Marys Cathedral for Vespers or Sunday Mass with the superb resident choir
Paddy’s Market at Haymarket and Chinatown on Wed to Sun for t-shirts and Aussie souvenirs
Darling Harbour and Sydney Aquarium
Railway Sq (Central Station) for train rides to the Blue Mtns (Three Sisters, the old coal train, and the cable car) at Katoomba, or a train to Wollongong for fantastic beaches and coastal views along the way
Using our Electonic Appliances in Australia:
When bringing your appliances to Australia, you may need these 2 devices*:
- Voltage Converter – (a device that transforms the voltage from the power outlet into one your appliance can use).
- Power Adapter – (a device that allows you to plug your device into an Australia power outlet).
Read below to see which ones you need.
Mains voltage in Australia is 230V 50Hz. Travellers from most nations in Asia, Africa and Europe should have appliances that work on the same mains voltage as Australia – therefore you will not need a voltage converter. Notable exceptions to this are Japan, USA and Canada which uses 100/120V 50/60Hz.
If your country does not use appliances within the 230V 50Hz mains voltage range, you will need to purchase a voltage converter. This will transform the voltage from the power outlet into one your appliance can use. You will also need a power adapter (see below).
Note: Some appliances run on a variety of mains voltages. Your appliance should be marked with this information or mentioned in the product’s instruction booklet. e.g.,a power supply marked as: “Input: AC 1.5A 100-240V 50/60Hz” does not require the use of a voltage converter as it works on a mains voltage range between 100V and 240V.
Example of a UK to Australia power adapter
If your country does use the same mains voltage as Australia all you need is a power adapter. This enables you to plug your appliance into the sockets in Australia. Simply put, you plug your appliance into the power adapter and then plug the power adapter into the wall socket in Australia.
The plugs in Australia have two flat metal pins shaped live a “V” and some may contain a third flat pin in the centre.
Australian outlet and power cord
Overseas Vistor’s Tax Refund Scheme: (that’s what the Australian Gov. calls it) You can be reimbursed for the 10% tax you pay on items.
Extensive summary from Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Sydney