Flights to Sydney: Australia’s capital in all but name
Sydney lives life in the sunshine. Beach beauties perfect their tans at Tamarama. Strutting surfers hitch rides on Bondi’s famous waves. Who knows? That could be Nicole Kidman or Hugh Jackman catching some rays on the towel next to yours. They wouldn’t be the only Sydney icons to look their best during the summer holidays: Sydney Opera House's famous sails truly sparkle when the sun is shining.
Sydney appeals to the thrill-seeker in everyone. Test your vertigo levels on a climb of the Harbour Bridge. Brave the Sydney Tower Skywalk (only if you have a genuine death-wish). Say g'day to angelfish on a scuba dive off Coogee Beach and get your pulse racing on a coastal run along the undulating Bondi to Bronte cliff-top path.
Enter the mind of the artist at Brett Whiteley’s Studio, where the prolific avant-garde painter conjured up landscapes that captured Sydney's skyline and soul. Pack a clean change of underwear and set off in pursuit of the Lady in White at Hyde Park Barracks, one of Sydney's spookiest locations. Ballet, opera and orchestra performances at the legendary Opera House are worth the flight to Sydney alone.
Eat and drink
Cast aside any preconceptions about Sydney's 'beer and barbie' culture. Yes, it exists. But Sydney's food scene is also multicultural, organic and seasonal. The global aromas of Vietnamese barbecued beef and Korean kimchi waft from Surry Hills’ pan-Asian cafes. Dazzle your taste buds with local oysters, prawns and lobsters and pair tarragon mayonnaise with freshly caught fish and crisp Hunter Valley chardonnay. In summer a star-studded sky is your ceiling at a beer garden pub.
Where? Sydney sits on the eastern, Pacific edge of Australia. Across the water its nearest neighbour is Auckland, New Zealand, more than 2,000km away.
Population: Sydney’s population numbers 4.6 million, of which one percent is Australian Aboriginal and two percent is Kiwi. Four out of 10 Sydneysiders are migrants.
Key dates: Sydney's Australia Day fireworks display is one of the country's finest, watched by thousands as tall ships and yachts crowd the harbour.
Getting about: Sure you can catch a bus or train, but the essential Sydney transport experience is crossing the harbour by ferry.
Our Sydney hotel selections suit lovers of all things luxurious. Wake up to tribal wall hangings and Bondi Beach views at style-conscious Ravesi's, or treat yourself in the Sir Stamford's sauna and sundeck, on Circular Quay.
Our favourite Sydney flavours are French-Japanese and immaculate Italian. Harbour backdrops add spice to waterfront dining, whether it's a fish-and-chips picnic or special-occasion splurge.
Shopping in Sydney
Shopping in Sydney wouldn’t be complete without rummaging for bargains at Paddy's Market or nabbing a kilo of prime prawns from Sydney Fishmarket. Style icons can splurge in our pick of the harbour city's best boutiques.
With their rough-hewn floors and brass spittoons, The Rocks' historic pubs promise colonial ambiance and a friendly Aussie welcome. Find culture at an Opera House recital or party til dawn in a basement jazz club.
Sydney was founded at Circular Quay and The Rocks, locations today of the city’s best-loved attractions. So head harbour-side for colonial-era town houses, warbling prima donnas and paddling platypi.