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We have visited Sydney, Australia three times - in April 1993, June 1997 and December 2003/January 2004. It's without doubt one of the most beautiful cities and one of our favourite places in the world.

Sydney Accommodation

Citigate Sebel, Sydney

In December 2003 we stayed at the Citigate Sebel (previously known as Sebel Surry Hills, and now Rydges Sydney Central). This was a nice hotel in a good location, a short walk from the central train station, close to Surrey Hills and a short walk to Oxford Street. Visit Rydges Sydney Central website . Click here to make a reservation at Rydges Sydney Central, read reviews from other travellers and view photos.

There are lots of budget guest houses and backpacker accommodation around Kings Cross, but it's a pretty seedy area and most of the accommodation is poor quality, so if you can find somewhere else we'd recommend it.


Hover over the thumbnails to change the large picture

Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge

Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge
Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge
Sydney Opera house
Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Room at Citigate Sebel
Fioriani's Restaurant, Darling Harbour
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Room at Citigate Sebel
Fioriani's Restaurant,
Darling Harbour
Blue Mountains
Blue Mountains, The Three Sisters
Leura Village, Blue Mountains
Blue Mountains
Blue Mountains,
The Three Sisters
Leura village in
Blue Mountains
New Years Eve at Sydney Harbour
New Years Eve at Sydney Harbour
Gaudalquivir River looking over to Triana
New Years Eve at
Sydney Harbour
New Years Eve at Sydney Harbour
Sydney Tower

Things to see and do in Sydney


The Opera House and Harbour Bridge are icons of Australia and the whole harbour area is beautiful - you'll take loads of photographs here! It's nice to go on a boat in the harbour and you'll get a different perspective on the area from the water. There are lots of options from ferrys to dinner cruises. You can climb the harbour bridge for fabulous views, but make sure you book well in advance because this is a very popular tour.

A good day trip is a visit to The Blue Mountains. The train takes about 2 hours from Sydney and if you're only there for the day, the best thing to do when you arrive in the Blue Mountains is to book on one of the jump on, jump off tour buses which will take you to all the main areas. The views are spectacular and at Scenic World, a must visit attraction, you can go on the Scenic Skway, Railway, Cableway and walk way. Click here for more information on the Blue Mountains Explorer Bus with route details, costs etc.

Leura village was a cute place to have a walk about. We stopped at Bon Ton for lunch, sat outside, ordered drinks and food from the sulky unfriendly staff and waited...and waited....and waited. Eventually we got drinks but still no sign of our food. We then overheard someone saying they'd run out of food! Nobody came to tell us what was happening but we got fed up waiting, paid for our drinks and left. No apology for not getting our food. Very poor service.

Take the ferry to Manly where you can visit Oceanworld, an impressive oceanarium and aquarium where you can see everything from sharks and rays to snakes and spiders. You can even dive with sharks! It's open daily except for Christmas day from 10am - 5.30pm. Visit Oceanworld's website here. Manly beach is also very popular and there is a good selection of cafes and restaurants if you are spending the day here.

Another good trip to do from Sydney is to the Hunter Valley. It's a beautiful area and if you like wine there are opportunities to visit wineries and sample the local products. It's only about 2 hours from Sydney so it can be done as a day trip, but if you have time it is worthing spending a night or two there. We stayed in a gorgeous hotel, Tuscany Estate and Resort. We hadn't booked, so we went into the Tourist Office at Pokolbin and they recommended it. They also booked us on a wine tour leaving later that day, so we checked into the hotel and then went off on the wine tour. We had a nice meal in the Brokenback Bar at night too. Click here to visit their website or here to reserve a room at Tuscany Estate and Resort, view photos and read reviews by other travellers.


Tuscany Estate & Resort
Room at Tuscany Estate
Hunter Valley Gardens
Hunter Valley Gardens
Tuscany Estate & Resort
Room at Tuscany Estate
Hunter Valley Gardens
Hunter Valley Gardens

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New Years Eve fireworks in SydneyIf you're going to be in Sydney over New Year you'll be able to see their fantastic New Years Eve fireworks display. We've never seen anything like it - absolutely fantastic. We sat beside the Opera House and got fantastic views but to get a place there we had to go at around 5.30pm - it was worth it though. Take some water with you, and it's probably worth taking some sandwiches or something to eat. There is a shop selling food and drink but there isn't the greatest selection. When we were there the drinks choice was beer (VB only), red wine, white wine, sparkling wine - think that was about it. Cost $6 for a large wine served in a plastic cup). Although there were large queues, service was very quick and efficient.

There is an early fireworks display at 9pm which was really impressive although they don't use the bridge for it - they save it for the main display at midnight. The display varies every year but never fails to impress and we have certainly never seen fireworks like this anywhere! There was a great atmosphere too, lots of Aussies but also lots of tourists from all over the world, and very few drunk people even though it was New Year's Eve. A very memorable occasion.

Bars and Restaurants in Sydney

There is a huge selection of places to eat and drink in Sydney. Our favourites are noted below:

We have eaten a couple of times at Fiorini's at Darling Harbour and loved it, but not sure if it still exists. The pasta with sundried tomatoes, brandy & cream was particularly delicious. A nice selection of wine too.

A nice bar to have a drink at Darling Harbour is the popular Watershed. You can sit inside or out, and there is a huge wine list - order a bottle and get a wine bucket to keep it chilled. The Pontoon Bar at the other side of the Harbour is another popular place where you can relax, have a drink and a snack.

Click here to book discount hotel rooms in Sydney, Australia, view photos and read reviews by other travellers

Some useful sites about Sydney:

Sydney Online - More useful information about Sydney including things to see and do and entertainment
What's On in Sydney - Events and attractions in Sydney
Time Out Sydney - Lots of stuff about Sydney, including shopping, restaurants and bars and tourist information
The Guardian - Sydney - Some useful articles from The Guardian about Sydney
Trip Advisor - Reviews from other travellers and a useful forum
Hotels in Sydney - Book hotels in Sydney, read travellers reviews of those hotels and view lots of photos


*Note: Prices quoted above were accurate in 2003