A haven for Backpackers
No matter what your budget, with Sydney’s variety of culture, nightlife and scenery there will never be a dull moment.
With Sydney’s consistently good weather, fabulous surf on Bondi & Manly and the beautiful harbour topped off with the Sydney Harbour Bridge it is easy to see why backpackers come here and why they stay.
The central point of Sydney, Circular Quay is the perfect spot to begin your travels around the city.
Circular Quay is where the attractions of the city meet the beauty of the harbour. It is surrounded by all the places that will, in time, become the highlights of your stay.
Such is the pristine views of the bay from Circular Quay you could almost sit in one of the many harbourside cafés and watch the day slowly turns into night.
But you would, of course, be missing out.
Just a short 400m walk to the east around the quay is an incredible architectural monument, a must-see for all backpackers, The Sydney Opera House.
Tours around the building offer insight and appreciation into how incredible a feat this building is. If you’re a fan of the performing arts with over 40 live shows a week, there is something for every backpacker at the Opera House.
A continued trek to the east around the harbour’s edge leads you to the Royal Botanic Gardens.
A place full of incredible flora and fauna, a walk through the Gardens is as good as any in Sydney.
On a beautiful sunny day, locals and travellers alike will be spread out taking in the sun amongst the ancient trees and yes, soaking in the views of the harbour.
Remember there’s a reason backpackers come and stay in Sydney.
Keen for a refreshment after the long walks? Or a little parched from relaxing in the sun?
Why not head over to The Rocks, Sydney’s famed area full of old colonial buildings, great laneways, markets and some of the best pubs in Sydney.
From the Hero of Waterloo to Lord Nelson and the Australian Heritage Hotel, a 95-year-old pub, you will find the pub, food and of course the beer that is right for you.
Pub Crawl anybody?
But there is just one more thing you have to do before you continue your night of drinking on the town and the inevitable trip to the Kings Cross area, you must check out the Sydney Harbour Bridge at dusk right as the sun is falling beyond the horizon.
It has been a national landmark since its completion in 1932, and for such a momentous attraction it is not there to look at while making your way through the ‘Parma and Pot’ at the pub: No, you must walk the damn thing.
Whether the full hike to the top of the famed bridge is within your drinking/backpacker budget or not, there are many ways to view the harbour from its spiritual centre.
Walking across the bridge is free and offers some incredible panoramic views of the bay.
But to have the full experience, one must make the trek to its highest point to take in views into the far off waters of the Pacific and down the river to Parramatta.
It is priceless at any time of the day, but when the sun falls, and the horizon turns into a mix of bright orange and red, it is a fantastic experience.
Ok so you’ve just completed the Harbour Bridge climb, and you’re a little excited and ready to put that pent up adrenalin to good use and hit the nightlife.
There is plenty of choices, you could even head back to ‘The Rocks’, but no, the real party is at Potts Point and Kings Cross.
Highlighted by Soho Bar, Hugo’s Lounge and Arq, well known on the gay scene, there is a massive array of options that will leave your legs heavy and you craving a greasy late-night cheeseburger.
Hangover’s suck I know, but that is just the backpackers’ way and the best way to cure it and have an excellent time is not to curl up and drink heaps of water, it is to check out the plethora of beaches that cover the coast just outside of the CBD.
Life’s a beach
Only fifteen minutes from the city is Bondi Beach, a beach with fantastic surf and an even better atmosphere.
If you’re up for it, the Bondi to Coogee Beach coastal walk is a great way to spend the afternoon.
There is one other beach that provides both the obvious in fantastic surf but also a great party scene as the evening comes around, that beach is Manly Beach.
Take one of the regular ferry rides from Circular Quay to Manly (an adventure in itself) soak in the harbour views on location as you move around the bay.
Take a walk up the Corso on your way to the beach where you’ll find the Steyne Hotel a great place to check out as the beach quiets down and day turns to night.
There are many other attractions to check out that we couldn’t fit into this guide from the Sydney Aquarium, Taronga Zoo and The Tower Sky Walk.
But with most things in walking distance or a fun ferry ride away ticking other things off on your Sydney Bucket List won’t be difficult.
Not to mention just out of town is the Hunter Valley, one of the best wine regions in Australia and the Blue Mountains both great for day trips to recharge.