Five Things Not to Miss in Sydney

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  1. Explore the Historic Rocks District

Discover the colorful history of Sydney’s prisoners in the waterfront neighborhood where everything began. Just five minutes from Circular Quay, visitors can hear stories of hangings and haunted tours, spend weekends wandering or climb the Harbor Bridge. Amidst a maze of cobblestone streets and small courtyards, visitors will find old wooden worker’s cottages, elegant terraces, art galleries, harbor-view hotels, and some of Sydney’s oldest pubs. See people pouring out onto the streets to celebrate Australia Day, ANZAC Day, and New Year’s Eve at The Rocks.

  1. Visit the World-Famous Harbor

From Rose Bay, sail or kayak past the Opera House. Take in the views from Circular Quay or Darling Harbour, glide past the waterfront homes, national parks, and Shark, Clark, Rodd, and Goat Islands. Visit historic Fort Denison or learn about the life of Sydney’s original inhabitants, the Gadigal people, on a cultural tour by boat. Take in the bright harbor lights against the green foliage from the Royal Botanic Garden, winding around its edges. Or, admire a floating restaurant in Mosman on the north side of the bridge or Watsons Bay at South Head. Walk from Rose Bay to Vaucluse or Cremorne Point to Mosman on one of 16 beautiful coastal walks.

  1. Take the Ferry to Manly

Take the ferry across Sydney Harbourto Manly, a destination situated between surf beaches and a peaceful harbor. Wander through rugged bushland on the walk from Manly to Spit Bridge, learn to scuba dive at Cabbage Tree Bay, or bike to Fairy Bower. Picnic on Shelly Beach, sail or kayak around the harbor from Manly Wharf. Rent a motorbike and tour the northern beaches, such as Narrabeen and Palm Beach. Discover shops, bars, and cafes along the tree-lined Corso, and dine at world-class restaurants with ocean views.

  1. Enjoy Cafe Culture and Shopping in Paddington

Stroll through Saturday markets, browse fashion boutiques on Oxford Street, or explore antique shops and art galleries in upscale Woollahra. Visit the historic Victoria Barracks, dating back to the 1840s and open for tours once a week, and take in the Victorian-style officer’s messes lining leafy streets. Bike or rollerblade through the large Centennial Park, then grab a black coffee and lunch at a cafe on Oxford Street or Five Ways. Watch a film at an art-house cinema or browse a novel at one of the sprawling bookshops. Wander among lively historic pubs. These places can get even rowdier after a match at the nearby sports stadium or a day of racing, as girls and guys return in glamorous, rumpled clothing.

  1. Walk from Bondi to Coogee

Take in the stunning Pacific Ocean views from the wind-swept sandstonecliffs between Bondi and Coogee. Swim in the famous Bondi Icebergs rock pool or simply watch swimmers with a cocktail from the restaurant above at sunset. Marvel at the wild waves at Tamarama, also known as Glamarama for the beautiful people lounging on the golden sand. From mid-October to November, the walk from here to Bondi is transformed into an outdoor sculpture exhibit for the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition. Surf, picnic on the grassy knolls, or enjoy a coffee in the familiar suburb of Bronte. Or swim, dive, or snorkel in the peaceful bays of Clovelly and Gordon’s Bay. Visit the graves of poets Henry Lawson and Dorothea Mackellar or the tomb of aviator Lawrence Hargrave at Waverley Cemetery on a mountaintop. End your journey at the coastal walk’s end for walkers at Coogee Beach.

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