Australia’s oldest, largest and most diverse city, Sydney offers a magnificent array of cultural and architectural delights.
At the heart of Sydney is the outrageously good-looking Sydney Harbour, the city’s crowning glory. Like a psychedelic supermodel, the city curves and sways through the glamorous maze of sandstone headlands; lazy bays and legendary surf beaches. The Sydney experience is essentially physical – dunk yourself in the Bondi surf, sail under the Sydney Harbour Bridge on a yacht, jog along the Coogee cliff tops or rampage through Centennial Park on horseback. Everybody seems to be outside – the beaches are swarming, street cafes buzz and the harbour blooms with sails.
Being a city built around the water, it is no wonder that many of Sydney’s recreational activities involve the sand, sea and sun. There are many harbour and surf beaches in Sydney, most of them accessible by bus. Even if you’re not a swimmer, the beaches offer a chance to get away from it all for a day or weekend and enjoy the fresh air and relaxed way of life.
Sydney has the standard of entertainment and nightlife you would expect from a cosmopolitan city. Everything from opera and ballet at Sydney Opera House to Shakespeare by the sea at the Balmoral Beach amphitheatre is on offer. Venues such as the Capital, Her Majesty’s Theatre and the Theatre Royal play host to the latest musicals, while Sydney’s many smaller theatres are home to interesting fringe theatre, modern dance and rock and pop concerts. Pub rock thrives in the inner city and beyond; and there are many nightspots for jazz, dance and alternative music. Movie buffs are well catered for with film festivals, art-house films and foreign titles, as well as the latest Hollywood blockbusters. One of the features of harbourside living is the free outdoor entertainment, which is very popular with children.
For most travellers, shopping can be as much of a voyage of discovery as sightseeing. The variety of shops in Sydney is wide and the quality of goods is high. The city has two good quality department stores, many elegant arcades and shopping galleries, as well as several popular weekly and monthly markets. The range of merchandise available is vast and local talent is promoted. Nor does the most interesting shopping stop at the city centre; there are several “satellite” alternatives within close proximity.
Whether it’s the launching pad or the final fling of your New South Wales adventure, your Sydney days will be active and engaging, your nights indulgent and intense. Sydney is as good as it gets.