Sydney is the premier tourist destination of Australia, with an exciting mix of things to do, wonderful attractions, fabulous dining and of course, the worlds best harbour as it’s playground.

Sydney boasts some of Australia’s greatest icons such as the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, which are just two of the best attractions that are in walking distance of one another.

Visitors to Sydney have an enormous range of activities to do with easy transport between attractions. Situated on the shores of Sydney Harbour, ferries are a popular source of transport  carrying people between the city and the northern shores.

Trains, buses, Sydney light rail and the monorail all form a network that carries millions each year around this great city.

The best locations to stay in Sydney are Darling Harbour, Circular Quay and The Rocks district. These areas are close to all forms of transport, within walking distance of the city centre and have numerous attractions, cafes, restaurants and shopping outlets.

While Circular Quay has the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, ferry terminal, Cadman’s Cottage historic building and train station right on the doorstep, Darling Harbour boasts the Sydney Aquarium, Wildlife World, Chinese Garden of Friendship, museums, convention centre and is the base for the famous Sydney Showboat paddle steamer.

Sydney is a fabulous place, the accommodation can be expensive compared with other cities, the dining comparable with the worlds finest and the attractions first rate. Come with us as we show you the very best things to do in Sydney, the best Sydney Tours and the Sydney attractions you should not miss.

The best things you can do in Sydney

Manly Ferry Day Trip Sydney

One of the best day trips from Circular Quay is to go across the harbour to Manly Beach via a relaxing cruise on the Manly Ferry. Manly is a cosmopolitan town in the style of the French Riviera, with sidewalk cafes, world class restaurants, clean sandy beaches and a holiday atmosphere second to none.

Enjoy the beach, visit the Manly Aquarium, have lunch in the Manly Corso or take a walk around the rocks to Shelly Beach. Your day cruise on the Manly Ferry is an inexpensive, yet fun filled day to a little slice of paradise just 30 minutes from the heart of the city.

Manly is a popular spot to visit all year round, with a gentle climate and fabulous sightseeing opportunities. Swim, surf or just take in the relaxed ambience that is Manly, going to Manly aboard Sydney Ferries is the popular choice of transport.

Taking a Sydney Ferry across to Manly for the day, or just a few hours, is an inexpensive day trip that the whole family can enjoy. Manly is a wonderful area right near the Sydney Heads, with several fabulous beaches, great restaurants and cafes, good shopping and wonderful views.

There is the sheltered harbour beach, just near the Manly Wharf, with safe swimming enclosure that’s great for the kids, and just a few minutes stroll through the Manly Corso is the ocean beach that is the more popular option for swimmers, surfers and sun-lovers. Add the popular Manly Oceanworld Aquarium that is situated near the Manly Wharf and you have a day trip destination equal to anywhere in Australia.

Manly is just a 30 minute cruise from Circular Quay, with ferries departing every 30 minutes. Manly ferries operate everyday, 7 days per week, with a return ticket costing around AU $6.40. Concessions are available at roughly half price of the full adult fare. (Fares correct at time of publication but are subject to change) Check out the Sydney Ferries website for up to date pricing information and latest time tables.

We strongly suggest all visitors to Sydney to take the time to go see Manly. Manly is a wonderful spot to spend a relaxed day taking in the great views, sampling fabulous food, taking holiday photographs and taking a dip in the clear blue waters, either inside Sydney Heads or on the open beach.

Keep your eyes open on the journey to Manly as you often see dolphins and whales just inside Sydney Harbour.

Powerhouse Museum on Darling Harbour Sydney

Any holiday in Sydney is not complete if you don’t visit the Powerhouse Museum. Located at the southern end of Darling Harbour, just a short stroll up the ramp from Paddy’s Markets Monorail Station, The Powerhouse Museum is a mixture of wonderful displays and exhibitions that the entire family will find fascinating.

There are always new exhibitions displayed on a regular basis, so repeat visits to the Powerhouse Museum are highly recommended.

Some of the displays and exhibits within the Powerhouse Museum will completely amaze you. Take the Strasburg Clock for example. Built in 1889 by Richard Bartholomew Smith, this somewhat extraordinary clock has been on display at the Powerhouse Museum for over a century. Starting 6 minutes before the hour, the Strasburg Clock begins an operation of Australian music and other movements that just cannot be adequately expressed here.

Described as a “fantastic confection of towers, staircases, mysterious dials, mechanical birds, cherubs, chariots and saints” by the official Powerhouse Museum Brochure, visitors must sit down and witness for themselves this marvelous model of the famous astronomical clock in Strasbourg Cathedral, France.

Powerhouse Museum has many hands on mechanical displays where buttons are pushed, pulleys are turned and rotors wound to activate steam machines, early electrical devices and assorted gadgets that the young and old find fascinating.

Entire airplanes hang from the ceilings, restored steam trains and railway platform train information boards fill exhibition areas. In 1990, Australian explorer and businessman Dick Smith, landed his helicopter in the grounds of the Powerhouse and donated the entire working helicopter to the museum, as a gift to the people.

Vintage cars, old bicycles, even an old Penny Farthing bike, one of those strange contraptions with one huge wheel in the front and a small wheel at back, is on display. You can even sit on the Penny Farthing bicycle if you are big enough to get on it.

An assortment of bric-a-brac from a typical 1950’s to 60’s household captures the imagination of many of the younger children, seeing how ancient and antiquated kitchens and early televisions looked way back then.

Plan to spend at least 2 hours to see just a small portion of the Powerhouse Museum. All day is recommended if you want to get the most out of your visit. There is a cafe onsite for meals and snacks and a children’s playground to allow a break from viewing the various displays.

Where is the Powerhouse Museum?

The easiest way to get to Powerhouse Museum is to take the Sydney Monorail and get off at the Paddy’s Market Station. Turn to the left as you leave the station. Walk up the ramp and the Powerhouse Museum is at the end of the ramp. If your not sure where is Powerhouse Museum, just ask a monorail station attendent and you will be given good directions.

If you are walking through Darling Harbour, go past the Imax theatre, past the Chinese Gardens and continue to the end of the Darling Harbour complex. Here you will see the Monorail Station and just walk up the ramp as previously directed.

  • The Powerhouse Museum is open from 10.00am – 5.00pm daily. {Except Christmas Day)
  • Entry is $10 per adult
  • Child (4 – 15 years) $5.00
  • Children under four free.
  • Pensioners and Seniors discounts apply.
    (Prices are subject to change.)

Sydney Aquarium

One of the best and most popular tourist attractions on Darling Harbour is the Sydney Aquarium, home to a very large range of aquatic creatures.

Walk through the awesome shark tank, getting up close and personal with a variety of sharks, manta rays, turtles and large fish. This is probably the biggest attraction in the aquarium, yet there is so much on display that you will need a good few hours to see everything.

Now with the addition of a Dugong pair, the Sydney Aquarium is a greater place of enjoyment for the whole family.

Right behind such iconic Sydney tourist attractions as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, visitors flock to the Sydney Aquarium to see the most awesome display of fish, sharks, dugongs and other aquatic creatures from around Australia.

Situated right in the middle of Darling Harbour, with a ferry stop of it’s own, this is certainly one of the most visited tourist attractions and it is easy to understand why, once you take the tour.

Get up close to a selection of fresh water fish from the inland rivers of Australia including the Murray Cod, Silver Perch also called the Yellow Belly and the mighty Barramundi of Northern Australia.

There are penguins, platypus, manta rays, sea horses and a stunning display of tropical fish that amazes everybody that visits. One can spend literally hours and hours admiring the different species in the easy viewing tanks.

Right next door is the new Australian Wildlife World where you can view a host of Australian animals, so why not put aside a day just to visit the Aquarium and Wildlife World, just 2 of the fabulous attractions on Darling Harbour, Sydney.

The latest display is the dugong tank, which adds so much more to the whole aquarium experience. Dugongs are beautiful creatures that are threatened with extinction, so make sure you see these wonderful creatures of the sea at Sydney Aquarium.

Sydney Opera House Guided Tour

When you join a tour of the Sydney Opera House, you will do more that just look at this remarkable building, you will learn the history behind the concept, how the project was financed and just what the whole scheme means to everyday Australians.

There are 2 separate tours that you can take.

The most popular Opera House tour, and the least expensive, is the guided walking tour where you are taken through the building, seeing each of the separate theatres for opera, drama, ballet and the main Concert Hall which is a colossal auditorium on a grand scale.

The second of the fabulous tours is what is called the backstage tour. This is a more in depth study and takes you into the myriad working behind theatre. You will walk into the stars dressing rooms, see the sets and lighting and actually get to walk on stage.

The Backstage tour includes breakfast in the Green Room and a chance to meet the stars and stage hands.

With each tour your guide will tell you interesting facts and little known stories of this mighty building, with a few tidbits of gossip and some hilarious anecdotes that will certainly hold your attention. Then there are the views, the spectacular position of the Opera House is certainly in a prime location that is simply breathtaking.

Sydney St Andrews Cathedral

For all those people who love looking at old architecture and historic buildings, St Andrews Cathedral stands opposite the beautiful Queen Victoria Building and the Sydney Town Hall, both spectacular buildings in their own right, making the Sydney Square something of a must visit area. Take a look at the images of St Andrews Cathedral on this page and you will see the beauty that is waiting for your visit.

St Andrew’s Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in Australia with the foundation stone being laid in 1819 and finally consecrated by the second Bishop of Sydney, Frederick Barker, on St Andrews Day, 30th November, 1868. St Andrews Cathedral was designed by architect Sir Edmund Blacket.

The preeminent church building within the Sydney Anglican Diocese, St Andrews Cathedral was planned by Governor Macquarie, with his vision being that this would be a centre point of Sydney. His plans were scoffed as financially unrealistic and modified by his successors, yet his vision has been realised, as today the Sydney Square is regarded as the centre of Sydney City.

Visitors are more than welcomed and taking photos encouraged, as something this old and something so beautiful should rightly be shared with all. If you make use of this offer, don’t forget to put a little in the collection box.

While there has been restoration work performed over the years, most of the Cathedral is original and the tiles and marble floors and beautiful organ, built by Hill & Son in 1866, are witness to the fabulous detailed craftsmanship that went into building a beautiful place of worship. Many fixtures and fitting are original, the Font was a gift dating back to 1868, the stained glass windows magnificent reminders of fabulous workmanship of the era. The west window has tiers of Apostles. Look closely and you can see that Mary Magdalene was included among the male disciples. A dispute followed the inclusion which was resolved by painting a beard on Mary.

St Andrews Anglican Cathedral Information
Open Times: Weekdays 9am – 5pm, Saturday 10am – 4pm, Sunday 7:30am – 8pm