Sydney is a cosmopolitan city, filled with museums that compete and collaborate with the world’s best. In Commonwealth tradition, many Australian museums are free, some of the best ones living in Sydney. While many of the city’s attractions, such as the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Sydney Jewish Museum, are free once a month, here’s a list of the best free museums in Sydney, no matter the day.
“That was awesome, you’re doing great!” Will says with a smile and holds his hand up for a high five. My hand meets his with a thwap! And we paddle out into the surf to go again. I invested in private surfing lessons on my last day in Australia. Why did I wait until my last day – I guess it’s called procrastination. Once I arrived at Bondi Beach in Sydney Australia and looked out at the hundreds of surfers bobbing up and down waiting to catch the infamous waves, I knew I had to give it a go; better late than never.
If Canberra weren’t the nation’s capital you might be tempted to call it off-the-beaten-path because it’s a gem many travelers forgo in exchange for more popular places like Melbourne or Ayers Rock. The inland stepsister to iconic Sydney, Canberra has a lot to offer visitors willing to make the three-hour drive to the city. Best yet, if you leave early enough from Sydney, you can see Canberra in one day.
The site of exploration, commerce, culture, recreation, and billions of tourist selfies, Sydney’s famous harbor should be the centerpiece of any trip Down Under. It looks different from every angle, whether you’re hiking a coastal trail, picnicking in the park or dining at a waterfront restaurant. The higher you go the better, of course. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge or board a helicopter at sunset and you’ll witness an impressive sight. Here’s where to find the best harbor views in Sydney:
In the 1850s, a rugged hill in the Millers Point district overlooking Sydney Harbour was capped with the Sydney Observatory by English astronomer and clergyman William Scott. In the early years, the sandstone landmark was used mainly for time-keeping to help ships navigate Sydney Harbor, but it later developed into a state-of-the-art observatory that has illuminated the Southern Hemisphere sky for astronomers and visitors.
From June through August, one of the most unique things to do in the Blue Mountains is celebrate Yulefest: a three month-long Christmas-style celebration for those Down Under who have always desired a cold Christmas, just as we celebrate in the States.
Being Australia’s oldest city, with a modern history that dates to 1788 when the First Fleet came from Britain to settle Australia as a penal colony, Sydney has its share of legends and lore. Most of which are centered in the Rocks and Millers Point neighborhoods, within the sandstone walls of Sydney’s oldest watering holes. It’s here that alcohol was smuggled, prostitutes were seduced, convicts escaped and crimes were committed. Here’s a sneak peak of some of the best historic Sydney pubs that travelers can experience on a bar crawl.
Sydney’s live music scene is happening but on the periphery. If it weren’t for radio stations like FBI and JJJ, as well as publications like Time Out Sydney, even locals wouldn’t know where to look for a good show. Luckily, there are a handful of great options, several of which are small and lined in red velvet. Here are some of the best Sydney live music venues.
The area that now surrounds the south side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge — between the piers of Walsh Bay and the cobblestone alleyways of The Rocks district — is the oldest neighborhood in Sydney. Originally known as Jack the Miller’s Point after a miller named Jack Leighton, Millers Point dates to 1814 and still retains many relics from the 1800s. Here are some places where travelers can discover Millers Point: the oldest neighborhood in Sydney.
Crowned by the Barrenjoey Lighthouse about an hour north of Sydney, Palm Beach is an idyllic spot that combines the best of beaches, bush and food. A day trip to Palm Beach begins with a leisurely ramble across the Hawkesbury River, through Garigal National Park and out to the Northern Beaches, at which point coastal rhythms take over. Past Avalon and Whale beaches, the two-lane road is dotted with quaint restaurants, boutiques and gourmet grocers, and the vegetation turns noticeably tropical. When the highway finally ends at a parking lot that stretches up the spit, you know you have arrived. Here’s how to enjoy a day trip to Palm Beach.