Guide to Discovering Sydney in 48 Hours
48 hours doesn't seem like a lot of time, however, there are an abundance of activities you can do in 2 days by planned well, and in advance. If you had only 48 hours to spend in the vibrant city of Sydney what would you do to make the most of your time? A very valid question for vacationers on a time crunch, or those just passing through. We are here to help make it easier for you to do just this. I recently spent a very short 24 hours in Sydney and of course it was not nearly enough time, but happy for the opportunity to do what I was able to fit in, quite a bit in fact. Sydney is the most well-known city in Australia. What comes time mind? Sydney harbour, Sydney Bridge, the world famous Opera House and so much more! Located in New South Wales, it's a bustling capital and the largest city in the nation. Sydney is also the main gateway to the country "down under". Most international flights, and well as cruise ships, arrive and depart from Sydney. And many vacations, tours and holidays will at least include a stop in the vibrate city, if not start or end there. Whether you begin or end in Sydney, click "read more" for some of my "top picks" to introduce and welcome you to Australia, or say goodbye in true Aussie style.
City Highlights Tour
If you are a first time visitor to the city, starting with a 1/2 day City Highlights Tour is ideal. It's the perfect way to get your bearings, learn about the city's history, highlights, and see what else is available that you may not have known or have on your radar. This 4 hour tour covers the essentials with stunning harbour views, a visit to Circular Quay, the historic Rocks area, Darling Harbour, Hyde Park, Centennial Park, and a visit to Bondi Beach. What better way to start your exploring than with a locally guided tour. Personally I find that tours by locals are by far the best way to immerse into the destination and learn the most!
Sydney Bridge Climb
What is a fun and one-of-a-kind bucket list activity available you ask? If you are feeling a little adventurous, why not face your fear and go for the adrenaline pumping Bridge Climb. Bridge Climb Sydney is an all weather experience, operating 364 days a year. The original Climb is the best option, offering the most value. You'll get the full experience, 3.5 hours worth, at a nice pace while still getting in a good workout. Did you know this climb has over 1,300 steps? From start to finish you will experience tremendous views of the Sydney Harbor (just look at my pics below, ignore the beanie though, it was quite windy and chilly that day). On a clear day you can see all the way to the Blue Mountains, just west of the city! I have to say the real prize is at the summit. Besides the thrill of accomplishment you have incredible views of the Opera House (from a perspective many never have), Darling Harbor, and of course a 360 panorama like no other. Definitely a great way to spend a few hours. Have a fear of heights like I do? It was not nearly as "scary" or intimidating as I thought it would be. If I can do it, so can you! No worries.
Looking for a unique way to celebration a special occasion? There are many ways you can do this while in Sydney, but one of my favorites is a Captain Cook Dinner Cruise. It's the perfect choice for an unforgettable evening on the infamous Harbour. Set sail from Circular Quay on a 3 hours cruise of the Sydney Harbor. Once onboard you'll be welcomed with a glass of champagne on the upper deck while soaking in the breathtaking views of the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and Sydney skyline, all lit up an absolutely stunning! With a fabulous 3 course meal paired with your favorite cocktail or wine, you'll be able to indulge in style. After dinner there is time for dancing with a live band onboard. Let them know what you are celebrating and they'll acknowledge and celebration with you! Cheers to a fabulous evening!
This is not to be missed! If you have some extra time The Rocks is a lovely area to explore at leisure. Take a step back in time with a modern twist. The Rocks is the birthplace of modern Sydney. History buffs, shoppers, lovers of food and wine, and local market goers will all find The Rocks welcoming. With great places to stay, eat, drink and shop, you cannot beat this area as your "home base" for your visit to Sydney. From cozy cafes to some of the oldest pubs in Australia, from local pop-up markets to lovers of art, culture and music lovers, this is a must on all itineraries. Grab a local coffee and pastry. The flat white is my favorite. Or lunch made to order from the street vendors. Stroll the local market for souvenirs and gifts, possibly a boomerang or hand painted aboriginal art. The Rocks literally has something for everyone and steps away from Sydney's most popular attractions.
Surf Bondi Beach
No vacation to Australia is complete without a little surfing. Bondi Beach is a great place for beginners to take a go at it. The waves here suit all levels from beginners to advanced. If you are just starting out it's best to take a lesson from a surf school and learn from those experienced, who know the waves and ocean conditions. They will have you standing in no time! Tip: Be sure to capture your experience and don't forget the GoPro. If you have extra time and want to see more of Bondi, catch a glorious sunrise. Being on the east coast you're sure to see something spectacular, and for many a once-in-a-lifetime in this location. Think about it. How many of your friends can say they sat on Bondi Beach and watched the sunrise? Bondi also has many fantastic cafes and the best place to shop for beach and swimwear. Spend some time here and see a different side of Sydney.
If you are an animal lover and want to have spectacular views of Sydney as your backdrop, definitely visit Taronga Zoo. With just under 3,000 exotic and native species you can see it all, gorillas, tigers, leopards, chimps, giraffes, kangaroos, koalas, crocs and more. It's an exhilarating day for all ages. Do you like the outdoors, or perhaps want to try a safari like atmosphere? Why not do the Roar and Snore experience at Taronga Zoo. It's the ultimate sleepover. Guests camp overnight at the zoo in safari tents. It's more like "glamping" so no roughing it here. You can stay connected in comfort, warmth and have all the modern conveniences. Imagine camping on a cliff top with views of the cityline and Sydney Harbour on one side, and tigers, lions, and bears (oh my!) on the other. Time to be adventurous and spend a night at the zoo!
Of course there are tons of other activities you can enjoy in and around Sydney depending on your activity level, interests and budget. I am happy to help you customize your own Aussie Adventure and send you down under an unforgettable experience. Cheers for now!