While living in Sydney, I have made sure that I’ve made it around to a wide variety of sites in and around the city. In this post, I’ll take you through three of my personal favorite spots in the amazing harbor city!
- Manly Beach: Who doesn’t love the beach? Australia’s beaches are world renowned for their crystal clear blue waters and surf waves. Manly is Sydney’s third most popular beach (behind Bondi and Coogee) so there is tons of stuff for tourists to see and do. Besides the main beach, there are a bunch of side coves and hideaways that you can easily walk to if you want to get away from the mega-tourism. On weekends, you can find street performers and musical acts that perform in the main strip of Manly. Plus, on that same strip, you can find pretty much any kind of food from around the world. If you’re feeling like going for a bike ride, you can rent mountain, road, tandem, and cruiser style bikes and take an exclusive tour of Manly. I rented a bike and rode to the North Head. It’s a pretty significant place in Sydney because it contains Aboriginal engravings, art, and burials that have been preserved extremely well. After the British invaded in 1828, the head was used to quarantine passengers on ships arriving in the colony. Then in 1930, it became an artillery point and barracks for the Australian army during WW2. Today, it’s called the Sydney Harbour National Park. The entire skyline of Sydney is viewable from the North Head.
- The Blue Mountains: This place pretty much speaks for itself. It has hundreds of hiking trails through canyons, clifftops, valleys and waterfalls. It got its name from the myth that Eucalyptus oil and water vapor from the Eucalyptus trees created a blue-ish haze in the clouds. From downtown Sydney, you can catch a train to several towns located just outside the Blue Mountains where you enter hiking trails through there, so it’s very accessible. Some of the notable sites in the mountains are the Three Sisters Rocks and the Grand Canyon. The story of the three sisters comes from an old Aboriginal tale where three brothers fall in love with three sisters from the Katoomba tribe. Long story short, a tribal fight ensues so the Katoomba witch doctor turned the three sisters into rocks to keep them safe. They stand tall over Jamison Valley but will never return to human form again, the tale tells.
- Sydney Tower Eye: This is a view from the tallest building in Sydney (1000 ft), the Sydney Tower Eye or the Westfield building. It’s a very touristy attraction but a cheap one so it’s definitely worth it. Once you get to the top you’ll realize why everyone goes and sees it. Its a 360 view of the entire Greater Sydney Area. When I was at the top, I could see what a huge city Sydney was and all it has to offer. Apartment construction, bustling streets, sandy beaches, picturesque neighborhoods and planes flying out of Sydney airport. You can even faintly see an outline of the Blue Mountains. Definitely worth the elevator ride.