Here are some important info you might want to read:
Currency used in Australia is Dollar Australia, for bank notes there are A$5, A$10, A$20, A$50 and A$100 notes meanwhile for coins there are two materials silver for cents and gold for dollars.
Power socket used in Sydney is type I, just make sure you bring your universal socket.
pic from worldstandards.eu
Water tap in Sydney is safe for drinking and there are many water tap available on tourist attraction sites and if you go to cafe or restaurant you can ask for tap water for free.
Opal travel card is used to pay public transportation (bus, train, light rail and ferry). It easily to be purchased or top up in every train stations or convenience stores. The card is free, so for the first time you purchase Opal Card you just need to fill the amount inside.
Best time to visit Sydney
I would say Sydney is nice to be visited at anytime, because it has different excitement on each season. I might say you have to visit Sydney during Autumn or Spring, well beside I am a big fans of those seasons you might want to see the flowers bloom (jacaranda, cherry blossoms and so on) and the color changing leaves during Autumn.
If you love to go to beach and do some 'ocean' things, from the end of winter to spring you can take cruise for whale watching in the ocean, while during summer you can go to beaches for sun bathing. The peak season for tourist is during summer, which is actually have a good weather but maybe Sydney will become too crowded. Well, you can still visit non touristy beaches so you can still get tanned too without being worry to get cramped with people. Ah don't forget the Vivid Sydney around June every year, where there are so many Sydney's building being illuminated by lights and animation.
Transportation from Airport
The easiest way to travel from Airport to city is by using Airportlink train. It will cost you around A$13 - A$14 one way using Opal card. You can also buy single trip ticket too but it more expensive, so I suggest you to purchase Opal card. One more thing, if you buy Opal card in any Airport train station (International or Domestic terminal) they will only accept payment by card.
Beside Airportlink, there is a cheaper way to go to city from airport. You can catch bus route 400 to Bondi Junction from International or Domestic terminal and alight near Mascot Train station to continue your journey by train. It will cost you around A$2.10 - A$3.50 for bus plus around A$1 - A$2 for train (with the new opal fare calculation) well I don't really sure about the exact fare but it cost you more than half price compare to Airportlink. I don't recommend you to use this bus + train option if you bring heavy luggage or you have too many stuffs with you.
If you travel in a group, Taxi or Uber ride might be a best solution for you too since you can split the travel fare with your friends. It will cost you around A$20 - A$30 to city.
What to see?
Most of the tourist attractions in CBD area are can be easily reach by walking. You can also join for free guided walking tour operate by I'm Free start 10.30am or 2.30pm EVERYDAY from Town Hall square, juat take a look for person who wear green shirt with I'm Free tour on it.
many faces of Sydney Opera House
1. Sydney Opera House
As a city icon, I think most of the people have to put Sydney Opera House as first thing to do in Sydney. This unique building with shell roof shaped situated in Circular quay which is near ferry terminal, The Rocks and Sydney Harbour Bridge which indirectly makes this area become one stop entertainment.
2. Sydney Harbour Bridge
Another icon of Sydney is the harbour bridge. it connects Sydney CBD area with North sydney area. You can basically walk, ride a bus, take a train or ride bicycle on it. You can also climb up Pylon Lookout to see the city from above.
3. Royal Botanical Garden
This large botanical garden located near Sydney Opera House where we can found many varieties of trees, cacti, flowers to herbs collection. It also the best place to go picnic on summer day and the best part this garden is FREE.
This area is part of Royal botanical garden which actually one of the best spot to see sunset and New year's eve fireworks.
Darling Harbour is a great place to spend your weekend, you can visit Sealife aquarium, Madam Tussaud, Wild life Sydney zoo and watch free Fireworks every Saturday night.6. Queen Victoria Building
This Victorian architecture building is one of shopping center in the heart of Sydney and located next to Sydney Town Hall.
7. Sydney Town Hall
Every capital city in Australia's state has their Town Hall. Sydney town hall is my second favorite beside Brisbane town hall. It has Victorian style architecture on its interior and exterior. It located alongside St Andrew's Cathedral.
8. Luna Park, Milsons Point
Well to be honest, I never come to play in this theme park as I think it is really overrated. I just come to see sunset near the ferry station or taking photo on the gate. I still wondering why Sydney doesn't have a great and big theme park like Disneyland or Universal Studios.9. Sydney Fish Market
This is the place where you can eat and shop fresh seafood in Sydney. Try their fresh or cheese scallops if you visit it.
10. Paddy's Market
If you want to buy some souvenir to families and colleagues at home, you can visit Paddy's market in Haymarket next to Chinatown. There are a lot of kind of souvenirs can be found in this market. From key-chains to shopping bags, shirts to jackets. Don't forget haggle for lower price if you buy many stuffs.
11. Bondi Beach
Bondi beach is the famous beach in Sydney, well it is not located in CBD area but you can take bus 333 or 380 from Hyde Park or St James station to the beach. In Summer days, Bondi beach will be full of people who want to go for surfing or sunbathing.
12. Sydney Tower
Located on Westfield Pitt street, Sydney Tower become one of the easiest landmark to be found. You can see Sydney CBD and surrounding from above but make sure you check weather forecast first. You sure don't want to climb up on cloudy day because it is not the best time. I prefer to visit this tower on bright summer day and don't forget to try its Sky Walk, feel the excitement walking on 268 meters above Sydney CBD.
13. Sydney Aquarium
Since I know I bad at swimming, visiting Aquarium become the best way for me to feel and to know how underwater life is. Sydney Aquarium is located in Darling Harbour area, next to wildlife park and Madam Tussaud museum.
14. Taronga Zoo
Taronga is the closest zoo to Sydney CBD, you can reach it by Ferry from Circular quay or Darling Harbour or you can catch a bus from Wynyard bus stop. I consider this place quite expensive for a zoo and I think I recommend you to visit Featherdale wildlife park in Doonside or Symbio Wildlifepark in Helensburgh to get closer to Australian animal like Kangaroos, Wallabies, Koalas, Quokka and many more.
Here are also some great places to visit and can be reach easily by train and bus from Sydney CBD.
1. Blue Mountain
three sisters from Cliff view lookout
You can reach blue mountain by train from central station. It take around 2,5 hours travel time. You can go trekking to Wentworth falls, three sisters or just see the beautiful scenery from Cliff view lookout or Scenic world. There are also limestone caves area in Jenolan which you can reach by car, it will take 1,5 - 2 hours ride from Katoomba.
2. Palm Beach
The view from Barrenjoey Head in Palm Beach is really cool but the track to reach the Barrenjoey Head is quite challenging as it is steep and slippery when wet. You can read more about Palm beach on my previous post.
3. Royal National Park
This National Park is quite huge, you can trekking to wedding cake rock, figure eight pool or taking picture on Seacliff bridge.
Kiama blow hole
Kiama is known for its Kiama blow hole and light house, it located around 2 hours by train from Central station.5. Featherdale Wildlife Park
feed the wallaby
Actually there are zoo and wildlife park near CBD but I recommend you to visit this one in Doonside. You can meet and interact with most of Australian animals like Kangaroos, Wallabies, Koalas, Wombats, Echidneas, Dingos, Tasmanian Devils and Emus. I even took a video when I was giving a wallaby some snacks, he was so adorable.
Some others places below might be not major tourist attractions, but these are my favorites too.
- Narrabeen Lagoon & Beach
- Woolloomooloo Bay
- Watsons Bay
- La Perouse
- Museum of Contemporary Art
- New South Wales Art Gallery
- Power House Museum
- Australian National Maritime Museum