Country: Australia
Currency: Dollar (AUD)
Peak Season: September-February
Shoulder Season: April-May, August-September
Median Temperature: 17.40 C / 63.32 F
Main Languages: English
Primary Modes of Transportation: Rail, bus, taxi, ferry
Recommended Duration of Stay: 2 days
Recommended Pocket Money: $190.00/day
Tourist Passes: See Sydney Attractions Pass
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This Australian harbor city in the South Pacific is truly deserving of praise. Each year, millions of tourists flock to Sydney for its sultry beaches, luscious parks, wildlife reserves, hip fashion trends, and a salvo of enticing cultural highlights. The city’s most prominent landmark is the Sydney Opera House—heralding not only South Wales, but also the entire continent of Australia. Sydneysiders are known to be both lively and friendly (typical of Australian common courtesy), enabling tourists to strike up a conversation with ease. Like Canada, Sydney is known for its cosmopolitan population, embracing peoples of diverse nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. And, let’s not forget the workaholic lifestyle of the locals, which has greatly contributed to the exponential economic growth of the city. Sydney is arguably Australia’s most popular city – the coastline setting is great, the people are exceptional in all facets, and expatriation is favorable if you decide to stay here for good.

The cosmopolitan population has a profound effect on the food industry. The proliferation of Chinese, Indian, and Thai restaurants offer cheaper (and should we say, tastier) alternatives to the traditional English cuisine. Both Sydney’s wavy beaches and lively nightlife circuits contribute dearly to the young tourist population. More importantly, the increasing influx of tourists makes it easier for one to get competitive rates on accommodations and tours.

Packing List

  • Extra light clothing/sunscreen/beachwear for intensely humid summers; jackets and sweaters for mild winters; umbrellas for the rainy season
  • Camping gear for the outback; mosquito repellants, first-aid kits, cellphones, secure tents and flashlights are highly advisable
  • Essential medication and toiletries; pharmacies and supermarkets sell most international brands; non-declaration of imported food carries a heavy fine
  • A copy of your passport, visa and travel documents wherever you go; authorities usually conduct routine inspections for illegal entry
  • A decent camera, laptop, guidebook and necessary equipment; it is a norm to lug large backpacks, given the short time tourists spend here

Things to Do

  • Attending a performance at the shell-shaped Sydney Opera House, easily the country’s most famous landmark; declared a UNESCO Site in 2007, it is now one of the youngest in that distinction
  • Enjoying a romantic cruise along Sydney Harbour; ideal for sightseeing and taking photos of the majestic beauty of the attractions that flank the harbor
  • Glimpsing a kangaroo, koala, croc, dugong, wallaby, dingo, and a host of rare species at Sydney Wildlife World; Australian trainers and presenters are some of the best in the world
  • Catching massive waves at Bondi Beach, whose shores stretch a kilometer long; the relatively close proximity to the Central Business District makes it a favorite getaway spot
  • Packing for a day-long walkabout in the nearby Aboriginal Blue Mountains—where you can explore caves, see artifacts, witness ceremonial sites and get body painted

DON'T

  • Linger (or get drunk) in shady suburbs like King’s Cross, Darlinghurst and Newtown—the CBD is a much safer place; even in broad daylight, youths in these suburbs tend to get testy with tourists
  • Attempt to smuggle anything past customs—declare everything; Australia imposes stiff penalties even on minor infractions like peddling banned video games and non-declaration of canned goods
  • Venture too further into the outback desert—it might result in serious injuries or even death; Australians like pushing the limits, but you should always be cautious
  • Be a prick; Australians (the locals, specifically) are very energetic and open to (business) talks with complete strangers; do remember that they are morally conservative, so don’t push undertones
  • Go outside without wearing any sun protection; by pictures and by accounts, many suffer from intense sunburn due to the deplorable state of ozone layer in the country