Sydney, NSW, Australia cruises
Your port guide to Sydney.
Blessed with a natural harbour, countless golden beaches and world-class restaurants, Sydney is a dazzling metropolis and international gateway to Australia’s east coast. The city is famed for the quality of its outdoor living, yet a visit here offers more than a chance to soak up the sun. The Sydney Harbour Bridge, world-famous Opera House and the constant bustle of the harbour itself make Sydney one of the world’s most dynamic destinations. Venturing outside the capital of New South Wales unlocks mysterious protected coves, miles of sandy beaches and the dramatic landscape of the breath-taking Blue Mountains.
For spectacular 360-degree views, ascend Sydney Harbour Bridge’s south-east pylon from which Sydney Opera House and The Rocks - one of the city’s liveliest precincts and home to the Museum of Sydney and Museum of Contemporary Art - are visible. The Sydney Aquarium, National Maritime Museum and the Chinese Garden of Friendship can be found in Darling Harbour, with Chinatown also nearby. The Australian Museum, ranked one of the top five history museums in the world, is ideal for anyone wishing to deepen their knowledge of Australia’s aboriginal heritage. Alternatively, escape the city’s hustle at Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens. Incorporating Government House and the Conservatorium of Music, this sprawling parkland offers 24 hectares of native exotic trees.
Eating and drinking.
Those unfamiliar with Sydney may be surprised by the sophistication of the city’s culinary scene. Sydney offers myriad dining experiences drawing on both eastern and western influences, along with restaurants producing some of the most innovative nouveau cuisine in the world. Thai, Vietnamese, Indian and Korean restaurants are abundant in the city while Italian, Greek, Lebanese and the cuisines of central Europe are also popular. If you’re seeking a central spot to stop and grab a bite around lunchtime, Circular Quay - wedged between the Opera House and The Rocks - is a bustling precinct jammed with quality restaurants offering quayside dining.
Sydney offers an exciting shopping experience encompassing department stores, boutiques and designer emporiums, all located within the city centre itself. Pitt Street Mall is perhaps the most renowned of Sydney’s shopping precincts, offering a blend of internationally renowned brands alongside some delightful native Australian names. Westfield and The Strand Arcade both branch off from here and you could easily fill a day browsing the variety of shops in this area alone. Alternatively, Queen Victoria Building, constructed in 1898, offers undercover shopping in a beautiful historic arcade while World Square is another excellent shopping option that combines dining and retail in one convenient location.
Sydney is ideally located to explore many of New South Wales’ most popular tourist attractions. The Blue Mountains, comprising four national parks, are located just 65km west of the city and feature a spectacular collection of broken ravines, towering cliffs and high forested plateaux. On the edge of the spectacular Jamison Valley you’ll find the historic town of Katoomba where you can ride Australia’s famous Scenic Railway. Also within easy reach of Sydney are the lovely gardens of the cool Southern Highlands, the family-friendly beaches of the Central Coast and the pretty Hunter Valley; Australia’s oldest commercial wine-growing district.