Tips for Visitors to Sydney

 

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Tips for big attractions and small experiences in Sydney
Although Sydney is an incredibly famous city and one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, the secret to having an unforgettable time in this vibrant metropolis usually comes down to planning. Yes, you can arrive on a whim and figure everything out from the hotel lobby, or you could save yourself a lot of stress and use the experience of others to create the ultimate adventure.

Tips for breakfast  while staying in Sydney
With that said, here are some straight forward tips for the best day tour, breakfast, beach, and attractions to help you experience the big attractions and smaller experiences in “the Harbour City”:
Skip the hotel breakfast and explore the city centre café’s
Sydney is home to one of the most wonderful cuisines and café cultures in the world. From charming food trucks selling fresh snapper to rustic eateries or luxury dining; there is something for absolutely every taste and budget. For this reason, your hotel may provide a complimentary meal each morning, but breakfast is one of the most enjoyable times of the day to get out and explore the eateries in Sydney.
During fine weather, the road side tables next to Ruby’s Diner in Surry Hills is my favorite pick for a light and healthy breakfast, but then this is sometimes a little far from the city centre. Instead, check out Pablo & Rusty’s on Castlereagh Street where beautiful high ceilings and leafy surroundings make the perfect oasis of calm in a rather busy area. Consisting of the most perfect poached eggs and shallot on toast, this is also an ideal taste of the very cosmopolitan side of Sydney.
That being said, rather than opt for the same hotel lobby, it is worth making an effort to visit as many cafés as possible for breakfast and start each day with a little adventure somewhere new.

Rent a car and take a road trip to the Blue Mountains
Car rental is reasonably affordable in Sydney, but regardless, the rewards that come with having your own vehicle are priceless. Take for example a road trip to the Blue Mountains, where a glorious hue gives reason to the name of these mountains as it covers the most famous valley in New South Wales.
The Blue Mountains are just a ninety-minute drive but before leaving the city, take a pit stop in the suburb of Balmain for an encounter with a delightful bakery called Zumbo’s Patisserie. This tiny store on Darling Street is where you can pick up some snacks for the road and take in a little bit of local hospitality at the same time.
Although that first glimpse of the mountains is unforgettable, the highlight of a visit to the Blue Mountains is an opportunity to take a hike along the Charles Darwin Track. Featuring ancient bush paintings and even dinosaur footprints, this trail is the best way to feel immersed in the region and learn from a professional guide about the great biodiversity in the mountains.

Skip Bondi and spend time at Coogee Beach
Stretching for almost one kilometre, the golden sands of Bondi Beach are certainly the most popular in Sydney. However, the central location and reputation of Bondi ensure the beach is always extremely busy and often, overcrowded. For this reason, Coogee Beach is an enticing alternative and possibly an even more enjoyable beach to visit in Sydney.
Located just twenty minutes from the city centre, Coogee Beach is easily accessible by local transport, but if you have a rental car, there is also ample parking around the bay. Coogee Yeeros Café offers the best eggs benedict with sea views, and Friggitoria serves a sublime Gnocchi with Polpette while there are several popular bars nearby if you choose to stay on for the evening.
Less populated and less crowded as Bondi, you should find the conditions are more suitable and calm for swimming, relaxing and sunbathing. This area is also known for having three major ocean baths (Giles, McIver, and Wylie’s) but for anyone feeling a little more active, there is a cliff hiking trail which offers stunning views of the coastline in New South Wales.

Embrace the crowds and try not to avoid the touristy places
Whether you stay for a few days or even a couple of weeks, try not to overthink your itinerary and remember that many of the attractions in Sydney are popular for a reason. For example, taking a cruise down the river is hugely touristy but highly enjoyable and a great way to see the city from a different perspective. Similarly, the Sydney Opera House has a very insightful walking tour, the infamous bridge is worth the climb, the Royal Botanical Gardens are spectacular, and even the above mentioned Bondi Beach deserves an afternoon if you have any time to spare.
While many visitors forgo the lesser known experiences for big attractions when they travel, this would be a shame in Sydney considering how the small attractions are every bit as important. At the same time, there is no better way to waste time than arriving without a plan and with the above tips in mind, there should be no reason to forgo anything at all, even the smaller experiences.

Article by Derek Cullen

“Derek Cullen is an Outdoor Blogger from Ireland who has spent the past nine years travelling more than fifty countries around the world. Although currently working as a guide in Africa, Derek has also spent extended periods in Canada, Thailand and Australia.” My blog: http://www.nohangingaround.com

JANOLAN CAVES

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Explore the Jenolan Caves

Located just 175 kilometres to the west of Sydney in the Blue Mountains of Katoomba, Jenolan Caves is a must-visit attraction that offers visitors the chance to explore some of the oldest and most spectacular cave formations in the world. Take a guided tour of the nine impressive caves and marvel at the astonishing formations and underground rivers, then emerge above ground and explore the many beautiful bushwalks that surround the caves. Whether you visit on a day trip or choose to stay overnight, you’re sure to fall in love with Jenolan.

Guided Cave Tours

Nine of the most spectacular caves are open to the public, with tours by experienced guides taking place throughout the year. The cave tours vary from easy to strenuous, so just be sure to choose an option to suit your age and fitness.

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Imperial Cave is the easiest cave to explore, with the crystal formations, fossils and an underground river being easily accessible by a mostly level path that’s suitable for everyone from children through to adults.

The River Cave falls at the opposite end of the scale and is a more strenuous tour that will amaze and excite in equal measure. Lucas Cave contains the biggest chambers, including the famous Broken Column.

There are many other caves to explore, including the Imperial Diamond Cave, where you can marvel at the pure white crystal and ‘Gem of the West’ – or take in the spectacular features and formations inside the Temple of Baal Cave.

Orient Cave, Chifley Cave and Ribbon Cave all offer something different, with many dazzling formations and fossils that are sure to impress.

Jenolan Caves also offers night tours, including the popular Legends, Mysteries and Ghosts Tour.

Adventure Caving

If you fancy something a little more adventurous, why not go adventure caving? Whether you are an experienced adventurer or trying it for the very first time, the attraction offers a range of exhilarating adventure-caving experiences that allow you to explore deep inside the caves and learn more about the cave environment from your experienced instructor.

Bushwalks

When you’ve finished exploring inside the caves, head off on one of the many bush tracks and immerse yourself in the outstanding beauty of the Blue Mountains. Take a pleasant scenic stroll along the Jenolan River Walk, which leads you beside the beautiful Blue Lake and along the Jenolan River (a 3 kilometre round trip), or try the Carlotta Arch Walk, a short but relatively steep bushwalk that leads up to the spectacular limestone Carlotta Arch and provides superb views over the Blue Lake and the Jenolan Valley. The Six Foot Track stretches for 45 kilometres to Katoomba and takes several days to complete, so take your tent and camp at one of the many campsites found along the way.

Accommodation

There is so much to explore at Jenolan Caves that it makes sense to stay for several days. The attraction offers a variety of accommodation options to suit all budgets, including the Jenolan Caves House, Mountain Lodge and the Gate House. Article by Dan Flower.

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