Arguably Australia's most famous destination, Sydney is the beating heart of tourism in New South Wales. Some of the country's greatest landmarks reside here, such as the Sydney Opera House, as well as a staggering amount of other must-do attractions. This sunny city combines superb surf beaches and nature activities with the shopping heaven of a contemporary, global city. There are multiple regions to Sydney, each with their own unique flare and plethora of things to do.
Beginning in a recently reinvigorated Darling Harbour, you can weave your way through the serene Chinese Garden of Friendship, or observe the amazing animals of Sea Life Aquarium and Wild Life Sydney Zoo. Within walking distance around the water you'll find Circular Quay, a bustling transport and leisure hub that can connect you to almost anywhere in the city. The Sydney Opera house itself is close by here, as well as the colourful Royal Botanic Gardens and a great range of Sydney hotels, including the opulent five-star Pullman Quay Grand Sydney.
As you alight at Sydney Airport, you'll be dropped instantly into the seaside splendour of Sydney's southern region. Mere minutes away is the sun-drenched suburb of Brighton Le Sands, located around the flanks of the glistening Botany Bay, with one of the best hotels in Sydney South - the Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach. At the southern edge of the region lies one of Australia's most popular national parks, Royal National Park, or 'Nasho'. Camp on the ocean shores, delve into the history of the local Aboriginal people or just take the time to wander through its luminous bushwalks to try and spot the local birds.
The northern part of Sydney is easily accessible by Circular Quay ferry, starting at Manly Beach. Whilst you stay at the Q Station Sydney Harbour National Park, spend the morning sunbathing on the golden sands of Manly Beach then wander just west to see the astounding conservation efforts of the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary. Also, Luna Park, a classic 1930s amusement park hides beneath Sydney's Harbour Bridge with lots of great rides for the kids. After that, drive 14 minutes down the road to see the turtles, tigers and more at Taronga Zoo in Mosman.
Sydney West is not only a gateway to the internationally renowned Blue Mountains, but an unforgettable destination in its own right. Parramatta is the historical centre of the area, with Australia's oldest public building, Old Government House, built in 1799 and open to those keen to learn or divulge in a spooky ghost tour. Almost halfway between the mountains and Sydney City is Rooty Hill, a charming suburb housing the spectacular Rooty Hill RSL entertainment centre, which features tenpin bowling, restaurants and the luxurious Novotel Sydney Rooty Hill. Just over 10 minutes east is also Wet 'n' Wild Sydney, featuring a 75-metre high water slide and the largest wave pool in the country.
There is a wide range of Sydney accommodation available all over the city, ranging from the affordable ibis Budget Campbelltown to the lavish, 517-room Mercure Sydney. So whether you are staying north, south or somewhere in the middle, you'll see why Sydney is one of the most visited locations in Australia.