NEXT STOP – Sydney: What to See and Do?

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My first trip to Australia and I only have 10 days to play with. Can I do Sydney in a week?

Friends tell me that of all the places in the world, Australia is not high on their lists, if it makes it there at all. Really? I can barely contain my excitement. It’s an entirely different continent. It’s on the other side of the Equator. Hell, it’s on the other side of the world! And it’s as exotic as it gets, at least to a girl who grew up in Communist Bulgaria, watching Crocodile Dundee on bootleg videotapes.

Sure it’s a long flight. But to me even that’s an adventure. I will leave New York on Saturday afternoon and arrive in Sydney on Monday morning. I’ll have all this time to indulge in reading or watching movies back to back without having to worry about all the work that I should be doing instead!

There is so much I want to see in Australia but with only ten days, I’ve decided to stick to the cities: seven days in Sydney and three in Melbourne. I’ll just have to keep coming back to see the rest of the country.

So what to see and do in Sydney in a week? Here is my plan so far:

The Sydney Opera House

While I will spend some time taking in the iconic building from the outside, snapping shots of it, I want to experience it first hand. I have tickets to the Sydney Symphony for a fantastic Brahms program.

The Harbor Bridge

Hitting the gym while traveling can be really hard. So I’ve decided to get my workout for the week by climbing the Harbor Bridge. In New York City you would be arrested for climbing any of the bridges, but in Sydney there are organized climbs. It looks like so much fun and the views of the Sydney Harbor and the Opera House should be amazing. I will feel the wind in my hair and smell the ocean and hear the traffic rolling below me. Now, that’s experiencing the Harbor Bridge.

Bondi Beach

If I’m going to be in Sydney then I have to see the famous Bondi Beach. I’m only hoping for a warm, sunny day so that I can take a dip. And since I can watch surfers for only so long, I plan to take the 6-kilometer coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee Beach that goes through beaches, parks, cliffs and bays. Lunch in one of the seaside cafes wouldn’t be bad either.

Blue Mountains National Park

I have to see Australia outside the city limits, even if it’s for one day. The Blue Mountains get their name from the blue haze that surrounds them. It’s a result of the eucalyptus trees’ oil, which, mixed with dust particles and water vapors, creates short-wave light rays that are bluish in color. I signed up for a one-day trip with a tour operator who promised me that in addition to seeing all the famous rock formations and waterfalls, we’ll go for guided walks in the bush to experience the wilderness first-hand. Let’s see if I’ll run into any kangaroos!

This is it for now. I welcome any tips and recommendations!

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