Travel in Australia and New Zealand
Sydney offers so much as a holiday destination that some visitors feel there's no time to see it all. Other holiday makers are so beguiled with the harbour and its icons, they never move out of the downtown area. But to truly come to grips with this wonderful city of Sydney, you need to explore some of the outlying regions. Here's the scoop on three side trips to the suburbs of Manly, Watson's Bay and Parramatta.
The seaside suburb of Manly lies seven miles north of downtown Sydney. Other than its 18 beaches, this charming suburb offers an array of tourist delights including an art gallery and Oceanworld, which displays all manner of local sea creatures including Barrier Reef fish and giant sharks.
Manly is the perfect spot for beach and water sports including beach volleyball, swimming, sea-kayaking, sailing, scuba-diving, and surfing. There's also a varied wining and dining scene with a host of bars, cafes and restaurants.
Another great day trip from Sydney is to Watson's Bay, the most northerly of Sydney's eastern suburbs. You can get there on the ferry from Wharf Number 4 at Circular Quay. It's a scenic run past the beautiful harbourside suburbs with the homes of the rich and famous. Watson's Bay is wedged between the Pacific Ocean and Sydney Harbour and has the relaxed ambiance of a fishing village.
Watson's Bay is a relaxing place with cliffs and hidden beaches, including one legal nude beach. You can take a stroll around the harbour and visit the historic lighthouse.
You'll find a number of eateries near the ferry landing including some up market restaurants such as Doyle's Restaurant which specialises in seafood, and a fish 'n' chip shop. The beach and the fronting the harbour make fine picnic locations.
You can take a walk to see The Gap, the infamous Sydney suicide spot. There are dramatic views in all directions here and it's a good place for taking photographs. If you fancy a swim, you can take a 1-minute stroll to Camp Cove, a secluded beach with clear water. Take the ferry back to town at sunset to view even more of Sydney Harbour's many facets.
Finally, you can get a whole new view of Sydney by taking the Rivercat 14 miles to the western suburb of Parramatta. This is a ferry from Circular Quay and whisks you on a 40-minute trip up the river past fascinating vistas of Mangrove wet-lands.
Colloquially known as 'Parra', Parramatta dates back to the founding of Sydney when it became the new colony's agricultural centre. As such the area is full of colonial history with many impressive old buildings such as Old Government House and Elizabeth Farm.
Today's Parramatta has a vibrant cafe culture concentrated in the main thoroughfare of Church Street. It's also a great place to sip a quiet drink on the river and admire the water birds.
Sydney has many more suburbs all well-worth a visit. So make your base in downtown Sydney and visit them all at your leisure. You'll find a wide range of Sydney city hotels to choose from, including the Great Southern Hotel Sydney and the Citigate Central Sydney.
Richard Greaves has over 20 years experience in the travel industry and writes for Cheaper than Hotels. Cheaper Than Hotels offers Sydney City hotels as Great Southern Hotel Sydney and Citigate Central Sydney http://www.cheaperthanhotels.com.au/Australia/Sydney/City/Citigate-Central-Sydney/.