I'm so there: Sydney, Australia

By Heidi Yeung

The city has a wide range of attractions to keep visitors happy

By Heidi Yeung |

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A panoramic view of the Sydney Harbour

Before you go

Sydney may not be Australia's capital city but it's every bit as dynamic and vibrant as a capital city should be.

Remember that Australia is in the southern hemisphere, which means the seasons are reversed. So if you're going during our summer, pack for winter, and vice versa. If you do go in summer, it's worth keeping a light jacket or cardigan in your bag. Australian summers are baking hot but much less humid than those in Hong Kong, so it can be really cool in the shade.

Regardless of the season, remember to bring sunscreen. Australia has a depleted ozone layer above it, and fewer skyscrapers to block the sun. So unless you want to look like a cooked lobster, put on sunscreen before you head out for the day, and reapply every two hours or so. And don't forget your sunglasses!

Public transport can take you almost anywhere you'd want to go, but make sure to give yourself plenty of time. Unlike Hong Kong, buses and trains don't arrive every three minutes ... more like every 15 minutes.

Where to go

Head to Circular Quay (pronounced "key") and take a walk by the water over to the Opera House. Even the locals enjoy the stroll, and there are plenty of cafes and street performers along the way.

A beautiful stroll in a beautiful city.
Photo: Gloria Ng

If you enjoy nature, Hyde Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens are the perfect places for a picnic. One tip though: do not feed the pigeons and seagulls. If you do, you'll find yourself swamped by the feathered creatures. If you are a wildlife fan, check out Taronga Zoo, which is home to more than 4,000 animals.

Bondi Beach is one of Sydney's biggest attractions but there are many more beaches - for example, Coogee, Bronte, Clovelly and Manly - in the city. Clovelly is best for those who aren't strong swimmers, and while Manly is a little further away, the 30-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay offers stunning views. 

Bondi Beach is a top attraction.

Whichever beach you go to, be sure to only swim between the set of red and yellow flags: they mark the "safe" area where lifeguards are patrolling. If you do get into trouble in the water, stay calm, stick your hand up in the air and wave for a lifeguard's assistance. If you get caught in a rip current, which drags you out towards the open sea,  don't try to swim towards the shore; you'll tire yourself out. Instead, swim across the current, parallel to the beach. This should take you out of the rip and into calmer waters. But if that doesn't work, wave for help!

Must try

  • If you're lucky enough to be able to handle the walk up the Harbour Bridge, do it, and treat yourself to unbeatable views. 
  • During the Australian Football League season, it's worth catching a game just to soak up the atmosphere. But if sport isn't your thing, visit The Rocks Markets at the weekend where you'll find lots of yummy treats and goodies handmade by locals. Hungry from all the walking around? Stop by Pancakes on the Rocks for a well-deserved treat. 

Mmm ... meat pie.
Photo: Instagram @harryscafedw
  • Speaking of food, you must also try the famous meat pie at Harry's Cafe de Wheels, which was set up more than 70 years ago. There are many branches around the city, including one at Woolloomooloo. Yeah, that's the name of a suburb in Sydney - it's not just a restaurant in Hong Kong! 

Top selfie spot 

The iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House are great options, but Luna Park is more fun. You enter the amusement park through the grinning mouth of a clown. So unless you're scared of clowns, it's a great photo op, and the park is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon, too!

Luna Park where you can be loony and have fun!