This is iconic Australia, plenty of tours on offer. Our one included a cruise on Sydney Harbour after the tour which was good although it made the day very long. If you're only here for a few days it is well worth it.
This is an incredible natural free show. Go down to the botanical gardens just before dusk and wait for the roosting bats to take off for their nocturnal feeding. There's thousands of them and it's quite an astounding spectacle. The noise is unbelievable.
For the best results lie on your back in one of the green spaces and take a video camera. The experience is totally unforgettable.
The home of Eric, the infamous three-legged croc, also spider world and other aussie perils. The education officer's talks are informative yet, more importantly, entertainingly memorable - as he has a dry line in sarcasm, usually directed at kids!
Heaps more fun than Taronga zoo and cheaper. You can pet kangaroos while eating your sarnies outdoors in the picnic area. Dingos, Tasmanian Devils, koalas, mate, it's all there and it's all good!
In 1789 the lora Aboriginals of Gap Bluff, a tranquil jut of land facing out to the South Pacific Ocean, were devastated by either smallpox or chickenpox. Since then this part of the Sydney Harbour National Park has seen incredible change: the building of Hornby Lighthouse after the wrecking of the Dunbar, the establishment of the Royal Australian Navy Radar School, use of the land as a transit depot for officers serving in Vietnam, and the construction of gun batteries along South Head.
Away from the blustery Gap Bluff, back down the hill and west across the head of the land lies Camp Cove. I walk around South Head, past the nudist Lady Bay and Hornby Lighthouse, before returning to Camp Cove and wandering further south to Watsons Bay.
Camp Cove’s west-facing coast is stunning in its elegance. Spiders on silky sheet-like webs hang between trees. They watch. And these yellow orbs aren’t even dangerous. Think daddy long legs with longer, thicker, yellower legs. I keep a distance in case a gust of wind lifts an orb from the comfort of its web onto the slope of my shoulder.
Boats and yachts sail around the glimmering harbour at Sydney’s regatta. The evening's drawing in but that doesn’t stop countless tourists snapping photos or sharing a cold VB in a ‘stubby’ at the hotel. Children feed the squawking gulls as their grandparents sit back and absorb the sea breeze.
Buses 324 and 325 both go from Circular Quay to Watsons Bay. Ask the bus driver where to get off - it's very near the end of the route.
Only an hours train ride from Sydney central, the beautiful Blue Mountains are not to be missed. Take the popular day's walk from Echo Point, Katoomba (known to the aboriginals as "shiny, tumbling water") to see the famous 3 sisters rock formation. The most photographed feature of the national park, the three sisters lookout is often packed out with tourists by the bus load, so venture further down the steep 980 steps and deep into the Leura rainforest where you'll hardly come across a soul.
Weary legs will appreciate the scenic skyway cable car to the top of the gorge at the end of the hike. Alternatively catch a bus to Leura and visit Wentworth Falls. Hike the undercliff/overcliff walk around the enormous cascades and take in the stunning scenery from the cliffs of eucalyptus forest which contribute to the blue haze over the horizon, hence the range's name.
Stay in "No.14" backpackers hostel in Katoomba for a warm welcome and excellent value, cozy place to stay with open fire and clean facilities - just what you need after a sweaty day's trek.
Also plenty of traditional pubs in Katoomba town which have a great village atmosphere on weekends.
100kms west of Sydney, one and a half hours drive along the M4 Freeway or one hour on the train (from platform 12/13, Sydney central station.)
No. 14 backpackers: 14 Lovel Street,
Katoomba, NSW, 2780 Tel:02 - 4782 7104
Official Website: www.australiabluemountains.com.au/
It's a huge open space in the city to relax in and it's free. If you're into plants, there are organised walks (check out the leaflets at the gates); if you're not, it's still a lovely place to hang out and picnic, with nice views of the harbour. Don't forget to say hi to the flying fox colony...
Just next to Darling Harbour and the opera house
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