Sydney, Australia Travel Guide

Australian cities are so cool.  Picture that edgy exterior feel of New York, but the sweet personality of the Midwest. You all know I’m obsessed with Melbourne (check out my Melbourne Travel Guide here), but I was actually most excited to come to Sydney. Australia to me = Sydney. I absolutely loved both cities. They were different enough to make it worthwhile to visit each one.

Where to Stay

Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel

As you know, I am obsessed with Marriott hotels and booked our stay at the Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay (FYI – quay is pronounced key). We were made aware that the hotel was under construction and if we believed it to be unbearable they would find another hotel for us to stay in. Chris and I were married at a Marriott that was under construction and it wasn’t intrusive at all, so I totally thought this would be fine. Not the case.

The hotel was under EXTREME construction. Our room wasn’t ready on time. The Executive Lounge was also relocated and on the same floor as more construction. I booked us the Opera House View King Suite and it just wasn’t up to par for the price of the room. Because we are Platinum members, they let us out of our reservation and completely understood our dissatisfaction. I have the utmost confidence that once the construction is complete this hotel will be very nice.  However, I wouldn’t recommend staying there until it is finished.

Park Hyatt Sydney

The Park Hyatt Sydney was recommended to us by friends who stayed there. I didn’t even consider it because Marriott loyalty (duh). After the fiasco with Marriott, Chris called this hotel and they had an Opera House/Harbour view room available. Done and done.

The view from our room was stunning both during the day and at night.

We had a nice size balcony where we could watch the big cruise liners come in and out as well as people watch. The best part of our room though… a HEATED toilet seat. I’m not even kidding. Our bums were in heaven.

The location of this hotel was spot on too. We were within walking distance to all the major attractions. Oh! And they have a rooftop pool.

Pier One Sydney Harbour

The Pier One Sydney Harbour is a Marriott hotel and is a less expensive version of the Park Hyatt, but way nicer than the Marriott. It has boutique hotel vibes. We popped in to check it out and would definitely be a cool place to stay!

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Pier One Sydney Harbour Lobby

What to Do

BridgeClimb Sydney

Did you know you can climb on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge?! See those tiny flags at the top? You can climb up to those flags. They are actually the size of a bus!

View of Sydney Harbor Bridge from the Sydney Opera House
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Standing underneath the bridge!

Chris is weary of heights and was slightly concerned about doing this activity. I’m indifferent about heights and was SUPER excited. The BridgeClimb was definitely my favorite thing we did in Sydney!

The scariest part is climbing up and down the ladders… once you are on the bridge itself, it’s AWESOME. We were attached to the bridge the entire time. I promise it’s not as scary as it seems.

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The sun was blaring in our eyes. (Ignore our awkward faces. Haha!) Check out the Opera House behind us! The Park Hyatt is the circle building just above my elbow.
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We made it to the top!

I loved this tour so much that I highly recommend anyone going to Sydney to do this. However, it is really expensive and they don’t let you take anything on the climb – no cameras, no phones, not even your Fitbit. They are intense about it too and make you walk through a metal detector.  Then you are pretty much forced to buy their photos for $50. Who wouldn’t want to have awesome photos from this experience?! Budget accordingly.

Sydney Opera House

I would highly recommend touring the Sydney Opera House. I assumed it was only one giant venue, but there are several event spaces inside that you get to see! I would also recommend to check their schedule during your visit and try to attend a show. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see one.

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The tours are large, but they provide everyone with iPods that allow you to hear the guide clearly at all times.

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We couldn’t take photos in the main concert hall because they were tuning the piano. Here are a few photos of other performance spaces.

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Sydney Opera House Purple Room

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Fun fact… the Sydney Opera House isn’t white! It is actually made up of off-white tiles. If it was actually white the glare would be blinding.

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Sydney Opera House Exterior

 Bondi Beach Coastal Walk

Walk from Coogee Beach to Bondi Beach! It is an awesome 45 minute costal walk.

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Bondi Beach Walk 2

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Sometimes the waves are so high they crash into this salt water pool!

Pitt Street Mall

The Pitt Street Mall is a massive mall that spans several blocks. I’ve never seen anything like it!

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One of the Pitt Street Mall buildings we walked into! It was like stepping back in time.

Where to Eat

North Bondi Fish

After your coastal beach walk, have lunch at North Bondi Fish! This trendy restaurant would also be an awesome place to grab brunch. I had the best beet salad!

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Quay Restaurant is a fine dining restaurant on the harbour with stunning views of the Sydney Opera House. We had a reservation on an evening where there wasn’t a cruise ship in the harbour. I would highly recommend looking into the cruise schedule or ask when booking your reservation if there will be a ship in the harbour as it could obstruct your view. We saw fireworks during our dinner! It was awesome.

Have you been to Sydney? What are your favorite things to do there? Leave me a comment below!

XO, Lauren

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