Best Things to Do in Sydney Starting With the
Harbor Bridge and Opera House

By Bea Metcalfe

Best things to do in Sydney starting with the Harbor Bridge and Opera House

Sydney born Kat serves up this taster of the best things to do in Sydney, taking you onto the harbor, into the bush and the mountains, to a couple of Sydney's best beaches, filling you up on top seafood and feeds you a bit of local culture as well - and all in just four days.

Best things to do in Sydney Day One:

Sydney is a pretty attractive city all over, especially on the kind of perfectly bright, sunny day it's famous for, but there's just no way you can resist the charm of the harbor for much longer than it will take you to unpack your luggage. Walking around it is one of the bet things to do in Sydney, and has to be the first port of call, if you didn't actually arrive at Sydney Harbor’s port.

On the train map you're looking for Circular Quay, the ferry terminal. Alight here and to your right you'll see the glorious sails of the lady Opera House, and to your left the industrial arch of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the beautiful old stone storehouses and docks of The Rocks. It's up to you which way you walk first but past the Sydney Opera House is the green gardens, grass and Moreton Bay fig trees of The Domain, and you'll probably want to explore all four harborside attractions, and possibly see Lady Macquarie's Chair and the Art Gallery of New South Wales before embarking on a harbor cruise - the only real way to see the harbor.

You could pay quite a lot of money for one, but you don't need to - for the best boat ride around hop on the Manly ferry - one of the best things to do in Sydney.

Manly will be your first Sydney beach stop - and if you want to take a dip you have a choice of the calm inner harbor by the ferry pier, or the ocean side which you walk across a pedestrian shopping precinct to get to.

Best things to do in Sydney Day Two:

Bondi is probably Sydney's most famous beach and visiting it has to be one of the best things to do in Sydney. But it's probably not Sydney's best or even prettiest beach. Do a bit of a comparison by beginning your second Sydney day on Coogee Beach, and walking along the cliffs past Tamarama to Bondi. It's about a two hour walk but there are plenty of shops selling ice creams on the way and the views are spectacular, making it yet another of the best things to do in Sydney.

If it's a Sunday you can peruse the Bondi Markets at the end of your walk, or if it's a Saturday you could visit more upmarket Paddington Markets, which are only a short bus ride away by one of Sydney's most boutique-lined shopping streets.

From Paddington it's about a 40 minute walk into Sydney's CBD past Hyde Park, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the art deco stylings of the Queen Victoria Building if you're still in the mood to shop.

Best things to do in Sydney Day Three:

Start your third day in Sydney in Darling Harbor which has the casino, lots of bars and restaurants, but more importantly is near the Sydney Fish Markets - one of the best things to do in Sydney. If you get there early enough you can see the boats bringing in their catch as you sit out on the picnic chairs and tables with your freshly cooked spread or else take up residence in the local Doyles restaurant, definitely one of the best things to do in Sydney.

Depending on your sensitivities you should plan a trip to the Sydney Aquarium before or after your meal.

You can catch a ferry from just outside the Aquarium over to Balmain and then to Luna Park and from there you could walk back over the Harbour Bridge to the Rocks and maybe do a bit of duty free shopping if you fancy it, or if it's the weekend have a wander through the Rocks Markets.

Best things to do in Sydney Day Four:

The furry, finned and feathered locals are part of Australia's appeal and by far the best place to see them - assuming you don't have time for a full blown trip into the outback - is best thing to do in Sydney: Taronga Zoo. Built into the harbor the zoos residents famously had million dollar views - though with inflation their views are probably now worth a lot more. Get the ferry over from Circular Quay and ride the cable car up to the top of the zoo then walk down the hill. You can walk amongst kangaroos and wallabies, have your photo taken with a koala, see the unusual looking platypus and watch the bird show and the seal show before visiting the rest of Noah's menagerie scattered around the park. After your final ferry trip back to Circular Quay wander along to the Opera Bar underneath the Sydney Opera House's sails and have a cool bevy and listen to some jazz and say goodbye to the harbor city in proper Sydney style.