Overview

Whether it's a staycation or you're visiting for the weekend, take an extra day or two and make a long weekend of it as you explore the cafes, suburbs and harbour.

With clear, blue skies, golden sunsets and warmer weather, Sydney knows how to sparkle in the summer sunshine. The warmer weather sees the locals making the most of the various outdoor activities on offer. Take your choice from the many beaches within easy reach of the city or one of the many outdoor pools, either an ocean pool or one right under the most famous landmarks in the world (see above for a clue!). 

If you're after some culture you'll have many options. Look out for spectacular arts festivals, sports and shows across the city, check out the Sydney Opera HouseOpens external site in a new window or the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art)Opens external site in a new window for inspiration. Or head further afield to Sydney's surrounds and see the stunning Blue Mountains or the Southern Highlands where you can escape the heat of the city on humid days and enjoy the fresh air. 

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Beyond Sydney’s designer boutiques and vast shopping malls you’ll find a bounty of local markets, selling everything from organic produce to fresh flowers and vintage wares, read about '10 Markets to Visit in Sydney'.

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Flights to Sydney

Don't miss

Enjoy a city that sparkles with a buzzing cultural scene, art, natural beauty and great food. 

  • Don't miss the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk taking in the dramatic sandstone coves and sweeping views out to sea
  • Knock the big ticket icons off your list in one hit. Head to Circular Quay and spend an evening getting up close and personal with the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and the famous markets in The Rocks 
  • Get a totally unique view of the harbour and go on a kayak tourOpens external site in a new window leaving from Andrew Boy Charlton outdoor pool near the Botanic Gardens 
  • Only a 30 minute ferry ride away and with the feel of a small surfer town, ManlyOpens external site in a new window is a must see with its golden sands, hipster cafes and relaxed attitude to life. Don't forget to pack your boardshorts or bikini.

What's on in Sydney this summer!

The city comes alive in summer. Take a look at some of the things to see and do in Sydney or take a look at the full program of events in Sydney and NSWOpens external site

Plan your Mardi GrasOpens external site in a new window Sydney Gay and lesbian mardi gras

Celebrate Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

One of Australia’s most famous and well-loved events, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras brings thousands of visitors to Sydney to join in the celebrations. Enjoy a diverse and exciting line-up of events as well as soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying the iconic surroundings of Sydney. 4 March 2017 (Parade & Party)

Plan your Mardi GrasOpens external site in a new window
Discover the Sydney FestivalOpens external site in a new window

Experience the culture of the Sydney Festival

The best time to experience Sydney is in January, when the city is in full celebratory mode. Sydney Festival presents the biggest and best of the world's performing and visual arts, all coming together in an avalanche of artistic activity. Runs from 7 to 29 January 2017. 

Discover the Sydney FestivalOpens external site in a new window
Sydney 7s infoOpens external site in a new window

HSBC Sydney 7s

Over the weekend of 3-5 Feruary, 2017, watch some of the top-ranked Men’s and Women’s Rugby Sevens nations in the world play it out for the title of victor. Watch the golden Aussies, flying Fijians, mighty Kiwis and speed demons of the USA at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney's Moore Park.

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Find out more about CarmenOpens external site in a new window

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

From 24 March to 23 April 2017 Sydney Harbour is the setting for what is surely the cultural event of the year. Some of Sydney’s most spectacular landmarks will provide the backdrop for a magnificent production of one of the world’s best loved operas, Bizet’s Carmen, when Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour returns in 2017.

Find out more about CarmenOpens external site in a new window

Where to go

Sydney’s diversity, outdoor lifestyle and naturally photogenic scenery make it one of the most pleasant capital cities to visit.

CBD, Circular Quay and The Rocks

Nothing compares with seeing the water, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera HouseOpens external site in a new window with your own eyes.

The city centre incorporates the historic convict-built RocksOpens external site in a new window area and verges on Circular QuayOpens external site in a new window with its waterfront promenade. One of the most photographed locations in the world, stroll around to the Museum of Contemporary ArtOpens external site in a new window (MCA) in one direction and the Opera House and further to the tropical Botanic GardensOpens external site in a new window in the other.

Back towards the towering city skyline, many of the banks and corporates are clustered around Martin Place – a pedestrian-only precinct that runs from George Street through to Macquarie Street. You'll find big shopping destinations in the Westfield shopping centreOpens external site in a new window, historic Strand Arcade and Queen Victoria BuildingOpens external site in a new window with department stores, high street brands and many boutiques overflowing with lovely things to take home. An ever-growing list of gourmet restaurants, boutique cafes and casual pubs means you’ll never be short of inspiration on where to eat.

Darlinghurst and Surry Hills

Darlinghurst's main strip is Oxford Street, where Sydney's fabulous Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade is held each March. If you love shopping, good food and wine or people-watching, then Oxford Street is for you. Inner-city Surry Hills is one of Sydney's most artistically-vibrant neighbourhoods. Start on Crown Street, stopping at small galleries and boutiques to explore this art, design and fashion hub. 

You'll find every sort of person in Darlinghurst and Surry Hills - there's never a dull moment in these eclectic neighbourhoods.

Bondi and Sydney's beaches

Sydney is a playground for golden beaches. Head north to Palm Beach, south to the unspoilt beauty of the Royal National Park or enjoy some of the finest urban beaches on offer.

Justifiably famous for its beach, Bondi has a style all of its own and a broad appeal for everyone from backpackers to families to hipsters. A walk along the beachfront promenade gives you the chance to experience its carefree sun-drenched lifestyle. The main thoroughfare, Campbell Parade, has stylish surf wear shops, souvenirs, outdoor cafes, cool bars and fish'n chip shops. Hall Street has cool fashion and designer labels while Curlewis Street has numerous art galleries. 

Only half an hour from Sydney by ferry, Manly has a distinctly holiday feel. Nestled between a tranquil inner-harbour beach on one side and a popular Pacific Ocean surf beach on the other, Manly combines a laid-back attitude with a sophisticated dining scene and stylish shopping.

Newtown and Western Sydney

Close to the city and with Sydney University nearby, Newtown is an inner city suburb that's always busy with an eclectic mix of students through to young families.

It still has a bohemian feel with busy bookshops, thrift stores and cheap and cheerful Asian restaurants alongside newly renovated pubs, artisanal bakers and serious coffee crafters.  

As you head inland from the city centre to the foothills of the Blue Mountains, you'll uncover plenty of things to see and do in Sydney's West. A highlight includes historic Parramatta, Australia's second oldest European settlement, and ANZ Stadium, the location for the opening of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

If you like being on the water, travel to Parramatta from Circular Quay by Rivercat, following Sydney Harbour as it heads west to become the Parramatta River. There are plenty of things to see and do in Sydney's West – whitewater rafting, go-karting and even car racing with professional instructors.

Kings Cross and Potts Point

Kings Cross is best known for its vibrant night life and prime location at the top of William Street. You'll know you're there when you see the landmark neon Coca-Cola sign. 

Adjacent Potts Point with its tree-lined streets is one of Sydney’s oldest neighbourhoods and a great place to start exploring the inner-city. Head there in the morning and join the locals at one of the many cafes before exploring the stylish boutiques or in the evening try one of the fantastic bistros. Don't miss the fantastic Beare Park or heritage listed Elizabeth Bay House, both with stunning harbour views. 

Paddington

This prestigious suburb, close to the city, is all winding streets, historic terraces and cottages and designer boutiques and cafes.

Head to the Saturday markets for a taste of local life. When you've wandered the laneways and bought as much as you can carry in the local shops and boutiques, there are plenty of great local watering holes where you can stop for a refreshing drink or something to eat such as the Paddington Inn or the Four In Hand. Still looking for something special? Try one of the two fantastic local bookstores Berkelouw and Aerial. Or if you're in the mood for a movie, forget the big chains and try the Palace Verona cinema that shows the latest arthouse and foreign flicks or the historic and beautiful Chauvel in the old Town Hall and be transported back in time.

Quick facts

Currency

Currency

Australian Dollar (AU$)

Electricity

Electricity

220-240V / 50Hz

Population

Population

4,757,000

Seasons

Seasons

Sydney enjoys a subtropical climate with more than 340 sunny days per year. Summers are warm to hot and winters are mild. In summer (December to February) average maximum temperatures are around 26°C, with an average humidity of 65 per cent. Average maximum temperatures in winter (June to August) are around 16°C. Sydney’s rainfall is highest between March and June. 

Getting around

From the airport

Once you’ve arrived at Sydney Airport, travel into the city centre with CityRail.  A free shuttle bus operates in the city centre and buses will take you to most major tourist attractions around the city including The Rocks, Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach and Manly.

Timetable information is available on the transport line 131 500, or go to www.131500.com.auOpens external site to plan your trip using the trip planner.

In and around the city

The best way to see the beauty of Sydney’s sparkling harbour is on board a ferry or cruise.  Water taxis can take you to prime harbour locations, or take to the air in a seaplane.

Other ways to get around Sydney are hiring a bike, walking one of the famous coastal walks, or hiring a car and using the inner city toll roads for efficient cross-city travel. There are also buses and trains that can conenct you across the city as well as taxis, while Uber is also a great way to get around. 

Sydney car hire

Enjoy great rates with Avis, Budget, Hertz or Thrifty and no booking fees. Qantas Frequent Flyers can also earn Qantas Points^ with Avis and Budget. 

Getting you there

Your flight with Qantas

Complimentary meals, entertainment and baggage included on every Qantas flight.

Enjoy larger portions and a greater menu variety on every flight when you fly with us. 

Complimentary meals, entertainment and baggage included on every Qantas flight.

Enjoy a range of entertainment on every flight, including news, TV, film, radio and more.

Other destinations

Darwin Darwin

Darwin

Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park

Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park

Melbourne Melbourne skyline at night

Melbourne

Important Information

^ You must be a Qantas Frequent Flyer to earn and redeem Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program terms and conditions.

~ Qantas activities are provided by Viator. Conditions apply.