If you visit between May and November, take a whale-watching tour from Circular Quay. There are various tour companies and packages available, and if you’re lucky you might see humpback or ‘southern right’ whales, as well as dolphins and seals. You can reach Circular Quay from Central Station via the city’s free shuttle bus – look for a green bus marked 555 that runs every ten minutes. You don’t even need a ticket, and it’s wheelchair accessible.
Alternatively, if going out on the water doesn’t float your boat, walk up to the viewing platform at Cape Solander in Botany Bay National Park for a land-based look out.
- For various tour companies, click here
Immerse yourself in history with a trip to the Aboriginal First Hand Workshops and Market. Held on the first Sunday of each month on Bare Island, Botany Bay (which you can reach via a footbridge), the events are a celebration of Aboriginal culture. Learn the healing Djaadjawaan dance and create shell art.
With a partner
For food and drink with a view, you can’t beat The Glenmore, on Cumberland Street, which offers a stunning outlook over Sydney Harbour from its rooftop bar. There’s pub grub, from steaks and ribs to salads and salmon, starting from around AUD$18. Happily, the space has a retractable roof, so even on
rainy days you can enjoy a
bird’s-eye view of the city.
- 92474794 www.theglenmore.com.au
For a free morning’s fun, walk across the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and take photos on the steps of the Opera House before heading next door to the Royal Botanic Gardens. Join the free guided walk every day from the visitor centre at 10.30am, or wander the 12 acres of tropical plants, lawns and ponds, stopping to enjoy harbour views throughout.
- 92318111 www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au
With the grandchildren
Curb any bad behaviour with a trip to the Justice and Police Museum! Set in a former police court on Circular Quay, it now has a restored magistrates court, recreated charge room and cells and a gallery of mug shots. There are also weird and wonderful relics from famous crimes, including those of infamous bushranger Ned Kelly.
- Entry AUD$10 adults, AUD$5 children under 15, 92521144 www.hht.net.au
Daredevils can give the trapeze a go at this circus tricks class. Starting off on a low practice bar – and of course with a harness and safety net – youngsters can learn to fly through the air with the greatest of ease. Adult classes are also available if
you fancy a go!
- One-off classes cost AUD$60, 0412402742 www.circusarts.com.au/sydney
For a taste of authentic Outback life, visit Tobruk Sheep Station, set in 50 acres and overlooking the Blue Mountains. Watch the show (runs most days) that starts with a meeting with a stockman on horseback before enjoying Aussie billy tea, sheep-shearing and a working dog demonstration. Take a hearty lunch in the Woolshed restaurant before whip-cracking and boomerang demonstrations – and a chance to join in with
- Ticket prices vary, starting from AUD$42, 45668223 www.tobruksheepstation.com.au
Be ladies who brunch at one of the city’s numerous cafes. Try Ruby’s Diner, on Bronte Road in Waverley, for nutritious treats such as gluten-free banana bread, bircher muesli, home-made baked beans or brioche French toast. Alternatively, head to Brickfields on Cleveland Street, Chippendale, for rustic home-baked bread, sweet treats with a Middle Eastern influence and fresh sandwiches.
There are numerous beaches to enjoy, but if you fancy escaping the crowds at Bondi, seek out a secluded spot such as Shelly Beach in Manly. It’s a protected marine reserve that’s teeming with wildlife. There are showers, toilets and a kiosk as well as two free electric barbecues.
Explore the venue of the Sydney 2000 Olympics by hiring a bike and pedalling some of the 22 miles of cycle parkways. This huge site has sports facilities designed to get everyone involved. You can hire mountain, hybrid and children’s bikes from AUD$10 an hour.
- For general Olympic Park information visit www.sydneyolympicpark.com.au; for bike hire information call 97461572 or click here
We’ve included local phone numbers to use once in Sydney, but if you want to call from the UK just prefix with 00612. International rates will be higher.
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