Sydney is Australia’s most populous city and the capital of New South Wales. While there is plenty of urban city happenings and things to do in the metropolitan city, there are also several great getaway destinations you can drive to from Sydney. The city of Sydney is surrounded by such a variety of different scenic places with the Pacific Ocean to the east, the Blue Mountains bordering the west, the Hawkesbury River to the north, and the Royal National Park to the south. Between the urban and metropolitan city life that is rich with culture, history, and a happening night life and the natural, picturesque surroundings, there are always new places to explore.

Budget Blog - Hawkesbury River

City Life in Sydney

Australia’s most famous building is the Sydney Opera House, which just celebrated its 40th anniversary. No trip in Sydney would be complete without catching a show at the Sydney Opera House. Check the schedule of events to see what’s on because even if you are not a fan of opera, you might be able to catch a pop star performance, theatre event, or even a comedy show. If the schedule doesn’t mesh with your trip, you can always opt to take a tour of the opera house, which is available in several different languages.

Just a short drive or ferry ride from the opera house is Darling Harbour, definitely one of the hottest spots in Sydney.  Driving to Darling Harbour, you might also plan your route to drive over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which is the world’s largest steel arch bridge and quite the picturesque scene. (It is also one of the most famous landmarks in all of Australia.) If you are feeling fit and up for an adventure, you can even take a walking tour 200 steps up to the top of the “Coathanger” as the 80+ year old bridge is affectionately known to Aussies. On to Darling Harbour, where there is much to do day or night and such a wide variety of things to fit any budget.  Visit the Chinese Garden of Friendship or take a Coast Harbour Cruise, as day turns into night over the harbour, you can plan to dine at one of the restaurants before taking in a movie, bowling, or dance the night away in the nightclubs.

Budget Blog - Darling Harbour

If you want to get a bird’s eye view of Sydney, the Sydney Tower is the place for you! The structure towers 268 metres above the harbour with an observation deck, eye, and skywalk. Even if you are scared of heights, the safety features of this attraction are very reassuring. Even if you are a bit nervous, once you get to the top and see the amazingly beautiful views of the city and harbour below, it is so worth it! The outdoor skywalk tour  is a guided 45 minute tour that is educational and inspirational to see the beautiful sights of the city and water below. For a unique perspective and amazing way to start your day, check out their yoga from the sky classes each week.

Budget Blog - Skywalk Sydney

Anytime you are on holiday in Sydney, the wildlife is something that cannot be missed. Sydney’s Taronga Zoo is almost 100 years old and is located on the shores of the Sydney Harbour. The zoo features some not – to – miss adventures including a sleepover zoofari! You can spend the night at the zoo in tents or luxury lodging, listening to the animals and experiencing some amazing views of Sydney Harbour, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the Sydney Opera House. A trip to the Taronga Zoo  definitely educates you about animal conservation and you can see the many ways that the zoo is helping animals in Australia and all over the world.

Sydney Driving Tips

While driving around Sydney, it is always wise to remember this is a very busy city so use caution at all times as you are sharing the roadway with trams, taxis, and buses. Driving is on the left side of the road and be on the lookout for roundabouts.  It is always good to use the country’s resources for drivers. This map shows any bushfire warnings, which can be common during the dry season in rural areas. This is the NSW road map with live updates  as to any traffic delays, roadwork, or any other traffic hazards.