Greater Sydney - Holiday Suggestions for first time visitors
Day 1: Lots of walking, good shoes required.
Head to the Circular Quay area, northern end of main strip George Street in Sydney CBD. Soak in the Sydney Opera House and consider to have a guided walk up the arch along Sydney Harbour Bridge (bookings required). On weekends, you can also explore the Rocks Craft markets and the Rocks hub where the British first settled. Fridays host the Rocks Foodie Markets.
Jump on to the ferry from Circular Quay to visit the Toranga Zoo at Mosman in the morning and spend an afternoon after catching the jet boat or ferry to Manly Beach, shopping mall, aquarium and restaurants.
Take a cab to the Surry Hills area for pubs, dining and chilling out.
Day 2: More walking - exploring multiculturalism
Take the free green Sydney Shuttle bus to Chinatown, at the other end of George Street. Jump on to the light rail to the Sydney Fish Markets and then the Star complex for the food street, upmarket shopping and the casino.
Have yum cha at Eight, on the third floor of Market City which also houses Paddys Matket from Thursdays to Sundays.
Relax at Darling Harbour in the evening and enjoy the chocolate at Guy Lian Belgian Chocolate Cafe.
For late night supper, try Chat Thai at Campbell Street opposite the Capitol Theatre or Bangkok Restaurant in the nearby Capitol Arcade.
There are many food places close late in the hubs known as Koreatown, Thainatown and Chinatown.
Day 3: Saturday - Adventure with drive and delight.
Go to the NSW South Coast! Explore the vantage look out point at Bald Hill at Stanwell Park, this gives you a panoramic view of the Wollongong coast. Have fish and chips, gelato, barista coffee and modern Aussie salads in trendy cafes Wollongong's coast first past the northern villages and then into North Wollongong Beach.
Walk along beaches, put your toes in the sand and see Wollongong Harbour's iconic lighthouses. Drop by the main campus of the University of Wollongong. Visit the largest Buddhist temple complex south of the Equator - Nan Tien, which has its own university as well. Enjoy an Italian styled dinner in Wollongong CBD or Fairy Meadow before heading back to Sydney CBD.
Day 4: Sydney suburban transport travel.
Using an Opal transport smart card (On Sundays all public transport is free), explore nearby suburbs within the Sydney metropolitan area.
Take an early train from Martin Place to Bondi Junction, with a Westfield shopping centre and enjoy breakfast there. Jump on to the bus to nearby Bondi beach and soak in the iconic sights. Return to Sydney CBD.
Come back refreshed to your accommodation. From Town Hall station, take the half hour train trip to Chatswood on the upper north shore. The train crosses the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Chatswood is a good shopping hub with various department stores, a pedestrain mall and several good restaurants. There are three major shopping areas along the main strip Victoria Avenue - Chatswood Chase in the east, Westfield in the middle and lemon Grove/ District Dining to the west. Have dinner at Tim Ho Wan (all day yum cha), Korean stuff at the Pashon Shop or German at the Bavarian Beer Cafe in the District Dining area, next to the rail station. Take the train back to Town Hall station and walk back to your CBD hotel.
Day 5: Monday - commercial tours
Book a commercial trip to the Hunter Valley (wines), Newcastle (regional city) and Central Coast (scenery). Long day trip.
If you prefer, book a trip to the Blue Mountains - Three Sisters, rustic views. Long day trip.
Day 6: Other options.
Capitol Theatre Campbell Street Sydney Chinatown and Lyric Theatre Star Complex Darling Harbour - book ahead for live musical performances.
Free walking tours in Sydney CBD meet in front of Town Hall every day from 1030am commencing at Sydney Town Hall, George Street or from 6pm at the waterfront at Cadman's Cottage, the Rocks Sydney.
Whale watching from Circular Quay Sydney Harbour during the southern winter season.
Take a train from the CBD to nearby Newtown, Erskineville and Enmore - foodies, hipsters, shoppers and alt lifestyle practitioners will love this hub.