Australia, the home of the great outdoors. Exploring places by walking and taking epic hikes has always been close to my heart. Growing up in the Yorkshire countryside, surrounded by hills for miles, Sunday walks were a family favourite. Since walking has always been something I loved to do, it’s no surprise that over the years I’ve discovered that the best way to explore is with your own two feet. Some of the Best Walks in Sydney I discovered by accident, just from walking around!
The scenery that captivates you during walks in Australia may be somewhat different to the UK but it’s just as special. Taking walks along beaches with nothing to see but the dancing ocean is magical. Combined with perfect weather most of the year Sydney is a fantastic place for walking along the coast. In this guide to the best walks in Sydney, I’m sharing some of the walks and hikes that you can’t miss when visiting Australia’s most vibrant city. I’ve also included some great walks beyond the city at the end of the post!
The Best Walks in Sydney: The City
The city centre in Sydney is where most travellers make their first stop. A trip to Sydney wouldn’t be complete without a visit to The Opera House, The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney’s Royal Botanical Gardens. Though Sydney is a big city and it can take a little navigating to find your way around the best way to do so is to walk! There are numerous walks you can enjoy around the city to capture all of the sights and inner city beauty.
Harbour Bridge to Mrs Macqauries Chair
To capture all of the tourist sights in Sydney why not talk a walk from the Harbour Bridge, past The Sydney Opera House and finish in the Botanical Gardens. This walk is really nice to enjoy in the hour before sunset so that you can finish at Mrs Macqauries Chair ready to watch the spectacular sun disappearing for the day.
Start: Overseas Passenger Terminal
Finish: Mrs Macqauries Chair
Distance: 1.7 miles or 2.7 km
Start this city walk at the Overseas Passenger Terminal (where the cruise ships dock) at Circular Quay. This gives some gorgeous views of the Harbour Bridge where you’ll get some fantastic photographs. If you’re lucky enough for a cruise ship not to be docked then the views of the Opera House are also perfect. To get a little closer to the Harbour Bridge follow the walkway to the left and just follow it around adding about 20 minutes onto the total walk. From the overseas passenger terminal follow the crowds around the harbour passing the ferry terminals as you go. Circular Quay is lined with shops, restaurants and cafes for travellers to enjoy on the way if they wish.
As you follow the pavement around take in the beauty of circular quay. Filled with travellers mesmerised with the views, locals enjoying their lunch break or rushing to the ferry docks eager to get home and out of the city (a great place for people watching!). It’ll only take a mere 10 minutes depending on your walking pace to reach the world-famous Opera House.
From the Opera House, you’ll clearly see the Botanical Gardens to your right. Follow the walkway around the edge of the water and keep going until you reach Mrs Macqauries Chair – which is signposted throughout the gardens.
Get that Postcard Shot!
The ‘Postcard’ Shot from Mrs Macquaries Chair
Mrs Macquarie’s Chair is where you’ll find the famous ‘postcard shot’ of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge! This short walk is wheelchair accessible and good for any level of fitness, with no hills just flat ground that’s paved the whole way. In total it will take around an hour once you’ve accounted for how many times you’ll be stopping to enjoy along the way. I think this is one of the best walks in Sydney to capture all of the main city sights.
Best Walks in Sydney: Milsons Point to Lavender Bay
Milsons Point to Lavender bay is another, like Bondi-Coogee, famous walk in Sydney but it’s definitely worth exploring to enjoy scenic city views!
Transport to Milsons Point
Milsons Point is located in North Sydney and easily accessible by public transport or by taking a walk over the Harbour Bridge. If you’re travelling from Circular Quay then the train will be the quickest way of getting across the water. There is a ferry that goes from Circular Quay to Milsons Point but it’s expensive. The journey lasts only 5 minutes and will cost a whopping $6! The train will only cost a couple of bucks if that so the train is 100% more budget friendly. To enjoy amazing views from the ferry then save it for visiting Manly which is the same price for a journey that’s 40 minutes rather than 5.
Milsons Point to Lavender Bay: The Circuit
Starts: Milsons Point
Finishes: Lavender Bay
Distance: 1 km or 0.6 miles
The walk from Milsons Point to Lavender Bay doesn’t take long at all. In fact, if you don’t stop on the way you could easily do it in 10 or 15 minutes!
The epic views from Milsons Point!
The trail is paved the whole way so accessible for everyone. Start at Bradfield Park and walk under the Harbour Bridge enjoying views of the Opera House from a different angle! The view of the Opera House from the back is actually my favourite angle! I love how the glass panes reflect on the water and the architecture is so phenomenal. Continue under the bridge and past Sydney’s Olympic pool wandering onto the Luna Park. Fun for everyone the Luna Park is great to explore. Entry is free just for a nosey around or enjoy the fairground rides if you fancy! As you follow the path around the Luna Park you’ll find yourself in Lavender Bay. A small bay where boats are bobbing on the water and the views of the city remain sublime.
The Best Walks in Sydney: Coastal Walks!
Sydney is renowned for its picture-perfect coastal walks. If you’re planning a short trip to Sydney then I recommend doing at least one coastal walk but I have no idea how you’ll choose one! Bondi-Coogee is glorious but it can be pretty touristy especially in the summer. I love that walk but I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite. I think that title goes to the Hermitage Foreshore Walk over in Rose Bay, imagine weaving in and out of secluded beaches with views of the harbour in the distance. One thing is for certain if you tackle any of these coastal walks that I’ll be mentioning – pack your swimmers!
Coast Walks in Sydney: Hermitage Foreshore Walk – Rose Bay
Starts: Bayview Hill Road
Finish: Neilsen Park
Distance: 1.6 km or 1 mile
Starting at just outside of Rose Bay on Bayview Hill Road the Hermitage Foreshore Walk is a tranquil trail that weaves along the edges of the Sydney Harbour National Park. You’ll find an array of beauty on this walk from tiny beaches, still waters perfect for swimming and panoramic views of Sydney. Pack a picnic and your swimmers because the beaches you’ll pass will be screaming your name. The beaches are carved like bays so the ocean is still which is my favourite kind of ocean! Crashing waves are fun but I love when you can just relax and bob up and down on the water.
My favourite beach on this walk is Milk Beach but there’s so many to choose from. The beaches before you reach Milk Beach will be the quietest. Shark beach which is just before Neilsen Park will be a little busier with tourists and locals alike but still a far cry from anything like Bondi, Bronte or Coogee Beach.
Transport to Rose Bay
Getting to the start of the Hermitage Foreshore Walk is quite straight forward if you’re coming from the city. Simply catch the ferry from Circular Quay to Rosey Bay and follow Google Maps for Bayview Hill Road. The walk to the start of this walk from the ferry terminal is about 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can catch the 325 bus from Town Hall all the way to Bayview Hill itself.
Coastal Walks in Sydney: Bondi to Coogee
Starts: Bondi Beach
Ends: Coogee Beach
Distance: 6 km or 3 miles
Tip: Route includes some steep steps and hills. Not accessible for wheels or prams.
The Bondi-Coogee walk in Sydney is a popular activity for both travellers and locals. It’s one of the favourites for runners with its gorgeous views and many beaches to stop at along the way. If you only have a short time in Sydney then most people do this walk because it’s central and you’re probably going to Bondi Beach anyway. This walk can be split up into sections, Bondi-Tamarama, Tamarama-Bronte, Bronte-Clovelly and Clovelly-Coogee racking up 6 km or 3.7 miles. The walk can take anything from one hour to three depending on your ability but I urge you to spend as much time on this walk as possible.
Can you spot Bondi Beach in the corner?
The walk winds around the coastline stopping at five of Sydney’s best beaches along the way. You’ll find a separate ocean pool at each beach too so if you have little ones who would love a swim then they can so safely. The awesome thing about the Bondi to Coogee walk is that it can be split up. You don’t have to do it all if you wish. Simply conquer the part of the walk you want to see, but it is beautiful the whole way around.
Best Coastal Walks in Sydney: Watsons Bay
Starts: Camp Cove Watsons Bay
Ends: Hornby Lighthouse
Distance: 1.6 km or 1 mile
Tip: Route includes some stairs
This short walk may only take around 20 minutes but its definitely worth exploring if you’re in Watsons Bay. Watsons Bay is one of the cutest coastal towns in Sydney. It oozes character, relaxation and beauty. The beaches are small and locals friendly. As you hop off the ferry at Watsons Bay you can explore the esplanade filled with restaurants and bars. The walk to Camp Cover is only short taking about 10 minutes.
Save this post for later!
Arriving at Camp Cove, a pristine beach complete with a smoothie shack, makes you feel like you’ve transported to a tropical island. I couldn’t believe my eyes when we stumbled upon it late on during our time in Sydney. From Camp Cove, you can follow the broad walk all the way to Hornby Lighthouse. Be warned that there is a nudist beach on the way around – it’s hidden away very discreetly so it gave us a little surprise when we saw people down on the beach! What baffled me was the viewing platform that looks directly onto Lady Bay Beach – weird!
Transport to Watsons Bay
The Ferry from Circular Quay is the easiest way to reach Watsons Bay from the city. Keep on an eye on the ferry times at this website because they are less frequent to Watsons Bay than to other areas of the city.
My Final Coastal Walk in Sydney: Fairfax Track North Head
Starts: North Head
Ends: Fair Fax Lookout
Distance: 1 km or 1 hour (see alternative walk in the description)
Another short walk in Sydney offering some incredible views of the city. The Fair Fax track itself is perfect for families or people who don’t enjoy walking. Pull up in the car park and walk the easy 1 km to Fair Fax lookout offering ocean views with the city skyline in the distance. Unfortunately, we did get rubbish weather and the city was all hazy but on a clear day, this view will be stunning.
There is also another option for this walk. Park or get off the bus at the bus stop and walk all through the bushland. You can also walk the Australian Memorial Walk dedicated to those who fought in the wars. We added this onto our walk during our time at North Head and It was worth it taking the walking time to 1 hour.
You can see the haze over the city on this day but I bet it’s wonderful on a clear day!
Transport to North Head
North head is located in Manly north of the city. You can get the 135 bus from stand B at the bus stops directly outside from the Ferry Terminal. To get to Manly from Sydney catch the Ferry from circular quay. The slow passenger ferry is the cheapest and takes 40 minutes but there is also a fast ferry option. Fast Ferry takes 20 minutes and costs around $11 opposed to $6 so it depends on your time and budget.
Walks Beyond the City: Walks Around Sydney
If walking is your thing then as you can tell there are plenty in Sydney to choose from. These few are my favourites but there are hundreds of walks around Sydney. The great thing about Sydney is its prime location on the coast. Just a few hours west of Sydney you’ve got the Blue Mountains and a couple of hours north is Palm Beach. Both the Blue Mountains and Palm Beach are well worth visiting during a trip to Sydney or New South Wales if your itinerary allows it. To finish this post I’m sharing two more walks, one from the Blue Mountains and one from Palm Beach.
Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk Palm Beach
Starts: Pittwater Beach
Ends: Barrenjoey Lighthouse
Distance: Access Track 800 metres or Smugglers Track 400 metres
Tip: Steep slopes or lots of steps! The Access Track is steep slopes up to the top or Smugglers Track consists of steep steps direct to the Barrenjoey Lighthouse.
Palm Beach aka Summer Bay! If you’re a soap fan then you might know what I’m talking about! If not then you’ve probably got better things to do with your time than the rest of us! Home and Away is an Aussie soap set in Palm Beach. After seeing the famous peninsula so many times on the TV it’s quite awesome to be there in person! During a visit to Palm Beach, a hike up to Barrenjoey lighthouse is a must so that you get that epic view. The walk up to the lighthouse is short but steep. The walk gives you two options as outlined above, the Access Track is easier than the stairs it’s still steep. We walked up to the Access Track and back down Smugglers Track.
The gorgeous peninsula at Palm Beach!
Walks in the Blue Mountains
The Wentworth Pass adjoining to Overcliff Undercliff Track
Starts: Wentworth Falls
Ends: Wentworth Falls carpark/picnic area
The Blue Mountains is inundated with glorious walks for all abilities. We spent two days in the Blue Mountains and I’ll admit I wish we’d had more time! We did tackle a few walks over our two-day visit but the Wentworth Pass was one I enjoyed the most. This track is hard with a large distance to cover with some steep hills. The views are incredible and totally worth any sweat along the way! I’d share some of the epic views with you but my old laptop died last year and of course, I hadn’t backed up properly (you live and learn) so we pretty much lost ALL of our Blue Mountains photographs! But take my word for it you want to do this hike! The National Pass hike, also located at Wentworth Falls, also looks stunning but the track was closed during our visit.
Whether you’re staying in the city or venturing up into the mountains, there are plenty of walks to keep you busy. These are definitely not all of the walks you take on in Sydney but just some of the best ones!
Sailing the Whitsundays in Australia is an experience I shall never ever forget. Engraved in my mind, memories that will last forever and friends made that will last a lifetime. The Whitsundays is probably the most famous, popular and incredible experience to have in Australia. Though heavily populated with tourists and locals alike, this is one adventure that you have to embark upon. Sailing through crystal clear aqua waters, swimming with turtles and manta rays, star gazing and sunbathing on the worlds second best beach. A Whitsundays sailing tour is like nothing else in this world. With such high demand and so many sailing tours available here’s my review on the New Horizon Whitsundays Sailing Tour ran by adventure tour company True Blue Sailing.
First up this is not a sponsored post or a gifted tour we just had a great time and I felt this trip deserved a place on my blog!
Why Sail the Whitsundays?
Before getting into the review of the New Horizon Whitsundays Sailing Experience. Why exactly should sailing the Whitsundays be on everyone’s Australian bucket list? I travelled around Australia for a year from June 2018 and I had some unreal experiences whilst covering an enormous amount of ground. From Cairns to Sydney, Canberra to Melbourne I’ve experienced a lot that Australia has to offer. The Great Barrier Reef, Fraser Island, The Great Ocean Road, I’ve seen it all but nothing has come close to Sailing the Whitsundays. Of all the experiences Dave and I have thrown ourselves into here on the land down under, The Whitsundays will always remain the highlight (even for someone who gets seasick)!
Sailing around The 74 Islands around the Whitsunday’s boasts a magical experience. Whitehaven beach is undoubtedly the highlight. Voted the second-best beach in the world. Walk on the purest white sand in the world and swim amongst manta rays and yellow sharks. There is no other beach in the world like it and yes, it looks just like the photographs! As well as Whitehaven visiting some of the reefs that get less traffic than The Great Barrier Reef was a surreal adventure. The reef glistens in the Whitsundays filled with colourful sea life and lucky for us, one big sea turtle! The Whitsundays offers experiences like nowhere else in Australia.
New Horizon Whitsundays Review
The Cost of Sailing the Whitsundays
Let’s get it out of the way! The only problem that some travellers run into when looking at sailing the Whitsundays is the cost. Basically, it isn’t cheap. The New Horizon Whitsundays 2 night and 3-day adventure that cost just under $500 per person or 250 GBP. That said, it was a million per cent worth it! The cost comes with everything included!
Accommodation on the boat, 3 meals a day and snacks whilst onboard and all swimming/diving/snorkelling equipment. The only thing that it doesn’t include is alcohol which isn’t sold on board but you can bring your own. When planning a trip to Australia I urge to make sure you’ve got a little extra saved to enjoy all that the Whitsundays has to offer! Of course, you can take day trips to Whitehaven beach which are a little cheaper but honestly, an overnight adventure is the best way to explore the Whitsundays!
About True Blue Sailing
The New Horizon Whitsundays Sailing boat is hosted by True Blue Sailing. True Blue Sailing is an adventure tour company running only in the Whitsundays. So basically, they know everything and anything there is to know about The Whitsundays and Whitehaven beach. True Blue Sailing have two boats out on the water, The Atlantic Clipper and New Horizon. Both boats are seen as the most desirable on The Whitsundays especially by backpackers. Whilst both adventures offer a similar itinerary they definitely unique and different. In Airlie Beach (the gateway to the Whitsundays) the Atlantic Clipper is known as the ‘party boat’. Occupying up to 60 guests, a 12 person hot tub and party games that go well into the night, rumour has it if you’re looking for a party the Atlantic Clipper is the place to be!
We found ourselves in the middle. We definitely weren’t looking for a party but we still wanted to have fun and a good time with fellow adventure seekers! After researching for a long time in the end the New Horizon boat seemed like a great option, which it was! The Boat managed to exceed all of our expectations. As a company, I couldn’t recommend True Blue Sailing enough. Our crew on board did everything to make sure we had an epic time, cooked glorious food and kept us all in check! We felt safe and in very good hands during our time on the boat. The skipper and crew were extremely knowledgeable about the Whitsundays answering any questions we had as a group about the area. If we were to visit the Whitsundays again, I would definitely go on the New Horizon Whitsundays Sailing Tour again!
The most exciting part about the New Horizon Whitsundays tour (other than Whitehaven Beach) is the boat! Never did I imagine myself sailing the ocean on an old-style wooden sailboat! The boat fits 32 people comfortably on board with plenty of room inside and out! Inside the boat is a kitchen, dining area and bedrooms downstairs. The bedrooms are laid out like dorm style complete with bunk beds – even double bunk beds for the couples on board which was great. The facilities were clean with two toilets and showers, obviously, time in the shower is limited to a couple of minutes so everyone gets some hot water. Plus you’ll be in the ocean all day so who needs a shower anyhow? Call me gross but I don’t care!
The only downside to being on a wooden boat is that bags with ZIPS are not allowed. Weird I know but apparently, bed bugs hide in the zippers on wooden so no bags with zips will be allowed! Unfortunately, we didn’t know this information until we arrived at Airlie Beach so we ended up coming abroad with a couple of bags from Woolworths! But guess what, we were not the only ones! People came with duvet covers for bags, bin bags, cardboard boxes and all sorts of other weird and wonderful things! But this may be something to be mindful of before you book or get to Airlie Beach buy a couple of bags without zippers.
Hands down the BEST THING, well things about the New Horizon Boat is the slide and diving board! The huge inflatable slide goes off the top of the boat into the ocean and boy is it fun! We spent our final morning throwing ourselves down the slide, honestly the best fun I have had in years! The diving board with pretty fun too I certainly did more jumping in rather than diving elegantly. BUT, was the first to jump off so I think I get a point for bravery?
New Horizon Whitsundays Tour – Meals
All meals come with the price of the tour. The meals given out to guests onboard included three meals a day, morning and afternoon snacks. It’s bring your own alcohol on board the ship and you can purchase cans of pop on board which you pay for after the tour has finished.
Now, I’m a big eater. I’m hungry most of the time and I’m that kind of person who is thinking what’s for lunch no sooner than the second I’ve finished breakfast. So when I say we were fed well, we were fed well! I’ll admit when I book these kinds of trips I’m the person worrying if we’ll be fed enough and I’ve always got extra snacks hidden away in my bag – you can never be too careful!
That said, I am thrilled to say that I really didn’t need any of those hidden snacks! There was plenty of food and it cooked beautifully! Breakfast consisted of cereals, toast, yoghurt and a variety of fruits. Lunches involved sandwiches, wraps, crisps, dips, cold meats and pasta salads. Dinners in the evening were also great, fish and mash one night and Spaghetti Bolognese the second! Snacks during the day varied from fruit to hot dogs and of course, you are welcome to bring extra food if you feel like you might need it! I like to pretend the extra snacks we bring is because Dave’s a type 1 diabetic but it’s really for me!
The team at True Blue Sailing do cater for dietary requirements just let them know in advance.
Sailing the Whitsundays from Day One was a surreal experience that I will never forget. As the ship leaves the harbour at approximately 2:15-30 join the crew for a short but very important safety talk before heading out into the ocean. During our first day at sea, we were very lucky. We managed to bag ourselves an extra snorkelling experience to what was in the Itinerary. I’m not sure if that’s because we were an easy group who signed onto the boat quickly with no messing around but it was awesome! After about an hour of sailing, we were in the water snorkelling amongst some amazing sea-life including a turtle – a life well and truly MADE! I know this doesn’t happen for every tour so turn up with your biggest smile and do everything the crew say and you might just get this treat too!
After some awesome snorkelling or sailing at sea, we dropped anchor for the night and witnessed the day fade into the night. The sunset from the New Horizon boat onto the ocean was the most incredible sunset I have ever seen. Without a single cloud in the sky, we looked on as the sky turned from a peaceful blue to a gorgeous flaming orange before settling down for the night. A few drinks began flowing and friends started to be made. The New Horizon boat is limited to play music but if you ask nicely the crew are happy to turn off the music and lights down early for some incredible stargazing. The ocean has zero light pollution and the view of the stars was just awe-inspiring.
Day Two – Whitehaven Beach
To Date one of the single best days of my life. What’s a trip to the Whitsunday’s without visiting the famous Whitehaven beach? Nothing, a trip to the Whitsundays would be nothing without visiting Whitehaven. So if you don’t have the time or the budget for an overnight sailing trip on the Whitsundays just make sure the day trip you take goes to Whitehaven beach!
Whitehaven beach has been voted the second-best beach in the world according to Flight Network in 2018. In my opinion, it should be the first but I’ve never been too Shipwreck Beach in Zakynthos, Greece which has voted the first! It’s certainly one of, if not, the best beach in Australia! Whitehaven Beach is a heavenly oasis that has its visitors speechless as they look on down at captivating swirls and aqua blue waters. Hike up to Hill Inlet first for a view that will take your breath away. After you’ve captured those amazing photographs that you’ll be able to look back for years to come, the crew take you down onto the beach itself for more fun!
There are so many reasons that Whitehaven Beach is so famous. Alongside its natural tranquillity and beauty, it’s also famous for its sand. The sand found on Whitehaven Beach is the purest sand in the world made up of 99% Silica! If you’re not sure what means then glass has 100% silica!
If you have any jewellery that needs shining up then take it down to the beach with you! Although, the crew did tell us a few stories where couples have ended up in a few fights because of ‘rusting’ jewellery in the sand, aka not real silver/gold! All jokes aside, the sand on Whitehaven Beach is mind-blowing. Because of how dense it is it retains zero heat making it cool all year round, it felt so so amazing to walk along a beach, with zero shelters, and feel cool sand between our toes! Even though the beach gets millions of visitors each year it still appears untouched. You’ll find no litter, broken trees or debris on this beach!
Whitehaven Beach Natives
As if the swirls of Whitehaven beach weren’t enough you’ll even get to swim with locals. You’ll find manta rays and yellow sharks in the water at Whitehaven Beach. But no need to worry because the rays don’t have their barbs so they can’t sting you! I can’t express how amazing it was to swim alongside these creatures!
The time we spent at Whitehaven Beach made the whole trip on New Horizon 100% worth it, the rest of fun was just an amazing bonus. After making our way back to the vessel we even had enough time for another snorkel/diving session. I urge you to get in the water on the Whitsundays if you can because the reef is glorious. As I mentioned above the reefs around the 74 islands that make the Whitsundays doesn’t get as much traffic as The Great Barrier Reef up in Cairns. Therefore the reef is a lot more alive and just glistens under the surface, truly magical.
After an early wake-up call, yes I forgot to mention the crew will wake you up daily at 06:30 am! It’s time for some thrilling water-sports! The inflatable slide is blown up, the diving board out and plenty of paddleboards for everyone to enjoy. As well we these awesome activities there is an opportunity to go on a JetBoat riding or on Banana boat (at an extra cost) of course we went banana boating which was immense fun! Dave had never been on a banana boat before so it was a whole new experience for him! I must admit, from someone whose been on a few banana boats this ride was particularly rough! We spent a lot more time in the water than on the boat! It definitely knocked the goon hangover out of me that’s certain.
After a few hours enjoying the freedom of the sailboat life and fun on the ocean surface, it was sadly time to depart and head back to Airlie Beach. What was awesome about our particular group was how well everyone got along. There were a few groups that mingled really well and we were all up for the After-Party that the crew put on at Airlie Beach afterwards with plenty of discounted drinks and food! It’s safe to say that these few days will hold a special place in my heart forever. I’m yet to be as amazed as I was sailing the Whitsunday Island’s and I hope that this won’t be my only visit.
New Horizon Whitsundays Sailing Tour – Age Range
I’m not 100% sure if there’s an age range on the tours run by True Blue Sailing but I will say that the New Horizon and Atlantic Clipper boats are known as ‘party boats’ on the Whitsundays. Especially the clipper, even I wouldn’t go on that boat and I enjoy a good party! The clipper hosts drinking and party games well into the night and I dread to think what may go on in that 12 person spa! When I was 18 it would’ve been right up my street but at 24 New Horizon was definitely better suited to us!
As a couple onboard, it was nice to be surrounded by about 5 other couples as well as people who enjoyed to socialise and have a drink whilst listening to some music. We honestly had a great laugh but I wouldn’t describe New Horizon as a party boat. There’s no scheduled game for anything like that and people are free to go to bed as early or late as they like. I’d say the average ages onboard New Horizon during our trip were 18-35.
Tips Before You Go on the New Horizon Whitsundays Sailboat
No Zipper bags allowed on board
Bring your own alcohol – don’t forget!
Goon needs to be out of the box to make more spec in the onboard cooler
Clearly label your alcohol or someone will steal it
Expect to have to wear a stinger suit (wet suit) at all times in the water or you simply aren’t allowed in.
There are no limitations to drinking alcohol on the boat but once you have your first drink you’re not allowed in the sea again! Safety first guys.
Don’t forget the seasickness tablets – the back of the boat is where it moves the less (don’t ask how I know that 😉
& of course, don’t forget to take your smile along with you! The crew from True Blue Sailing make it their priority to make sure you have a good time. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience on board the New Horizon Sailing Boat and I would definitely hop onboard again!
The East Coast of Australia. The most famous and popular backpacking destination for all travellers alike. If you’re going to visit Australia then the east coast has got to be somewhere you explore. From the treetops of the Daintree to the white swirls of the Whitehaven beach the east coast is home to some of the most beautiful places in the world. No matter how you travel down the coast your bound to have a fantastic time but, I must say the best way to do it is to drive! Whether that’s in a car or campervan you can’t go wrong. The most popular route is Cairns to Sydney which stretches over 4000 km and I dread to think how much fuel but it’s honestly the best road trip I’ve ever been on. It converted me to van life, living in campsites in Australia and showed me how amazing this planet really is.
Van life with a little luxury
It was October 2018 when we headed off on our first road trip down the Aussie east coast in a campervan! Now, even though I have been converted to living in the great outdoors I do still like a few luxuries. By that, I mean a hot shower and flushing toilet. Which I don’t think is too much to ask. So, one thing I knew that was certain was that I probably wouldn’t be staying on many free campsites! When browsing on Pinterest, which if you’re a travel blogger you’ll do all the time, I noticed that when looking for campsites in Australia a lot of posts talk about the free ones! Free campsites sound great. However, most of these campsites don’t include the above luxuries of a loo and a shower.
So that’s basically what inspired me to write this post! We stayed in some amazing campsites in Australia and I can’t recommend some of them enough! So, if you’re like me and heading off down the east coast in a campervan but still want to enjoy some facilities then I’ve got you! Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive these are just the campsites that we stayed at. I wouldn’t want to recommend any that I hadn’t been too. If you’d like any more information about any of these sites or just need some more camping in Australia tips, then please comment at the bottom of the post or just email me – I would love to help!
Ultimate List of the best campsites in Australia: on the East Coast
I apologise in advance that this post is going to be rather wordy as I didn’t take many photographs of the campsites! (Something I’ll be sure to do next time around!)
The starting point for most road trips down the Australian east coast, Cairns. Where two world heritage sites come together it really is somewhere that must be on your Australian bucket list. Cairns is where the rainforest meets the reef. Find yourself snorkelling with Nemo one day and hiking deep into the rainforest the next.
Cairns is surrounded with magnificent views of the Daintree rainforest everywhere you look, it really is spectacular. Hopefully, you’ll be able to spend a few days in Cairns and explore all it has to offer. The city itself is popular with backpackers offering a vibrant nightlife and cafe culture.
For our two night stay in Cairns, we choose NRMA Holiday Park. As our first holiday campsite in Australia, we were a little apprehensive about what we would get for a buck but after this stay, it was clear we had nothing to worry about.
Locations: 10-minute drive from the centre of Cairns
Facilities: Powered and Unpowered sites, Lodges, Swimming Pool, Toilet and Warm Showers, Reception, Free WiFi & BBQ Pits/Camp Kitchen.
An unpowered site from $31 AUD / 17 GBP
Powered site from $38 AUD / 20.50 GBP
I like to call the Atherton Tablelands the hidden gem of Far North Queensland. It isn’t because it’s very well known by travellers and locals but I hadn’t heard too much about this place until we arrived in Brisbane. A friend was raving on about how amazing it is and how we just had to go and visit.
So we decided to add it into our itinerary and I’m so glad that we did! The Atherton Tablelands is like taking a vacation to the countryside, away from the coast and into the peace and quiet. Most tourists stay in Cairns so it was lovely to be away from the hustle and bustle and out amongst nature. You can read a little more about The Atherton Tablelands here.
We stayed at Lake Tinaroo during our stay and camped at Lake Tinaroo Holiday Park, after wonderful campsite with great facilities. But it wasn’t the facilities that made this place special it was the fact it was on the Lake. We star gazed at night and walked around the Lake in the early morning. If only we had longer at this place and we’d have been kayaking and all sorts on Lake Tinaroo!
I haven’t spoken much about Townsville on my blog or social media accounts, follow us on Facebook here and Instagram here! Honestly, there isn’t much to in Townsville. It’s a small town on the beach with some cafes and shops. The reason that travellers go to Townsville is because of Magnetic Island. Townsville is the gateway to Magnetic Island where you can hire barbie convertibles and see heaps of Koalas! Unfortunately, we got caught up in a huge storm and didn’t make it across to the island. Luckily we had a nice campsite to enjoy for our stay inside away from the rain.
Facilities: Toilets & Shower, Unpowered, Powered, Lodges, Beachfront, Gas, Ice, Shop, Tours available to purchase from reception, Free WiFi.
Unpowered site $31 AUD/17 GBP
Powered site $37 AUD/19.95 GBP
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Airlie Beach the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and Whitehaven Beach! The most popular destination on the Australian east coast has got to be the Whitsundays. You won’t be spending much time at your campsite in Airlie Beach because it’s too amazing to not be exploring the area! Not to mention you’ll probably be on a boat for the majority of your stay here! It was in Airlie Beach where we made our first rookie camping mistake!
As we were about to set sail for three days we weren’t staying in our campervan. So we booked ourselves four nights in a campsite to leave the campervan there. Obviously, this was a pretty big expense for something we weren’t using. We later found out that other travellers had paid $10 to leave there cars and campervans in a carpark on the harbour. In hindsight, this would’ve been a much cheaper option so do think about that as you approach Airlie Beach.
That said, it was safe. The carpark isn’t secure and we had our lives crammed into that one campervan so I’m actually glad that we chose to leave it at the campsite as it was much safer and less likely to be broken into.
Location: 10 minutes drive the main strip in Airlie Beach
Facilities: Toilets & Showers, Pool, BBQ areas, Camp Kitchen, Lodges, Tents for hire, Unpowered sites, Powered sites, Free WiFi, laundry, daily bird feeding to watch, children’s playground and go-karts/buggies for hire.
Unpowered Site: $30 AUD/15 GBP
Powered Site: $40/ 21.70 GBP
Book with booking.com to save on campsites in Australia!
A town often skipped by many backpackers on the east coast of Australia. Agnes Waters is a small beach town that comes hand in hand with 1770. Both tiny but equally as beautiful. Head to these towns for a sleepy few days away from the crowds and no phone reception. Another reason to visit is that Agnes Water is home to the best campsite this side of the east coast…
If you’ve ever dreamt of seeing over fifty kangaroos all in one places then your dream may be about to come true! Welcome to Horizon Kangaroo Sanctuary. The owners of this campsite live on the premises and rehabilitate orphaned joeys from the area. The funds that they receive from the campground go towards helping these little fellas out. There aren’t many pitches and it the campsite is really only available for campervans and cars. Go to sleep and wake up with Kangaroos bopping around, it’s the ultimate Aussie experience! Kangaroos aren’t all you’ll find at this campsite either we saw possums, peacocks and an array of birds. There’s also an epic sunset that you watch from over the hills too!
Location: 10-minute drive from the beach at Agnes Water
Facilities: Toilet, Shower and fire pit.
Powered from $30
Unpowered from $25
Ah, Noosa another beach town classic! Popular with surfers Noosa is a beautiful beach town lined with cafes, bars, restaurants and boutique shops. I often feel like Noosa and Byron rival each other and for me, Byron always wins but Noosa is lovely. We visited a little shop as we strolled the streets of Noosa and a local said to us…
Like many of the Australia beach towns, nothing much does happen in Noosa but that’s the beauty of it. After living in Australia for a year there’s nothing I loved more than packing up a campervan and taking off for a weekend on the beach. The Australians live for their lazy weekends in places like Noosa. If you like drinking, surfing, sunbathing and BBQing then you’ll enjoy Noosa no matter what.
When we arrived in Noosa it was first of many stays we had in the Ingenia Holiday Parks and I must say, their facilities are wonderful. After very basic toileting and showering needs in Agnes Water, it was lush to have a hot shower with no time limit! These holiday parks come with everything you need and even had a little bit of luxury to your camping trip! We also stayed at Igenia Holiday Parks in, Coffs Harbour and Hervey Bay so I won’t talk about them again in this post. The prices can vary depending on location so make sure you check, Noosa being a little more expensive.
Ah havening been to Byron twice it was hard to decide which campsite to list here as they were both awesome! Check out this post for my review of both of these campsites! But the one that triumphs the other again has to be Discovery Parks. The main reasons being that on the weekends they offer free yoga – what else could you ask for?!
Facilities: Free Yoga, Pool, Kids Waterpark, Swimming Pool, Tennis Court, Jumping Pillow, Cabins, Lodges, Tents, Powered and Unpowered Sites, Camp kitchen, Toilet, Shower
Powered Site: $45 and upwards / 24 GBP
Unpowered Sites: $30 AUD/ 17 GBP
We stayed at a gorgeous little campsite in Coffs Harbour which was actually an Ingenia campsite. Head back up to Noosa for the review as they are more a less identical. Though I felt that there wasn’t much to do in Coffs Harbour it’s going to look at the marina and Sealy lookout. Sealy lookout looks out over Coffs and out onto the ocean with views for miles, the hill to climb up is pretty steep but if our old Toyota Hiace can make it then anything can!
Not to be mistaken for Port Macquarie. We stumbled upon Lake Macquarie by accident. Our plans were to stay at Port Macquarie but when we arrived at lunchtime there wasn’t much going on and two campsites that we phoned were fully booked. So we got back on the road and ended up staying at Lake Macquarie and wow were we impressed! This was our final night on the road and to end up staying in this beautiful place was just amazing. We parked our campervan right on the edge of the lake and watched the sun go down from afar. There was wildlife everywhere from pelicans to families of ducks it was peaceful and exactly what we needed to finish our spectacular road trip off.
Facilities: Lakeside, Toilets and Shower, Camp Kitchen, BBQ areas, Free WiFi, gorgeous walks around the lake – bonus!
Powered: $50 upwards / 27 GBP
Unpowered: $36 standard / 19.50 GBP OR Lakeside $41 / 22 GBP
And then we reached the big city of Sydney, so we said goodbye to our van! Don’t get me wrong there are a few campsites you can stay at for free on the east coast. But campsites in Australia that are free are few and far between. Of course, you can camp in national parks for a lot cheaper but you don’t get your power etc then! Dave is diabetic which also adds to why we have to stay at campsites that have power so we can keep his medication insulated! and we enjoy some luxuries like a hot shower and nice-ish toilet!
Sydney, Australias most famous city without a doubt. Home to the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge landmarks that are well known all over the world. Travellers flock in every day to catch a glimpse of these sights for themselves. I can assure you that they don’t disappoint. After living in Sydney for six months I can tell you confidently that three days just won’t be enough to experience all this city has to offer. That said with a well planned out 3-day itinerary to Sydney you can explore a lot of this bright and wondrous city. To jump to any section of this guide just click through the links below!
Before I dive into this perfect 3-day itinerary to Sydney. Let me share some history into this city built on the harbour. We call those who live in Sydney a ‘Sydney Sider’ but the first real Sydney Siders were the Aboriginal people. The Aboriginal people who lived in Sydney were the Gadigal people who still lived and hunted in Sydney long after the Europeans came in 1788. There are still Aboriginal people living in Sydney today. Australia was put on the map by a British Explorer name James Cook the first European to explore Australia and it’s East Coast on one of his three Voyages. He also explored New Zealand mapping out his every move along the way. It is Captain who first came into contact with the Aboriginal people here in Australia in 1770.
It was James Cook who claimed the Eastern Coastline for Britain and then some years later in 1788 Sydney Captain Arthur Phillip led the first British Fleet to Port Jackson in Sydney. With 11 vessels they used Sydney as a prison settlement for British convicts. But over the years as more people learnt about Sydney the more they came. Settlers came and the British convicts stopped arriving in 1840. Over the years the population of the Sydney as did the popularity of the harbour, remaining one of the most famous in the world today. To learn more about the history of Sydney follow this link or make sure you visit one of the many museums on your visit!
3 Day Itinerary to Sydney – What’s Inside
This 3 Day Itinerary to Sydney is perfect for first timers visits to Sydney! When I visited Sydney on my first trip to Australia in 2018 I too was a first timer. After six months I can call myself a slight Sydney expert! Sydney is a city that keeps on giving to all that visit. If you’re a foodie on the hunt for culinary delights, a history buff or a tourist after a glimpse of the famous sights, you can do it all here in Sydney.
My mission is to make travel easy for first timers and share my advice so you can make the most out of the places you travel to! I’ve been disappointed by many a trip I’ve taken usually down to bad advice and untruthful tips! Hint: overly edited Instagram photographs that look nothing like the real deal!
Getting to Sydney from the Airport
Distance: 8 km, 8.4 miles
Time: 25 minutes
There are multiple options available when getting into the city from the Airport. With only 3 days in Sydney, you don’t want to be wasting time so no dilly-dallying in the airport! Get yourself straight to baggage collection and on your way into the city! The main transportation options to get into Sydney from the airport are, train, bus, taxi and shuttle. Each comes with a different price so it depends on your budget!
Bus – Getting the bus will be the cheapest option by far but equally the most difficult. There isn’t a public bus running straight from the city centre to the Airport. So you’ll need to research which buses you need to reach your accommodation. Use the New South Wales Travel Planner instead of Google Maps. It keeps all its times updated so you can see when your bus is running late.
Train: When getting into Sydney I would always opt for the train. It’s easy and goes straight to the city centre just follow the signs and most other people! It isn’t cheap but you’ll come to learn that not much in Sydney is (sorry to break it to you) a one way trip to the city and back to the Airport will cost you $17-20.
Be warned: the transport service in NSW will advertise that the train takes 15 minutes to the CBD, it doesn’t. It will take at least 25 minutes.
Taxi: Taxis are available from each terminal with a taxi rank located out the front. Taxi is the most expensive way to get into the city setting you back at least $40-60. It should only take 20 minutes but traffic is often against you here in Sydney so it will more often than not take a lot longer, especially as you get closer to the city.
Shuttle: The other option is to get to the city via shuttle bus. The two companies the airport use are Ready2Go and Mozio both have information desks in both terminals inside the airport. The cost of the shuttle bus varies depending on how what time you land and where your accommodation is based. Follow the links above which will take you to the websites required for a price estimation.
Opal Cards: To travel on public transport in Sydney you’ll need an Opal Card. Opal Cards are the equivalent of a GoCard in Brisbane or Oyster Card in London. Top them up via a pay station or via the Opal App and tap on and off on each journey. You’ll be able to use these cards on all transport in Sydney. You can still pay on some buses and trains but the expectation is that you have an Opal card – your fare will be cheaper with one too! You can purchase from the airport, newsagents, supermarkets so you won’t have trouble getting hold of one! It’s $10 to buy one which you can get back if you return it at the end of your trip!
Be Savy: Weigh your options up wisely when it comes to transport into the city. What is going to be the cheapest and fastest option? It’s more than likely going to be the train which is the mode of transport I always suggest and opt for myself! But if your travelling in a large group a shuttle or taxi split between you all may be cheaper so make sure you think outside the box! Do you have a friend, relative in Sydney with a car? Could they pick you up!
For more Information on public transport from the airport in Sydney go here!
Getting Around Sydney
Sydney is a big city and with only a 3-day itinerary there’s going to be some walking and public transport involved. Get your Opal Card as mentioned above, a robust pair of shoes and your phone fully charged, you will need Google Maps!
The easiest way to navigate the city circle is via walking or the trains.
The Ferry’s to the bay’s surrounding the city, basically, if you cross water you can catch a ferry there BUT they are expensive!
Buses are very regular and go to most places in Sydney.
Where to Stay in Sydney – 3-Day Itinerary to Sydney
In Sydney when it comes to finding some accommodation you’ll be overwhelmed with choice. From backpackers hostels to swanky hotels boasting spectacular views of the Harbour. It all really depends if you’re in town to save or splurge!
No matter where in the world I am I usually book my accommodation through either booking.com or Air BnB! We are budget travellers so always looking for the best offer! With booking.com you almost always have to the option to cancel up to 48 hours before. So top tip? Book through booking.com and keep searching if you find a cheaper deal you can always cancel and rebook other accommodation on booking.com or elsewhere. I did this for my trip to New York as the prices were constantly fluctuating and I stumbled on a corker of a deal giving me an upgraded room for a quarter of the price!
Location of Accommodation
Sydney is one huge place that can be overwhelming. There’s Air BnB’s and hostels everywhere you turn so it can be tricky to know where to base yourself. For the purpose of this 3-Day Itinerary to Sydney, I’m going to be sharing places to stay in the city centre. Over these 3-days you’ll be exploring the city, some beaches and some areas North of the Harbour Bridge so being in the city places you right in the middle. This means you’ll have easy transport links throughout your stay in Sydney.
If you do want to stay on the beach then I’d recommend staying in either Bondi or Manly.
To save money on your accommodation in Sydney then I would recommend either staying in a hostel or an Air BnB. With only a 3-day itinerary to Sydney, a hostel in a shared room or room in an Air BnB will be perfect. You’re not there for long and you’ll be saving a lot of dollars to spend elsewhere! Like the bar?
Hostels in Sydney
YHA Sydney Harbour: One of the most popular Hostels in Sydney make sure you book in advance. The Sydney Harbour Hostel is a great place to stay during your visit. It’s got all the facilities you need and gorgeous views of the harbour for cheap prices! Travel Blogger Mollie Bylett recently hosted one of her Where’s Mollie Global Travellers Tours here which you can check out on her blog here! Dorm rooms start from AUD 35 per night = GBP 16.80 Per Person Per Night.
The YHA even has a rooftop terrace!
The POD Pitt Street: The Pod Hostel on Pitt Street is another great city centre option. Hot with backpackers as one of the coolest hostels in Sydney you’ll be close to everything you need in the city. With multiple dorm options available its a great choice for those not bothered about sharing rooms. A night at The POD again starts at approx 40 AUD = 21 GBP
Air BnB Air BnB is by far my favourite way to find great places to stay for a great price! We’ve stayed in loads of rooms found on Air BnB since arriving in Australia and haven’t been disappointed with any of them! The hosts have all been great and often given us tips and tricks that go beyond the guidebook! I love being able to chat with the locals and get their take on the city!
If you’d like any recommendations on which suburbs to stay in on your trip to Sydney then please email me at [email protected], leave a comment below or send me a direct message over on Instagram and I would love to help you out!
Hotels in Sydney – Splurge!
Okay if you’ve got the cash to spare then I’m going to recommend a hotel that I’ve heard some really great things about. The Shang Ri La Hotel located on Circular Quay towers over the city offering some magnificent views of both, The Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. It’s an extremely popular choice with holidaymakers, businessmen/women and Instagrammers! The famous shot of people looking through the window out onto the harbour? You can find that here!
But all that luxury is going to cost and prices start at 200 AUD Per night = 100 GBP
Take a look at available accommodation in Sydney below using the interactive map!
For more information on how to book the best accommodation for your stay in Sydney then head over to this guide by AllTheRooms.com This guide travel guide to Australia goes into the best places to stay in the land down under. It also goes into the price/availability of accommodation over the year, which I know will be helpful to some of your budget travellers! Check it out here!
Now we’ve got all the logistics out of the way lets get onto the good stuff, how to spend 3 days in Sydney!
3 Day Itinerary to Sydney – Day one
Visit Circular Quay
Circular Quay is the Sydney tourism hub, you may love or hate that fact. But it’s true. Circular Quay is filled with busy tourists from all over the world all with one mission. To visit The Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. It’s the busiest place in the city and probably the most extraordinary. Once stood before these famous landmarks you’ll have to pinch yourself that you’re really living that moment.
Spend some time taking in the views, enjoying the scenes of both the Bridge and Opera House. You can see both the famous sights for free. If you want to go inside the Opera House but don’t have time to watch a show, which with just 3 short days you won’t, you can take a tour inside for just 40 AUD/20 GBP. Tours run daily lasting around one hour. Always book in advance for an extra discount. The tours are available in English, French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese and Korean.
If the views enough for you then make sure you grab a drink at Opera Bar and enjoy it even more! A beer with views like this, who can complain? Alcohol starts off at AUD 10/6 GBP upwards per drink in Sydney. Beer is cheapest then wine and then cocktails. I wouldn’t order a cocktail at Opera Bar as they take an age to be made! – Just being honest.
Visit the Botanical Gardens
As you walk past the Sydney Opera House you’ll see the Royal Botanical Gardens. A scenic haven filled with lush green lawns, beautiful flowers and far cry from the madness of the city. Take a picnic and a stroll around the gardens. My favourite place to enjoy life in the gardens is at Busbys Bar, a little bar that sits in a shipping container. Grab a deck chair and watch the world go by. There’s also usually exhibits on in the gardens if sitting around isn’t your thing!
As you walk past Busbys at the far side of the Botanical Gardens keep walking to Mrs Maquiries Chair. Here you’ll find the epic postcard view of the harbour! This is also a brilliant place to watch the sunset over the city, I haven’t included it in this 3-day Itinerary to Sydney but if you’d prefer it over Darling Harbour then head back here! The gardens lock the gates at 8 pm November-February during the summer but it does vary at other times of the year. Keep updated here. But you can still access Mrs Maquiraires Chair via the road.
Visit The Art Gallery of New South Wales
The Art Gallery of New South Wales is located at the other side of the Botanical Gardens to Mrs Maquiraires chair and is completely free to enjoy. If you enjoy art then you’ll love the four levels of art located at the gallery with different exhibitions from all over the world! You can keep up to date on what’s going to be on when you visit through their website.
Sydney Tower Eye
For 360 degree views of the city beneath you, it’s time to head to the Sydney Tower Eye! The Sydney Tower Eye is located inside the famous sphere building you see in the photographs. It’s a view you don’t want to miss! Buy tickets online for the cheapest option starting at 23 AUD per person/12.50 GBP.
Dine at Darling Harbour
Check what time sunset is during your visit and head to Darling Harbour for an evening of great food, drinks and an amazing sunset. The weather is usually uncredible in Sydney so the chances of you getting a good sunset are high! Darling Harbour is filled with over 100 places to dine and drink making you spoilt for choice! If you are watching the cash then get there early as everywhere has an early bird option!
Top Tip: if you’re visiting on a Saturday then you can enjoy free fireworks every Saturday from 9 pm at Darling Harbour Sydney.
Day Two – 3 Day Itinerary to Sydney
Bondi – Coogee Coastal Walk
Coastal Walks are Sydney’s thing! I can think of six straight of the bat without even thinking about it. So trying to decide which one to include in this guide was so hard! I’ve gone for the Bondi-Coogee coastal walk because it’s one of the most famous and also one of the most beautiful. On my first trip to Sydney, we tackled this walk on one of our first days and it took my breath away. The views of the coast are epic along with great beaches and snorkelling spots throughout. You’re going to want your swimmers for this one!
The Bondi-Coogee walk stretches along beaches, cliff tops and amazing footpaths winding along the coast. The walk itself is 6 km, just over 3 miles. It takes around two hours but I’d spend the majority of the day exploring the walk, lounging on the beaches and swimming in the ocean and various free swimming pools Sydney has to offer! I’d say the walk is easy-medium in difficulty. There are a few steep hills and stairs to climb on the way. It isn’t really wheelchair friendly and taking a pram/stroller would be difficult.
For more in-depth information about the trail then head to this website!
Start at Bondi Beach
To get to Bondi Beach from the city you need to get the train to Bondi Junction and then the 333 bus to Bondi Beach. Don’t be alarmed if the bus doesn’t stop. The 333 is full to brim with eager beach goes every day and won’t stop when it’s full just be patient and wait for the next one. They run every 6 minutes so you’re never waiting for long.
Get off the bus where everybody else does or as soon as you see the beach. I have a feeling you’ll be surprised by how beautiful Bondi is. I expected it to be trashy and full of tourists, whilst the latter is true everybody is there to have a great time. Spend some time on the beach and taking in the cool street art that lines the broad walk just above the sand. Pick up some snacks from the shops and then walk towards the iconic Bondi Icebergs which is where the coastal walk begins. There are signs throughout on which way to go but if in doubt follow the crowds! You can swim at the Bondi Icebergs but you do have to pay and there’s a tonne of other swimming holes on this walk so I’d sit tight on that one!
Bondi – Tamarama
As walk past Australias most famous beach, past the Icebergs and onto the footpath that weaves around the coastline. The distance to Tamarama is 1.2km taking half an hour. There’s an aboriginal rock engraving on the way around and great spots to get that beautiful photo! The beach at Tamarama is one of the smallest on this walk and though not as popular as Bondi or Bronte it’s one my person favourites. We have plenty of memories here including Christmas Day 2018! The beach is good and surf even better!
Tamarama – Bronte
This is the shortest distance during the walk taking only minutes from one beach onto the next! Bronte is one of a kind. The beach is golden in colour and has some special swimming spots! Where the ocean meets the shore on the right-hand side of the beach is the Rock Pool where you can swim in if you don’t fancy taking a dip in the open water! A little further on you’ll find the Bogey hole which is a free public swimming pool and my favourite one in Sydney. Sydney is full of free swimming holes like this you’ll find at most of the beaches so make sure you have a little look around!
Bronte is a great place to grab some lunch if you didn’t pack a picnic. There’s a short strip of cafes and restaurants as you walk away from the beach on the left. We ate at Jenny’s Cafe the first time we took on this walk filling up with Eggs Benedict to get us around the rest of it!
Clovelly is a popular place to snorkel in Sydney so if you’ve got on then bring it along! The walk to Clovelly is fairly easy and takes 40 minutes to about an hour at 2.2 km or 1.3 miles, depending on how fast you walk. You’ll enjoy the scenic views of the ocean and can look back on Bondi Beach from a distance! Walk past the historic Waverley Cemetary and down onto Clovelly beach before embarking on the final leg of the walk.
Clovelly – Coogee
The final few miles! Again taking up to an hour at 1.8 km or 1.1 miles this stretch is the most difficult. Your walking on steep cliff tops, up some very steep slopes and up a lot of stairs! They save the best til last right? But that soft white sand and ocean waves crashing against the Coogee are well worth it! When you arrive in Coogee you can pull out your towel and head to the beach, giving yourself a well-deserved rest. There’s plenty of bars and ice cream stands nearby so treat yourself after all that walking! If you’re looking for more swimming then head to Wylie Baths, another free swimming pool!
You can see from these photographs how beautiful this walk really is and it’s better in person. Coastal walks are around every corner in Sydney but this is one of if not the best! The only one that I think comes in close is the Watsons Bay lighthouse walk because there you get amazing views of the city from afar, but only one beach! It’s definitely swings and roundabouts with most things in Sydney.
Dine at The Rocks
After all that walking it’s time to explore historic Sydney and chill out at The Rocks. The Rocks are what I like to call a slice of England in Sydney. It reminds of The Shambles in York, I think because of it’s cobbled streets! The Rocks are amazing to see at night because it’s all strung together by fairy lights looking all pretty and magical!
If your budget is tight then go back to your accommodation to cook a meal if you have the option but The Rocks have some fantastic options for food! For you pub lovers out there this is where you’ll find your traditional pubs in Sydney rather than bars. Visit Sydney’s oldest pub The Fortune of War in The Rocks! I’d also recommend visiting the Glenmore Hotel for an awesome view of the city with your drink in hand!
For a full list of other places to eat and drink take a look at what’s on at The Rocks here.
Final Day – 3 Day Itinerary to Sydney
Queen Victoria Building
With so much fun to be had in and amongst this city, it was hard trying to narrow it down for the final day but I managed it! The final day of this itinerary is all about taking in the heart and culture of the city. And of course, catching more views of that all impressive Sydney Harbour. On your last day make sure you’re up bright and early to start the day in the city. Head over to the Queen Victoria Building which is impressive from head to toe, inside and out.
The architecture of the outside is phenomenal and the detail inside is just as inspiring. You’ve got to visit the top floor and to experience The Royal Clock which you can see photographed below, it is really quite something! The QVB building is now a shopping centre where you can find more upmarket buys if you wish – personally I just love looking around the building.
Walk the Harbour Bridge
It’s not really possible to visit Sydney and not get close to the Harbour Bridge! There are few options when it comes to this grand piece of Sydney from climbing, walking and cycling. Hire a cycle and cycle over the Harbour Bridge taking in the views whilst having a laugh at the same time.
The second most popular option is to tackle the bridge climb! You’ll be guaranteed picture-perfect views of this majestic city when you reach the top but it isn’t for the faint-hearted! It’s also expensive around 200 AUD that’s around 100 GBP to climb the bridge! If your heart is set on conquering this climb then you can find out more here. For a cheaper option and one with less adrenaline, you can go up Pylon lookout for just 50 AUD or 25 GBP which might be more up your street.
But if you prefer to have two feet firmly on the ground at all times simply walk the bridge. You’ll get the same views just a little lower down. The bridge takes around 30-60 minutes to walk across depending on how fast you are and how many times you stop for photographs on the way!
The best views of Sydney are from Milsons point. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, I adore the views from Milsons point. You get the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and City Skyline all in one! There are lovely little walking tracks that go along the front of the water down here. It’s a wonderful spot for a picnic and home to Sydney Harbours Olympic swimming pool. If you’ve got little ones or are still a big kid yourself you’ll find the Luna Park here too even if just for a photograph. It’s free entry but you do have to pay to go on the rides.
Once you’ve finished exploring Milsons Point jump on the ferry back to Circular Quay. It does cost $7 but the views from the water are worth it, especially on the final day of this 3 day itinerary to Sydney.
I hope you enjoyed this 3 Day Itinerary to Sydney! If you want to print out this guide and take it on your travels you can download the PDF here! (It would make me so freaking happy so if you do be sure to take a picture with it and tag me!) This is definitely not the only way to spend 3 days in Sydney but for first-timers, it’s a great way to get all the major sights in. Of course, there are heaps more things to do like, going to Manly, Taronga Zoo, Manly to Spit Bridge Coastal Walk, Watsons Bay and not to mention all the suburbs there are to explore! I can’t wait to dive into some more guides and help make your travel time in Sydney easier!
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I love reading travel blogs. When a blog post really draws me in I’m often left with the excitement of wondering where said travel blogger is heading too next! Sometimes you can find out via social media but I also love it when you can read all about their future travel plans in a blog post too! It makes me feel like part of their journey knowing what adventures are in store for them next. So that said, I thought I’d better create my very Where to Next page! If you’ve been around for a while you’ll know I haven’t updated my previous ‘where to next’ page in a little while.
After living in Australia for a year it was time to hit the road again. We left Australia in June 2019 and found ourselves not too far away in the beautiful country that is New Zealand.
When I first imaged our life after we got to Australia I thought that we would be here for good. But you don’t really know what a place will be like until you’ve lived, breathed, cried and relished in all that it has to offer.
This adventure started with one dream. My dream to see Australia, I have no idea what but something was pulling me there. Living in Australia was nothing other than amazing, educational, liberating whilst being challenging and difficult too. The big thing that I’ve learnt since arriving in Australia is that the world is a BIG place with so much more to see! It’s left me with an even bigger wanderlust than before and now we are on a mission to travel the world, starting with New Zealand, I mean we are so close it would be rude not to right?
I have no idea how long we’ll stay in New Zealand but we’ve got a Working Holiday Visa which gives us up to 23 months in the country if we want it!
It’s hard to give you any more than that for now because though we want to travel the world who knows what could happen in another year? One thing is more certain though, we aren’t done with the world just yet, travel is who we are right now and I can’t wait for our next string of adventures. I hope you join us for the journey, your love and support is everything because without it I wouldn’t be sat here writing any of this.
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So now I’ve told you, you tell me where is your next adventure taking you?
Nine Month Travel Reflection – Living in Australia
As I stretch my gaze over Lavender Bay and across the Sydney Harbour, I can’t believe that it’s been nine months since we touched down in Australia. Travelling and living in Australia has been one of my biggest dreams ever since I can remember. I could never express why but I just felt drawn to come and explore the wonder that sits over ten thousand miles away from home.
Year upon year I would plan out my visits in my imagination. But as each year rapidly passed by, and then another one, followed by another one. I found myself wondering if I would ever make it onto Aussie soil. So, last year as I climbed the stairs to board the flight from Manchester to Brisbane I couldn’t have felt more proud of myself. I had reached a goal that nobody thought was anything but a vision of my dreams. And I’m even prouder to say that, after living in Australia for the past nine months, has been proof that Australia has always been calling.
The last time I sat and composed a reflection of our time living in Australia was back when we were just about to leave Brisbane. We’ve achieved so much since then. From driving over 5000KM of the Aussie road down the East Coast to relocating to Australias most famous city, Sydney. It’s been fun and sometimes challenging. We’ve battled in our heads about whether or not we were prepared to go and get down and dirty on a farm, just to stay living in Australia another year. I got offered and then turned down a sponsorship opportunity and now we are on the big countdown until my Mum arrives in April (T-minus 4 weeks!) So in case you were wondering a lot has been going on down under!
Living in Australia: Leaving Brisbane aka Home Behind
Since I haven’t written a post like this for over eight months I can’t promise that this won’t be more like a thesis than a post. I’ll try not to ramble on too much! Leaving Brisbane in October was a little like leaving home. When we arrived in Australia we just fell into the Brissy way of life almost instantly.
We made an incredible friendship with some friends of mine from the UK and just felt at home. Since leaving we’ve been back to Brisbane twice and I can’t help but get a sense of warmth and familiarity every time we visit. Needless to say, as much as we loved Brisbane with every bone in our bodies we love Sydney even more! Sydney has been the ultimate wow factor of Australian cities so far, though it has amazed me in so many ways I still can’t put it above New York (Sorry, not sorry). So what was it like moving from Brisbane to Sydney? Well, it was a little like moving from Sheffield to London. Brisbane is a big city but Sydney is bigger. We went from knowing our way around the complete CBD in Brisbane after a few weeks, to still needing the power of google maps to navigate us around Sydney, eight months later! The suburbs all merge into one and I can’t decide where I love the most, the Northern Beaches or the Eastern Suburbs?! It’s all so wonderful. But before we landed in the big city we had our magnificent road trip down the East Coast!
One Month of Van Life
The drive from Cairns to Sydney is the most famous and popular amongst all backpackers here in Australia. Racking up over 5000KM in just one month it’s fair to say we covered a fair amount of ground and had some life-changing experiences. To swim in The Great Barrier Reef was one of the most memorable experiences that I have ever had! And yes in case you were wondering we met Nemo and a Sea Turtle!
The Great Barrier Reef wasn’t the only jaw-dropping moment, sailing the Whitsundays and exploring Fraser Island are up there with some of the best times of my life. In fact, this road trip was so memorable that when my mum comes next month we are doing the same route PLUS The Great Ocean Road and Melbourne! If you’re thinking about doing a great Australian road-trip then the East Coast will open your mind to the beauty of Australia that you had no idea existed. Over the last nine months, I have to say that our road trip was the ultimate highlight. You can read a little more in detail here! We learnt so much about ourselves during our time living in a van and no one was more surprised me than how happy I was living in the midst of nature with hardly any ‘stuff’. I think I’d go as far as to say that stuff really does just clutter our lives.
When we disposed of the stuff we thought we needed like fancy furniture and all the latest trends we were the happiest, laid back versions of ourselves I had ever seen.
I cannot think of a happier time than when we were singing our way along the road, curled up reading our books in the trunk and waking up to a new place every. single. day. I’m actually so excited to test out this theory of mine on our second road trip. Was I really the happiest I’d ever been without all the clutter in my life or was it just first time excitement? I guess only time will tell.
Living in Australia – An Emotional Goodbye
After bidding a very emotional goodbye with our beloved camper van. We headed for the bright lights and big city life once again, little did we know that Brisbane was in fact extremely small. When we pitched up in Sydney we had a gorgeous little granny flat that we discovered on Air BnB located in Willoughby in North Sydney. It was quite far out from the city but the amazing price for a place to ourselves was worth the forty-minute bus commute. If you’re looking to save some extra cash on your next visit to Sydney then stay north of the harbour bridge.
Our first days in Sydney were spent exploring and standing outside the Opera House, jaws hitting the cobbled street beneath us. I never thought the Opera house would have such an effect on me. How wrong was I? I wrote this is my journal that evening when we returned to our temporary home and just rereading it now gives me tingles.
‘We’ve arrived in Sydney to feel like we’ve transported back 10,000 miles to the UK because it’s chucking it down! Nonetheless, we pulled on our rain macs and headed to see Sydney’s most iconic landmarks, The Sydney Harbour Bridge and The Sydney Opera House. I didn’t think I’d be overly bothered about the Opera House I’m not a huge performance goer and I knew I was just seeing it because of how famous it is. I don’t know why but the moment I saw it in the distance my face lit up with the biggest smile that I couldn’t wipe away. As we got nearer I felt such excitement as I saw the building take form and I was filled with such awe standing before it. My heart is so happy at this moment’
I’ve walked past this iconic landmark almost every day since being in Sydney over the last six months and it still has puts a smile across my face. Although I don’t think I can say the same for Dave who works at Opera Bar and has to deal with many a drunk customer stumbling out of the Opera House. Watching a show ourselves at the Opera House is still on the list before we leave Sydney. In fact, we still have a long list to get through before we leave this city behind. Sydney has so much to offer it’s near impossible to get through everything! But let’s go back to the memories, we have already made here in Sydney.
Living in Australia – Moving to Sydney
As we arrived and began the draining task of finding somewhere to live we followed every other English, Irish and Scotsman to Bondi. Yes, we went to the most touristy place we could find. We quickly found and rented out a room becoming totally engrossed in the ultimate Bondi bubble. We didn’t live directly on the beach but in Bondi Junction. Bondi Junction was a pretty awesome place to live in because you didn’t need to go anywhere else. From Westfield shopping centre to weekly markets, a huge park, a swimming pool in our apartment, yoga around the corner and Coles just across the road, we literally didn’t need to go anywhere else for anything. The great thing about living in the Eastern Suburbs is that everything is on your doorstep which why I think people get wrapped up in their own little bubbles amongst the Sydney suburbs.
The Cost Difference Brisbane-Sydney
Now, I want to talk specifically about living in Sydney compared to Brisbane because I know many of you have probably got one burning question. Is it more expensive? Yes. Without a shadow of a doubt, Sydney is more expensive than Brisbane but you’d be a fool if you didn’t expect that. Sydney being the famous most city in Australia, sure it isn’t the capital but it 100% priced like it. Rent will be higher, utility bills are higher, eating out is more expensive, BUT I wouldn’t let that put anyone off living in Sydney. Even though we are paying out more I don’t feel like we’re any worse off. I think I’ll do a separate post on how expensive living in Australia really is but I’ll add that one to the bottom of long posts ‘waiting to be written’ (I’m sure I’m not alone there!).
Though the cost of living is higher in Sydney, the number of things to do and places to explore compared to Brisbane is overwhelming. Sorry Brissy but Sydney wins on this front. The best thing hands down about living in Sydney is the beaches, there’s a beach around every corner you turn from the Eastern Suburbs all the way up to the Northern Beaches!
You could live here for a year and still not get to every beach that Sydney has to offer. From long stretches of coastline to secluded bays hidden around the city. Sydney has some of the best beaches in Australia to explore never mind some of the best coastal walks too. We spend our days off enjoying a new walk from one beach to another or exploring a new coffee shop. Sydney is full of free museums too. If we have a rainy day, which we often do here in Sydney, we head to the museums to take in the art on display. Living in Sydney never leaves us wandering around with nothing to do. In fact, we often struggle just to take some downtime and relax!
Living in Australia – From Bondi to the Northern Beaches!
Since we arrived in Sydney I have ended up working at a new hospital in the Northern Beaches. The commute from Bondi was over an hour and I’ll admit exhausting! So when the lease came to an end in Bondi we decided to bite the bullet and move to the Northern Beaches.
If I could have my time in Sydney again I would come straight here! Living in Manly is the most settled and at home, I’ve felt in Sydney since arriving. Sydney is a huge city and it can sometimes feel lonely. Small aspects like still not knowing our way around after six months can just go to show how big it really is. So moving across the water has felt like a move from the hustle and bustle of the city to a small town BUT the best thing? We are still in Sydney and still only a short ferry or bus ride from the city. The Northern Beaches are full of beaches (obviously), dams where you can take walks, hire kayaks and enjoy slower activities compared to the city. It feels like we are living the ultimate Aussie outdoor lifestyle and we are loving every second!
Living in Australia – Finding Work in Sydney
After falling into work so easily in Brisbane I was a little apprehensive coming to Sydney. Would it be just as easy or were we lucky in Brisbane? Successfully for us, our luck wasn’t out and we found work within the first week of being in Sydney. Dave managed to transfer from River Bar in Brisbane to Opera Bar in Sydney because they are part of the same company. He was literally working within a few days of arrival which was amazing because we well and truly spent up on our East Coast Road Trip!
For me, it was a little slower but nothing major. The agency I worked for in Brisbane covers the whole of Australia so I just transferred to the New South Wales team. There were a few extra forms and a little wait but it didn’t take too long. By the way, If you’re a nurse reading this then just be aware that Sydney hospitals, especially the public sector, don’t use much agency so work can be a lot slower. It had just so happened that a new hospital had opened up giving me all the shifts and more than I needed here in Sydney to keep that bank balance afloat!
Living in Australia – Do We Stay or Do We Go?
The last nine months have been a whirlwind of an adventure and the highlight completely lies with our trip down the East Coast. A new experience for both of us leading to exciting new plans for the future. I personally came to Australia with the impression that I would never leave. But to my surprise since arriving I’ve never wanted to travel the rest of the world more, especially Europe, how crazy?!
Australia has allowed me to recognise ideas about the world and myself that I never questioned before. I’ve come to understand that Australia really is on the other side of the world and getting anywhere takes very a long time. You can fly from Manchester to New York in the time it takes you to get from one side of Australia to another! I had no idea how much we took living so close to mainland Europe for granted! With that in mind, our plans for the next few years have completely changed. We’ve abolished doing our farm work to extend our working holiday visa! After a lot of backwards and forwarding, we’ve officially made the plan to move to New Zealand for at least a year! I’m not saying any more than that because we both know that in another year our travel plans will have definitely changed!
But this particular plan wasn’t an easy one to make.
Due to tight immigration rules here in Australia, it isn’t easy to stay full time. You basically have two options, to get sponsored by an employer or apply for permanent residency. Both can be hard visas to get. The cost for employers to sponsor people now is on the rise and the points to qualify to even apply for PR are getting harder to obtain. Whilst working in Sydney I was fortunate enough to be offered a sponsorship which I very almost took. In the end, I decided to choose myself rather than the country of Australia.
Yes, it has everything and more to give us an amazing life for the next four years but with a sponsorship that comes at a price. A price I wasn’t willing to pay. The inability to make money doing anything else, which puts my writing and blogging dreams on hold. The inability to move to different hospitals if things don’t go to plan and the inability to just go home when I want. For us, it wasn’t enough to persuade us to stay. As for working on a farm for three months, I simply ain’t cut out for that shit! So New Zealand here we come! The moment we made this decision the pressure and worry of knowing whether we would stay in Australia lifted almost instantly. It’s amazing how many stresses we carry without realising.
In the more short term even though it feels like we have no time left living in Australia at all we still have so much to explore! My mum arrives in just over 20 days and we are heading back in the van for another road trip! This time we will be starting off on The Great Ocean Road making our up to The Whitsundays. After that Dave and I will be back working for a matter of weeks before taking the whole of June off work to explore Western Australia. The plan will be to drive from Perth to Broome and hopefully get a weekend break in Adelaide too! We have so much to see in such little time but we will be making the most out of our time left on Aussie soil!
I hope you enjoyed this long overdue update of life in Australia! For more updates on our life as travellers, new blog posts and travel freebies every month make sure you subscribe to our newsletter via the form below!
Let’s carry on the conversation in the comments. I would love to know if you’ve lived in Australia maybe even Sydney? Let us know how you found this country and whether or not your a lover or hater of this foreign land down under!