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Sydney

Photo © rdroyals

Travel Guide Oceania Australia New South Wales Sydney

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Introduction

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge

© All Rights Reserved Scobie67

Sydney is Australia's largest and oldest city. It is the site of the first European colony in Australia, which was established in 1788 in what is now known as New South Wales. Two centuries later, 21st century Sydney is a multicultural city known for iconic structures such as the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. While Sydney is Australia’s most expensive city[1], it has Australia's highest quality of living [2], and Conde Nast Traveler readers have voted Sydney the best city to visit for 8 straight years.

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Neighbourhoods

Inner City

  • CBD is in the heart of the city. Home to major shopping centres, hotels, and national financial and business institutions. Set alongside the CBD are parklands including Hyde Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Within this parkland and overlooking the harbour is the Art Gallery of New South Wales, one of Australia's leading art museums.
  • The Rocks and Circular Quay was the area first settled by the English in 1788 and now an oasis of historic buildings in the city.
  • Darling Harbour was built for the Bicentenary in 1988. Great nightlife, bars and restaurants can all be found here as well as the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, The Sydney Entertainment Centre, The Australian National Maritime Museum, The Sydney Aquarium, The Imax Cinema, The Chinese Garden of Friendship and The Star Casino.
  • Kings Cross or simply "The Cross", is the Red light district of Sydney. Besides that, it does have some great clubs, bars, and restaurants and is great even if you only want to go people watching.
  • Chinatown was the original Chinatown of Sydney, though now most Chinese live in outer suburbs and you'll find more authentic Chinese food in places like Hurstville, Ashfield and Chatswood.
  • Leichhardt is sometimes called Little Italy, although Little Stanley Street in the city also claims that title. Leichhardt is a vibrant, cosmopolitan suburb in the inner west. The buzz centres around the cafes serving great Italian coffee and gelato, the bookshops and arthouse cinema.
  • Cabramatta is the place to go If you can't get to Vietnam because you'll think you're there when your in Cabramatta. A thriving Vietnamese community have created a true Little Vietnam in this suburb.

Outer Suburbs

  • Parramatta - From the aboriginal word meaning "the place where the eels lie down" Parramatta is Australias second oldest settlement and is geographically the centre of Sydney. However it is an outer suburb and is located approximately 26 kilometres from the city centre.
  • Cronulla - 45 minutes by train from the city centre and is the only beach in Sydney that is accessible by train. Cronulla was the home of TV drama series The Shire.

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Sights and Activities

A good way to find out the free things to do in the city is to like the Sydney for Free Facebook group for daily updates on how to save money in the city.

Manly

From around 1850, Manly has been considered Australia’s favourite seaside resort. It is definitely a destination for all seasons and all ages. It is most famous for its beautiful natural beauty, scenic walkways alongside both the harbour and ocean beaches and it’s many cultural events. Manly is about 14 kilometres from the city centre and best reached by ferry from Circular Quay so you can fully appreciate Sydney's magnificent harbour. Named for the manly behaviour of the local Aboriginal tribe, Manly has beautiful beaches (both surf and family) and good shopping and restaurants on the Corso.

Bondi Beach

bondi beach

bondi beach

© All Rights Reserved doubledrtw

Not to be confused with Bondi Junction, Bondi Beach is approximately 9 kilometres from the city centre. Originally known as "Boondi" by the local aboriginals, it is probably the most famous beach in Australia, though not the best. The beach itself is just a large strip of sand - the main attraction is the matching strip of pubs, restaurants and shops, and its lively nightlife. Best reached by bus from Bondi Junction train station. For families, quieter beaches with parklands such as Coogee, Bronte, Neilsen Park or Manly are likely to be more appealing. A nice way to take in the views of the beautiful beaches is by doing the 7-kilometre Coogee to Bondi Beach walk along the coastline.

Other Beaches

  • Coogee Beach is one of Sydney's best beaches with fewer tourists and pretentious locals, but a thriving cafe culture.
  • Maroubra Beach is a stunning beach with great surf and is definitely off the tourist trail.

Other Sights and Activities

  • Sydney Opera House - * Sydney Opera House undefined is an Australian icon of modern architecture, Sydney's Opera House commands a formidable reputation as a modern wonder of the world.
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge - Just look at it in awe or, if you feel up for it, climb it. There is a terrific history museum in the pylon closest to the city, and entry to just this is very cheap and you can climb up to the top of the pylon for amazing city views. This is a much lower cost than doing the bridge climb, which includes free entry to the museum.
  • Art Gallery of New South Wales - Art Gallery of New South Wales is Sydney's leading art museum, with impressive collections of Aboriginal, Australian, European, Asian and contemporary art. The late opening until 9:00pm every Wednesday is popular with locals, with free events.
  • Sydney Tower - Great 360-degree views of Sydney from its tallest building, in the heart of the City.
  • The Australian Maritime Museum - Home to a range of vessels and displays, including the HMB Endeavour, a replica of the ship used by Captain James Cook, believed to be the first European to encounter Australia's eastern coastline. Free entry on the first Thursday of the month outside of school holidays. Address: 2 Murray Street, Darling Harbour, Hours: 9:30am - 5:00pm daily (6:00pm in January). Closed on Christmas Day (25th December)
  • Sydney Olympic Park - Sydney Olympic Park was the home of the Sydney 2000 Olympics. There is a regular schedule of events and a variety of other activities you can do here as well.
  • Taronga Zoo - "Taronga" an aboriginal word for waterview. The zoo is located just 12 minutes by ferry from Circular Quay. Taronga Zoo is a great place to become accustomed to our unique wildlife as well as enjoy some of the best views of Sydney and the harbour. Hours: 9.00am-5.00pm (including Christmas Day). Closes at 4:00pm on New Years Eve., Price: Adults: $44, Children (4-15): $22, under 4: Free
  • Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens - Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens is located in the city. The Botanical Gardens are a real oasis from the rat-race of the city outside it's gates. Address: Mrs Macquaries Road, Phone: +61 (0)2 9231 8111, Hours: 24 hours a day, Price: Free unless there's a special event
  • Sydney Aquarium - Sydney Aquarium is located in Darling Harbour, and has impressive travelators through glass tunnels in the tanks. Address: Darling Harbour, Phone: +61 (0)2 8251 7800, Hours: 9:00am - 8:00pm daily. Closes at 6:00pm on Christmas day and 5:00pm on New Years Eve., Price: Adults: $35, Children (4-15): $20, Family (2+2): $110
  • Sydney Wildlife World - Sydney Wildlife World is a great place to visit if you don't have the time for a day at the Zoo, and offers close encounters with koalas.
  • Paddy's Markets - Paddy's Markets is Sydney's largest markets for almost everything. It is a great place to pick up a bargain.
  • Harbour Cruises are a great way to see what is often considered one of the most beautiful harbour's in the world. Typical cruises allow great views of The Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Fort Denison and City Skyline. Check with companies like Captain Cook, Magistic Cruises or Matilda.
  • Baha'i Temple - Baha'i Temple, located in Ingleside a northern suburb, is a stunning structure and the Mother Temple for the Bahá'í Faith in Australia. For people looking for spirituality there is actually a hostel on the premises.

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Events and Festivals

Sydney offers a wide array of events and festivals. An official list can be found on the City of Sydney website. Below are some of the major annual events.

Annual Events

Sydney's New Year celebration

Sydney's New Year celebration

© All Rights Reserved magdabis

  • Australia Day (26 Jan 2014) - Australia Day on January 26th is when celebrate what it is to be Australian.
  • New Years Eve (31 Dec 2013) - New Years Eve is the biggest public event in Sydney attracting thousands of famillies to the harbour foreshore for a spectacular fireworks show.
  • Chinese New Year Festival - Sydney celebrates Chinese New Year in a big way each year with lots of activities and events across the city for a week.
  • Mardi Gras - Mardi Gras is Sydney's Gay and Lesbian parade. It started as a gay pride event about 30 years ago and has been growing in size and popularity ever since. It is now more than just a parade and spans a couple of weeks.
  • Sydney Film Festival - The Sydney Film Festival was established in 1954 and runs for several weeks in June.
  • The Archibald Prize - The Archibald Prize is Australia's most prestigious and popular art prize, featuring portraits of famous Australians and an air of controversy. Price: Adult: $10, Family: $28
  • Biennale of Sydney - The Biennale of Sydney is an international showcase for contemporary art run every two years. The 18th Biennale of Sydney will be held in 2012.
  • Sydney Festival - The Sydney Festival is a major cultural celebration showcasing theatre, dance, music and the arts that spans a few weeks in January. The first day of the Sydney Festival is always full of free entertainment.
  • City2Surf - The City2Surf is Australia's greatest fun-run with around 60,000 people of all ages running the 14-kilometre course from the centre of the city to Bondi Beach.
  • Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race (26 Dec 2013) - Even if you're not a yachtsman, the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, is a spectacular sight. The race starts in Sydney Harbour every year on December 26 around 1:00pm.
  • Open Air Cinema - The Open Air Cinema is located on the side of Sydney harbour showing the latest films in a unique open air environment with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge in the background. Book early. Occurs every year in Jan / Feb.
  • Moonlight Cinema - The Moonlight Cinema is an open air cinema screening latest release, contemporary, cult and classic movies on the lawns of the picturesque Belvedere Amphitheatre, Centennial Park. Runs Dec-Mar.
  • Outdoor Music Festivals - Outdoor Music Festivals are extremely popular in Australia over summer. Find out more about the Outdoor Music Festivals in New South Wales happening in and around Sydney.

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Weather

Sydney enjoys a temperate climate, with mild winters and warm summers. The hottest month is January when on average the city has 14.6 days over 30 °C. The hottest day on record was 45.7 °C at the 18th of January, 2013. Winters are much cooler, although temperatures rarely drop below 5 °C. July is the coldest month of the year. Average daytime temperatures between 17 °C (July) and 27 °C (January), and between 9 °C (July) and 19 °C (February) at night.
The average annual rainfall is 1,215 mm, falling at least 1 mm on average 100 days a year. [3] Rainfall is fairly consistent throughout the year, with slightly more rain during the first half of the year.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max26.5 °C26.5 °C25.4 °C23.3 °C20.6 °C18 °C17.4 °C18.9 °C21.2 °C22.8 °C23.8 °C25.5 °C
Avg Min19.6 °C19.7 °C18.1 °C15.3 °C12.5 °C9.7 °C8.7 °C9.7 °C12 °C14.4 °C16.3 °C18.3 °C
Rainfall96 mm128.6 mm111.4 mm140.5 mm119.8 mm116.8 mm79.8 mm94 mm70.1 mm82.7 mm104 mm79.2 mm
Rain Days12.312.713.51112.310.49.88.48.810.912.611.2

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Getting There

By Plane

International
Sydney Airport (SYD) with almost 33 million passengers in 2009, is Australia's premier airport, servicing flights from Europe, Asia, North America, South America, South Africa, and other parts of Oceania. The international terminal is currently undergoing renovations which are due to be completed mid 2010. The airport has curfews during the night and is busiest in the morning with the arrival of more than 20 international flights in the space of 2 hours, leading to long queues to go through both immigration and quarantine.

NOTE: Australia has very strict quarantine laws designed to protect the unique flora and fauna. Check HERE to see which items you can, and cannot bring into the country.

Domestic
From Sydney, you can fly domestically to Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth, and other airports across Australia.
Domestic services to/from Sydney are offered by:

There are a few options for transferring between the international and domestic terminals:

  • T - Bus - This is a shuttle bus service between T1 International and T2 Domestic Terminals which costs $5.50 (one way, per person).
  • Taxi - Taking a taxi will cost around $10.
  • Train - The Airport link will cost $5.00 for a single transfer.
  • Seamless transfer - Qantas and Virgin Blue passengers can use the Seamless transfer option when transfering to flights with the same airline. This service does suffer from overcrowding and long wait times during peak periods.
  • Walking - the least preferred option but it is the cheapest. Clearly marked and a distance of only 1.5 kilometres between terminals.

Getting to the city from the airport is quick and easy:

  • Taxis will cost between $20 and $30 for the 20-minute ride to the city;
  • Train services to the city cost around $15.80 and take 13 minutes;
  • Shuttle buses can drop you at the door of your hotel/hostel and cost a flat rate of $12 and can take up to 45 minutes.

By Train

If you are travelling around Australia, CountryLink offers long-distance services connecting Sydney to Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane, as well as regions of New South Wales not covered by the Cityrail network. The Indian Pacific connects Sydney to Adelaide and Perth, but tickets are not cheap. Expect to pay at least $680 for a one way trip to or from Perth, unless you're lucky enough to qualify for a cheaper rate (available to children, seniors, backpackers and students).

By Car

If you plan on driving to Sydney, it could be a long trip depending on where you are:

  • Adelaide to Sydney = 1,400 kilometres
  • Brisbane to Sydney = 1,000 kilometres
  • Cairns to Sydney = 2,400 kilometres
  • Canberra to Sydney = 300 kilometres
  • Darwin to Sydney = 4,000 kilometres
  • Melbourne to Sydney = 900 kilometres
  • Perth to Sydney = 4,000 kilometres

All distances are estimates.

By Bus

The Sydney Coach Terminal is located under Central railway station on Eddy Avenue. There are a number of coach services to Sydney from around Australia.

By Boat

Sydney has one of the most spectacular harbours in the world and nothing compares to arriving here by sea. The harbour has two dedicated passenger terminals servicing both local and international cruise ships. One is located in Circular Quay opposite the Opera House, the second is Wharf 8 located near darling harbour. Summer is the peak season for ships to visit Sydney. Check the Sydney Ports website for cruiseliners and dates.

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Getting Around

By Car

Sydney is not a car friendly city (traffic can be very bad at peak times and finding a parking space isn't easy, or cheap) so if you plan on staying in or around the city area, forget about a car. If you have a car, the city has over 50 parking stations. Expect to pay between $25 to $50 per day. Most car parking station offer cheap rates at night and can start from $10. Car hire is often not available to drivers under 25, or if it is, it's more expensive for younger drivers.

Car hire is available at Sydney Airport and throughout the city. Available from:

Bus hire is available from:

By Public Transport

The city centre is easy accessed on the free CBD shuttle Free CBD Shuttle which will take you in a loop from Central station to Circular Quay via George and Elizabeth sts. Travelling further afield, Sydney has a an extensive network of trains, buses, and ferries to get you to just about anywhere you will want to go. Finally, there are also many options for travelling by ferry. For information on travel passes, timetables, and fares check Transport Info Line.

By Foot

Sydney's CBD is quite small, so it's pretty easy to get around by foot. If you're staying somewhere in the centre of town, harbourside attractions like the Darling Harbour and Circular Quay (where the Opera House is located) are within walking distance. One of the best ways to discover a city is on foot. There are guided tours available, some of them which are free and leave daily outside of the Town Hall. You can pick up a brochure from the Town Hall and follow a number of walking routes that will show you contemporary and historic Sydney.

By Bike

Increasingly, there are more and more cycleways being built giving safe access for cyclists to get around the city and suburbs. You can legally ride a bike on the road but you must follow the same road rules as other traffic and you must also wear a helmet. For more information check Road safety.

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Eat

One of the great things about Sydney is its multiculturalism, and the benefits that brings can be seen in restaurants across the city.

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Sleep

Finding a place to lay your head once you are in Sydney shouldn't be a problem, if you booked ahead. When there are special events on it can be very hard to find a room at a price you're willing to pay, so book ahead. If that isn't an option, there is an information/reservations desk at the airport.

With 122 hostels around Sydney you're sure to find what you're looking for. The most popular areas are near Central Station, Kings Cross, Bondi Beach, and Manly.

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
790 on George790 George Street, SydneyHostel80
Aarons Hotel Sydney37 Ultimo Rd HaymarketHotel77
Alfred Park Budget Accommodation207 Cleveland Street, Redfern 2016Hostel75
Australian Backpacker132 Bourke St WoolloomoolooHOSTEL-
Australian Sunrise Lodge485 King Street NewtownHotel76
Balmain Backpackers677 Darling Street (corner Victoria Road) Balmain 2039Hostel70
Base Sydney477 Kent Street NSW 2000 AustraliaHostel81
Big Hostel212 Elizabeth St Surry HillsHostel81
Billabong Gardens5-11 Egan Street NewtownHostel77
Blue Parrot Backpackers87 Macleay Street Potts PointHOSTEL86
Boardrider Backpacker and Budget MotelRear 63, The CorsoHostel73
Woodduck Boomerang Backpackers141 William street Sydney NSW 2010Hostel72
Cambridge Lodge Budget Hostel109 Cambridge Street Stanmore, NSW 2048Hostel76
Central Private Hotel358 Elizabeth StreetHotel75
Chili Blue Backpackers144 Victoria Street, Kings Cross Kings CrossHOSTEL75
City Resort Hostel103-105 Palmer St WoolloomoolooHostel65
Coogee Beach House171 Arden st CoogeeHostel78
Coogee Beachside Budget Accommodation178 Coogee Bay Road, CoogeeHostel-
Eva's Backpackers6-8 Orwell Street Kings CrossHostel83
Glebe Village Backpackers254-258 Glebe Point Road Glebe 2037Hostel77
Glenferrie Lodge12 Carabella St KirribilliHostel79
Goodlet Lodge502 Elizabeth Street Surry Hills, Sydney NSWHotel77
Backpackers HQ174 Victoria St Kings CrossHOSTEL80
Elephant Backpacker Sydney(formerly Harbour City Backpackers) 50 Sir John Young Crescent, WoolloomoolooHOSTEL70
Home Backpackers238 Elizabeth StHostel70
Hotel Formule 1Kings Cross191-201 William Street Kings CrossHotel74
Jolly Swagman Backpackers27 Orwell Street Kings CrossHostel80
Kangaroo Bakpak665 South Dowling St Surry HillsHostel-
Lamrock Lodge on Bondi Beach19 Lamrock Av Bondi BeachHostel75
Lord Wolseley265 Bulwara Road UltimoHostel77
Manly Backpackers24-28 Raglan Street ManlyHostel73
Manly Guest House6 Steinton Street ManlyGuesthouse76
Mariners Court Hotel4-50 McElhone Street Woolloomooloo 2011Hotel79
Mountbatten Hotel701 George Street SydneyHostel75
Noah's @ Bondi Beach2 Campbell Parade Bondi beachHOSTEL75
Periwinkle Manly Cove Guesthouse18-19 East Esplanade ManlyGuesthouse-
Rooftop Travellers Lodge146-148 Glebe Point Road GlebeHostel76
Sinclairs City Hostel510 Cleveland Street Surry HillsHostel75
Burwood Bed And Breakfast90 Shaftesbury Rd BurwoodHotel-
Sinclairs Serviced Apartments145 to 149 Foveaux St Surry HillsApartment-
Strattons Hostel249-253 Castlereagh Street SydneyHostel80
Surfside Bondi Beach Backpackers35a Hall St Bondi BeachHostel70
Surfside Coogee Beach Backpackers186 Arden Street CoogeeHostel78
Sydney BackpackersVictoria House, 7 Wilmot Street NSW 2000Hostel72
Central Perk Backpackers611 George StreetHOSTEL72
Sydney Central Backpackers16 Orwell St. Kings CrossHostel75
Sydney Central Hostel428 Pitt StHostel75
Central Station Hotel75 Wentworth AvenueHotel71
Sydney Central YHA11 Rawson Place SydneyHostel81
Sydney G'Day Backpackers153 Forbes Street, Woolloomooloo 2011Hostel76
The Bunkhouse Manly35 Pine Street ManlyHostel75
The Funk House23 Darlinghurst Rd, KingscrossHostel76
The Haven Inn196 Glebe Point Rd GlebeHotel-
The Maze Backpackers417 Pitt StreetHostel73
The Original Backpackers Hostel162 Victoria Street Kings CrossHostel80
The Palms Backpackers23 Hughes St Kings CrossHostel75
The Strand Hotel99 William St DarlinghurstHostel68
The Wood Duck Inn49 William Street East Sydney 2010Hostel-
The Woolbrokers At Darling Harbour22 Allen Street PyrmontHostel76
Tokyo Village243-247 Cleveland Street Surry HillsHostel79
Zing156 Victoria Street Kings CrossHostel77
Vulcan Hotel500 Wattle Street UltimoHotel-
Wake Up! Sydney Central509 Pitt Street Opposite Central RailwayHostel85
Nomads Westend412 Pitt StreetHostel72
World Square Hostel640 George Street, SydneyHostel77
Y Hotel City South179 Cleveland (Cnr Regent) Street ChippendaleHotel73
Y Hotel Hyde Park5-11 Wentworth AveHostel76
Manly Bungalow64 Pittwater Roadapartment78
Manly Seaview Motel & ApartmentsCorner Pacific Street & Malvern AvenueApartment-
Brado's Backpackers34 - 36 Darlinghurst Rd Kings CrossHostel74
Sydney Beachouse YHA4 Collaroy Street Collaroy BeachHostel78
Bounce SydneyNext to Central Station, 28 Chalmers StHOSTEL89
Jackaroo Hostel Kings Cross107-109 Darlinghurst Road Kings CrossHOSTEL80
Bondi Beachouse YHACorner Fletcher and Dellview Street Bondi BeachHostel78
Cronulla Beach YHALevel 1, 40-42 Kingsway, Cronulla NSW 2230 Level 1, 40-42 Kingsway, Cronulla NSW 2230HOSTEL76
Glebe Point YHA262-264 Glebe Point Rd GlebeHostel72
Sydney - Pittwater YHAPO Box 197 Church Point NSWHostel77
Chifley Hotel PenrithCnr Mulgoa & Jamison RoadsHotel-
Bella Bedz1 Beresford RdHostel82
High Cross Park Lodge7-9 Cuthill Street. RandwickGuesthouse79
Kanga House141 Victoria StreetHostel72
Aussie Lodge64 Darlinghurst Rd Kings CrossGuesthouse-
Macleay Lodge71 Macleay StreetGuesthouse78
Challis Lodge21-23 Challis AvenueHotel70
Sydney Harbour YHA110 Cumberland St, The RocksHostel84
Springfield Lodge9 Springfield Avenue Potts Point Kings CrossHotel80
Avoca Lodge235 Avoca StreetGuesthouse79
Ultimate Apartments Bondi Beach59 O'Brien St Bondi BeachApartment80
City Central Budget Accommodation707a George StreetHostel73
St Marks Lodge37 Rae Street RandwickGuesthouse-
Manly Beachside Apartments29 - 33 Pittwater RdApartment-
Bondi ShoresLevel 1. 283 Bondi Road BondiHOSTEL69
UWS VillageCnr of Pemberton St + Victoria Rd ParramattaAPARTMENT-
Railway Square YHA8-10 Lee Street Sydney NSW 2000HOSTEL82
Kings Cross Backpackers79 Bayswater Road, Kings CrossHostel79
Manly Astra68 Pittwater Rd ManlyGuesthouse75
Balmain Budget Accommodation677 Darling St RozelleHostel69
Macquarie University Village122 Culloden Road MarsfieldApartment76
The Pink House6-8 Barncleuth SquareHostel-
Quality Hotel Sands1260 Pittwater RoadHotel-
Posh Hotel8-14 Broadway ChippendaleHotel-
Manly Beach House179 Pittwater RoadGuesthouse80
Leisure Inn Sydney Central28 - 30 Regent Street ChippendaleHotel-
Central Railway Hotel & Apartments240 Chalmers StreetHotel-
d*lux Hostel30 Darlinghurst Rd Kings CrossHostel-
Pensione Hotel Sydney631-635 George StreetHotel-
Best Western Plus Hotel Stellar4 Wentworth AveHotel-
Bindi's611 George St HaymarketHostel-
Asylum Sydney201-203 Brougham Street WoolloomoolooHostel78
Cooper Lodge20 City RoadHostel-
Casa Central Backpackers Hostel11 Regent Street ChippendaleHOSTEL77
Dury House Backpackers48A Darlinghurst Rd Kings Cross NSWHOSTEL-
BB's Furnished Apartments110-112 Quarray Street UltimoAPARTMENT-
The Addisons Travellers Lodge12 Addisons Road MarrickvilleHOSTEL-
Guesthouse 8383 The Kingsway CronullaGUESTHOUSE-
Sydney Globe Backpackers40 Darlinghurst Road Potts PointHOSTEL-
Captain Cook Hotel Paddington162 Flinders Street PaddingtonHOSTEL-
Cronulla Motor Inn85 KingswayHotel-
Hyde Park Backpackers90 Wentworth AveHostel-
Nova Apartments Sydney194-198 Goulburn Street Surry HillsAPARTMENT-
Sydney Student Living38 Burton Street ConcordHOSTEL-
Oasis Backpacker141 Commonwealth Street (Opposite of 57 Reservoir St)Hostel69
Siesta Inn Sydney301 Kent StHOSTEL-
Padd-Prop3Bondi JunctionHOSTEL-
Manly Oceanside Accommodation19 Pacific Street Manly SydneyHotel-
Arden House Coogee302 Arden Street CoogeeGUESTHOUSE-
Boardrider BackpackerRear 63 The Corso ManlyHOSTEL-

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Shop

There are a few key shopping areas in Sydney, depending on what kind of shops you would like to explore. If you are looking for big department stores, head to the Pitt Street Mall, where David Jones and Myer dominate the landscape. A short walk away is the Strand Arcade (412-414 George Street), which boasts an impressive collection of small (and usually expensive) shops. From here you can head underground to a long, undergound mall filled with stores which runs right through to Town Hall Station and directly under the QVB (Queen Victoria Building).

Looking for something a little different? Head down Oxford Street in Paddington. Close to the city, it offers plenty of second-hand and alternative styles.

If you're looking for a bargain, you cannot go past Paddy's Market in the Haymarket area, close to the Entertainment Centre and Central Station. Here they have souvenirs and your regular market gear and upstairs you have factory outlets stores.

Outside of the city, shopping centres in the Suburbs of Bondi Junction, Chatswood, Parramatta, and Miranda are huge and could easily fill a day.

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Work

With a strong economy and large central business district, finding work in Sydney is relatively easy. An extensive range of employment options exist for working holidaymakers, and Sydney employers often view backpackers as a great options for filling short-term employment gaps. An essential starting point for any job is to ensure your CV is up-to-date, correctly formatted for Aussie employers and tailored to suit the job / industry you wish to work in. A sample working-holiday CV can be viewed here. The next step is to construct a Cover Letter to accompany your CV. This must be directly relevant to the position advertised and must highlight to the recruiter that you are willing and able to begin work now, willing to travel to the job location if you're not already there, and willing to commit to the job for the duration required, usually 1-3 months for most backpacker jobs. Cover letters are essential for online and face-to-face applications. A guide to writing great cover letter can be found here.

Finding jobs can be tricky of you're not sure where to look. Useful resources include hostel noticeboards which are often packed with job advertisements, specialist backpacker job site such as www.taw.com.au and www.jobsearch.gov.au/harvesttrail, generic job sites such as www.gumtree.com.au and www.seek.com.au.

For many positions such as hospitality and retail, the best way to find job vacancies is to hit the streets. Armed with a handful of CVs and pre-written cover letters you should be able to uncover a range of job opportunities as you visit shops, bars and cafes across town. For best results, avoid the usual backpacker jobspots such as George Street, Darling Harbour, Circular Quay and Bondi. Instead, jump on a bus or train and head into Sydney's inner-city suburbs where jobs are plentiful and job-hunting backpackers are in much smaller numbers.

Typical recruitment agencies are generally not much use for working holiday travellers. Most employers employing through an agency will chose an Aussie resident over a backpacker, as backpackers have a tendency to work for a short period only and then move on to their next travel destination. Specialist backpacker recruitment agencies do exist and many offer jobs in Sydney and other areas across Australia. Travellers At Work located near Sydney's Central Station is the biggest of its kind.

Australia's health & safety laws are highly regulated and as a result, mandatory job safety training is essential for many industries. To work behind a bar you will need to obtain a Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate, often referred to as an RSA. Working in the construction industry will require a White Card (formerly known as a Green Card). Kitchen / food service work may require you to obtain a Food Hygiene certificate. For more information click here.

Tax & Banking

To work in Australia you will need a Tax File Number (TFN) and Australian Bank Account. TFNs are issued by the Australian Government and must be supplied to your employer when beginning work. Your employer will then pay tax on your behalf each payday. TFNs are sent to you by mail, so many travellers wait until they've found an apartment with a fixed address before applying. Many hostel will allow you to use their address, but mail can go missing, so be careful. If you don't have a fixed address, you can set-up a mail forwarding service and receive all your letters by email as you travel.

An Australian Bank Account is essential to begin work, as employers won't pay your wages into your overseas/home bank account. Upon arrival in Australia an account can be opened at almost any high street branch. Australia's top 5 banks are the ANZ, CBA, NAB, Westpac and St George. Many bank offer low-fee options suitable for working holidaymakers from around $4-$5 per month. Applying for an account before you arrive in Australia is also an option, allowing you to collect your ATM card when you arrive in Sydney. ATM fees are expensive, so always try and use those linked to your bank, saving withdrawal fees of up to $2.50 per transaction.

Australia's financial year runs July-June, and July-September is generally tax-refund time. Working holidaymakers who have been working in Australia for over six-months are usually entitled to a tax refund, and can claim back a large proportion of the tax they have paid whilst in Employment. Many tax refund agents exist and can make this process quick and easy, generally charging around 10% of your refund in fees. Applying for a tax refund direct with the Australian Tax Office is also an option, with no fees to pay.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is no shortage of internet cafe's in the city or in the most popular areas for visitors to stay in Sydney. If you don't have your laptop with you, try Global Gossip. If you're looking for free Wifi check here for locations right across the city.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

Australia is on a GSM 900/1800 network, so if you have an unlocked phone that works on those frequencies, you will be able to buy a prepaid SIM-card and stick into your phone when you're in Australia. You will receive a new Australian phone number with the SIM-card.

To dial out of Australia use the prefix 0011, followed by the calling code of the country you are trying to reach, followed by the area code of the city/town (without the 0!) and finally the phone number.

Within Australia, it is necessary to add an area code to the phone numbers if you are calling from outside the area. Below are Australia's area codes:

  • 02 - New South Wales & Australian Capital Territory (Sydney, Canberra)
  • 03 - Victoria & Tasmania (Melbourne, Hobart)
  • 07 - Queensland (Brisbane)
  • 08 - Western Australia, South Australia & Northern Territory (Perth, Adelaide, Darwin)

000 is the emergency telephone number in Australia, but the international GSM mobile emergency telephone number 112 also works on mobile phones.

Post

Australia Post is the government's postal service. Most suburbs will have at least one post office. Opening times are mostly from around 8:00 or 9:00am to 5:00pm though larger ones keep longer hours sometimes. A standard letter or postcard sent within Australia will cost $0.60. Internationally, it costs $1.70 to send postcards anywhere in the world. Letters cost $1.85 to send within the Asia Pacific region and $2.60 to anywhere else in the world.[4]. It is also possible to send things as parcels or by express mail. You can also use use private courier companies like TNT, UPS or DHL as they are competitive and reliable.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: -33.867139
  • Longitude: 151.207114

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Sydney Travel Helpers

This is version 176. Last edited at 5:25 on Oct 14, 14 by QantasTeam. 120 articles link to this page.

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