Sydney is the crown jewel of a region called “Oceania” for a reason. You can’t head Down Under and visit Australia’s most populous city without falling for its breathtaking coastline. In fact, Sydney took home the #10 spot on our 2017 Travel Hacker list for both trending destinations and trending beaches.
While the average temperature drops to a low of 55 degrees in June, Sydney is a tropical paradise during our winter. It’s for this reason median airfare prices are highest in December and January. Still, visitors from the U.S. and Canada can enjoy flights to Sydney for under $1,000 in August, but make sure to book at least two months in advance for the best fares.
Once you arrive, it’s time to take in the Harbour City in style (just remember to spell harbour with a “u”). Pack your boardshorts and check out our guide to doing just that:
- Find the best beaches
Sydney might just have more beaches than Australians.
Bondi Beach is arguably the city’s most well-known waterfront haven, featuring stunning sand and sea. Millions of people visit Bondi each year to take in the sights, catch some sun and enjoy the many restaurants, markets and festivals springing up along the coastline.
However, if you’re in search of a hidden gem, Sydney can accommodate you. Gordon’s Bay, Congwong Beach, Collins Flat Beach, Morning Bay Beach – the list of “secret” seashores goes on and on.
Keep in mind there’s a reason these beaches are less crowded. Many can only be reached by narrow roads and footpaths, and some might require a mini-road trip on your part. Also, you may not find easily accessible amenities like restaurants and markets nearby.
If you want some seaside solitude without giving up lifeguards and other signs of civilization, give Tamarama, Bronte Beach and Coogee a try instead.
- See what’s under the sea
Never been snorkeling? Now’s the perfect time to start!
The Great Barrier Reef may be off the coast of Queensland, but Sydney offers a copious amount of spots to explore what’s under the waves.
Bare Island, Captain Cook’s Landing in Botany Bay National Park, Clovelly Beach, Oak Park Pool and Shelly Beach all rank among the best Sydney snorkeling spots, according to the pros at Snorkel Safari, the self-proclaimed largest and fastest-growing group of snorkeling and dive stores in Australia.
However, just like with the city’s beaches, there are plenty of off-the-beaten-path spots locals swear by, including Gordon’s Bay, Congwong Beach and Wattamolla.
Of course, if it’s your first time, be sure to stick with the professionals.
- Explore a heavenly harbour
Who knew a port could be so much fun (besides sailors, that is)?
The Sydney Harbour is world-famous, in part thanks to the gorgeous Sydney Opera House. Don’t fret if you didn’t score tickets to a show – you can still enjoy most everything the harbour has to offer.
First take a trip to Sydney Harbour Bridge. Not only does it provide insane views, it’s the world’s widest long-span bridge. You can finally check that off the ol’ bucket list.
Next take a mini-cruise aboard one of the many ferries and sailboats available to take visitors around the harbour. You can even book a romantic meal aboard some of the vessels.
Or maybe a walkabout is more your style? In that case, check out Sydney Harbour National Park, where you can enjoy guided tours, prime picnic opportunities and, of course, swimming.
There’s a lot to love about Sydney that has nothing to do with its coastline (Vegemite doesn’t make our list, but hey, that’s just us). However, if you’re looking to enjoy some aquatic adventures, they don’t come much better than the Harbour City.