Cheap flights to Sydney are available from Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Adelaide, Canberra and Melbourne. Direct flights are available from Cairns, however these will typically include a quick stopover in Brisbane. Flying time is just over 4 hours from both Perth and Darwin with cheap flights often including a transfer in Melbourne or Brisbane respectively. Departures from Hobart and Launceston offer cheap flights through Melbourne or Canberra. The Sydney CBD is approximately 12km from the domestic terminal, T1. This is probably the most accessible airport terminal in Australia. There is a train station in the terminal but tickets are not cheap. All services on this line are more expensive than normal Sydney public transport costs but the convenience far outweighs your expenditure and the services are frequent. Sydney Buses operates a limited number of services from the arrivals hall. There is a taxi rank at the arrivals level in T1 – this can be confusing. Taxis are not allowed to pick you up from the departure level so make sure you’re in the correct place. Taxis are a cheap option if you are not travelling alone – if you are, chat to the plethora of people in the queue and see if you can share. There are six companies offering car rental services from within the terminal. Car hire is generally cheap, however, there are 4 million people in Sydney so budget for a little extra when it comes to insurance.
Sydney roads are narrow, congested and really well signed. It is very easy to self-navigate and if you take a wrong turn, you may well get there faster. Hiring a car is definitely the best transport option, however you need to be aware of the many toll roads in and around Sydney CBD. The public transport system has frequent services and is at the top of the game in terms of organisation. It can be expensive so buy a MyMulti pass to minimise costs and maximise time efficiency. There are train, bus, ferry and light rail options - you could probably walk faster than the latter. Walking and cycling are great options within the CBD and Northern Beaches as the skyline presents landmarks recognizable from some distance.
Planning is the key to getting the most out of Sydney. The gorgeous blue backdrop of Sydney Harbour is your gateway to Taronga Zoo and the busy ferry terminal is right next door to the magnificent Opera House. For the adventurer, don’t miss the Harbour Bridge Climb or Luna Park for kids of all ages. World famous sun, sand and surf are just minutes from the city. Bondi is both spectacular and crowded – Bronte Beach is just 2km south and far more relaxed as is Coogee Beach. For the romantics, take your time wandering the peaceful greens of the Botanic Garden and in the summer months reserve the best seats in the house at the open-air cinema. There’s something for everyone at the Entertainment Quarter and the Sydney Aquarium is situated along the picturesque Darling Harbour. Avoid the fast pace of the city with a drive out to the Blue Mountains or to the set of Summer Bay, Palm Beach.
Rummage through the cheap stalls of the Chinatown Markets before making your way into the Pitt Street Mall. For exclusive boutique browsing head to The Rocks or out to Bondi Junction for boutique, department and chain store retailers. Rub shoulders with the rich and famous regulars of Bondi’s Icebergs. Revolver at Annandale has the ultimate burger experience and the views are worth the hole in your pocket at Café Sydney. For a great Sydney secret, head to Dean’s Café in Potts Point for a late night coffee and make sure you grab at least one pie from Harry’s Café de Wheels. They’re cheap, quick, utterly delicious and the van has personality plus! Dance at Home Nightclub on the Cockle Bay Wharf or party at The World in King’s Cross. Door charges are usually expensive so make sure you haggle – politely. The Ivy Bar in George Street has both live music and swimming or you could relax at Cargo Bar in Darling Harbour. Do some cheeky sightseeing while sipping cocktails high above the city at 360 Bar. It’s a rotating platform with chilled music, an intimate atmosphere and uninterrupted views as far as the eye can see.