Sydney Region Information
To help you enjoy your Sydney vacation we have information on accommodation across the different suburbs of this fabulous city. If you are looking for anything from luxury resorts to satisfactory hotels or for information on The Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. The Sydney Visitors Bureau will help you.
While the central city area of Sydney falls comfortably within an area about 1 kilometre wide by 3 kilometres long, it is a sprawling metropolis with seaside suburbs stretching more than 30 kms (19 miles) to the north and 24 kms (15 miles) to the south.
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Port Hacking, a large inlet from the sea, forms the southern border of the city and marks the start of the Royal National Park, a large tract of National bushland and the rugged coastal scenery of Audley, Wattamolla and Garie.
Just north of Port Hacking lies Botany Bay into which flows the Georges River. The river is another popular boating spot, but Botany Bay is open and quite shallow, quickly becoming rough in windy weather and not recommended for visitors without local knowledge.
On the north-western shore of Botany Bay, and with runways extending into it on reclaimed land, is Sydney Airport, 9 kms from the city centre.
It extends west in a broad sweep about 60 kms (38 miles) to the foothills of the Blue Mountains, taking in historic Parramatta, which is a city in its own right about 20 kms (12 miles) west of the city centre. More than 3.3 million people live in this entire area.
Sydney is more or less cut in half by Sydney Harbour (Port Jackson) and the Parramatta River which flows into it from Parramatta.
To the north Sydney comes to an end at Broken Bay (Palm Beach) which leads into Pittwater and the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, a huge tract of bushland of about 150 square kms, bisected by the very large and deep Cowan Creek and parts of the Hawkesbury River. Along with Pittwater, these waterways are popular, sheltered boating and fishing areas.
The Regions of Sydney
Sydney divides logically into several major areas which are a must for visitors to see. They have been chosen for their variety and concentration of things to see and do so visitors can get a real feel for Sydney's history and lifestyle.
For short stay visitors. Also called Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport it is the busiest airport in Australia. The main access road, General Holmes Drive, passes under the runway and becomes The Grand Parade. It then runs along the beach past Brighton-Le-Sands and Monterey to Dolls Point. Sydney CBD is 10-15 minutes from the airport by train and is roughly the same for a car at non peak times.
Check out our Sydney Airport hotels list.
Includes The Rocks, Darling Harbour and Chinatown. The City takes in the central business district, the Sydney Opera House, Town Hall, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the restored Queen Victoria Building, Hyde Park, and the Australian Museum. Visit Macquarie Street and Queens Square and walk through The Domain to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Mrs Macquarie's Point and the Royal Botanical Gardens. Visit the major department stores and fashion boutiques in the centre of town, and get an eagle's eye view from the AMP Tower.
Check out our Rocks accommodation.
Has more historical buildings than anywhere else in Sydney as well as shopping, cafes, restaurants, pubs and entertainment. Above it towers the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Observatory Hill. The Rocks are also where you will find a huge range of 5 star hotels right on the waters edge.
Check out our Rocks accommodation.
Sydney's modern convention and exhibition heartland includes the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney Aquarium, the Chinese Garden, Imax Theatre and a choice of restaurants and cafes. It is close to Sydney's only legal casino, Star City. Chinatown is packed with restaurants and shops selling Chinese goods from embroidery to jade carvings. It is right next to the Sydney Entertainment Centre and close to Darling Harbour.
Check out our Darling Harbour accommodation.
Darlinghurst is peppered with restaurants which welcome everybody. Many feature Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. The area around Taylor Square, is the main entertainment area for the gay and lesbian community in Sydney. It too has bars, discos, restaurants, cafes and boutiques.
Check out our Darlinghurst accommodation.
Kings Cross is probably the next best known tourist attraction in Sydney after the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Ten minutes from the city in light traffic, it is Sydney's main nightspot for visitors who enjoy the fleshier side of life.
Check out our Kings Cross accommodation.
Stretching from the city along the southern foreshore of Sydney Harbour to Watsons Bay near the headland guarding the southern entrance to the harbour, South Head. The Eastern Suburbs include Kings Cross, Darlinghurst and Paddington. Call at trendy Double Bay and enjoy the views of Sydney Harbour on the way to Watson Bay. The famous Bondi Beach is where the Eastern Suburbs meet the Southern Beaches.
Check out our East Sydney accommodation.
From Bondi to Cronulla, which sits on the Kurnell Peninsula at Botany Bay where Lieutenant James Cook claimed the east coast of Australia for England in 1770. Call at La Perouse where a French expedition arrived in 1788 to find ships of the First Fleet already at anchor. A few days earlier and Australia might have been a French colony.
Check out our Southern Beaches accommodation.
Has three great areas for restaurants, cafes, pubs and people watching. Take a short ferry ride to the historic Balmain, or a bus or taxi to Glebe and Newtown.
Parramatta was founded just after Sydney itself in 1788 as a place to graze animals and grow food for the fledgling colony. Parramatta, though considered a 'suburb', is a city in its own right and is actually the geographic centre of the Sydney Metropolitan Area. Parramatta is the business centre of the Outer Western Suburbs, and has a smattering of historically very important buildings.
Check out our Parramatta accommodation.
Sydney's satellite commercial centre just across the Harbour Bridge is the gateway to the Lower North Shore. Enjoy great views of the city and try the cafes, pubs and clubs at Kirribilli, Milsons Point and McMahons Point. Do not miss Taronga Park Zoo [video] with its fine collection of animals on spectacular location. Drop into Balmoral for a swim and try the clubs and restaurants at The Spit and watch the yachts go by.
Check out our North Sydney accommodation.
Offer endless opportunities to get wet. They are the finest stretch of golden sand surfing beach in the world for swimmers, board riders and wind surfers. Manly is a real seaside holiday town with a big choice of places to eat and enjoy a drink. Take a drive to Palm Beach and enjoy superb ocean views.
Check out our Manly accommodation.
Visit Newport and Church Point on Pittwater and see for yourself why it is irresistible to yachting and boating fanatics. Drive into the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and smell the gum trees which are the hallmark of the Australian bush.
Regions just outside of Sydney
The Hunter Valley is Australia's oldest and one of its greatest wine areas, though it produces only a tiny proportion of its wines - about 2 per cent.
First established more than 150 years ago, it is home to some 80 wineries ranging from famous labels to very small 'boutique' winemakers. The Hunter is renowned for its full-bodied white wines, 'medium weight reds' and some excellent ports.
As the Hunter Valley is only a 1½ hour drive north from Sydney and its 3 million inhabitants, it is an extremely popular getaway for Sydneysiders. It offers a quiet taste of the country with intimate guest houses and cosy inns, many converted from old mansions and cottages.
Check out our Hunter Valley accommodation.
The Blue Mountains are part of the Great Dividing Range, which stretches from Gippsland region of Victoria in the south to the tropical rainforests of north Queensland. The foothills are only 60 kms from the Sydney CBD.
They are clad in vast forests of eucalypts (commonly called gum trees), which in the hot sun discharge a fine mist of eucalyptus oil from their leaves. The mist refracts light, which makes the haze look blue at a distance - hence the name.
The rugged terrain of the Blue Mountains with its tree clad slopes and sheer sandstone cliffs attracts tens of thousands of visitors to its scenic beauty. Scores of walking tracks lead along the ridges and down into its gorges.
Mountain biking (cycling) has become very popular, and abseiling and canyoning with expert guides are also big attractions for novices and the experienced. The areas is dotted with waterfalls, and there is great variety in the vegetation as you descend into the valleys.
As winter in the mountains is quite cold with light to medium falls of snow, Sydneysiders relish the opportunity to enjoy roaring log fires, eggnog, good food and wine, and outside winter walks and activities.
Check out our Blue Mountains accommodation.