Cosmopolitan Sydney

Sydney was the first stop of my dream trip to Australia and provided a great introduction to the country. A cosmopolitan city with much to offer, Sydney offers a wide range of experiences such as harbor cruises, the best aquarium I've ever visited, a fantastic zoo, and wonderful shopping.


Cosmopolitan Sydney

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by dolphoto on September 11, 2005

The wonderful Sydney aquarium, the VIP Aussie Gold Tour at Taronga Zoo, cruising Sydney Harbor, lunch at the Sydney Tower, Islay statue at the Queen Victoria Building, chatting with the locals${QuickSuggestions} For harbor cruises, the earlier the better. A 10am cruise had only 10 people, while the 11am was packed. The extra cost for the VIP Aussie Gold Tour at Taronga is a great value and well worthwhile. Lots of money can be saved with the Smart Visit card (available online and at several locations in the city), which provides entry to most major attractions, harbor cruises, and more.${BestWay} Sydney is largely a walking city, but be sure to take at least one ferry. Taxis are inexpensive. The monorail doesn't cover a terribly large area, but it is an interesting way to see the city.

Sydney Harbour Marriott

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by dolphoto on September 11, 2005

Elegant and well located, the Sydney Harbor Marriott provides everything you'd expect at a good hotel. Rooms are a good size, but not large. Furnishings are of a good quality and the beds are very comfortable. Service is fast and friendly, with concierges who really want to help. For a bit more than a standard room, you can get a great view of the Opera House. The location is very convenient. It's just a few minutes' walk to Circular Quay ferries, The Rocks shopping and dining area, or the Central Business District.
Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay
30 Pitt Street
Sydney, 2000
+61 (2) 9259-7000

Doyle's Seafood Restaurant

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by dolphoto on September 11, 2005

Doyle's Seafood is a Sydney institution, and for good reason. The food is excellent and the location sublime. The menu focuses on fresh seafood but includes non-seafood items as well. The scallops Mornay I had were well prepared, but not spectacular. Service is prompt and friendly. The location can't be beat, right between Circular Quay and its ferries and The Rocks shopping and dining district, providing a great view. Prices are in the high range, but reasonable given the quality of the food. Reservations aren't needed for lunch but are recommended for dinner. At lunch, I saw a mix of attire, but evening patrons were very well dressed.
Doyle's Seafood Restaurant
Harbour Bridge End-Int'l Shipping Terminal
Sydney, Australia
(02) 9252-3400

Sydney AMP Tower Revolving Restaurant

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by dolphoto on September 11, 2005

The restaurant at the top of the Sydney AMP Tower is a great way to see the city and is a better value than many tower restaurants. The all-you-can eat lunch buffet provides a wide variety of choices ranging from cold seafood to roasts to Asian dishes to lovely desserts. The food isn't outstanding, but it lets you avoid having to make choices and has something for everyone.

The view from the rotating restaurant is the star. Giving 360-degree views of the city, it's a great way to get a sense of what is where. One of the highlights for me was the terrific view of the Olympic stadium.

Entrance to the restaurant is through a shopping mall. Signs to it aren't terribly helpful, guiding you to the podium level without explaining where that is. Ask in one of the stores (some of which are very nice).

Sydney AMP Tower Revolving Restaurant
100 Market St
Sydney, Australia
(02) 9231-1000

Taronga Zoo

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by dolphoto on September 11, 2005

Taronga is a world-class zoo. Although it has a wide range of animals, the main attraction is the comprehensive collection of Australian natives. Exhibits are well done, although a few could use updating.

The VIP Gold Tour is well worth the extra cost. Requiring advanced reservations, a small group (max. 6) is guided through up-close and personal encounters with a good variety of Australian wildlife. Other visitors were jealous to watch me and a family of four petting echidnas and getting our pictures taken right next to the koalas. The two guides were highly knowledgeable and very friendly.

Taronga is rightly known as "the zoo with a view." Some of the best views I had of Sydney were from there. The Sky Safari cable car to and from the ferry landing gives some you won't get any other way.

The zoo is rather hilly and can be quite tiring to walk around. Give yourself plenty of time to explore. Those with mobility difficulties might want to consider a wheelchair.

Entrance to the Taronga Zoo is included in the Smart Visit card.

Taronga Zoo
Bradley's Head Road
Sydney, Australia, 2088
+61 (2) 9969 2777

Sydney Aquarium

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by dolphoto on September 11, 2005

The Sydney Aquarium is the best aquarium I have ever visited. While many aquariums now offer a walk-through tunnel, Sydney's offers three of these immersion exhibits. One takes you down with seals and sea lions. Another takes you through the coral reef. Probably the most popular surrounds you with sharks and rays.

For me, the highlight was the platypus exhibit. One of my must-dos for the trip was seeing a platypus, and I got to do this right inside the entrance to the aquarium. The exhibit was roomy and allowed these unique creatures to show their natural behaviors. In these ways and in visibility, it was superior to the small tank at Taronga Zoo.

Nemo has been a boon to the aquarium and is highly celebrated. Kids really enjoyed the anemone fish exhibit, and the gift shop carried tons of Nemo-inspired items.

Sydney Aquarium
Aquarium Pier, Darling Harbour
Sydney, Australia, 2000
+61 (2) 8251-7800

http://www.igougo.com/journal-j46937-Sydney-Cosmopolitan_Sydney.html

©Travelocity.com LP 2000-2009