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The Pom Queen

Backpackers in Sydney What to Do

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Sydney is iconic and a top priority on any backpacker’s to do list! Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Bondi Beach & King’s Cross are all accessible by either foot or public transport from the city centre. Base Backpackers is located smack bang in the middle Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, King’s Cross and the central shopping district. The hostel offers free weekly activities: city walks, beach BBQs and more!

 

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Here is how to explore Sydney on a shoestring budget...

 

1. Free Sydney Sights Tour

 

Operating on a tip basis, Sydney Sights provide a free, daily walking tour of the city – introducing you to the city and its attractions and providing information on activities, how to get around by transport, the best shopping spots and of course, a little bit of history!

 

Tours depart daily from St Andrews Cathedral on George St at 10:30am & 2:30pm. Just look for your guide in a bright green t – shirt!

 

Sydney Sights also offer walking tours to The Rocks – the site of Australia’s first European settlement. The tour will explore pubs, lane ways and the notorious dark side of Sydney’s history. Tours take 1.5 hours, depart at 6:00pm everyday and depart from the west side of Circular Quay.

 

 

2. Circular Quay: Sydney Opera House & Sydney Harbour Bridge

 

Circular Quay is one of the most visited harbours in the world. Why? This is where you will find the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge – a visit is obligatory for any visitor!

 

Circular Quay is roughly 1km from Base Backpackers (or Town Hall Station) and 2km from Central Station. Alternatively, you can jump on a train from anywhere in the city centre and get off at Circular Quay station to avoid the walk. The Royal Botanical gardens are worth a walk around and is almost as large as Sydney’s inner city!

 

The Opera Bar offers free live music and DJs every night of the week – can you imagine a better way to view a sunset?

 

3.Bondi Beach

 

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Australia’s famous stretch of sand! The cheapest way to get to Bondi Beach is by public transport. Trains depart from Town Hall & Central Station in the CBD and will drop you at Bondi Junction. You can then take a bus from Bondi Junction to Bondi Beach. The journey from the city will take approx 40 minutes.

 

4. Free Fireworks at Darling Harbour

 

Darling Harbour is just a 5 minute walk from Base Backpackers or Town Hall Station. Offering plenty of photo opportunities, Darling Harbour boasts many outdoor cafes, cheap eats, bars and is a popular spot for buskers and street performers.

 

Year round, Darling Harbour host an amazing firework spectacular every Saturday night at 9:00pm.

 

 

5. Sydney Tower

 

What better way to view the city than by 360 degree views of the city from Sydney’s tallest tower! Tickets are about $26. The first level of the tower features a revolving restaurant!

 

6.Free city circle bus

 

Don’t like walking? Bus 555 runs between Circular Quay, George St & Central Station. Buses operate between business hours.

 

7. Sydney Wild Life World

 

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Located by Darling Harbour – Wild life world allows you to get up close and personal with native Australian animals! Entry costs is about $36.

 

8. Bicentennial Park

 

No visit to Australia is complete without a BBQ picnic in the sunshine! Catch a ferry to Parramatta from Sydney CBD to gain some affordable views of the city and its surrounds. Once in Parramatta, you can take a bus to Sydney Olympic Park station where you will find many parks and lakes with BBQ and toilet facilities to choose from. You can also BYO Alcohol.

 

9. King’s Cross – a cheap night out

 

Sydney’s notorious 'red light' district is iconic for its buzzing nightlife – from backpacker bars to strip clubs! This vibrant community is home to many happy hours and drink specials for backpackers – definitely worth a night out!

 

10. Sydney Observatory

 

This historic building (a tad eerie) can be found in the parklands at The Rocks and offers great views of the city. Take a free tour of the observatory and learn not only about southern hemisphere astrology, but also Sydney’s rich history.

 

11. Ferry / Snorkel at Manly Beach

 

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Locals boast about northern Sydney's Beaches. Manly Beach is beautiful and is accessible by ferry from Circular Quay. A return ferry ticket will cost you no more than $15 and the journey takes approx 30 minutes. You will find shops, bars, cafes and restaurants lining the beach.

 

Eco Treasures offer a 1.5 hour Snorkel Tour of Manly’s underwater marine life for roughly $55.sydney manly

 

12. Paddy’s Markets

 

Located on the southern end of George St, Paddy’s Markets are possibly the cheapest place to pick up those souvenirs for friends and family back home. Also a must visit if you are looking for any cheap jewelry, accessories, sunglasses or clothing.

 

13. Sydney Aquarium

 

Sydney Sea Life Aquarium is located in the Sydney CBD and offers the opportunity to gain an insight in to the Australian Marine Life. Think Great White Sharks, the Great Barrier Reef and more!

 

14. Cockatoo Island

 

Sydney Harbour’s largest island is accessible from the city for just $12 return. Explore the island’s rich convict history and relax!

 

15. Pylon Lookout

 

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With photo opportunities galore, Pylon Lookout is one of Sydney’s best vantage points. The 200 steps to the top of the lookout will introduce you to the history of Sydney’s Harbour Bridge before offering spectacular views of Circular Quay

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If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

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Don't forget to get an opal card! Similar to Oyster cards in London and works on the ferries as well. Great value.


103 visa application lodged February 2013. 143 visa application submitted January 2016. Police checks and form 80 submitted February 29th 2016. Visa granted April 4th 2016.

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I love the opal card. If you do 8 journeys in a week you get the rest of the week free

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@Quokka2005 don't forget a trip to Manly on the ferry then a walk to Shelly Beach. Best during the week as so busy at the weekends.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away :smile:

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We went to manly the other day. Yeah it was busy! We tried to go the Sunday of the weekend we arrived but it was unbearable

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We went to manly the other day. Yeah it was busy! We tried to go the Sunday of the weekend we arrived but it was unbearable

 

Did you have a swim at Shelly Beach? So much nicer than trying to swim in the surfy breakers at Manly.

 

The walk to Shelly Beach from Manly. We always stopped for a coffee at the white building on the right.

 

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Shelly Beach

 

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Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away :smile:

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I love the opal card. If you do 8 journeys in a week you get the rest of the week free

How much do the 8 journeys cost? Does the opal cover rail and ferry as well as the busses?


If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

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The opal covers, trains, light rail, buses and ferries.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away :smile:

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Yeah it covers everything except the fast ferry. I can't remember how much we spent but we were jumping around everywhere so it did add up but if we had just been doing normal commutes then it would have been a cheaper week. I didn't realise my weekend was free until I asked someone why it wasn't charging me. I wish transport back home was like this

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I didn't realise my weekend was free until I asked someone why it wasn't charging me.

 

Sadly this is no more. There were too many people abusing and cheating the system. So they ruined it for everyone, and there are no more free rides.

 

"From September 2016, Opal holders will pay for all their journeys. But after they have used trains, trams, buses or ferries eight times in a week, any new travel will come with a half price discount".

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9. King’s Cross – a cheap night out

 

Sydney’s notorious 'red light' district is iconic for its buzzing nightlife – from backpacker bars to strip clubs! This vibrant community is home to many happy hours and drink specials for backpackers – definitely worth a night out!

 

Great info but sadly this part with the lock out laws in place may not really apply. The lock out laws have basically killed parts of Sydney nightlife.

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