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Cruises from Sydney

Stay and play in one of the world’s most famous coastal cities.

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Cruise Passenger Reader's Choice Awards, 5-time consecutive winner

Catch a wave at Bondi, shop ‘til you drop in the city or sip a long black in the vibrant inner west before a cruise from Sydney. Culturally diverse, Sydney offers plenty to explore, from art galleries and ancient Aboriginal culture, to iconic structures and a heady mix of cuisines. When cruising from Sydney’s deep-water port in the heart of the city, you can explore it all before or after your next Sydney cruise with Princess.

Find the Best Cruises from Sydney

New Zealand Cruises

Cruise from Sydney and head ‘across the ditch’ to New Zealand, Australia’s closest neighbour. Sample award-winning wines in Picton, discover rich Māori heritage in the Bay of Islands or explore Tolkien’s mythical Middle Earth. With Princess’ Across the Ditch program, sample the best of the region and immerse yourself in local culture on board any of our round-trip cruises from Sydney or one-way trips to Auckland.

Australia Cruises

Cruising from Sydney allows you to explore the very best of Australia – including its rich culture and diverse landscape. Dive the Great Barrier Reef, browse Hobart’s Salamanca Markets or tantalise your tastebuds in the Barossa Valley and Margaret River wine regions. From bustling cities to deserted outback, coastal paradise to craggy peaks to lush rainforest, Australia is a land that has it all.

Australia Seacations

One of the wonderful things about Australia is the fact that you don’t have to go far to see something new. If you’re short on time, short cruises from Sydney allow you to explore some of the country’s highlights. On 2 or 3-day cruises from Sydney, browse Melbourne’s boutique stores and laneways, see a koala at Brisbane’s Australia Zoo or kick back and relax on the Gold Coast.

Papua New Guinea

Located off the north coast of Australia, the rugged paradise of Papua New Guinea is the perfect destination for those who want to head off the beaten track. On a cruise from Sydney, relax on Alotau’s immaculate white-sand beaches, or dive the Conflict Islands’ pristine reef system to uncover the intriguing marine life within. You’ll soon realize that Papua New Guinea is a place that’s not easily forgotten.

Tasmania Cruises

Located just off Australia’s mainland, Tasmania offers plenty to explore on your next cruise from Sydney. Stroll through bustling Hobart and sample some of the local produce, then uncover the state’s history as a penal colony at Port Arthur. Trek Tassie’s wilderness on a hike of Cradle Mountain, or marvel at the beauty of Freycinet Peninsula. Whether on a short cruise getaway or a longer trip, Tasmania is simply a must-see.

South America Cruises

From the balmy jungles of South America to the icy terrains of Antarctica, revel in the best of both worlds on a cruise from Sydney. In Puntarenas, learn how Starbucks coffee beans are harvested at the company’s only farm. Walk past pyramids in Huatulco, and uncover treasures of Mesoamerica. Or ascend to Corcovado Mountain and visit one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, the Christ the Redeemer statue.

Tahiti & South Pacific Cruises

On cruises from Sydney, step into paradise as you uncover the mesmerising beauty of Tahiti and the islands of the South Pacific. Explore these dream destinations and bask in the crystal waters of Lemon Bay Beach in New Caledonia’s Noumea. Kayak within a secret oasis at Vanuatu’s Mystery Island, wander colourful markets in Fiji’s Lautoka or discover rich French Polynesian culture in Tahiti.

Asia Cruises

Home to ancient civilizations and long-standing traditions, Asia welcomes you to explore age-old cultures. Learn the art of Thai dancing in Bangkok, navigate the Cu Chi tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City or discover 8,000-year-old history at the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Between the landmarks and local connections, experience a sensory experience unlike any other on a cruise from Sydney to Asia.

What You Need to Know About Cruises from Sydney

Vibrant, bustling and culturally diverse, Sydney is full of treasures well worth exploring. Here’s everything you need to know about the city, so you can really make the most of your cruise from Sydney.

Sydney at a glance

  • Language : English
  • Currency : Australian Dollar (AUD)
  • Time Zone : Australian Eastern Time (AET)
  • Docking : Your cruise from Sydney docks at White Bay Cruise Terminal or the Overseas Passenger Terminal (Circular Quay West).
  • Attire : Opt for shorts and t-shirts during the hot and humid summer months (December to February) and long pants and sweaters in the cooler months of winter (June to August).
  • Transportation : Public transport makes Sydney easy to get around, thanks to its ferries, buses, trains and light rail. Driving in the city is not recommended, especially during peak hour, due to high density traffic.

Things to do in Sydney

Whether taking a short cruise from Sydney or a world tour, there’s plenty to explore in the city before or after your cruise. Foodies can indulge in diverse cuisines, while history and nature lovers can find hidden gems at every turn. Climb the Harbour Bridge, tour the Opera House or wander the Royal Botanic Gardens. Outside the city, cool off at Manly Beach, hike the Blue Mountains or catch a game at Sydney Cricket Ground.

Ships That Cruise from Sydney

Our Princess fleet includes some of the best cruises from Sydney. Find the comforts of home along with the luxuries you deserve on board any of our ships. Discover what makes our fleet so unique.

Crown Princess®

Royal Princess®

Grand Princess®

Diamond Princess®

Discovery Princess®

Majestic Princess®

Coral Princess®

Island Princess®

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Remove the hassle from air travel and give yourself the gift of flexibility, time and a thicker wallet with Princess EZair flights. We negotiate lower rates with the airlines, allow you to modify your flight up to 45 days prior with no penalty and protect you if your flight is late or canceled.

EZair flight quotes are available on our cruise search result details pages.

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Let Princess pick you up from the airport and take you directly to your ship or hotel when you arrive, even if you didn't book your airfare through us. A uniformed Princess representative meets you at the airport after you've retrieved your luggage and transports you directly to your ship or hotel without you having to worry about the logistics of navigating a new city.

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Stay longer and relax

Extend your cruise vacation, and simplify your travel plans with a hotel stay at the beginning or end of your cruise. With a Cruise Plus Hotel Package, a Princess representative meets you at the airport and pier, transporting you to and from your hotel. The package includes the cost of your hotel stay, transportation, luggage handling and the services of the representative.

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Short Cruises from Sydney

Our Sydney cruises are very popular for long weekends, quick breaks or just when you feel the need to get away from it all. With Discounted rates you can sometimes get a short cruise for the price of a cheap flight. With food and accommodation inclusive, Cruises can be an economical choice!

Imagine sailing out of Sydney on a 2 or 3 day cruise to get away from the stresses of city life!

Cruise options available can include themed options such as P&O's Food & Wine Cruise, Mother's Day Cruises, and Melbourne Cup Cruises.

Long Weekend options can be very busy, so please ensure you allow enough lead time before booking. Last Minute options are also available at short notice and can sometimes be heavily reduced. Good Luck!

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Food & Wine Cruises

food & wine

With presentations from food and wine personalities you have the chance to find how to pick the best wines, or find out how cheese is matured. Departing from Sydney this quick cruise is a great introduction to cruise life.

Sydney Sampler Cruises


Cruise out of Sydney to Melbourne or Hobart or simply do a Sydney Sampler Cruise departing Sydney Harbour and venturing up the Australian coastline

Melbourne Cup Cruises from Sydney

melbourne cup

The traditional Melbourne Cup cruise is a popular choice for avid cruise enthsiasts. Why not combine two of your favourite things in one holiday. Whether your favourite thing is horse racing and cruising, or socialising / wining / dining and cruising! What better way to experience the Melbourne cup than this brilliant cruise for that first Tuesday in November.

Moreton Island Cruise - Carnival Cruise Line

4 - Day Tangalooma - Moreton Island from Sydney, Australia

Cruise itinerary.

4 day cruise sydney

Day 1: Sydney

Lost at the sea

Day 2: Fun Day at Sea

Day 3: tangalooma - moreton island.

guests playing a fun game of ping pong onboard a carnival cruise

Day 4: Fun Day at Sea

Day 5: sydney.

carnival luminosa sets sail at sea

Get to Know Carnival Luminosa

Carnival Luminosa ® is new to the Carnival fleet… and we’d say this ship is all set to make a first impression. Guests setting sail on Carnival Luminosa can expect hospitality and fun that's pure, unmistakable Carnival, with so many fan-favorite onboard features like the flavors of Alchemy Bar ® , Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse ™ and RedFrog ® Rum Bar; the entertainment of Playlist Productions ™ , Piano Bar 88 and The Punchliner ™ Comedy Club; plus the relaxation of Cloud 9 Spa ™ and Serenity ™ . And when you’re indoors, you can still expect great views and lots of natural light — the ship was built with plenty of windows. So when you choose to sail on Carnival Luminosa, can we just say… great choice! There’s just one more decision to make: is Australia or Alaska more your cruising style? We ask because this world-traveling ship will kick things off sailings from Australia in the summer months with plenty of itinerary options… before heading to Seattle for a summer of Alaska cruises. And when the ship’s heading from one region to the other, we take the opportunity to sail unique Transpacific itineraries that stop in spots like Fiji, Tahiti, Hawaii, Japan and more. So, what we’re saying is… with scenery like this, you’re gonna put those windows to good use!

Onboard Activities

4 day cruise sydney

Onboard Dining

assorted sushi rolls

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  • Short Break Cruises

Short Cruises from Sydney

Got a few days off and looking for a quick holiday with a difference? Set sail for crystal-clear seas and endless blue skies with a P&O Short Break cruise from Sydney. Our short cruises from Sydney give you a chance to kick back, relax, and enjoy everything that P&O cruises have to offer in a shorter 3, 4, or 5 night timeframe.

From birthday celebrations  to wedding & vow renewals , our short cruises are the perfect way to mark an occasion. Don your best cowboy boots for a country music cruise, moonwalk into the disco era on our 80’s themed cruise, or laugh yourself silly on a comedy cruise. No matter what your idea of a dream holiday is, our range of short cruises has something for everyone.

Get more out of your holiday in less time

Short in name and nature, P&O Short Breaks from Sydney offer a convenient, cost-effective holiday option you won’t find anywhere else on land. Our 3 to 5 night cruises pack all the action of a full-sized holiday into just a few unforgettable days - and a single fare. Hop aboard a P&O short cruise to experience gorgeous sunsets at sea, top-class onboard facilities, and a smorgasbord of events and activities.

By the end of your trip you’ll return to Sydney feeling relaxed, refreshed, and ready to take on the world.

Experience all that P&O Cruises have to offer

Don’t be fooled by their length. Our short cruises pack all the punch of our full-length trips. Great for first-time cruisers, they give you a taste test of cruising before you dive into a longer trip. Hit the high seas on a short cruise out of Sydney and enjoy all of P&O’s signature offerings, from mouth-watering restaurants and retail to entertainment and themed parties that cover all tastes and styles.

Have a quieter quick getaway in mind? You’ll love soaking up the sun beside one of our onboard pools, or stretching out the relaxation hours with yoga at our gym. No matter what speed you like to travel at, you’ll find something to suit you on board our short cruises.

Dining & Restaurants

Health & fitness, entertainment, make memories on a family cruise.

Forget about long car trips and endless echoes of ‘’are we there yet?”. With age-appropriate Kids’ Clubs filled to the brim with activities kids are sure to love; our short cruises make great family cruises. Better yet, our onboard babysitting facilities (charges apply) mean you can enjoy some kid-free time by booking a date night, some me-time, or simply a relaxing night off. It’s all possible aboard a P&O Cruise.

Next Departing Short Cruises from Sydney

Our sydney cruise terminals.

P&O short cruises from Sydney depart from the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Circular Quay and the White Bay Cruise Terminal in Rozelle. Both Sydney cruise ports are wheelchair accessible and just a stone’s throw away from public transport and taxi ranks.

Travelling from a little further afield? No problem! Book a P&O Cruises transfer  from Sydney airport or Central railway station to transfer seamlessly to the White Bay Cruise Terminal port or the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

Overseas Passenger Terminal

White Bay Cruise Terminal

Didn’t find what you’re looking for?

Explore our other cruises from different ports, or discover unbeatable last minute cruise deals now.

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Cheap 3, 4 & 5 Day Cruises from Sydney

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3 Night Cruise to Australia & New Zealand

  • You want a classy, traditional cruise on a feature-rich ship
  • You love having plenty of choice, from dining to lounges
  • You have kids and want features designed just for them
  • You need larger-than-average cabin and suite accomodations
  • You like a large pool at the back of the ship for relaxing

5 Night Cruise to Australia & New Zealand

4 night cruise to australia & new zealand.

  • You like having plenty of choices on a classically styled cruise
  • You want numerous bars, lounges and specialty restaurants
  • You appreciate a laid-back cruise that's steeped in traditions
  • You dislike crowds; lines and reservations are inevitable
  • You need a cutting-edge ship with the latest technology
  • You want a classy, big ship experience with lots of amenities
  • You are traveling as a family and need a cruise for all ages
  • You like having plenty of choice when it comes to food onboard
  • You are looking for nonstop, Vegas-style nightly entertainment
  • You dislike crowds; disembarking the ship can require patience
  • You feel more at home on a smaller and more intimate ship
  • You want nonstop fun and activities with cutting-edge flair
  • You love high-tech gadgets, like the robotic Bionic Bar
  • You are a first-time cruiser; this ship shows aims to wow
  • You prefer a more traditional cruise experience; this isn't it
  • You want to digitally detox; this is one very plugged-in ship
  • You're dislike extra charges; upsell opportunities abound
  • You want to cruise on a ship with never-before-seen features
  • You value cutting-edge technology and plenty of activities
  • You are traveling solo and want a single-occupancy stateroom
  • You are on a budget; this is one of the hottest ships around
  • You are looking for a classic, traditional cruise experience
  • You dislike using technology to enhance and manage your cruise
  • You want to sail one of the most high-tech ships afloat
  • You are cruising with kids; the bumper cars are a big hit
  • You want a weeklong cruise to the most popular ports of call
  • You dislike having to make reservations for nearly everything
  • You're unimpressed by techy features like robot bartenders
  • You want to channel the great ocean liners of yesteryear
  • You want a sophisticated cruise that won’t hurt the wallet
  • You enjoy live music, enrichment lectures and afternoon tea
  • You dislike formality and dress codes; that's part of the fun
  • You prefer wacky pool games to relaxing on deck with a book
  • You want a ship that provides a fully inclusive cruise experience
  • You appreciate Princess Cruises' design and venue consistency across the fleet
  • You like the line's high-tech Ocean Medallion digital assistant and connectivity
  • You seek a wide variety of activity, dining and entertainment options
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  • You wish to avoid a cookie-cutter ship with little aesthetic innovation
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  • You dislike cruising with large numbers of families and children
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Short Cruises from Sydney

Relax and unwind on a luxury cruise

Short cruises from Sydney make for an unforgettable getaway. Sail out of Sydney Harbour in style and admire the city’s magnificent skyline from the deck of the luxurious Celebrity Edge. You’ll have a full day in either Hobart or Eden to enjoy activities ashore. Hobart’s bustling waterfront and world-class art galleries beckon, while from Eden, you could hike or kayak, admiring the rugged shoreline of the Sapphire Coast, or spot wildlife in the national parks.

On board, spend your time relaxing by the pool, unwinding in The Spa, and admiring the endless views of the sparkling Pacific from the Magic Carpet®, a floating platform cantilevered over the side of the ship. Elevate your cruise experience with a stay at The Retreat®, where you’ll enjoy an exclusive sundeck and elegant lounge. 


Featured ports of call, eden, australia.

Eden lies on the Sapphire Coast, with more than 150 beaches to choose from. Or you can explore its untamed hinterland to spot kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, and hundreds of species of birds on a guided bush walk. Cruise the pristine shoreline of Twofold Bay, and learn about the town’s whaling heritage, which today is focused on conservation. Don’t miss a chance to sample the tasty Sydney rock oysters that are farmed in the pristine estuaries here.

Hobart, Australia

Tasmania’s capital has built a reputation for its gastronomy and exciting art scene. Taste locally produced cheeses, honey, wine, and craft beers at one of the farmers’ markets, and explore the pubs along the historic waterfront. For the finest Aboriginal art, head to Art Mob in the city. Or visit the impressive Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), which is carved out of ancient sandstone. For hiking and cycling, head up Mount Wellington, where you’ll be rewarded with  sweeping views.

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The Sydney Opera House in Australia

Cruise from Sydney, Australia

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Sydney Shore Excursions

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Sydney Harbour Bridge. Australia.

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Sydney Harbour Bridge. Australia.

Circular Quay is the perfect place to start exploring Sydney. You can find the Opera House here and Harbour Bridge is within walking distance. Stride into one of the many walking and pub tours that leave from here. Just 20 minutes away, you can stretch your legs on the iconic Harbour Bridge walk, the first of its kind in the world.

People enjoying Manly beach in Sydney, Australia

People enjoying Manly beach in Sydney, Australia

Bondi Beach gets all the attention, but Manly Beach in the Northern Beaches is a bit more local. The Corso is lined with shops and restaurants, including local favourite, Hugo's. If surfing is your thing, this is the place to be. The walk from Spit Bridge to Manly is a fantastic way to soak in the city's coastline.

The Gap at Watsons Bay in Sydney, Australia

Walk Watsons

Hop on the ferry or one of the regular buses that go to Watsons Bay to enjoy the scenic hike around South Head. During your journey, you'll enjoy views of Sydney Harbour, North Head, the historic Hornby Lighthouse and, of course, the sapphire-blue Pacific Ocean. The Gap offers breathtaking views of the sea from the rocky cliffside.

A plate of fresh Sydney rock oysters

Local Cuisine

With all the water surrounding you, it's no surprise that seafood takes centre stage on many plates in the city. Head to Sydney Fish Market for giant Sydney Rock oysters or classic fish and ships. Stop into a local pie shop for a traditional Australian meat pie, or explore Sydney's international side with udon or ramen noodles at a Japanese noodle bar, or seek out prawn dumplings in Chinatown.

An opal ring displayed on a stone

There are plenty of shopping centres in the heart of the city, including Westfield Mall, Pitt Street Mall and the wonderful Queen Victoria Building, which is now a shopping centre featuring top designers. Seek out cutting boards made from local camphor laurel – they're not only beautiful but also have natural antimicrobial properties. During your Sydney cruise holiday, look for jewellery made from opal, the national gemstone of Australia.

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  • Moreton Island, Australia

Tangalooma - Moreton Island, Australia

4 day cruise sydney

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Explore the Tangalooma Wrecks in Moreton Island, Australia.

A Carnival Tangalooma, Moreton Island cruise from Sydney to Tangalooma Island Resort gives you access to one of Australia’s best-kept secrets. Experience snorkeling the famous shipwrecks or go whale watching for an experience you’ll never forget. A 4-day Tangalooma, Moreton Island Cruise from Sydney or Brisbane also offers the chance to take an exhilarating 4WD bus adventure around Tangalooma, Moreton Island, the 3rd largest sand island in the world! From sand tobogganing down the dunes, ATV quad bike tours and scenic helicopter flights to spotting turtles on a clear bottom kayak tour or even a spot of parasailing, this cruise has something for everyone. And enjoy more than 45 onboard activities on our Tangalooma, Moreton Island Cruise.

  • Dive the wrecks.
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  • Take a desert safari.

Cruises to Tangalooma - Moreton Island

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Bec's Travel Itinerary

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4 Days in Sydney – The Ultimate Sydney Itinerary

As Australia’s oldest and largest city, Sydney is one of the best-known Australian cities nationally and worldwide. With its grand colonial buildings, gorgeous cityscape, breathtaking coastline, vibrant nightlife, pleasant climate, and convenient public transport system, Sydney is often on the bucket lists of many travellers visiting Australia.

Since Sydney is densely populated with historic architecture and iconic landmarks, visiting Sydney will require advanced planning to make the most out of your stay, especially when visiting Sydney for the first time. Although it can take at least a week to thoroughly explore Sydney and its coastline, 4-day is sufficient for most visitors to get a feel of Sydney and its surroundings .

In this article, I have put together a detailed 4-day itinerary for visiting Sydney, based on my previous visits to this beautiful harbour-side city. It includes visits to Sydney’s most iconic attractions and beaches for a well-balanced trip. A range of galleries and museums within Sydney are also suggested to suit the needs of different travellers.

Sydney, Australia

Where to Stay in Sydney

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The only disadvantage of staying in Sydney CBD is its lack of parking space. Many accommodations within the CBD area either do not offer guest parking or charge an arm and a leg for a parking spot. If you are visiting Sydney by car, consider looking for accommodation in the suburbs instead.

Day 1: Sydney CBD

Circular Quay

Circular Quay

As a vital bus, train, and ferry terminal, Circular Quay is a busy transport hub and a popular gathering spot in Sydney. By following the well-maintained walkway along the water from Circular Quay, you can obtain one of the quintessential views of Sydney: Sydney Opera House & Sydney Harbour Bridge.

During this short 15-minute walk from Circular Quay to Sydney Opera House , make sure you take the lift up to Cahill Walk Lookout (along Cahill Expressway) for a stunning view of the beautiful Circular Quay, with The Rocks and Sydney Harbour Bridge as a backdrop.

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House is by far the most pictured and distinctive landmark in Sydney and Australia. This partially contributed to the common misconception that Sydney is the capital of Australia.

Officially opened its door in 1973, this grand performing art centre has been visited by millions of visitors each year & been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007, with its breathtaking sea shells design.

Spreading across the entire Bennelong Point on Sydney Harbour, the beauty of Sydney Opera House can be appreciated in many different ways. You can appreciate this masterpiece while walking along the harbour on either side of the water, get a unique view of the opera house from the water, and obtain a birds-eye view of this grand design from the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

About the best time to visit the Sydney Opera House , you should see it both early in the morning and late at night. This is especially true if you want to snap photos of this masterpiece without the massive crowds. The area around the opera house starts getting more foot traffic as early as 8 am. If you are particular about your photos and do not like too many photo-bombers, you may need to arrive at the Opera House by at least 8 am, especially during the warmer months.

With that being said, make sure you also come back to visit this area after sunset to enjoy the vibrant nightlife and stunning city lights around the Opera House. If you happen to be in Sydney on New Year’s Eve and Australian Day, the area around the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge also hosts the most spectacular fireworks & make sure you don’t miss out!

Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney

Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is a massive and historic botanic institution that hugs Sydney Harbour & adjacent to the iconic Sydney Opera House. With its ideal harbour-side location, an enormous collection of native and exotic plants, and a range of well-maintained facilities, the Royal Botanic Garden makes a perfect spot for a relaxing stroll along the harbour.

Since Royal Botanic Garden Sydney covers 74 acres of land, you can easily spend hours and hours exploring its charming views and beautiful plantations. However, for this packed 4-day Sydney itinerary, you will likely not have the luxury of exploring it in depth.

To get the best views within the least amount of time, start your discovery journey of this stunning botanic garden from the opera house clockwise towards Mrs Macquarie’s Chair first. From Mrs Macquarie’s Chair , you will be greeted with a spectacular view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. This view is one of my favourites in Sydney & I believe you will enjoy it too!

From Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, you can either continue to follow the footpath clockwise towards the exit or head to a couple of gardens of your choice to visit.

There are various gardens within the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. My favourite is the Spring Walk near Lion’s Gate Lodge . Although it is beautiful any time of the year, as the name suggests, this colourful garden is even more charming during Spring.

St Mary's Cathedral

St Mary’s Cathedral (Sydney)

Rebuilt after the fire in 1865, on the site of Australia’s oldest Catholic Chapel, St Mary’s Cathedral is a grand Gothic cathedral with its wide nave, high ceilings, and over 74-metre tall towers and spires. It is the most magnificent cathedral I have seen in Australia. Even with the high-rise buildings in Sydney, you can still see the towers and spires of St Mary’s Cathedral from afar.

Once you have stepped inside St Mary’s Cathedral, this massive architecture will soon bring you a great sense of peacefulness and serenity. Be sure also to check out its impressive statues, beautiful stained glass windows, and splendid organs.

Sydney Tower Eye

Sydney Tower Eye

At over 300 meters in height, Sydney Tower Eye is one of the most prominent buildings in Sydney CBD. Located on the other side of Hyde Park, you can easily find this unique tower after visiting the stunning St Mary’s Cathedral.

Sydney Tower Eye is the tallest building in Sydney & offers the second-tallest observation deck in the Southern Hemisphere (ranks just behind the Eureka Tower in Melbourne). From its observation deck, visitors can obtain an unparalleled panoramic view of Sydney with its surrounding mountains and ocean. It is undoubtedly one of the best places to adore Sydney’s beautiful skyline.

Queen Victoria Building

Queen Victoria Building (QVB)

After an entire morning of sightseeing, you will be keen to eat and sit down for a while. In that case, why not check out another historic landmark of Sydney, the Queen Victoria Building?

Queen Victoria Building is a heritage-listed late 1800s building named after Queen Victoria the second. With its glamorous domes and colourful stained glass windows , this 5-level shopping centre does look like a cathedral from certain angles.

Occupying an entire city block, the Queen Victoria Buildings houses a variety of upmarket fashion boutiques and jewellers. Even if shopping is not your thing, you will surely enjoy a stroll along the railed walkways within QVB to enjoy its charming art decor and exquisite mechanical clocks .

There are also various restaurants and cafes within the QVB. Many of them are perfectly positioned along the railed walkway, providing a spot for visitors to re-energise and soak in the fantastic atmosphere QVB presents.

Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour is another popular harbour-side precinct in Sydney. If you have enough time, there are enough attractions and activities within Darling Harbour for visitors to spend a few days easily.

For starters, every visitor should take some time to enjoy a stroll along the water to appreciate this charming harbour (Tips: Darling Harbour looks even more remarkable around sunset). For families with kids, check out Darling Quarter for its 21-metre-long flying fox and fun-filled waterpark. Various cafes and restaurants can also be found around Darling Quarter and the waterfront area for visitors to grab a bite and recharge.

You can also find a tranquil Chinese garden adjacent to the Darling Quarter, the Chinese Garden of Friendship . It is an oasis in the heart of Sydney’s city centre, with nicely designed pavilions, ponds, fountains, and artworks to fully immerse you in this gorgeous oriental garden. Entry ticket to the Chinese Garden of Friendship was AUD 12 per adult when I visited in October 2022 & it was well worth the price.

Sydney Chinatown

Sydney Chinatown

Adjacent to Darling Harbour, you will then find the bustling Sydney Chinatown. It is undoubtedly the largest Chinatown in Australia , with a massive selection of authentic Asian foods and various interesting Asian grocers. This area is, by far, my favourite place to find good food in Sydney!

If you are in Sydney on a Friday, check out Dixon Street for Sydney Chinatown’s famous Friday Night Market . Here you can find various outdoor food stalls selling a range of mouthwatering Asian street foods.

Another place you should also check out when visiting Sydney Chinatown is the famous Paddy’s Market. The building Paddy’s Market is located in, Market City, spans across an entire block, so it is one of the places you will likely walk by many times when in Sydney Chinatown.

Powerhouse Museum

Free Museums & Galleries

Many people think Sydney is expensive to visit. However, many quality museums and galleries are free of charge in Sydney. If you plan your visit well, you can easily enjoy an unforgettable and meaningful stay in Sydney at a very affordable price.

Here is a list of my favourite free museums and galleries in Sydney. You will likely need more time to visit all of them, but you can always pick a couple of them for this visit & keep the rest for your next stay.

Day 2: Manly

After a full day of walking around Sydney CBD, you will spend the second day relaxing at one of Sydney’s most stunning coastal suburbs, Manly.

Only a 30-minute ferry away from Circular Quay, across the picturesque Sydney Harbour, Manly is a popular Sydney suburb to discover among both locals and travellers. It is home to a beautiful stretch of surfing beach, Manly Beach , and offers many fascinating attractions.

From Sydney CBD, the cheapest and most scenic way of visiting Manly is by taking a ferry from Circular Quay. This way, you can take in the best views of Sydney Harbour without the hefty cost of a cruise tour. If you are taking the ferry service, make sure you plan the return trip to view Sydney Harbour’s nightly light show . Fireworks are held every Saturday at 9 pm from Darling Harbour as well.

You can also drive to Manly by car. The drive between Sydney CBD and Manly takes less than 30 minutes without traffic. However, parking can be an issue around Manly, especially on weekends and school holidays. That being said, it does give you more flexibility and options for visiting a few more attractions in and around Manly.

Manly Beach

Manly Beach

Manly Beach is a long stretch of beautiful wide sandy beach, perfect for bathing and surfing. It was also home to the world’s first surfing contest in 1964. Well equipped with amenity rooms, lifeguards, picnic facilities, shops, cafes, and parks, Manly Beach offers something for everyone to enjoy.

Short-term metre parking can be found along the pine-lined beachfront area. Free short-term parking of up to 2 hours can also be found along the back streets near Manly Beach.

Queenscliff Rockpool

Nestled under the cliff face at the northern end (Queenscliff end) of Manly Beach, Queenscliff Rockpool is a 50-metre-long public swimming pool , offering beachgoers a much calmer swimming environment. It also provides a rather impressive view of the wild ocean and Manly Beach & is a great spot to relax and watch the world go by.

Manly Wormhole (Queenscliff Tunnel)

Manly Wormhole (Queenscliff Tunnel)

If you are adventurous, you may explore further beyond Queenscliff Rockpool to discover the well-hidden Manly Wormhole, a.k.a. Queenscliff Tunnel.

Manly Wormhole is a rock tunnel through Queenscliff Head, dug out by local fishermen in 1908 for easier access to Freshwater Beach from Manly. Nowadays, this local secret has become a famous spot for photographers and tourists for its remarkable views of the rocky cliff and deep blue water.

The very reason why Manly Wormhole has been a local secret for over a century is how well hidden it is. Even with navigators, many visitors will still struggle to find it. My advice for locating Manly Wormhole is to disregard the navigators and locate Queenscliff Rockpool first.

How to access Manly Wormhole :

  • Locate and walk towards the end of Queenscliff Rockpool.
  • Take the steps up to the viewing platform (where the bench is) just behind Queenscliff Rockpool.
  • Follow the rocky boulders along the bottom of the cliff (instead of heading up to the clifftop). It will be a little steep and rocky, so make sure you are wearing appropriate attire.
  • Following the cliff edge for a bit. It will feel like there is no road ahead, but don’t give up.
  • After a few minutes of doubting yourself, you will suddenly see the entrance to this long rock tunnel with the ” Enter At Own Risk” sign above. (The tunnel was in good working condition when I visited & I presume the sign was put up there because Manly Wormhole is not maintained/managed by the council.)
  • Follow the rock tunnel to the end, where you will be presented with a magnificent view of Freshwater Beach and the southern end of Manly. For people who are interested in rock formations, I’m sure you will also be fascinated by the beautiful rocks along the cliff edge.

Shelly Beach - Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve

Shelly Beach

Located at the southern end of Manly Beach, Shelly Beach is a small sandy beach offering access to a beautiful aquatic reserve, peaceful walking tracks, and picturesque lookouts. With only a short 15 minutes walk along the water from Manly Beach, this is another must-visit spot in Manly.

Visitors can also park their cars at Shelly Beach’s designated parking lot , which is metre parking for up to 4 hours between 7 am and 7 pm daily (as of October 2022). Free off-street parking for up to 2 hours is available too, but they are difficult to come by.

The sheltered water at Shelly Beach is also very calm, making it the perfect spot for safe swimming. With a cafe right by the beach, this spot is great for spending an entire afternoon.

There is also a short 10-15 minutes loop walk ( Shelly Beach Walking Track ) along the clifftop on the eastern side of Shelly Beach. It offers a few stunning lookouts of the wild ocean and the nearby rocky cliffs. This loop walk can be accessed directly from either Shelly Beach or its car park.

Sydney Harbour National Park

Sydney Harbour National Park

Sydney Harbour National Park is a 392 hectares national park located south of Manly. It offers beautiful coastal walking tracks , peaceful picnic spots , and fantastic harbour views . It is also home to North Head Quarantine Station and North Fort , great places for visitors to learn about Sydney’s past.

Direct bus between Manly Wharf and North Head Quarantine Station is available to bring visitors to and from Sydney Harbour National Park.

Freshwater Beach

Freshwater Beach & Freshwater Rockpool

Freshwater Beach is the first beach north of Manly. It is easily accessible by car or foot from Manly Beach. Wedged between two headlands, Freshwater Beach is an excellent spot for swimming and surfing .

You can find a paved walkway along the northern end of Freshwater Beach. It provides access to a beautiful 50-metre-long rock pool ( Freshwater Rockpool ) and a close-up view of the fascinating rock formations along this coastline. Along this walk, you can also find many small natural rock pools , perfect for snorkelling .

South Curl Curl Beach

South Curl Curl Beach

A short walk north of Freshwater Beach, you can then find the picture-perfect South Curl Curl Beach. Being one of the best surfing beaches in Sydney, with a view no less impressive than Bondi Beach but with much fewer crowds, South Curl Curl Beach is my favourite beach in Sydney .

You can also find many free parking options around South Curl Curl Beach, making it more accessible to beachgoers. Cafe and amenity rooms are also available at South Curl Curl Beach.

Since the surfs at South Curl Curl Beach are usually quite large, a well-maintained rock pool ( South Curl Ocean Pool ) is available at the southern end of South Curl Curl Beach for safe swimming. It is also a great spot to view this stunning beach and open ocean.

South of the South Curl Ocean Pool, you will find an elevated boardwalk towards the direction of Freshwater Beach and Manly Beach. This is the famous Curl Curl Boardwalk.

Curl Curl Boardwalk is a roughly one-kilometre-long coastal walk between South Curl Curl Beach and Freshwater Beach. It offers a breathtaking ocean view and a spectacular display of colourful ‘curly rocks’. The walk takes about 10 minutes one-way, but you will likely spend much longer admiring and taking photos of these fascinating rock formations.

Sydney Opera House

Evening Walk along Sydney Harbour

After heading back to Sydney CBD, take a relaxing walk around the Sydney Opera House to admire its beauty at night. Better still, grab a drink or dinner at one of the harbour-front restaurants or bars to soak in this million dollars view.

Day 3: Kirribilli & The Rocks

After exploring Sydney CBD and the famous Manly area, you will discover some of Sydney’s most prestigious neighbourhoods, Kirribilli and The Rocks, on the third day of this itinerary.

Tips: Make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes today, as the streets and laneways in Kirribilli and The Rocks can get very steep. You will also find many stairs to climb today.


Located on the north shore of Sydney Harbour and directly opposite the world-renowned Sydney Opera House, Kirribilli is one of Sydney’s most prestigious and established suburbs. It is also famous for being the residence of the Prime Minister of Australia and the Governor General of Australia .

The prime location of Kirribilli makes walking around Kirribilli a visual sensation, with the views of Sydney Harbour, Sydney Opera House, and Sydney Harbour Bridge at every corner you turn. Being an affluent and prestigious suburb, you will also find many colonial and victorian buildings along the streets of Kirribilli.

Positioned along Sydney Harbour, you can easily access Kirribilli by ferry . If you are staying within Sydney CBD, a stroll towards Kirribilli via the remarkable Sydney Harbour Bridge is certainly a must-do. Off-street parking is available around Kirribilli, primarily short-term parking. In my opinion, public transport is the better option for visiting Kirribilli if you don’t wish to deal with the hassles of finding suitable car parks.

Kirribilli House

Kirribilli House

Kirribilli House is a Gothic-style building with an incredible view of the Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay, and Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is best known for being one of the two official residences of the Prime Minister of Australia .

Admiralty House

Adjacent to the Kirribilli House & located at the tip of Kirribilli Point, Admiralty House offers an unobstructed view of Sydney Harbour . It is undoubtedly one of the prime spots to admire Sydney.

Marry Booth Lookout Reserve

Mary Booth Lookout Reserve

Marry Booth Lookout Reserve is a brilliant public reserve offering million-dollar views of the incredible Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Cove, and Farm Cove. You can either enjoy a picnic along its soft green lawn or sit on one of the benches along the reserve to relax and soak in the breathtaking view it offers.

After rejuvenating yourself at Mary Booth Lookout Reserve, follow the walkway along the waterfront to check out the views from Milsons Point , right beneath the giant Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Luna Park Sydney

Luna Park (Sydney)

Although not a giant amusement park, Luna Park Sydney offers a variety of crowd-favourite rides and games, such as carousels, roller coasters, and ferris wheels. There are also many kiosks scattered around the park for everyone to grab a bite and relax.

Tips: watch out for those fierce seagulls when enjoying your delicious meal.

Entrance to Luna Park Sydney is free , but you need to buy tickets for each ride within the park. Alternatively, daily passes are available, which will work out much cheaper if you take multiple rides.

Lavender Bay

Lavender Bay

After visiting Luna Park, make sure you follow the Peter Kingston Walkway along the water to admire the peaceful Lavender Bay before heading back to the hustle and bustle of the city.

Lavender Bay is a peaceful area tucked between Milsons Point and Mcmahons Point. The walk along Lavender Bay is perfect for a leisure stroll to bring out your inner peace. There is also a picturesque jetty towards the end of Peter Kingston Walkway. It is an excellent place to take a break and take in the beauty of this harbour.

After visiting the jetty, follow the steep steps behind the jetty to visit the beautiful Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden.

Tucked in Clark Park, Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden is filled with colourful flowers, such as lavenders and bush lilies, making it a scene from the fairytale. It also provides a charming view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is undoubtedly a city oasis where you can wind down from the bustling city.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge is another famous landmark of Sydney. It is also one of the most visible landmarks along Sydney Harbour.

Sydney Harbour Bridge is a steel bridge arched across Sydney Harbour, connecting Sydney CBD to North Sydney. This giant bridge accommodates many forms of traffic, from pedestrians and bicycles to cars and rails.

Being the world’s tallest steel arch bridge, Sydney Harbour Bridge offers a spectacular view of Sydney Harbour and the adjacent harbour-side neighbourhoods. This makes Sydney Harbour Bridge a popular spot for sightseeing.

There are many ways of admiring the views from Sydney Harbour Bridge. The most budget-friendly and easily accessible form of acquiring this spectacular view is by taking a stroll along its Pedestrian Walkway.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Pedestrian Walkway

Pedestrian Walkway

Located on the east side of Sydney Harbour Bridge, the pedestrian walkway along Sydney Harbour Bridge offers a bird’s eye view of Sydney Harbour, Sydney Opera House, and The Rocks.

The pedestrian walkway can be accessed from Milsons Point on its northern end or The Rocks on its southern end via the Bridge Stairs or the elevators. A one-way walk along the pedestrian walkway is about 1.5 kilometres, which took me about 20 minutes to complete, with plenty of photos taken along the walk.

Since it is also a way of commuting between Sydney CBD and North Sydney, you may find yourself walking along Sydney Harbour Bridge more than once during your visit to Sydney. If that’s the case, make sure you time one of your walks around sunset to get the most magical views of Sydney Harbour during your walk.

Sunset at Sydney Harbour Bridge

Pylon Lookout

Being closer to the CBD end of Sydney Harbour Bridge, the entrance to Pylon Lookout is only a short walk along the bridge via the Bridge Stairs on The Rocks end. From the base, you will need to take roughly 200 steps within the tower to reach its top lookout platform. Within the tower, there is also a museum telling the history of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which is quite fascinating.

Although lower than you would have reached with a bridge climb, a visit to Pylon Lookout provides an impressive panoramic view of Sydney nonetheless. With ticket costing only AUD 19 per adult (January 2023), it is also the most cost-effective way for a 360-degree view of Sydney Harbour.

Bridge Climb at Sydney Harbour Bridge (BridgeClimb Sydney)

If you are not scared of heights and love a bit of adrenaline kick, Bridge Climb at Sydney Harbour Bridge might be for you.

The Rocks

After coming off Sydney Harbour Bridge from its southern end, you will be stepping into one of Sydney’s most vibrant neighbourhoods, The Rocks.

As the birthplace of modern Sydney and the oldest neighbourhood in Sydney , The Rocks is a must-visit spot when in Sydney. Nestled right beneath Sydney Harbour Bridge & adjacent to Circular Quay, a walk around The Rocks will bring you to discover a thriving harbour-front promenade with entertaining buskers, cobbled laneways bring you back to the 1800s, and charming old-school pubs telling its rich maritime history.

Cadman's Cottage

Cadman’s Cottage

Built in 1816, Cadman’s Cottage is the oldest surviving building in The Rocks . Located next to the Government Dockyard, this Georgian building was initially created for the men working in the Government Boats, later used by Sydney Water Police, before becoming the Sailor’s Home until 1970, when it was formally classified as a Historic Site.

Free guided tours of Cadman’s Cottage are available on the first and third Sundays of each month between 0945 to 1015 for visitors who would like to gain more insights into this heritage-listed building.

The Rocks

The Rocks Market

The ken done gallery.

Visitors can browse through and purchase from Ken Done’s beautiful collections. Affordable prints of his artworks are also available, making great souvenirs even if you are yet to be ready to splurge on an original painting.

Campbells Cove

Campbells Cove

Campbells Cove is part of The Rocks harbour-front promenade.

In addition to being a prime spot for viewing Sydney Harbour and Sydney Opera House, Campbells Cove is a vibrant gathering place , with a range of restaurants and bars occupying the original sandstone warehouse from Campbells Bonds Stores .

Observatory Hill Lookout

Observatory Hill Lookout

Observatory Hill Lookout is located on a small grassy hilltop between The Rocks and Barangaroo, right in front of the Sydney Observatory (free entry with interesting exhibits & should be checked out if open during your visit).

Observatory Hill Lookout’s elevated location provides a breathtaking view of Sydney Harbour, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and North Sydney. It is an idyllic spot to enjoy a sunset picnic while admiring the beauty of this buzzing city and watching the world goes by.

Observatory Hill Lookout is a perfect spot for photos with its stunning harbour view and charming rotunda. Depending on the day and time you visit, you might also find people taking wedding photos here.

Day 4: Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

Bondi Beach is Sydney’s most iconic and well-known beach for its world-class waves and breathtaking scenery. Over the years, the popularity of Bondi Beach has also transformed this coastal area into a trendy neighbourhood with streets lined with quirky cafes, bars, and shops.

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach is a one-kilometre stretch of wide sandy beach, serving impressive waves for surfers from all over the world. With a range of well-established facilities along Bondi Beach, it makes a popular spot for locals and visitors to visit and spend the day, especially during those hot summer months.

Only 8 kilometres from Sydney CBD, visitors can easily access Bondi Beach by taking a direct bus from the city to Bondi Beach. Short-term parking , free and metered, is around the streets of Bondi Beach but can be very hard to come by.

For many people from somewhere other than Sydney or Australia, you might have first gotten to know Bondi Beach via the reality TV show Bondi Rescue . If you are a fan of this TV show, you should definitely pay extra attention when visiting during the summer months to spot those cast members.

During the weekends, make sure you also check out the school just behind the northern end of Bondi Beach. On Saturdays, it houses the Bondi Farmers Market , where you can find a range of fresh local produce. On Sundays, it will turn into Bondi Market , offering a vast selection of handcrafted jewellery and local fashion designs.

Bondi Icebergs

Bondi Icebergs

Bondi Icebergs is open all year round. Although it is a swimming club, you do not have to be a club member to swim or dine at Bondi Icebergs. Pool access at Bondi Icebergs is currently AUD 9 per adult (January 2023), which is a very reasonable price for the experience and spectacular views you will get.

Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

After spending a lovely morning and enjoying a delicious lunch at Bondi Beach, you will now be heading south from Bondi Beach, following the famous Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk to discover more of this beautiful coastline and some of its lesser-known beaches.

Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk is a 6-kilometre walk along the picturesque coastline between Bondi Beach and Coogee Beach. It only takes less than 2 hours to complete this walk (one-way), but with many beautiful beaches and quirky cafes dotted along the coast, you will likely be spending an entire afternoon, if not longer.

If you take this coastal walk in late Spring, you will also find over 100 sculptures along the cliffs between Bondi Beach and Tamarama Beach. This is the famous Sculpture by the Sea , the world’s largest free outdoor sculpture exhibition.

Between May and November each year, whale watching is another popular activity along the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk. During this time of the year, the migrating whales are relatively close to shore and can be viewed from many of the headlands along this coast.

Coogee Beach

Coogee Beach

Coogee Beach is located at the southern end of Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk. With a spacious promenade area and various eateries, Coogee Beach is the perfect spot to relax and recharge after your 6-kilometre walk from Bondi Beach.

At Coogee Beach, you can enjoy a surf at the beach, take a swim in its stunning rock pool, stroll along its beautiful promenade, sample a delicious meal along Coogee Bay Road, or explore the charming historic buildings lining the streets of Coogee Beach.

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