Australia is known for its vast landscapes, stunning beaches, diverse wildlife, bustling cities and friendly people. The land down under is the smallest continent and one of the largest country in the world. Obviously, there are lots of things to see and do here like visit the iconic landmarks and heritage sites, skydive or scuba dive, climb mountains or abseil, shop and dine at classy cities.
Sydney is prolly the most visited city in Straya; maybe because it has a perfect mix of everything! It caters to all types of travelers –adrenaline junkies, shopaholics, party goers, city lovers, beach and sunset worshippers.
Sydney is one of the most expensive cities in the world but it’s worth your money, I promise! All the bucks that you will spend here is equivalent to an impeccable experience.
So blokes and sheilas, here are some of my travel tips to consider when visiting The Harbour City:
Other citizens of the world don’t need a visa to visit Australia. For Filipinos, visa is required and costs AUD140. Online visa application is the easiest way to get the document that will give you opportunity to step on Australian soil.
There are lots of airline promo fares and great deals all year round. Book flights as soon as you have your Australian visa. I believe the cheapest flight to Sydney from Manila is PHP 7,000 via Cebu Pacific (a friend of mine was able to score that unbelievable deal!).
A flight to Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport from Manila, Philippines is about 8 hours.
Always consider the season when traveling. Do you love the cold or you prefer warm weather? December – February is their Summer season. March – May is Fall, June – August is Winter and September-November is Spring.
The food prices in Sydney are shockingly crazy, even if you go to the non-touristy parts of the city or where locals eat, everything is expensive! So here’s the price range of food so you can budget properly.
|Fish and Chips||12 – 19|
|Steak||20 – 30|
|Sandwiches||10 – 15|
|Coke||2.5 – 4|
|Water 600ml||1.10 – 2.5|
|Coffee||3.5 – 4|
|Fruits (Apples, Banana, Oranges) – depends on kg||1.5 – 2.5|
If you’re on a tight budget, there’s always Mcdo (Macca’s as Aussies call it) somewhere around the corner, their meal should cost less than restaurants. 🙂
You can also buy 1 Whole Roast Chicken at Coles Grocery for AUD 9 and it’s good for 2-3 pax.
PS: There are lots of water fountains in Sydney, bring a water bottle and just refill it.
Thanks to Sydney’s efficient public transpo, you can go anywhere in the city without hassle. Buy an OPAL Card so you can just tap on and off in trains, buses and ferries. The fare depends on the travel distance and time (peak hours are pricier). The price for 0-10 km train ride is AUD 2.42 but peak hour rate is AUD 3.46.
Visit NSW Transport or download the mobile app OPAL Travel to help you plan your trip.
Hostels in Sydney are mostly located in Central Business District, Surry Hills or Darlinghurst. One night stay costs around PHP 1200 – PHP 1600 for dorm type rooms and PHP 3000- PHP 5000 for private rooms in hostels.
You can also try Airbnb or Couchsurfing.
There are some wifi spots in Sydney like restaurants or coffee shops. Sadly, there are no wifi spots in train stations.
If you need wifi to connect with your love ones or post live updates on Facebook or Instagram, try Big Sky Nation’s Sky Roam 4G Mate. For PHP 450, you can use WiFi all day plus 4 more gadgets can connect to it without losing the fast connection. So if you’re traveling with friends, you can share the expense and spend PHP90/ day for unlimited wifi. It’s not bad compared to fluctuating and shocking charges of roaming data.
Note that SkyRoam’s WiFi hotspot is not limited to Australia only. They offer global WiFi hotspot over 100 countries worldwide and the daily rate depends on the country where you’re going. Find out more HERE
While Sydney is notoriously expensive, you can visit a lot of places for free! There are also free walking tours; just give a tip to the guide.
So here’s my suggested itinerary:
Start your day at one of the iconic landmarks of Australia – Sydney Harbour Bridge. Stroll your way to The Rocks and visit the museum (it’s free!) and market. Check the Opera House and walk straight to the Royal Botanical Gardens. If you fancy libraries, drop by at the State Library of New South Wales, the building is pretty awesome. Walk straight and you will find Barracks Museum and St. Mary’s Cathedral. Rest at Hyde Park and visit the Australian Museum.
Grab breakfast at the world’s third largest fish market. Sydney Fish Market opens as early as 7AM. When your tummy’s full, walk around the area and visit the Australian Maritime Museum (it’s free!), Darling Harbour, Sydney Town Hall, Queen Victoria Building and spend the rest of the afternoon at SEA Life Sydney Aquarium.
Australia is known for its stunning seascapes. If you’re game for a 2-3 hour coastal walk, start in Coogee Beach and walk your way to the famous Bondi Beach and swim or watch the sunset.
Want to take a rest from long walks? See Blue Mountains via Scenic World and just ride the skyway and cableway so you can see the famous Three Sisters and Katoomba Falls. You can also ride the steepest incline railway in the world here. There are also walkways available which you take for 30 minutes or 2 hours, your choice. Entrance fee costs AUD 39 on weekdays and AUD43 on weekends.
Hop on a ferry from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo and see Australia’s famous animals.
Visit Manly Beach which is nicer than Bondi Beach, in my opinion. Go to Shelly Beach and snorkel at Cabbage Tree Bay Reserve.
Visit Watson’s Bay and The Gap OR Try Skydiving at Wollongong- which I totally recommend! I know this is a budget blog post..but Skydiving here is cheap! It’s AUD279 compared to AUD470 in Philippines or AUD595 in Dubai.
PS: Don’t forget to shop for souvenirs!
Magnets and patches costs around AUD4 – AUD7. Yes, it’s that expensive!
For your colleagues or family, consider buying Arnott’s products (Made in Australia). Get some biscuits or TimTam chocolates (delish!) so they can just share and you don’t need to buy one item per officemate or family member. You can buy it at Coles or Woolworths grocery 🙂