I came to Sydney on my own during my 7-week pacific trip. I had 1 full day for sightseeing and 2 nights between my flights. I wanted to do as much as possible. I’ve done some research and in this post I will tell you what was most important for me to see, to organize and what surprised me. Most important aspects for Sydney was:
No 1: Get a visa.
Getting a visa is very simple and takes less than 5 minutes. Go to this page to get yours. I printed my visa as advised but the officer didn’t look at it at all.
No 2: Check the transport to your accommodation
more on my terrible accommodation later. Sydney uses Opal card system where you can get a card with $10 balance. Fare depends on your journey lenght so you do not pay one fix price per ride. I used Google Maps app to help me find the fasted route to my accommodation that was close to Kings Cross. A little tip: T stands for Train and B stands for Bus. You have to always tap your Opal card before and after you leave the vehicle so you are charged only for the length you travelled. If you forgot to tap before you leave you will be charged till the end of the route. One thing I do not know how is solved is when you go to minus amounts. I didn’t go to minus but I also had no clue how much I would be charged. There is a fare tracker available online if you are curious how much are the fare between 2 stops. I took T8 from airport to Central Station and than I transferred to T4 to go to Kings Cross, back was same. I also used B333 and B380- between Opera House and Bondi Beach. Whole route was one bus only, no need to switch, I just catch different busses on my way over and back . As on my day of arrival there was complimentary service from Airport to Central station, I only paid $20 for all my trips. I would have paid $40 one way in each directions if I took uber, which was Airport to Kings Cross, Opera House to Bondi Beach, Bondi Beach to Opera House and Kings Cross to Airport. It would have total-led $160, I only paid $20 with the trains and buses.
No 3: Decide what you want to see
what is on your bucket list? My items were: Opera House, Kangaroos, Koalas and Icebergs. I managed to do it all in one day. As I walked from Kings Cross to Opera House on a nice morning walk, and had my first picture with the landmark at 8am I than went to Circular Quay to get a ticket to the Taronga Zoo. I saw the first offer for $59 that included 24 pass for speed ferry, zoo entrance and cable car. The way it was advertised it looked like a 5in1 deal. All I wanted was a trip to zoo and back. The lady told me that this is the best deal and I took it. Not long after I bought it a realized that I overpaid. The same agency offered $50 ticket just to zoo and back, without the 24h ferry pass. You can also pay for the ferry with the opal card that is $2,60 one way and $46 for the zoo entrance, so it would be 51,20, makes sense to take the $50 deal. Tip from me: the cable car is always included in the zoo entry as this is the only way to get in and out of the zoo, so it is not an additional attraction as it is misleadingly advertised.
No 4: Accommodation
This was the second time in my life when I booked a hostel and I was so disgusted I wanted to book airbnb the moment I saw the dirty sheets on my bed. It I wasn’t as tired as I was after a 10h flight and a night I didn’t sleep at all before I would have moved out immediately. I just took the clean sheet that i was supposed to cover myself and put it on the dirty sheets. I covered myself with my microfibre towel, not that I needed to cover at all, as there was no AC or working fan, and it felt like 100000 degrees in the room I stayed. The mosquitoes had bitten me like 100 times during the night 1 and then another 100 during night no 2. The hostel was well located and I liked the area, that unfortunately was the only points I liked. Everything about the hostel I hated. Starting with the dirty sheets, weed smell, tiny bathroom (it took me 7 min to sort out how I am going to take a shower in there and not having my towel wet before I am ready to use it). No AC, and not working fan, poorly performing wifi (good I bought the $10 prepaid card with 15GB on my arrival on the airport- this was the best offer and I would love for all countries to have offers like that). When I was picking this hostel amongst others I wanted 3 things, close proximity to Opera house, wifi, breakfast and shuttle. Shuttle was for $14 but when I asked to book it I was told it is too late and I need to take train or uber. They didn’t offer shuttle on the arrival at all. I didn’t have any breakfast as on day 1 I left before 7:30 for sightseeing, and on day 2 I left before 6:30 as I was fed up with the mosquito flying all night above my head. I didn’t need to leave this early as my flight was at 10am, but I didn’t sleep either so I left early. I was also not sure if anyone will show up at 5:30 to return my $15 key deposit, luckily they did show up after my second call. But there is plenty of nice looking options so I would definitely recommend checking out airbnb (use this link to get a discount from me on your 1st stay).
Watch my Sydney YouTube video: