12 Hours in Sydney


Requiring little in the way of an introduction, Sydney is the undisputed jewel in Australia’s crown; a sprawling metropolis whose historic harbour has grown to become one of the world’s busiest and most prosperous cruise and shipping hubs — not to mention one of its prettiest.

But while you’re probably all too aware of Sydney’s most-famous sites — think the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge — there is more to the city than its touristy landmarks.

If you’ve booked a cruise departing from Sydney, why not arrive one or two days early to spend some time exploring the sights and sounds of Oz’s second city. Here, we’ll provide some tips and advice on what to see, do and eat during your pre-cruise trip to Sydney.


Royal Botanic Gardens


Opened in 1816, Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens is famous for being the oldest scientific institution in Australia and the world’s most prestigious botanical site. Aside from its rich history, the garden is the perfect place to while away a sunlit afternoon, it being within a stone’s throw from the city’s famous harbour front.

The Rocks 

Located in the heart of Sydney’s bustling city centre, The Rocks is the city’s historic quarter and is home to an array of independent shops, cafes and restaurants. With charming architecture and retail opportunities aplenty, The Rocks is a must visit area during your Sydney stopover.

Circular Quay 

If you want to fit all of Sydney Harbour’s famous landmarks into a single photograph, Circular Quay is the place to go. Located between Bennelong Point and The Rocks, this picturesque wharf is flanked by restaurants and cafes, and remains the best place to snap a picture of Sydney’s photo-worthy waterfront.



Visit the Art Gallery of New South Wales

Art buff? Get yourself to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, which is housed in a beautiful building in Sydney’s Domain district. Chock-a-block with famous works from many of Australia’s best loved artists, the gallery also contains an interesting Asian exhibition space which regularly features works from new and emerging Asian artists, sculptors and designers.

Skywalk at the Sydney Tower Eye 

If you want to get to grips with the Sydney skyline in one fell swoop, pay a visit to the city’s Tower Eye — famous for being the second tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere. For a paltry fee, it’s possible to take a lift to the top of this towering structure, from which you can enjoy a full, 360° panorama of the city below.

Stroll from Bondi to Coogee Beach

Escape the bustle of the city by taking a coastal stroll from Bondi to Coogee Beach. Of all Sydney’s beaches, Bondi is easily its most famous, making it an essential stop-off on your tour of the city. Go beyond the surfer-lined bay, and it’s possible to walk along the beautiful Pacific coast to Coogee Beach, whose backdrop is equally as alluring.



Farmhouse Kings Cross 

With its ever-changing set menu, Farmhouse Kings Cross has caused quite a stir on Sydney’s culinary scene. While its fortnightly menu doesn’t come cheap, punters will be treated to some of the freshest, most wholesome fare available anywhere in the city — from slow roasted pork and polenta mash, to eggplant and tahini condiment.

The Sardine Room 

Thanks to its location on the cusp of the Pacific, Sydney has developed a fruitful seafood scene. One of the city’s best seafood restaurants is The Sardine Room, whose menu contains an eclectic range of fresh seafood dishes, including Rock Oysters, Baked Red Snapper and Poached Blue Eye Cod in a fragrant red curry sauce. 


Prefer to walk and eat? If so, make for Ryo’s — an incredibly authentic Japanese street food vendor in Sydney’s Crows Nest district. With a whole host of delicious Ramen noodle dishes on offer, Ryo’s has made quite a name for itself on the city’s North Shore — attracting huge queues at certain times of the day.

If you’re interested in booking a cruise from Sydney or visiting the city as part of a wider holiday, visit the Cruise1st Australia website now or call our team today on 1300 857 345.

All images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: Loïc Lagarde, Rod Kashubin, Deborah & Kevin, James



About Author

Alyssa Beit

Alyssa lives in Sydney, NSW. Born on the 14th October and is a Social and Human Service Assistant at Cruise 1st Australia. She is in her early 40’s and loves tranquility on luxury cruises.

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