4 Islands in Sydney

From Beaches to Bushland: 10 Days in Sydney Itinerary (2024)

Whether you are a nature lover, history buff, party-goer or food enthusiast, this 10 days in Sydney itinerary ensures an immersive adventure in this amazingly beautiful city. Discover the best of Sydney in 10 days, making every moment a cherished memory in this vibrant Australian metropolis.

Note: The itinerary does not include the flight timings.

Over the past few days, I have been immersed in crafting a detailed 10 days in Sydney itinerary for my friend’s upcoming visit to Sydney. This week, she expressed her gratitude via email, praising the thoroughness with which I have tailored the plan to meet every item on her bucket list. It dawned on me that sharing this meticulously planned itinerary could be beneficial for others visiting Sydney for a 10-day adventure. And so I prepared to publish this comprehensive guide for an unforgettable Sydney experience!

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10 days in Sydney
PIN for later reference – 10 days in Sydney

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About Sydney

Capital city of New South Wales (NSW), Sydney is the most vibrant and populous city in Australia. Popular for its Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, the city has plenty of things to offer. You need at least 3 to 4 days just to get a glimpse of the city. If you have 10 days at hand, then you can explore the city and its surrounding places. In case, you just have only 24 hours in Sydney, then read my post 24 hours in Sydney to know what you can do.

Are you spending winter in Sydney? Explore my post on things to do in Sydney winters to discover all the wonderful things you can do in this stunning city.

Local transportation in Sydney

Upon exiting the airport, procure an Opal transportation card, a convenient pass for public transit in Sydney. Ensure to tap the Opal card upon boarding and offboarding. Alternatively, you can utilize your credit cards for seamless tapping in and out of public transportation. Simplify your travel experience by securing your Opal card early, allowing effortless access to Sydney’s public transit system.

Transportation from / to Sydney Airport

One frequently asked question from fellow travelers visiting Sydney pertains to transportation from the airport to the city.

Sydney airport has two terminals, catering to domestic and international flights, both situated approximately 7 kilometers from Central. While taxis stand out as the swiftest means of reaching the airports, it is worth noting that both terminals are accessible via public transport.

Two primary modes of public transportation are available:

  • Trains – Optimal for speed and popularity, the T8 airport train offers frequent and efficient travel between Central station and both airport terminals. Keep in mind that the two terminals have distinct stations, and the journey takes approximately 10 minutes from Central. Utilising either an Opal card or your credit / debit card is recommended for seamless travel on Sydney trains, with a one-way fare costing around AUD 18.70.
  • Buses – Route 400 operates regularly, connecting Sydney airports with Bondi Junction or Burwood stations. The fare for a one-way ticket is approximately AUD 5.80.

Pro Tip: To save on costs, a friend recommended taking a train to Mascot train station and then catching the bus (400/420) from Mascot to the airport. This alternative route typically amounts to around AUD 3.50, providing a more budget-friendly option compared to the standard AUD 18.70 train fare.

More up-to-date information about the timings, routes and the cost can be found on the Transport for New South Wales (NSW) website.

Transportation Within Sydney

Sydney city offers a diverse range of transportation options, including:

  • Trains
  • Buses
  • Ferries
  • Light Rails

The primary train station for train services is Central train station.

The ultimate guide to Sydney
The Central train station

PIN for later reference – 10 Days in Sydney Itinerary

Sydney - 10 days
PIN for later reference – 10 days in Sydney Itinerary

10 Days in Sydney Itinerary

Day 1: Darling Harbour, Chinese Garden of Friendship, Powerhouse Museum, Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

Morning

As it is your first day, no morning sightseeing is planned and you can start late in the morning. You can opt to head to a nearby café for a delicious breakfast.

Afternoon

Your day is set to kick off at noon. In the afternoon, consider exploring Darling Harbour. Renowned for its diverse range of entertainment, dining, and recreational attractions, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, Darling Harbour is a vibrant waterfront area located in Sydney. Surrounded by iconic landmarks, including the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, and the Australian National Maritime Museum, visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, dine in various restaurants and cafes, and partake in recreational activities.

  • The closest train station for your stroll to Darling Harbour is Town Hall station.

For lunch, consider Zaffran, one of the best Indian restaurants in Sydney, that offer authentic and delicious Indian food and spectacular views of the harbour.

After lunch, consider taking a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, soaking in the scenic views. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the Chinese Garden of Friendship. The garden is a captivating oasis, where you can easily spend a couple of hours immersed in its beauty. The tranquility of the surroundings and the intricate design of the garden make it an ideal spot for a serene and relaxing experience. Discover the hidden gems, serene pathways, and cultural richness within the Chinese Garden of Friendship, a must-visit destination that promises both beauty and a sense of peaceful retreat during your exploration of Darling Harbour.

Chinese Garden of Friendship
Chinese Garden of Friendship

Should you find extra time in the afternoon, consider making your way to the Powerhouse Museum, it is truly worth a visit. This museum is a captivating treasure trove of exhibits and interactive displays, offering an enriching experience for visitors of all interests. Delve into the realms of science, technology, design, and innovation as you explore the diverse collections housed within the Powerhouse Museum.

With its engaging presentations and thought-provoking exhibits, the museum provides an enjoyable and educational journey. Don’t miss the chance to uncover the fascinating stories and discoveries awaiting you at the Powerhouse Museum, an enriching addition to your afternoon exploration in Darling Harbour.

10 Days in Sydney Itinerary - Sydney Fairy's Wheel at Darling Harbour

Evening

For your evening plans, I recommend catching a train to Bondi Junction and then hopping on a bus to Bondi Beach. Embark on the beautiful and renowned coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee, spanning 6 kilometers along the breathtaking coastline. This scenic journey promises stunning views and a refreshing sea breeze as you traverse the picturesque coastal path.

Take your time to relish the coastal landscapes, iconic beaches, and the invigorating atmosphere. The Bondi to Coogee coastal walk, one of Sydney’s best day walks, is a must-do experience that encapsulates the beauty of Sydney’s shoreline, providing a perfect blend of relaxation and exploration for your evening adventure.

  • Cost: FREE.
Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

Day 2: Paddy’s Market / The Rocks Markets, Bridge Climb, Sydney Opera House

Morning

No journey is truly fulfilled without a bit of souvenir shopping. For the best and most affordable finds, head to Paddy’s Market in Haymarket, Sydney. This bustling market is your go-to for inexpensive souvenirs, clothing, bags, and a variety of other items. Open every day from 10 AM to 6 PM, Paddy’s Market offers a wide array of goods at budget-friendly prices.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere as you explore the stalls and discover treasures that will serve as lasting mementos of your time in Sydney. Don’t miss the chance to snag great deals and unique keepsakes at Paddy’s Market during your visit to the city.

From Beaches to Bushland: 10 Days in Sydney Itinerary (2024)
  • Address: 9-13, Hay Street, Haymarket, Sydney 2000.
  • Closest train station: Central station.
  • Food: The market is right beside the Chinatown that has plenty of options to eat. And there is also a food court right above the market.

Consider exploring the Rocks Markets as an alternative option. A cool activity in Sydney is immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the weekend markets at the Rocks. This bustling venue showcases the talents of various artists and vendors, offering a diverse array of items. It serves as a hub where seasoned artists come together to showcase their craftsmanship. From unique artworks to handcrafted goods, the Rocks Markets provide a delightful experience of creativity and skill. Take the opportunity to stroll through this lively market, discover one-of-a-kind pieces, and engage with the local artistry that contributes to the dynamic cultural scene of Sydney.

  • Website: The Rocks Markets
  • Location: The Rocks.
  • Days: Saturday and Sunday.
  • Timings: 10 AM to 5 PM.
  • Address: George St, The Rocks NSW 2000.
  • Cost to visit: Free.
  • Nearest train station: Circular Quay.

I have discovered numerous beautiful treasures at these markets. One standout find is a pair of exquisite gold-plated earrings adorned with intricate designs inspired by real eucalyptus leaves. They are truly stunning, and I highly recommend dedicating a day to explore these markets.

Even if you choose not to make a purchase, the experience of strolling around is delightful. The markets offer a visual feast of pretty and unique items. The atmosphere is vibrant, and you can enjoy a leisurely day immersed in creativity and craftsmanship. Whether you are on a shopping spree or simply indulging in the joy of browsing, these markets provide a fantastic setting for discovering beauty and artistry in Sydney.

Afternoon

For lunch, Chat Thai in Circular Quay is a great choice. For additional Thai restaurant recommendations, feel free to check out my post on 3 Thai Dishes in Sydney. It provides insights into other fantastic Thai dining options to enhance your culinary experience in the city.

Following your lunch at Chat Thai, make your way to the Bridge Climb office located in the Rocks. Ensure you book in advance for an incredible 3.5-hour Bridge Climb experience. The anticipation builds as you prepare to ascend the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, soaking in unparalleled views of the city and harbor.

The prospect of this adventure is undeniably cool, promising not only a physical ascent but also a unique perspective of Sydney’s breathtaking skyline. Securing your spot in advance guarantees a memorable and thrilling experience as you conquer one of Sydney’s most iconic landmarks. Get ready for an unforgettable climb that offers a blend of excitement and awe-inspiring panoramas.

With the views from Sydney Harbour Bridge

Evening

You simply can’t overlook the Sydney Opera House when you find yourself in Sydney. The opportunity to watch a play at this iconic venue is an experience in its own league. The architectural marvel of the Opera House and the cultural richness it encapsulates make attending a play within its grand halls a must-do.

Immerse yourself in the world of theater, surrounded by the distinctive sails of the Opera House, for a cultural journey that adds a special touch to your Sydney visit. Don’t miss the chance to be part of this unique and enriching experience that seamlessly combines architectural beauty with the performing arts, creating memories that linger long after the curtains close.

If you wish to continue with your night at one of the pubs or bars, then nightlife in Sydney is vibrant and has amazing party scenes.

Day 3: Taronga Zoo

Morning and Afternoon

Another essential on your Sydney itinerary is a visit to Taronga Zoo. This zoological haven boasts a diverse range of animals, offering an enriching and delightful experience for visitors of all ages. What sets it apart is the stunning vantage point it provides, allowing you to enjoy breathtaking views of the harbor from within the zoo.

Witnessing wildlife against the backdrop of Sydney’s iconic harbor is a truly unique and captivating adventure. Explore the exhibits, engage with conservation efforts, and revel in the beauty of both the animal kingdom and the scenic surroundings. Taronga Zoo promises a day filled with wonder and discovery, making it a must-do for an unforgettable Sydney experience.

There is also another Western Plains Taronga Zoo at Dubbo.

Taronga Zoo Sydney

Evening

Conclude your day with a distinctive adventure through a 9D experience. Head to the Harbourside shopping centre in Darling Harbour, where you can immerse yourself in this unique and thrilling encounter. The 9D experience promises to engage your senses and provide an immersive journey that goes beyond traditional forms of entertainment.

9D experience:

Additionally, enjoy a game of bowling at the same venue, adding a touch of fun and camaraderie to your evening. The Harbourside shopping centre becomes a hub for both excitement and leisure, offering a diverse range of activities to cap off your day in Darling Harbour with a blend of futuristic thrills and classic amusement.

Bowling:

Day 4: Sydney Opera House, Museum of Contemporary Art

Morning

Go for an enriching audio tour of the Sydney Opera House at Circular Quay. This guided exploration takes you on a captivating journey through the history and stories that define this iconic architectural masterpiece. Immerse yourself in the cultural significance of the Opera House as you absorb the narratives woven into its design and purpose. The audio tour provides a personalized and insightful experience, allowing you to uncover the secrets and tales that contribute to the Opera House’s unique identity.

Discover the behind-the-scenes intricacies, architectural marvels, and artistic heritage that make the Sydney Opera House a symbol of cultural prominence. Your planned audio tour ensures an informative and memorable venture into the heart of one of Sydney’s most cherished landmarks.

Sydney opera house
Sydney Opera House

Afternoon

Just across Circular Quay lies the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), beckoning you to explore its artistic wonders. Take a stroll to this renowned art museum, where a world of contemporary creativity awaits. Delve into the diverse and thought-provoking exhibits that showcase the latest trends in modern art.

The MCA, with its strategic location near the harbor, offers not only an enriching cultural experience but also breathtaking views of Sydney’s waterfront. Engage with the dynamic displays, installations, and exhibitions that reflect the ever-evolving landscape of contemporary artistic expression. A visit to the MCA ensures an immersive encounter with the avant-garde, making it a must-see destination for those seeking a blend of artistic exploration and scenic beauty in the heart of Sydney.

If you are an adventurous traveler, then Circular Quay is popular for these three adventurous activities.

Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Sydney

Evening

Embark on a rejuvenating beach therapy session by kicking off a road trip to Narooma. The scenic drive promises not only relaxation but also the opportunity to soak in the coastal charm of Narooma. However, if you prefer to stay within the Sydney vicinity, treat yourself to a delightful time at some of the exquisite bars and pubs nestled in the Sydney Central Business District (CBD). These establishments offer a perfect blend of ambiance, culinary delights, and perhaps some locally crafted beverages.

Whether you choose the coastal escape to Narooma or opt for the vibrant city scene, both options ensure a refreshing break and a chance to savor the unique charms that Sydney has to offer.

Days 5 and 6: Islands in Sydney Harbour / Narooma

Sydney Harbour boasts an impressive collection of 13 islands, and I have had the pleasure of exploring four of them. Now, it is your turn to embark on an island adventure over the next two days. Choose one or two islands to visit, each with its own unique charm and attractions.

Whether it is the historical significance of Fort Denison, the natural beauty of Shark Island, the serene escape to Clark Island, or the captivating landscapes of Goat Island, each island promises a distinct and memorable experience. Immerse yourself in the island vibes, discover hidden gems, and relish the diversity that Sydney’s harbour islands have to offer during your exploration.

If you embark on your journey to Narooma, immerse yourself in my travel blog detailing the wonders of Narooma and Bermagui. Ensure you don’t miss the exhilarating experience of swimming with the seals during your time in Narooma. Discover the hidden gems and unique attractions that await you in these coastal paradises.

Day 7: The Blue Mountains

Entire day

When you find yourself in Sydney, make sure to prioritise a day trip to the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains. It’s an absolute must-do experience. Start your journey by catching a train from Central station to Katoomba, the primary town in the Blue Mountains. From Katoomba station, a convenient bus service seamlessly connects you to the awe-inspiring Three Sisters.

Let the scenic beauty unfold as you traverse from the heart of Sydney to the captivating landscapes of the Blue Mountains. Immerse yourself in the journey, and let my guide be your companion in unraveling the secrets and delights of this extraordinary destination.

Explore the diverse range of walks nestled in the Blue Mountains, catering to all levels of difficulty. I recommend immersing yourself in the beauty of the Three Sisters Walk, a leisurely 1-kilometer return stroll. This trail offers a perfect blend of ease and scenic wonders, making it an ideal choice for your adventure.

Hikes to do in The Blue Mountains
Hike to Blackfellows Hand Cave
Glenbrook to Red Hands Cave Return Hike
The Grand Canyon Hike
Hike to Ruined Castle
Castle Head Walk
Six Foot Track
Govetts Leap to Pulpit Rock
Dantes Glen Loop Walk
Hanging Rock
Valley of the Waters Hike

Let the crisp mountain air invigorate your senses as you embark on this accessible yet rewarding journey. Take your time to absorb the breathtaking surroundings and capture the essence of the Blue Mountains. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or a casual stroller, the Three Sisters Walk provides a delightful experience, allowing you to connect with the natural charm of this iconic destination.

The Blue Mountains

Day 8: Newcastle and Port Stephens

Craft your one-day itinerary for a memorable visit to Newcastle and Port Stephens. Start your adventure in vibrant Newcastle, known for its rich history and stunning coastline. Explore the city’s attractions, perhaps strolling along the iconic Nobbys Beach or delving into the historic Fort Scratchley.

As the day unfolds, make your way to Port Stephens, just a scenic drive away. Immerse yourself in the coastal beauty and consider activities like dolphin watching at Nelson Bay or relaxing on the golden shores of Shoal Bay. Indulge in the delectable seafood offerings at one of the waterfront eateries.

To make the most of your limited time, plan efficiently and prioritise the must-see spots. Whether you’re drawn to urban charm or coastal serenity, Newcastle and Port Stephens promise a day filled with diverse experiences, ensuring your visit is both enriching and unforgettable.

Port Stephens
Port Stephens

Day 9: Kiama

Entire day

Hop on a train journey from Central station to Kiama station, setting the stage for a day of exploration. In Kiama, immerse yourself in the astonishing sights that await. Pose for memorable snapshots beside the majestic Kiama Blowhole, capturing the natural spectacle in all its glory. Venture towards the iconic Kiama Lighthouse, its silhouette against the coastal backdrop providing a perfect photo opportunity.

Stroll along the pristine shores of Bombo Beach, where the rhythmic waves create a serene ambiance. Let the coastal breeze refresh your senses as you absorb the beauty of this picturesque destination. Make the most of your day in Kiama by exploring these spectacular landmarks and creating lasting memories against the breathtaking coastal scenery. Each site offers a unique charm, ensuring your visit is a blend of natural wonders and memorable experiences.

Kiama Lighthouse

Day 10: Colony History Walk, Manly

Morning

Begin your day by discovering and learning the fascinating history of Sydney’s early colony. Go on a journey that unveils the stories of the early settlers, convicts, and the diverse tapestry of life in the city. The self-guided Colony History walk commences at Customs House in Circular Quay, offering a captivating exploration of Sydney’s colonial past.

As you wander through this historical route, absorb the insights and glimpses into the daily lives of those who shaped the city’s foundation. The journey concludes at Dawes Point, marking the end of this unconventional and enlightening stroll through Sydney. Experience the richness of the colony’s history against the backdrop of iconic landmarks, making this walk a distinctive and informative exploration of Sydney’s vibrant past.

Afternoon

In the afternoon, hop on a scenic ferry ride from Circular Quay to Manly and let the adventure unfold. Marvel at the breathtaking beauty of Manly Beach and Shelly Beach, both captivating and well worth your visit. Indulge in a delightful lunch at one of the charming cafes or restaurants nestled along Manly Wharf, offering a perfect blend of flavors and seaside ambiance.

Afterward, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Manly markets and soak in the coastal charm of the beaches. As the day winds down, reflect on the abundance of memories created during your exploration. Whether it is the sun-kissed shores, the bustling markets, or the delectable dining experiences, your day at Manly promises a delightful tapestry of moments that linger in your memory.

Manly Beach
Manly Beach

Closing Notes

As the 10 days in Sydney itinerary comes to an end, reflecting on the multitude of experiences, laughter, and discoveries surely brings a smile. May your memories of the iconic landmarks, cultural excursions, and scenic wonders linger, serving as a vibrant tapestry of your time in this dynamic city. Until the next journey, here’s to the incredible moments and the anticipation of new adventures on the horizon!

If there are any hidden gems or must-see spots I might have overlooked in this itinerary, please share your insights by writing to me on Solopassport@gmail.com. Your feedback not only enhances this guide but also contributes to the collective joy of future Sydney explorers.

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From Beaches to Bushland: 10 Days in Sydney Itinerary (2024)
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    10 days in Sydney Itinerary
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