Some would say that Sydney needs no introduction - it is, after all, one of the world's greatest cities. It wears a mantle as if it were the capital city of Australia, and many mistakenly think this is the case, but that honour rests with Canberra. Sydney however, is up there with the likes of London, Paris, New York and Rome, and if only it weren't on the other side of the world, it would probably be top of the visitor's list. This is because it is not only home to iconic landmarks and sites, but it is blessed with stunningly gorgeous beaches and an enviable climate. Life is good in Sydney, and visitors can enjoy a big bite of it.
As a global superstar city, there are far more things to do than can ever fitted into this short guide. As well as the landmarks and beaches, Sydney provides great entertainment venues for every taste, world class museums and galleries, shopping destinations, sporting events and festivals, and a very happening food scene.
Beyond the city limits is a delightful hinterland begging to be explored too - daytrips into the Blue Mountains and the winegrowing region of the Hunter Valley, are popular with visitors.
The beaches - With 15 beaches stretching the city coastline in both directions, everyone has their favourite Sydney beach. Each has its own character whether it's Bondi and its surfing, the hip vibe of Manly, the superb beauty of Palm or the family-friendliness of Bronte. They aren't all massive stretches of sand - try Neilsen Park Beach for a more intimate feel. Many of the beaches are connected by the Bondi to Coogee Beach walk, a trail that has been trodden since the 1930s - it's 4 miles of wonderful scenery.
Sydney Harbour - The natural harbour is one of the most famous panoramas in the world, and is an awesome sight from any angle. One of the best ways to see it is from a harbour cruise.
Harbour Bridge - The iconic bridge spans the harbour and provides a brilliant viewing point for the harbour and the city. Visitors can scale the bridge to stand 134m about the ocean. Various climbs are available ranging from the express which takes 2 hours, to ones lasting a few hours which include the history of the bridge and points about its construction.
Sydney Tower - Also known as the Sydney Eye, the tower provides the tallest views of the city from its observation deck and skywalk. The skywalk is suspended 268m above Sydney and has a glass floor.
Sydney Opera House - With its design that makes it one of the most instantly recognised buildings on the planet, it is not just a design feature, but a great place to catch a show.
The Rocks - This is where Sydney began. Some of the oldest buildings in the city are here and today, it is a living heritage centre with the antique warehouses, sailor's homes, and former dens of iniquity now converted to interesting museums, trendy galleries, boutique shops and excellent restaurants. The eateries here play a big part in the annual Sydney Crave Food Festival.
Luna Park - More than just a theme park, Luna Park sits on the North side of the Harbour Bridge, and is a major entertainment precinct featuring thrilling rides, a big top, and all the fun of a carnival.
Sydney Zoo - A showcase of native animals, the zoo offers interactive and hands-on experience and is home to Rex, one of the largest crocodiles in the world, tons of indigenous birds and an impressive tropical butterfly house. It's next to the aquarium in Darling Harbour, which too offers a great wildlife experience.
Botany Bay National Park - See where Australian history all began. There's a memorial trail through the park with plaques telling the story, and a there's a museum too.
New Year's Eve - If you are lucky enough to be in Sydney on December 31st, you'll witness a fabulous firework display centred on the harbour, and be among the first world citizens to welcome the New Year.