Sydney, Australia: A Home Away from Home

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Sydney, Australia: A Home Away from Home

It’s easy to think of Sydney as a land that only exists in movies and TV shows. However, Sydney has this enchanting way of making you feel at home, even though it’s miles away from home!

The first time I visited the city, I remember feeling like I had been there before. It was strangely familiar and comforting. I think this is because certain aspects of Sydney replicated places I’d visited before.

For example, much like the US of A, Australia’s roads are in a grid system. Sydney city centre (or the CBD – Central Business District) has skyscrapers that look like they belong in New York City or Auckland, New Zealand. The beaches are so stunning that I thought I was back in Cancun, Mexico. The parks felt like I was at home in the English countryside. This sense of familiarity means that it’s so easy to adapt to Sydney, and so easy to like it.

Once you’ve wrapped your head around being on a plane for practically an entire day (and yes, it really does feel that long) you realize just how much Sydney has to offer.

Nothing can describe the first moment when you arrive in Circular Quay and see the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Claiming that the Opera House is ‘impressive’ is an understatement – it’s more like ‘mesmerising’! Trust me – it’s everything you’ve seen on TV and more.

There’s also this incredible outdoor bar in front of the Opera House. Imaginatively titled ‘Opera Bar’, it runs alongside the harbor. Sitting on the water with a glass of Prosecco and the Opera House in the background is nothing short of glorious.

The first time I visited the city, I remember feeling like I had been there before. It was strangely familiar and comforting.


The CBD itself is quite compact, which makes it extremely walkable (a big bonus point if you’re a tourist and want to see everything!) There is a large shopping area on Pitt Street where you can find high street stores, as well as luxury designer boutiques in the Westfield Tower. If, like me, you’re into your fashion and you’re wondering if Australia’s high street stores are any good – the answer is yes, indeed!

Like NYC, Hyde Park is situated in the middle of the CBD amongst the skyscrapers. It’s nowhere near as immense as Central Park in size, but it’s just as pleasant! If the sun is shining, the locals will sit out on the grass soaking up the rays. Hyde Park also contains the Art Gallery of New South Wales, if you’re an art fan.

In addition to Circular Quay, Sydney has another harbor on the western edge of the CBD called Darling Harbour. At Darling there is another shopping centre (named Harbourside) as well as an array of restaurants and bars. Darling Harbour actually makes for a really fun night life spot. It has a row of bars, and there is even a nightclub where you can dance the night away! I, myself, may have spent an evening there. It’s true what they say – the Aussies really can drink!

Outside of the CBD, the famous and very beautiful Bondi Beach is a short bus ride away, which is well worth a visit! The colours are so rich when it comes to Australian beaches; the sand is white, and softer than soft, and the sea is an entrancing turquoise blue. You can also take a ferry to Manly, a suburb to the northeast of Circular Quay, which is essentially a cute beach town. Furthermore, this ferry provides spectacular views of the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and city skyline.

This is also very much the case when you visit Taronga Zoo in the suburb of Mosman directly across from Circular Quay. The zoo is on top of a hill, and the only way you can access it is via cable car. The fact that the zoo overlooks the city from across the water means that the views are even more unbelievable. You might think that zoos are for kids, but you don’t want to miss the abundance of kangaroos, koalas and dingoes!

The only thing with Sydney is that it’s a city of over five million people, and it sure feels like it! It’s much like London in the sense that there are people everywhere in the CBD at all times. This can be good for safety at night, but you’ve got to be prepared for the crowds – especially during the working day! Crossing the main roads is a task in itself, but one that you do get used to!

There is so much on offer when visiting Sydney. Whether you’re a city-goer or a beach lover, you’re sure to enjoy the city in some way, shape or form. I have been twice now and I would never rule out going back. My favorite area is down by the Opera House, which is without a doubt the Must See in Sydney. It may be touristic, it may be cliché, but it’s the epitome of Sydney – and I love it.

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Katie Davies

Katie Davies

Katie is a Freelance Writer, Blogger and World Traveler. Since the completion of her Fashion Marketing degree in 2012, she has been honing her craft by writing for a number of businesses and publications. She blogs about Fashion, Beauty and Travel weekly at, never without a cup of tea close by.