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Begin A Breathtaking Journey To Down Under With This 6D5N Muslim-Friendly NSW Itinerary

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Farah Fazanna •  Jan 31, 2023

Beautiful, diverse, sunny and oh-so picturesque, there’s so much to discover in New South Wales, Australia. The harbour-side city of Sydney has a lot to offer, from its touristy spots to its hidden gems. If you’re itchy for an outdoor adventure, the Blue Mountains and the Grand Pacific Drive are perfect! Can NSW really live up to all the hype? In a word: Absolutely! If you’re planning a trip to Australia soon, check out our Muslim-friendly 6D5N New South Wales itinerary to help you plan your next vacation! The itinerary also includes day trips to nearby destinations such as the Blue Mountains and the Grand Pacific Drive.

Getting there

Credit:Kornél Máhl onUnsplashThere are many ways to get to Sydney from your home country. There are almost daily flights from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Jakarta to Sydney with at least one layover in either Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. #HHWT Tip: To get the cheapest prices for flights, use Skyscanner's cheapest month feature to get this info (click on dates > whole month > cheapest month). Alternatively, you can also check out Google Flights' price graph too.

Transport in Sydney

Credit:Luke White onUnsplash

  • The Opal cards are smartcard tickets that you keep and reuse to pay for travel on public transport in Sydney.
  • Once you have yours, just add value, then tap on and off to travel. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
  • You can use your Opal card on metro, train, bus, ferry and light rail services.
  • You can buy your Opal card at most convenience stores, light rail stations and Sydney Airport.
  • You will receive a 30% discount when you travel outside of peak times on the Opal network (6am to 10am, Monday to Friday) and if you travel on weekends and public holidays, you’ll pay no more than $8.40 a day for adult and $4.20 a day for child/youth.
  • Do note that while there is no charge for an Opal card, the minimum value you must top up is $20 for an Adult Opal card and $10 for a Child/Youth Opal card. At Sydney Airport stations, a minimum top-up of $35 applies.
  • Adult Opal cards and single tickets are for those aged 16 years and over. Child/Youth Opal cards and single tickets are for those aged 4 to 15 years. Children aged 3 years and under travel free.
  • For more info about the Opal cards, visit Transport NSW.

Muslim-friendly accommodations

Many family-friendly hotels in Sydney and New South Wales suit all budgets and needs. We’ve narrowed down some of the best accommodations for you with a convenient location, Muslim-friendly amenities, and more! 😉

Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour

Credit: Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour

  • If you’re looking for hotels near halal food and mosques in Sydney, Crowne Plaza Darling Harbour is a convenient option. 
  • It also has spacious and interconnecting rooms that are ideal for families 🤩

Address: 58 Bathurst St, Sydney NSW 2000, AustraliaWebsite

Meriton Suites Kent Street

Credit: Meriton Suites Kent Street

  • Coming in with a larger crowd? Check out Meriton Suites Kent Street, located near Sydney’s CBD. 
  • Rooms here can accommodate up to 6 guests. 
  • All of their Premium Suites come with a washing machine and dryer, a great way to save on laundry! 
  • The oven, stove, microwave, fridge and dishwasher are available in the rooms if you’re whipping up some dishes too!
  • Besides being close to public transport, it’s near halal eateries such as Al-Rayyan, Ali Baba Kebab Place and Ogalo City Sydney

Address: 528 Kent St, Sydney NSW 2000, AustraliaWebsite

  • It’s also within walking distance from King Faisal Mosque, with a comfortable prayer space and ablution area 😊

Address: King Faisal Mosque, 175-177 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills NSW 2010, AustraliaOpening hours: 5:45–6:30am, 12–1:45pm, 3:45–4:15pm, 4:45–5:30pm, 6:45–7:30pm (Daily)Getting there: From Meriton Suites Kent Street, it’s a 14-minute walk or an 8-minute drive to the mosque.

Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay

Credit: Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay

  • For more luxury accommodation, we recommend staying at Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay, a Muslim-friendly hotel where there are halal food and prayer mats. 
  • You can also ask the hotel to remove alcohol from the minibar before you arrive.

Address: 30 Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000, AustraliaWebsite

  • Plus, the Sydney CBD Masjid is just a 10-minute walk!

Address: Sydney CBD Masjid, 1/56-60 Erskine St, Sydney NSW 2000, AustraliaOpening hours: 12.30pm - 6pm (Mon-Fri). Closed on Saturdays and Sundays

Key events in Sydney you must check out

  • Vivid Sydney: Vivid Sydney is an annual celebration of creativity, innovation and technology, which transforms Sydney for 23 days and nights. During the festival, glowing light art and vibrant 3D projections transformed the city’s iconic architecture. There are also free live music performances, workshops, food markets and many more. Vivid Sydney 2023 will be happening from 26 May - 17 June 2023.
  • New Year’s Eve celebrations: Sydney’s NYE 2022 fireworks are one of the most anticipated as the city lights up to welcome the new year. There are plenty of family-friendly events happening such as the NYE picnic at the Royal Botanic Gardens, concerts, cruises and ferries, pylon projections and lighting effects, a Smoking Ceremony, and breathtaking fireworks!
  • You can also catch the NYE fireworks across multiple venues including the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Darling Harbour.
  • Sculpture by the Sea: Staged on the spectacular Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk, Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi is a must-visit! The free exhibition captures the imagination of Sydney and its visitors for three weeks each spring and is the largest annual sculpture exhibition in the world! Check out the website for more info and keep a close eye on 2023 event dates!
  • The exhibition is featured from the sea wall, all the way along the sand towards North Cottesloe and on the surrounding grassed areas creating a beautiful sculpture park.

Day 1: Explore Sydney icons

The Rocks (2 hours)

  • The Rocks is a neighbourhood of historic laneways in the shadow of Sydney Harbour Bridge where you can enjoy street food and handmade crafts.
  • The area has some of Sydney’s famous restaurants that have harbour views. 
  • For art lovers, the Museum of Contemporary Art offers local and international exhibits that will bring you joy. The MCA Collection contains over 4000 works by Australian artists that have been acquired since 1989, with a strong commitment to works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. The Museum collects all art forms with holdings in painting, photography, sculpture, works on paper and moving images.
  • Admission to the galleries, cafes and temporary exhibitions is free but admission fees apply to the major summer exhibition, the Sydney International Art Series).
  • Be sure to grab a coffee or breakfast at the MCA Cafe where you can take in spectacular views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge 😍
  • After your visit to the museum, take a walk to Circular Quay Wharf where you can enjoy scenic views of the wharf and the iconic Sydney Opera House.

Getting there: From Central Station, you can take the train T3 to Circular Quay. From there, it’s a five-minute walk to The Rocks.Price: $2.65 with Opal cardCheck out 10 Things To Do In Sydney That Are Absolutely Free to help you plan your itinerary!

Lunch at Gateway Sydney (1 hour)

  • Located in the heart of Circular Quay, Gateway Sydney is a landmark dining precinct. Set in a light-filled, contemporary environment, Gateway’s diverse selection of over 30 restaurants, cafes, and a food court ensures you are spoilt for choice! 
  • Head over to Bekya for authentic Middle Eastern cuisine offering a unique Egyptian street food experience. Choose from a selection of wraps with Egyptian flatbread, lunch boxes with your choice of protein, salad, rice and dips and their signature dish ‘Koshari’ (vegan platter).

Price: $1-$20.Halal status: Halal meat and ingredients are used but alcohol is served on the premise. We recommend that you dine at your own discretion.Address: Gateway Building, Shop G-01/1 Macquarie Pl, Sydney NSW 2000, AustraliaOpening hours: 10am - 3pm (Daily)For more halal restaurants in Sydney, check out the Top 12 Halal Eateries In Sydney You Have To Try For Your Next Australian Vacay!

Dessert at Zini Contemporary Gelateria (30 minutes)

  • There’s always room for dessert! We highly recommend trying the gelato at Zini Contemporary Gelateria where you can enjoy natural gelato free of colourants, additives or aromas.
  • Some of the flavours you can try include stracciatella, pistachio, salted caramel, crunchy peanut butter and more!
  • Apart from the gelato, you can also try their pancake stacks (add a gelato on top!), gelato poke bowl or waffle basket.
  • You can also grab a cup of coffee here (a flat white, maybe?) to accompany you during your walk to the next destination.

Halal status: No alcohol is used in their gelato.Address: 6 Loftus St, Sydney NSW 2000, AustraliaOpening hours: 8am - 10pm (Mon-Fri), 10am - 11pm (Sat), 12pm - 10pm (Sun)

Harbour cruise to Manly (2 hours)

Credit: Destination NSW

  • Explore Sydney on a harbour cruise where you can uncover Sydney’s ‘hidden gems’ starting from Circular Quay, Wharf 3, and all the way to the iconic Manly Cove.
  • Twisting and turning your way down the incredible harbour, there will be plenty of opportunities to capture the highlights of Sydney as you pass the iconic and amazing landmarks.
  • You can stroll along Manly Cove Beach or rent a bicycle before returning to Circular Quay and enjoying dinner near the hotel.

Getting there: Take the ferry at Circular Quay, Wharf 3 where it’ll take you to Manly.Price: $8.04 with Opal card

See Sydney with Hop On Hop Off Sydney Harbour Explorer

Credit: Captain Cook Cruises on Facebook

  • An alternative way to explore Sydney, the Hop On Hop Off Sydney Harbour Explorer gives you the flexibility to hop on and hop off as you like, with the expert local guidance of the onboard crew.
  • You can choose either the one-day or two-day pass where you can check out the best Harbour destinations such as the Taronga Zoo, Shark Island, Watsons Bay, Manly and Clifton Gardens.

Website

Alternatively, visit the Sydney Opera House (1-2 hours)

  • What’s a trip to Sydney without visiting the iconic Sydney Opera House, right?
  • The newly-renovated Concert Hall enhanced the acoustics for artists and audiences in both orchestral and amplified modes so you’ll get the best performance!
  • There are different tours that you can enjoy such as the foodie tours (enjoy a dining experience at the Sydney Opera House!), the Opera House Tour (where you’ll learn about the history and uncover untold stories), the Backstage Tour (walk through rehearsal spaces that are not open to the public) and The Sydney Opera House Mobility Access Tour is designed for patrons with limited mobility so everyone can enjoy Sydney’s most iconic building.
  • There’s always an event happening here, ranging from workshops to theatre, opera to dance performances and live music concerts. Check out the Sydney Opera House website for the full schedule.

Address: Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000, AustraliaGetting there: It’s a short scenic six-minute walk from Circular Quay.

Dinner at Cubby's Kitchen Sydney CBD (1 hour)

  • Enjoy Lebanese cuisine at Cubby’s Kitchen Sydney CBD. Some must-tries include chicken shish, lamb kafta and mixed skewers.

Price: $6 - $30Halal status: Halal meat and ingredients are used but alcohol is served on the premise. We recommend that you dine at your own discretion. We recommend you dine at your own discretion.Address: Corner Young Street & Loftus Lane off, Bridge Street, Sydney NSW 2000, AustraliaOpening hours: 6pm - 10pm (Tues, Wed), 12pm - 3pm, 6pm - 10.30pm (Thurs, Fri), 6pm - 10.30pm (Sat)

Day 2: Sydney Fish Market and Taronga Zoo

Sydney Fish Market (3 hours)

  • Wake up bright and early for your Sydney Fish Market’s behind-the-scenes tour!
  • Sydney Fish Market is the largest market of its kind in the southern hemisphere, and the third largest seafood market in terms of variety in the world. Approximately 2,700 crates (around 50-55 tonnes) of the freshest possible seafood are auctioned each day!
  • Have you ever wanted to know more about where your seafood comes from? What does the Australian seafood industry do to ensure your seafood is sustainable? Or where do the top-level restaurants go to get the freshest of the fresh? Have these questions and more answered on the Sydney Fish Market Behind the Scenes Tour!
  • The ticket price for an adult is $50 and $20 for children aged 10 to 13. 
  • Do note that a face mask and enclosed shoes are required for the two-hour tour.
  • More than just a fish market, you can also enjoy the freshest fish and shellfish here. 
  • Head over to the Fish Market Cafe where you can enjoy a seafood platter consisting of bbq octopus, calamari rings, oysters mornay, scallops, battered prawns, fish pieces and seafood sticks.
  • If you prefer your seafood cooked Asian-style, then Christie’s Kitchen is the place. Seafood such as mussels, mud crabs, and Southern Rock lobsters can be cooked in different sauces such as black pepper, garlic butter, salted egg sauce and more!

Address: Corner Pyrmont Bridge Rd &, Bank St, Pyrmont NSW 2009, AustraliaOpening hours: 7am - 4pmGetting there: From Central Station, take the 501 or 389 bus to the Fish Market. Alternatively, you can also take the light rail L3.Price: $2.24 (bus) and $1.56 (light rail) with Opal card

Taronga Zoo (5 hours)

Credit: Benjamin Sow onUnsplash

  • Taronga Zoo, with spectacular views of beautiful Sydney Harbour, is a great destination to see native wildlife and rare exotic animals. 
  • Be sure to check out the bird and seal shows! They’ll steal your heart 😍
  • We recommend signing up for the Nura Diya Aboriginal Discovery Tour where you can explore the connection between Australia’s animals, plants and landscape and Aboriginal Dreamtime. 
  • Ever wanted a bird’s-eye view? Try the Wild Ropes adventure with its zip lines and suspension bridges. 
  • Soak up breathtaking Sydney Harbour views, watch the Asian Elephant herd play from above and try to spot the squirrel monkeys as they explore their home – all from the heights of Sydney’s only cableway experience Sky Safari!
  • There are plenty of animal encounters that you can experience at the Taronga Zoo such as the favourite Aussie icons koalas and capybaras. You can learn about these incredibly curious species from the expert keepers and get the opportunity to feed these adorable animals some of their favourite snacks!
  • The Sky Safari lower entrance (near the ferry) is currently open to all ferry passengers who have purchased a Zoo ticket or are Zoo Friend members.

Address: Bradleys Head Rd, Mosman NSW 2088, AustraliaOpening hours: 9.30am - 4.30pm (Daily)Getting there: Make your way to Circular Quay, Wharf 4 and take the ferry to Taronga Zoo. The journey takes about 12 minutes.Price: $6.43 with Opal card

Stay at Wildlife Retreat at Taronga

  • Nestled amongst the natural landscape of Taronga Zoo Sydney, thoughtfully curated designer rooms allow you to overlook bushland, come eye-to-eye with animals or gaze across stunning Sydney Harbour.
  • Revel in the natural beauty of the bushland, and step into a lush sanctuary where koalas and echidnas roam, and platypus swim. 
  • Join a guided tour, encounter a close and emotional connection with the animals and join the cause to defend their place in the world.
  • The Wildlife Retreat at Taronga includes a range of amazing experiences and inclusions from a two-day entry into the zoo, complimentary car parking, meals at an award-winning restaurant and a guided tour of The Sanctuary.

Website

Or, stay at Roar and Snore

  • For a more authentic experience, stay at Roar and Snore, a harbour-side campsite where you can get up close to some of Taronga Zoo Sydney's friendliest residents.
  • Experience an exclusive Taronga night safari led by passionate keepers and guides, with the chance to see some of Taronga's favourite animals.
  • Unwind in the comfortable safari-style tents, falling asleep to the sounds of the zoo
  • Join feeding time and close encounter sessions where you will form a special bond with the animals.
  • Enjoy spending the following day exploring the zoo in your own time with complimentary admission included with your booking!

Website

Day 3: Blue Mountains (whole day)

Credit: Destination NSW

  • Wake up early and catch your train to check out the breathtaking Blue Mountains!
  • Make your way to Katoomba, which is the biggest settlement in the Blue Mountains. A number of the region’s attractions are based there such as the famous Three Sisters rock formation, Katoomba Falls and Furber Steps.
  • The Blue Mountains get their name from the natural blue haze created by vast eucalypt forests in this UNESCO World Heritage area. Tiny droplets of oil released from the trees mix with water vapour and sunlight to produce a distinctive colour 😍
  • Marvel at this wilderness region from clifftop lookouts. Explore waterfalls, valleys and rugged sandstone tablelands, and learn about the region’s ancient Aboriginal heritage.

Getting there: Take a train from Circular Quay to Central Station. From there, take the BMT (Blue Mountains Train) line to Katoomba. The journey takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes.Price: $6.51 with Opal card

Scenic lookout points:

Lincoln Rock

  • Located south of Wentworth Falls on the Kings Tableland plateau, Lincoln’s Rock is one of the most impressive lookout points in the Blue Mountains. 
  • With sweeping views of Jamison Valley and beyond, Lincoln’s Rock is a unique and historically important sight that is well worth a visit.

Honeymoon Bridge

Credit: Destination NSW

  • The Honeymoon Bridge allows you to get up close and personal with Three Sisters!
  • Leading from the top of the Giant Staircase, Honeymoon Bridge is connected to the first sister giving visitors a chance to view the iconic rock formation from a different angle!

Pulpit Rock

Credit: Destination NSW

  • If you’ve got a head for heights, you'll get a thrill at Pulpit Rock lookout near Blackheath!
  • This multi-tiered lookout juts out on a dramatic blade of rock perched high above the magnificent Grose Valley.
  • Unpack the picnic basket and enjoy a remote lunch on this isolated pinnacle, far from the popular tourist spots.

Lunch at Plantbased Wholefoods (1 hour)

  • You must be tired from all the hiking and exploring, now it’s time to fill up your tummy wrap up your day and take a trip down to Leura Mall from the Blue Mountains.
  • Head over to Plantbased Wholefoods, a boutique vegan cafe that serves tasty vegan staples such as tempeh burgers, sushi bowls, vegan burgers, sweets and light meals. Everything is egg-free and dairy-free!

Price: $7 - $18Halal status: Vegan restaurant but alcohol is served on the premise. We recommend you dine at your own discretion.Address: 97 Katoomba St, Katoomba NSW 2780, AustraliaOpening hours: 10am - 2pm (Wed-Sat), 9am - 2pm (Sun). Closed on Monday

Blue Mountains Stargazing tour (3 hours)

Credit: Blue Mountains Stargazing on Facebook

  • Embark on a captivating space journey led by an astrophysicist in the timeless beauty of the World Heritage-listed Greater Blue Mountains skies.
  • Enjoy a fun, interactive and insightful sky-watching nocturnal tour, stargazing experience and fascinating storytelling.
  • It’s a wonderful opportunity to experience the Southern Sky and its celestial wonders only visible from the Southern hemisphere!

Website

Stay at Mountain Lodge

  • The Mountain Lodge is a 30-guestroom building, located next to Jenolan Caves House. 
  • It was built in 1986, in a style reminiscent of a European mountain ski chalet. 
  • Each room offers a very small kitchenette (sink, microwave and bar fridge), perfect if you want to cook a simple breakfast or dinner.
  • The Mountain Lodge guestrooms are motel-style, with televisions, phones and adjoining rooms, making it practical for families!

Address: 4655 Jenolan Caves Road Jenolan Caves NSW 2790 AustraliaWebsite

Day 4: A day with aquatic animals

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium (3 hours)

Credit: Darling Harbour website

  • Start your day at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
  • One of the largest aquariums in the world, SEA LIFE Sydney stores over 700 different species in its aquarium. 
  • Take on a journey of discovery through different zones and walk through the amazing tunnel where you can see sharks and other aquatic animals up close.

Price: $39.20 (Adult), $28.80 (Child)Address: 1-5 Wheat Rd, Sydney NSW 2000, AustraliaOpening hours: 10am - 3pm (Mon- Fri), 9.30am - 4pm (Sat and Sun)Getting there: From Central Station, take the L3 to QVB. The SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is about a 10-minute walk. Price: $2.24 with Opal card

Alternatively, explore Surry Hills (3 hours)

Credit: Destination NSW

  • Surry Hills ranks as one of the top foodie destinations not just in Sydney, but nationwide.
  • There are mum-and-pop eateries, fine dining restaurants and a rich mix of world cuisines from Middle Eastern to Japanese, French to American barbecue and everything in between. There are plenty of Italian restaurants serving authentic wood-fired pizza and pasta dishes. We recommend Bad Hombres, a vegan Mexican restaurant serving delicious jackfruit tacos, Peruvian-style mushroom stir-fry and Mexican bowls filled with pico de gallo, fresh jasmine rice, braised black beans, corn and jackfruit.
  • If you’re here on the first Saturday of the month, check out the Surry Hills Market, where you can bring home vintage fashion and eco-minded beauty products to antique bric-a-brac and handmade ceramics. 
  • For shopping, the streets of this inner-city suburb will not disappoint you. Step into the Standard Store to find bold picks from on-trend labels like Maison Kitsune and Rachel Comey. The Collector Store is great for bringing home fine, locally made jewellery and homewares, including from labels like Leif and the lingerie brand Love Stories. If you’re looking for homewares, pick up ultra-simple stone ceramics and refillable tea cups from Provider Store.

Lunch at Zaaffran (1 hour)

  • Done with your discovery? Why not feed yourself with some good food? 
  • Try authentic Indian food at Zaaffran. Situated on the waterfront close to the CBD, Zaaffran specialises in innovative Indian delights that take the cuisine to another level. 
  • Enjoy the breathtaking skyline views of the harbour as you dine 😍

Price: $4 - $30Halal status:Halal meat and ingredients are used but alcohol is served on the premise. We recommend that you dine at your own discretion.Address: Harbourside Shopping Centre, 345/10 Darling Dr, Sydney NSW 2000, AustraliaOpening hours: 12pm - 2.30pm (Mon-Sat),  6pm - 9.30pm (Mon-Thurs), 5.30pm - 10.15pm (dinner Fri-Sun).

Bondi Beach (3 hours)

Credit: Destination NSW

  • Bondi Beach is undoubtedly one of Australia's most famous beaches and it is well-known worldwide.
  • The iconic beach attracts tourists and the likes with its huge café scene, great surfing spot and cosmopolitan vibe. 

Credit: Destination NSW

  • For Instagram-worthy pictures, take a picturesque coastal walk along the cliffs from Bondi to Waverley Cemetery.
  • However, bear in mind that there are six different sections of the walk. 
  • If you are looking for a short leisure walk, the Ben Buckler to Bondi Beach is only a 20-minute walk. If you fancy a longer walk, check out the Bondi to Coogee trail (2-3 hours).
  • While you’re here, be sure to check out the famous Bondi Icebergs pool. Fun fact: It boasts the title of the most photographed swimming pool in the world!

Admission ticket: $9 (adult), $6 (12 years old and under), and $25 (2 adults and up to 3 children).Getting there: Take the train from Circular Quay station to Bondi Junction. From there, take network 380, 381, 382 or 333 bus for a 15-minute ride to the beach.Address: 1 Notts Ave, Bondi Beach NSW 2026, AustraliaOpening hours: 6am - 6.30pm (Monday to Friday), 6.30am - 6.30pm (Saturday and Sunday). Closed on Thursday.

Dinner at Sabbaba Bondi Beach (1 hour)

  • Grab dinner at Sabbaba Bondi Beach, a Middle Eastern restaurant serving comfort food such as falafel, kebab and pita.
  • Enjoy your food while people-watching as the restaurant is located right on Campbell Parade, a popular street in Bondi Beach filled with cafes and restaurants as well as shopping stores.

Price: $4 - $20Halal status: Halal meat and ingredients are used but alcohol is served on the premise. We recommend that you dine at your own discretion.Address: 152-162 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach NSW 2026, AustraliaOpening hours: 11am - 9pm (Daily)

Day 5: Grand Pacific Drive (Overnight stay)

Credit: Destination NSW

  • One of Australia’s most iconic drives is also one of the most easily accessible.
  • Heading out of Sydney, the Grand Pacific Drive takes in the pristine expanses of the city’s southern outskirts before tracing the NSW coast through the Royal National Park, Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and into the idyllic waterside retreat of Jervis Bay.
  • There are plenty of attractions that are worth the drive

Symbio Wildlife Park (2 hours)

Credit: Symbio Wildlife Park on Facebook

  • Be sure to visit the kid-friendly Symbio Wildlife Park where you can get up close and personal with a koala and feed the kangaroos.
  • You’ll also have the opportunity to experience a behind-the-scenes encounter with a red panda. You can experience hand-feeding and interact with these adorable little guys and take some photos as a memento!

Address: 7-11 Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Helensburgh NSW 2508, Sydney AustraliaOpening hours: 9.30am - 5pm (Daily)

Fruit picking at Darkes Glenbernie Orchard (1 hour)

Credit: Dee Kramer Photography

  • Try fruit picking at Darkes Glenbernie Orchard at Darkes Forest, a sixth-generation family farm where visitors can head out into the grove of 22,500 trees and pick their own fruit in season. 
  • There are a variety of fruits such as peaches, nectarines and apples for you to pick! The fruits are available according to the season, so do check before booking your tour.
  • There’s also non-alcoholic cider that you can try!

Address: 259 Darkes Forest Rd, Darkes Forest NSW 2508, AustraliaOpening hours: 10am - 4.30pm (Daily)Website

Whale-watching (3 hours)

Credit: Jordan Robins

  • What’s a trip to Australia without a whale-watching cruise, right? Join the Dolphin Watch Cruises which offers both dolphin and whale-watching tours out of Jervis Bay. 
  • From May to November every year, the mighty Humpback Whales migrate to the east coast of Australia. 
  • With Jervis Bay pointing so far out of the coast, it means you can get up close and personal as they come and investigate your vessels.
  • You might even get lucky and see one of the super pods of whales (50+ whales in one pod) that have been regularly stopping by Jervis Bay!

Other must-visit attractions:

Credit: Skydive Sydney-Wollongong

  • Skydive at Wollongong: Ride the salty breeze from up to 15,000 feet above sea level carving towards the pristine New South Wales coastline. The only beach skydive on offer in the Greater Sydney vicinity, there’s no topping the trip from the sky onto Wollongong’s North Beach!

  • Jim Wild's Oysters: Enjoy freshly shucked Sydney Rock Oysters or Pacific Oysters by the water!

  • Kiama Blowhole: Kiama’s famous Blowhole is the largest in the world, and when the swell is running from the southeast, you’re in for a real treat! Be sure to check out the eastern point to take in the full height of the rock formation.

Credit: Destination NSW

  • Jervis Bay: Enjoy a swim in the crystal clear waters and be sure to watch for dolphins, whales, seals, penguins and sea birds! Jervis Bay is also one of the few places in Australia where you can witness the incredible natural phenomena known as bioluminescence, so if you’re lucky, you might witness it!

Lunch at Tuna Tail Poké

  • Enjoy a bowl of fresh and healthy poké at Tuna Tail Poké where you can customise your bowl to your likeness.
  • The Muslim-friendly eatery offers a myriad of fresh, healthy and delicious ingredients such as salmon, tuna, kingfish and different types of vegetables. 

Price: $4 - $20Halal status: They don’t serve pork (only fish and chicken) but we’d recommend choosing seafood as the chicken is not halal-certified. Alcohol is served on the premise. We recommend that you dine at your own discretion.Address: Shop 2/12 Currambene St, Huskisson NSW 2540, AustraliaOpening hours: 11am - 7pm (Thursday - Saturday), 11am - 3pm (Sunday to Tuesday). Closed on Wednesday.Website

Stay at Bay and Bush Cottages

  • Where the Australian Bush meets the Sea, has eight self-contained cottages available.
  • Enjoy all that Jervis Bay has to offer, whilst relaxing in these beautiful cottages in a prime location, a short distance (five minutes) to beaches, museums and restaurants.
  • Each of the houses has one bedroom in each cottage, a bathroom with a separate shower, and the kitchen is fully equipped with cups, glasses, mugs, plates, crockery, pots, pans, and utensils.

Address: 21 Pritchard Avenue, Woollamia, NSW 2540, Sydney Australia Website

Tips on driving in New South Wales

  • Do note that Australians drive on the right-hand side of the road and you can use your home country’s driving license, so there’s no need for an international driving licence. However, you’ll need an English translation if your driving licence is not in English.
  • You can rent a car from Hertz, Europcar, Sixt and many more. There are options to pick up the car from the airport or various locations around Sydney CBD.

If you need more info for your road trip, check out 8 Must-Know Tips For Your Sydney-New South Wales Road Trip.Looking for more road trip ideas? Check out 7 Scenic Road Trips From Sydney For The Ultimate Nature Getaway!

Day 6: End your trip with a shopping spree

Queen Victoria Building (2 hours)

Credit:Digby Cheung onUnsplash

  • It’s your last day in Sydney, wrap up your trip by shopping at the Romanesque-style Queen Victoria Building where you can see Sydney’s finest fashion boutiques. 
  • Architecturally stunning and rich in history, the Queen Victoria Building is one of the most iconic landmarks that occupies the entire block of George Street.
  • Bring home Australian-made brands such as Country Road, Haigh’s Chocolate (do check for halal ingredients!), Peter Nathan Toy Soldiers, Sheike, Sportscraft and more!

Getting there: From CBD, you can take any train and head towards Town Hall station. From the station, walk to Queen Victoria Building.Opening hours: 9am – 6pm (Mon - Wed). 9am – 9pm (Thurs), 9am – 6pm (Fri), 10am – 4pm (Sat), 11am – 4pm (Sun)Wondering what else you can bring home from Australia? Check out 17 Brands Cheaper In Australia Than Back Home!

The Art of Dr Seuss Gallery (30 minutes)

Credit: The Art of Dr. Seuss Gallery, Australia Facebook

  • While you’re around the area, don’t forget to drop by the famous the Art of Dr Seuss Gallery which takes you on a journey behind the scenes of Dr Seuss’ work. 
  • Here you can witness first-hand the imaginative mind of America’s most beloved and legendary author and illustrator.

Getting there: From Queen Victoria Building, head south on York St towards Druitt St. Turn left onto Druitt St and left onto George St. You will see the art gallery on your left.Address: Queen Victoria Building, Bldg,33-55/455 George St, Sydney NSW 2000, AustraliaOpening hours: Monday to Wednesday, 10am – 6pm. Thursday, 10am – 8pm. Friday to Saturday, 10am – 6pm. Sunday, 11am – 5pm.

Darling Square (2 hours)

Credit: Darling Harbour on website

  • A vibrant district that's only a few minutes' walk from the world's most beautiful harbour, with world-class dining, laneways bars, and educational and cultural institutions.
  • If you’re eating, drinking or looking for things to do in Sydney, Darling Square is the place to be!
  • Darling Square is one of Sydney's newest and most connected city neighbourhoods at the centre of a vibrant and exciting precinct bursting with laneway bars and world-class restaurants.
  • Steam Mill Lane: Melbourne’s laneways have got nothing on Steam Mill Lane. This mini-dining precinct is packed with restaurants and bars, from quick bites and innovative food to healthy lunches.
  • Exchange Building: The Exchange Building is an airy six-story building at the heart of Darling Square in Haymarket, designed as a place for meeting, collaborating and celebrating. Inside you’ll find a modern marketplace, the Makers Dozen, the brand new Darling Square Library and the innovation hub Ideas Lab.
  • Maker’s Dozen: Maker’s Dozen is a culinary marketplace based on the sort of bustling eating areas you’ll find in European markets. There are 12 restaurants, bars and retailers, each with their own unique flavours, from wholesome egg toasties at Toastiesmith to insta-worthy bubble tea and florist at Bubble Nini.
  • Little Hay Street: Little Hay street is a hub for eating, drinking and good times, fusing the vibrant energy of Darling Square with the colourful culture of Chinatown. Here, you’ll find some of the best eating in Sydney, including creamy desserts at Gelato Messina, saccharine eats and sips from Bengong Black and next-level donuts at Shortstop - some of the best restaurants in Sydney!

Address: 35 Tumbalong Bvd, Haymarket NSW 2000, AustraliaWebsite

Lunch at Shalom Indonesian Restaurant (1 hour)

  • All that shopping will make you hungry and there’s no better way to fill up than having a feast at Shalom Indonesian Restaurant!
  • Serving authentic and mouth-watering Indonesian dishes such as chicken satay, lamb curry, yellow rice with fried chicken and many more, the restaurant is a must-visit when in Sydney!

Price: $4 - $20Halal status: Ingredients are sourced from halal suppliers and no alcohol is served on the premise.Address: Shop 3-4/299 Sussex St, Sydney NSW 2000, AustraliaOpening hours: 11am - 9pm (Mon- Sat), 12pm - 9pm (Sun)

Barangaroo (2-3 hours)

  • Nestled near the convenience of Wynyard station and Darling Harbour, the streets of Barangaroo might be one of Sydney’s best-kept secrets.
  • Without the commotion of Pitt or George Street, it’s perfect for a leisurely amble, combining a sense of suburban calm with dozens of bars, boutique outfitters, eateries, upscale outlets and bespoke services.
  • Shopaholics will LOVE Barangaroo as there is a myriad of local boutiques that you can feast your eyes on.

  • Some of the must-visit shops include the Collector Store where you can find local brands such as Bondi Wash (home cleaning range), and candlemakers Gascoigne & King, who sell handmade soy wax candles. Perfect to bring home some souvenirs!

  • Be sure to check out TITLE, an independent music, film and book store which prides itself on an eclectic collection of vinyl, specialist coffee-table books and films. 

Getting there: From Shalom Indonesian Restaurant, it’s a 16-minute walk north towards the King Street Wharf Darling Harbour.

Local farmer’s markets (1-2 hours)

Credit: Carriageworks Farmers Market websiteIf you plan your trips to Sydney on a weekend, be sure to check out the local farmer's markets as most of them are open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Some of the markets you can visit include:

  • Carriageworks Farmers Market: The weekly Carriageworks Farmers Market is a Sydney institution, that provides the freshest seasonal produce from the best growers and producers from around NSW. Talk to the farmer firsthand and learn the stories behind your food. Find organic and biodynamic produce, artisan bread, single-origin coffee, herbal teas, meat and freshly cut flowers.

Address: 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh NSW 2015, AustraliaOpening hours: 8am - 1pm (Saturday only)Getting there: From Central Station walk to the Pitt St opp Barlow St bus stop and take bus 423, 426, 428 or 430. Stop at the University of Sydney, City Rd bus stop and walk about seven minutes to the market. Alternatively, you can also take train T1, T2, T3 or T4 to Redfern and from there, it’s about nine minute walk to the market.

  • Cambridge Markets EQ: Head over here if you’re looking for high-quality and artisanal products such as boutique homewares, fashion, arts and crafts, gourmet foods, organic produce and more!

Address: 122 Lang Rd, Moore Park NSW 2021, AustraliaOpening hours: 8am - 2pm (Wed and Sat)Getting there: From Central Station, take the light rail train L3 to Moore Park and from there, it’s about an 11-minute walk to the market.It’s easy to understand what lies within Sydney and New South Wales’s allure; it’s what makes people keep returning because it’s simply gorgeous every season 😍 So, what else are you waiting for? Start planning your vacation to Sydney and New South Wales now!This article is brought to you by Destination NSW.