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BACKPACKERS GUIDE TO AUSTRALIA
SYDNEY
AUSTRALIA > NEW SOUTH WALES > SYDNEY
 
 
 
 
 
INDEX 
Introduction 
Attractions 
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • The Rocks
  • Sydney City Centre
  • Darling Harbour
  • Sydney Harbour Cruises
  • Kings Cross
  • Oxford Street
  • Newtown
  • Taronga Park Zoo

  • Beachside Suburbs 
  • Manly Beach
  • Bondi Beach
  • Coogee Beach
  • Cronulla Beach

  • Best Surf Beaches 
     
    Accommodation 
    Places to Eat 
    Entertainment 
    Getting To & From Sydney 
    Getting Around Sydney 
    Near Sydney 
  • Blue Mountains National Park
  • Royal National Park
  • Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park

  • Where to Go Next
     

    INTRODUCTION 
    The city of Sydney, one of the most visually spectacular cities in the world, is set on a magnificent natural harbour with two of world's most striking structures on the edge of the city centre. They are the massive iron arch of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the unique architecture of the Sydney Opera House on a long point into the harbour. Sydney founded in 1788 is Australia's oldest and largest city (3.5 million people). A large portion of Sydney's residents were born overseas and immigrated giving the city a multicultural mix manifesting itself in a rich diversity of restaurant cuisines. 
     
    Sydney Opera House 
    Picture: Sydney City and Harbour
    Two hours drive west of Sydney are the sunken valleys in the spectacular Blue Mountains
     
    .
    ATTRACTIONS 
     
    Sydney Opera House (pictured here and below) and Sydney Harbour Bridge (pictured twice below), both at the northern edge of the city centre on either side of Circular Quay are striking structures that make Sydney one the most recognisable cities in the world. Stairs ascend the giant pilon of the bridge and a walk across the bridge allows magnificent view of the city. Sydney Opera House 
    Picture: Sydney Opera House
     


     
    The Rocks area is at the base of the south pylon of Sydney Harbour Bridge. This small suburb is filled with buildings from the early days of Australia's history. It used to a slum by the port. The lack of development meant it retained its original stone buildings and now that it has been tidied up and the buildings restored it caters solely to tourists. The local pubs are full of overseas tourists at night. During the day it is full of cafes restaurants and cheap souvenior shops. It is a pleasure just to wander around the area looking in interesting buildings along the way.  
    Picture: Sydney Harbour
    Bridge from The Rocks
     


     
    City Centre 

    Sydney city centre can be explored in less than a day by walking. The monorail (pictured) is useful for going to Darling Harbour or as a tourist novelty to get around. 

    Sydney's main street is George Street running south from The Rocks, through the financial district to the main shopping area around the intersection with Market Street. The ornate Bzyantine style Queen Victoria Building shopping arcade occupies an entire block here. Just south is the elaborate Town Hall and St Andrew's Cathedral, the oldest in Australia. 

    Macqaurie Street, on the eastern edge of the city centre, is lined with public buildings including the State Library (open daily), Parliament House (open weekdays 9.30am to 4pm, free entry), the Mint, Hyde Park Barracks (museum open daily 10am to 5pm, entry $5, students $3), and St James Church. Nearby is St Mary's Cathedral

    On the eastern side of the city centre is the tranquil Hyde Park, grassy Domain and the Royal Botanical Gardens which faces onto Sydney Harbour. 

    The Art Gallery of New South Wales in the Domain displays Australian, European, Aboriginal and Asian art. Entry is free. 

     
    Picture: Monorail in Sydney City Centre
     
    Sydney Opera and Harbour Bridge 
    Picture: Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge
     
    China Town is centred on Dixon Street and Goulburn Street. Nearby in Darling Harbour is the excellent Chinese Gardens. A tranquil garden with chinese padodas, ornamental lakes and chinese teahouse. Open daily 9.30am to 5pm. Entry $3, children $1. 
     

    Darling Harbour 

    The old disused docks here were demolished and redeveloped at huge expense. Now the harbour boasts many massive modern leisure attractions. Get to darling harbour from the city centre by the monorail, the tram from Sydney's Central railway station or walk across the historic Pyrmont Bridge which the monorail also crosses. 

    Sydney Aquarium on the eastern side before you cross the bridge is first class. View sharks, seals, ocean and freshwater fish and coral from perspex underwater tunnels. Open daily 9.30am to 10pm. Entry $16, students $10. 

    Australian National Maratime Museum explains Australia's maratime history from the First Fleet of convicts to Aboriginal canoes, surf culture and Australia's Americas Cup win. A racing yacht, navy destroyer and Vietnamese refugee boat are moored there too. Located at the west end of the Pyrmont Bridge. Open daily 10am to 5pm. Entry $7, students $4.50. 

    Powerhouse Museum is a massive museum covering diverse topics of science, technology, history and art presented in superb hands on interactive displays. Corner of 500 Harris St (corner of Pier Street). Open daily 10am to 5pm. Entry $8, children $3, free the first Saturday of each month. 

    Star City Casino is done done in a tacky tropical theme. There are a few restaurants there too. The tram runs to the casino. The casino is just northwest of Darling Harbour. 

    There are a number of restaurants at the Harbourside Complex 

    While in Darling Harbour also consider the IMAX cinema with the world's largest screen, Segaworld entertainment centre, the Motor Museum and the tranquil Chinese Gardens (covered under Chinatown above). 
     


    Sydney Harbour Cruises 

    The cheapest way to look around the harbour is to a one of the many passenger ferries. Ferrys leave from Circular Quay at the northern end of the city centre to Sydney suburbs on a regular basis. The most spectacular views are from the ferry to Manly. The journey takes thirty minutes and passes Fort Denison, a small forified island, and the entrance to Sydney Harbour. Manly is a pleasnt suburb on the north shore near the entrance to to the harbour. It has surf and calm bay beaches and attracts many tourists. See Manly for more detail. 

    Fort Dennison, Sydney Harbour 
    Picture: Fort Dennison,
    Sydney Harbour
     
    Another good scenic choice is the ferry to Watson's Bay near the south head of the entrance to the harbour. The route follows along the south side of the harbour past Sydney's most exclusive suburbs. Getting off and walking along the oceanside cliffs of south head at Watsons bay is scenic too. 

    Yet another good ferry ride is west up the Parramatta river to Parramatta (one hour away). Metropolitan ferries also cross the harbour to Taronga Park Zoo which houses Australian and overseas wildlife (see Zoo description). 

    A number of tourist cruises are also available but are more expensive than the metropolitan passenger ferries. 

    Sydndey Harbour Bridge 
    Picture: Sydney
    Harbour Bridge
     

    King Cross 

    Sydney's famous seedy red light district and backpackers mecca renowned for its wild nightlife. Many backpackers start their Australian adventure here. There is a lot of cheap accommodation available. Tacky and seedy Darlinghurst Road is the main street which changes its name to Macleay Street towards its end. The youth hostels are predominantly on the much more pleasant tree-lined Victoria Street. Catch the train to Kings Cross from the city centre or walk  there through Hyde Park and along William Street. It is only 1.5 km east of the city centre. 


    Oxford Street 

    A long strip of cafes selling lattes, clothes shops, bars and nightclubs many of which are gay. The strip stretches southeast from the city centre through the suburbs of Darlinghurst, Surrey Hills and Paddington. 


    Newtown 

    Grunge suburb in the inner southwest. King St is the main street. It is lined with cheap cafes, Indian restaurants and alternative clothes shops. Buses from the city include 422,423,426 and 428. All run along King St. 


    Taronga Park Zoo 

    Australian wildlife in a natural bush setting as well as lots from overseas. The zoo is on the north shore in Mosman. Easy access is by ferry from Circular Quay. Open daily 9am to 5pm. Entry $15. Phone 99692777. 
     

    .
    BEACHSIDE SUBURBS  
    Bondi 

    The most famous and crowded Sydney surf beach with carnival atmosphere, icecream parlours, restaurants and cafes. Consider hiring surf equipment or bike (or in-line skates) to ride along the beachside. Getting there: Catch a 380 or 382 bus from the city. Alternatively catch a train to Bondi Junction and change there to the 380 or 382 bus for the remainder of the journey. 

    Bondi Beach 
    Picture: Bondi Beach
     
    To the south of Bondi Beach a walking path follows steep cliffs to Tamarama and Bronte beaches. The path is also very popular with joggers. 

    Trendy Tamarama beach, 10 minutes walk from Bondi, is a small cove with rocky headland on either side. Bus 391 runs from the city via Bondi Junction train station to Tamarama. 

    Bronte beach is surrounded by parkland and has good surf. Bus 378 runs from Central Station via Bondi Junction train station. 

    Coogee 

    Coogee Beach is a pleasant suburb a little further south. A few hostels and hotels are located at Coogee. The beach here is calmer as it is somewhat protected by reefs. Catch bus 372 from Central Station or bus 373 from Circular Quay. Alternatively catch a train to Bondi Junction and change to bus 314 or 315. 

    Manly 

    A lively place on the north shore near the north head to Sydney Harbour. This suburb set on a narrow peninsula has a great ocean surf beach, a calm bay beach and a main street of icecream shops and cafes linking the two. It attracts many tourists but is still pleasant and not overdeveloped.. Walking to the North Head provides panoramic views of the entrance to Sydney Harbour. Also consider hiring surf equipment or bike (or in-line skates) to ride along the beachside. 

    Ocean World aqaurium houses sharks, stingrays and other large fish which are viewed from underwater perspex tunnels. Entry $14, students $10. 

    Ferries between Sydney and Manly take 30 minutes. The Jet Cat is faster but double the price. They both leave for Manly from the Circular Quay ferry terminal. 
     

    .
    BEST SYDNEY SURF BEACHES 

    North of the heads they are: Manly, Curl Curl, Dee Why, North Narabeen, Mona Vale, Newport Reef, North Avalon and Palm Beach. South of the heads they are Bondi, Tamarama, Coogee and Maroubra. South of Botany Bay is Cronulla Beach. Surf equipment is available for hire at Manly (44 Pittwater Rd. Phone, 02 9977 3777) and Bondi (72 Campbell Parade. Phone 02 9365 0870) for around $25 for the day. 

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    ACCOMMODATION 
     
    SYDNEY ACCOMMODATION INDEX 
    Youth Hostels 
  • Kings Cross
  • City Centre
  • Other inner city suburbs
  • Bondi Beach
  • Coogee Beach
  • Manly Beach
  • Cronulla Beach
  • Major Youth Hostel Chains 
    Major Hotel &  Motel Chains
    Youth Hostels - Kings Cross (including Potts Point) 

    There is no doubt, Kings Cross is the place to stay in Sydney. Leafy Victoria Street and Orwell Street are lined with youth hostels and backpacker tour agents. Some of the Kings Cross nightclubs and bars cater mostly for backpackers. Kings Cross is a twenty minute walk two kilomtres east of the city or one station away on the train. The Kings Cross backpackers scene spills over into the adjacent quieter suburb of Potts Point. There are also a couple of hosteld 
     
    Jolly Swagman (pictured) have plenty of organised social activities. 27 Orwell Street, Kings Cross. Phone 02 9358 6400. In house cafe and communal kitchen . All rooms have fridge, fan and TV. e-mail contact is [email protected] Check their website for latest prices. http://www.jollyswagman.com.au  Jolly Swagman Backpackers Hostel
     
    Original Backpackers (pictured) has a friendly atmosphere and is in pleasant Victorian era buildings on a quiet tree lined street. Some dorm rooms have a balcony overlooking the street. Located just 200 metres from Kings Cross railway station. 160-162 Victoria Street. Phone 02 9356 3232, fax 02 9368 1435. Dorm twin and double. Kitchen and dining area, with courtyard ideal for chatting and socialising. Airport, bus and train station pickup. http://www.originalbackpackers.com.au  Original Backpackers Youth Hostel
     
    Eva's Backpackers is clean and friendly. 6-8 Orwell Street. Phone 02 9358 2185. Dorm $20, double $48. Always book ahead. 

    Pink House has a social atmosphere and pleasant patio. 6-8 Barncleuth Square, Kings Cross. Phone 02 9358 1689 or 9326 9775. 

    Funkhouse is a busy fun place. 23 Darlinghurst Road (corner of Llankley Place), Kings Cross. Phone 02 9358 6455 or freecall 1800 247 600. Bed in 3 or 4 bed dorm $23, twin or double $58. Fridge and TV in twin/double rooms. Large common area and rooftop garden. Barbeque, fully euipped kitchen and laundry. Free pick up. Check their website for latest prices. http://www.funkhouse.com.au 
     
    Kanga House (pictured) recently renovated its bathrooms, toilets, communal kitchen and common room, carpet and paint plus a courtyard out the back. 141 Victoria Street, Potts Point. Phone 02 9357 7897. http://www.kangahouse.com.au  Kanga House Backpackers Hostel
    Backpackers Headquarters Hostel 79-81 Bayswater Road, Kings Cross. Phone 02 9331 6180. Fully equipped kitchen, laundry, TV lounge, dining rooms, rooftop sundeck with barbeque. http://www.backpackershqhostel.com.au 

    Travellers Rest is clean with friendly helpful staff. 156 Victoria Street. Phone 02 9358 4606. Rooms have TV and fridge. 

    Potts Point House 154 Victoria Street. Phone 02 9368 0733. 

    Backpackers Connection is quiet and clean. 2 Roslyn Street. Phone 93584844. Every room has its own bathroom and TV. 

    Plane Tree Lodge 172 Victoria Street. Phone 02 9356 4551. All rooms have TV and fridge. 

    Eastend Lodge 21 kellet Street, Kings Cross. Phone 02 9380 2590. 

    Great Aussie Backpackers 174 Victoria Street, Kings Cross. Phone 02 9356 4551 or freecall 1800 006 613. 

    Lido Bakpak Apartments 2 Roslyn Street, Kings Cross. Phone 02 9358 4844. 

    Sydney Central Backpackers 16 Orwell Street, Kings Cross. Phone 02 9358 6600. 

    Springfield Lodge 9 Springfield Avenue, Kings Cross. Phone 02 9358 3222. 

    The Globe Backpackers 40 Darlinghurst Road, Kings Cross. Phone 02 9326 9675. 

    The Palms Backpackers 23 Hughes Street, Kings Cross. Phone 02 9357 1199. 

    The Wattle Hotel 64 Darlinghurst Road, Kings Cross. Phone 02 9358 1256. 

    V Backpackers 144 Victoria Street, Kings Cross. Phone 02 9357 4733 or freecall 1800 667 255. http://www.vbackpackers.com 

    Highfield Private Hotel 166 Victoria Street, Potts Point. Phone 02 9326 9539. 

    Rucksack Rest is quiet. 9 McDonald Street, Potts Point. Phone 02 9358 2348.. 

    Challis Lodge 21-23 Challis Avenue, Potts Point. Phone 02 9358 5422. 

    Macleay Lodge 71 Macleay Street, Potts Point. Phone 02 9368 0660. 

    Youth Hostels - City Centre 

    YHA Sydney Central in a large historic building and has pool, sauna café and travel centre. Corner Pitt Street and Rawson Place opposite Central Station. Dorm $28 to $33. Twin room $82. Double or twin room with ensuite $94. They charge an extra $3.50 per night if you are not a YHA member. Phone 02 9281 9111. http://www.yha.org.au 

    YHA Sydney Railway Square has all acommodation in railway carriages. 8-10 Lee Street (corner Upper Carriage Lane). Entry via the Henry Dean Plaza. Dorm $27 to $33. Double $78. Double with ensuite $88. They charge an extra $3.50 per night if you are not a YHA member. Rooftop spa and sundeck. Phone 02 9281 9666. http://www.yha.org.au 

    Nomads Downtown City Backpackers has lots of activities. 611 George Street (Corner of Goulburn Street) just south of the cinema district. Phone 02 9211 8801 or 1800 737 378. 

    Nomads City Central Backpackers 752 George Street, Sydney. Phone 1800 737 378. 

    Y on the PArk Hotel from the YMCA and YWCA accepts guys and girls. 5-11 Wentworth Avenue (corner of Liverpool Street opposite Hyde Park), Sydney. Phone 02 9264 2451. 

    Planet Backpacker 198 Elizabeth Street, Sydney. Phone 1800 774545 or 02 9211 4200. Fax 02 9211 7530. Price unknown. New kitchen and bathrooms, full bar, restaurant, café, internet, TV room, internet. 

    Base Backpackers 477 Kent Street, Sydney. Phone 02 9267 7718 or freecall 1800 424 444. http://www.basebackpackers.com 

    Central Private Hotel 358 Elizabeth Street, Sydney. Phone 02 9212 1068. 

    Footprints Westend 412 Pitt Street, Sydney. Phone 02 9211 4588 or 02 9282 9164. http://www.footprintswestend.com.au 

    Hyde Park Backpackers 90 Wentworth Avenue, Sydney. Phone 02 9282 9266. 

    Maze Backpackers 417 Pitt Street (corner Goulburn Street), Sydney. Phone 02 9211 5115 or 02 9281 0202 or freecall 1800 813 552. http://www.mazebackpackers.com 

    Sydney Backpackers 7 Wilmot Street, Sydney. Phone 02 9267 7772 or freecall 1800 887 766. 

    Sydney Central Private Hotel 75 Wentworth Avenue, Sydney. Phone 02 9212 1005. 

    Wake Up Sydney Central 509 Pitt Street, Sydney. Phone 02 9288 7888. http://www.wakeup.com.au 

    See also Big Hostel listed under Surry Hills below. 

    Backpackers Hostels - Woolloomloo 

    Woolloomooloo is mostly residential a suburb one kilometre east of the city, just across Hyde Park from the city and very close to Kings Cross. 

    Forbes Terrace is clean, quiet and has a courtyard. 153 Forbes Street, Woolloomooloo. Phone 02 9358 4327. 

    Harbour City Hotel 50 Sir John Young Crescent, Woolloomooloo. Phone 02 9380 2922. http://www.harbourcityhotel.com 

    Australian Backpackers 132 Bourke Street, woolloomooloo. Phone 02 9331 0822. 

    Backpackers Hostels - Glebe 
     
    Glebe is 3 likometres west of the city centre and is serviced by a light rail from Central Station (which is not really that central) that runs through the newly developed Darling Harbour entertainment precinct on the way. 

    Glebe Point YHA 262-264 Glebe Point Road, Glebe. Dorm $24 to $28, double or twin $68. They charge an extra $3.50 per night if you are not a YHA member. Phone 02 9692 8418. http://www.yha.org.au 

    Glebe Village Backapckers 254-258 Glebe Point Road, Glebe. Phone 02 9660 8133 or 02 9660 8878 or freecall 1800 801 983. http://www.bakpakgroup.com 

    The Haven Inn 196 Glebe Point Road, Glebe. Phone 02 9660 6655. 

    Backpackers Hostels - Darlinghurst 

    Darlinghurst is a lively inner city suburb 2 kilometres south-east of the city centre.  The suburb can be grungy and a bit seedy in places. 

    Boomerang Backpackers 141 William Street, Darlinghurst. Phone 02 8354 0488. 

    Sydney Star Accommodation 273 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst. 

    The Wattle Hotel 108 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst. Phone 02 9332 4118. 

    Backpackers Hostels - Paddington 

    Paddington is a suburb 3 kilometres south-east of the city centre. The main street, Oxford Street, is lined with glitzy clothes shops and the side streets are full of terraces occupied mostly young professional. It is a good area. 

    Sullivans Hotel Sydney 21 Oxford Street, Paddington. Phone 02 9361 0211. 

    Captain Cook Hotel 162 Flinders Street, Paddington. Phone 02 9331 8289. 

    Backpackers Hostels - Surry Hills and Redfern 

    Surry Hills is 2 kilometres south of the city centre and situated behind Central Station, which is the main long distance railway station. Redfern is the adjacent suburb a little further from the city centre. Redfern has a notorous reputation as being Australia's worst suburb and is well known for race riots between police and indigenous aborigines. To give you an idea, the pedestrain crossing outside Redfern railway station was removed so car drivers did not have to slow down at night and risk being mugged and car-jacked.  Walking in bad parts of the area is not recomended. 

    Big Hostel is on the edge of Surry Hills and is virtually in the city. 212 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills. Phone 02 9281 6030 freecall 1800 212 244. 
     
    Noahs City Central is not much further away from the city at 238 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills. Phone 02 9211 91111. 

    Kangaroo Bakpak 665 South Dowling Street (near the corner of Cleveland Street), Surry Hills. Phone 02 9310 4116. 

    Sinclairs of Surry Hills Budget Accommodation 510 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills. Phone 02 8399 0211. 

    Gracelands Budget Accommodation 461 Cleveland Street, Redfern. Phone 02 9699 1399. 

    Noah Lodge 179 Cleveland Street (corner Regent Street), Redfern. Phone 02 8303 1303. 

    Backpackers Hostels - Kirribilli 

    Kirribilli is a small suburb full of aprtments on the north shore just over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and has stunning views back to the city on the other side of the bridge. It is still a two kilometre walk over the bridge to the city centre. Taking a train to Milsons Point railway station would be a quicker, though less exhilarating way to get to Kirribilli. 

    Glenferrie Lodge 12 Carabella Street, Kirribilli. Phone 02 9955 1685 or freecall 1800 121 011. 

    Youth Hostels - Newtown 

    Newtown is an altenative grungy suburb 4 kiometres south-west of Sydney behind Sydney University. The main street, King Street, has many ethnic food outlets. 

    Billabong Gardens is quiet relaxed and has a pool and spa. 5 Egan Street (off King Street). Phone 02 9550 3236. 4 to 6 bed dorms have own bathroom. Barbeque area, indoor and outdoor dining areas, large TV lounge. Clean kitchen, laundry, security car parking. http://www.billabonggardens.com.au  

    Abbey on King Backpackers 379 King Street, Newtown. Phone 02 9519 2099 or freecall 1800 219 999. 

    Backpackers Hostels - Balmain 

    Balmain is a good residential suburb 6 kilometres west of the city centre. 

    BB's Balmain Backpackers 673 Darling Street (corner Victoria Road), Balmain. Phone 02 9555 6436 http://www.backpackersydney.com 

    Balmain Lodge 415 Darling Street, Balmain. Phone 02 9810 3700. 

    Backpackers Hostels - Dulwich Hill 

    Dulwich Hill is a suburb 7 kilometres south-west of the city centre. 

    Dulwich Hill YHA is in an old terrace house. 407 Marrickville Road, Dulwich Hill. Dorm $18 to $26, single room $30 to $36, double or twin room $52 to $64. They charge an extra $3.50 per night if you are not a YHA member. Reception hours are 7 am to 10 pm.Phone 02 9550 0054 or freecall 1800 671 795. http://www.yha.org.au 

    Youth Hostels - Bondi 

    If planning to stay in Sydney for a few months cheap flats are readily available in Bondi, 7 kilometres east of the city centre. Stay at Bondi to meet people with the same intention and split the cost of renting. Renting a place with ocean views is a lot more expensive. 

    Bondi Beachouse YHA Corner of Fletcher and Dellview Streets, Bondi Beach. Dorm $20 to $27, single room $60, double or twin room $70, double or twin room with ensuite $80. They charge an $3.50 extraif you are not a YHA member. Phone 02 9365 2088. http://www.yha.org.au 

    Indy's Beachside Backpackers is sociable. 35A Hall Street, Bondi. Phone 02 9365 4900 or 02 9365 4900 or 02 9365 4982. $19. Kitchen. http://www.indysbackpackers.com.au 

    Bondi Beach Guest House. 11 Consett Avenue, Bondi Beach. Phone 02 9300 9310. $20. 

    Biltmore on Bondi 110 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach. Phone 02 9130 4660 or freecall 1800 304 660. 

    Bondi Sands 252 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach. Phone 02 9365 3703. 

    Sinclairs of Bondi Budget Accommodation is located quite some distance from Bondi Beach, about 1.5 kilometres. 11 Bennett Street, Bondi. Phone 02 8399 2518. 

    Noah's Bondi Beach 2 Campbell Parade. Phone 02 9365 7100 or freecall 1800 226 662. Dorm $24 to$25, twin or double room $55. 

    Youth Hostels - Coogee 

    Coogee beach is 8 kilometres east of Sydney city centre. 

    Indy's 302 Arden Street. Phone 02 9315 7644. Includes breakfast. 

    Surfside Backpackers Coogee 186 Arden Street (corner Alfreda Street opposite the beach), Coogee. Phone 02 9315 7888 or 02 9315 7892. Modern and spacious doubles and dorms. Clean, friendly. Breakfast and barbeque. Free storage and mail holding. Full security. http://www.surfsidebackpackers.com.au 

    Coogee Beach Backpackers is clean and uphill from the beach with good ocean views from the patio. 94-96 Beach Street, Coogee. Phone 02 9665 7735. spacious dorms. Also has double and twin rooms. Kitchen. 

    Coogee Bunkhouse 15 Waltham Street. Phone 02 9665 9254. 

    Wizard of Oz Backpackers 172 Coogee Bay Road, Coogee. Phone 02 9315 7876. http://www.wizardofoz.com.au 

    Aegean Coogee Backpackers 40 Coogee Bay Raod, Coogee Beach. Phone 02 9314 5324. http://www.aegeancoogee.com.au 

    Backpackers Hostels - Clovelly Beach 

    Colvelly beach is between Bondi Beach and Coogee Beach. 

    Clarks at Clovelly Budget Accommodation 272 Clovelly Road, Clovelly. Phone 02 9665 1824 or freecall 1800 551 415. 

    Youth Hostels - Manly 

    Manly is a quieter pleasant beachside suburb on the north shore 15 kilometres north-east of the city centre but still only a half hour ferry to Sydney's Circular Quay. 

    Manly Backpackers 24-28 Raglan Street, Manly. Phone 02 9977 3411 or freecall 1800 662 500. Free body boards. Kitchen, common room, TV room and laundry. http://www.manlybackpackers.com.au 

    Manly Astra Backpackers 68-70 Pittwater Road. Phone 02 9977 2092.  http://www.manlyastra.com 

    Manly Bunkhouse 35 Pine Street/46 Malvern Avenue. Phone 02 9976 0472. Each room has its own kitchen and bathroom. Laundry, rooftop sundeck. Free pick up. Clean and friendly. http://www.bunkhouse.com.au 

    Wharf Backpackers 48 East Esplanade opposite the ferry terminal. Phone 02 9977 2800. 

    Boardrider Backpacker Rear of 63 The Corso, Manly. Phone 02 9977 6077 or freecall 1800 838 893. http://www.boardrider.com.au 

    Youth Hostels - Collaroy 

    Collaroy is a beachside suburb further north and further from the city than Manly. 

    Sydney Beachouse YHA 4 Collaroy Street, Collaroy Beach. Dorm $20 to $26, double or twin room $64, double room with ensuite $84. They charge an extra $3.50 per night if you are not a YHA member. Phone 02 9981 1177 

    Youth Hostels - Cronulla 
     
    Cronulla is a far southern Sydney beachside suburb 26 kilometres from the city centre and bordering the Royal National Park. Surfing and sunbathing are popular. Scuba diving is also available. Cronulla has a village atmosphere with all the conveniences of the city. The main shopping area has many outdoor cafes, restaurants and nightlife including pubs, bars and nightclubs. Cronulla Mall 
    Picture: Cronulla Mall
    To get to Cronulla take an Illawarra line train from Sydney city to Cronulla station, which is the last station. The train leaves the Sydney's city centre train stations every 15 minutes during peak times and 30 minutes off peak. The travel time is approximately 40 minutes from Sydney city. There is a direct service from Kings Cross, Town Hall and Central stations. From Sydney airport take the train to Wolli Creek station and change to the Illawarra line there. 
     
    Cronulla Beach YHA 40-42 Kingsway, Cronulla. Phone 02 9527 7772, Fax 02 9527 0533. Dorm $22 to $27, double or twin room $64 to $70. They charge an extra $3.50 per night if you are not a YHA member. Prices subject to seasonal change. Clean and comfortable new rooms. Fans and lockers in all rooms. Clean bright brand new bathrooms, internet facilities, pool table, fully equiped new kitchen, television and video room, in-house scuba diving shop and cheap tours of the nearby Royal National Park.http://www.cronullabeachyha.com 

    It is a 3 minute walk from Cronulla train station to Cronulla Beach YHA. Exit Cronulla Station, turn left and walk along Cronulla Street. Turn left into Kingsway and the hostel is another 200 metres along the road on the left. 

    Cronulla Beach YHA 
    Picture: Cronulla Beach YHA
     
    Click here for the Sydney Backpackers Hostel Directory (it contains just a list of the above hostels).

    Major Youth Hostel Chains 

  • YHA - Youth Hostels Australia (Hostelling International) http://www.yha.org.au 
  • Nomads Backpackers. Phone 1800 819883 or http://www.nomads-backpackers.com 
  • VIP Backpackers http://www.vipbackpackers.com
  • Major Hotel & Motel Chains and approximate star ratings 

  • Hyatt (5 star) http://www.hyatt.com 
  • Sheraton (5 star) 
  • Holiday Inn (4 star) 
  • Novotel (4 star) 
  • Flag (3 1/2 star). Australia's biggest motel chain http://www.flag.com.au 
  • Best Western (3 star) http://www.bestwestern.com.au 
  • Budget (2 star) 

  •  
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    PLACES TO EAT 

    Chinatown is centred on Dixon Street and Goulburn Street 

    At Darling Harbour, Cocklebay Wharf (on the city side of the harbour) and the Harbourside Centre have a number of modern restaurants and food courts. 

    Kings Cross itself mainly has places for a quick bite only. The take-away kebab places can be poor. The red light district on Darlinghurst Road in Kings Cross is not a good place for a relaxing evening meal. However Darlinghurst Road in Darlinghurst (south of Kings Cross) and Oxford Street in Paddington. have pleasant restaurants and a mixture of cuisines. Crown Street in Surrey Hills (off Oxford Street) has more restaurants spread out along it. 

    Newtown is a cheap alternative grungy suburb and there are a number of restaurants on King Streeet there. The popular beachside suburbs of Bondi and Manly also have restaurants with Bondi having a couple of yuppie café/restaurants overlooking the beach. 
     

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    ENTERTAINMENT 

    Check out a weekly entertainment guide for up to the minute information. 

    Nightclubs 

    Different nights of the week at the same nightclub can be very different. Often you will see the name of the night advertised rather than the name of the nightclub. Where and what night is popular changes quickly, especially with smaller clubs. 

    Home is a massive nightclub at Cocklebay Wharf which is a complex located on the east side (or city side) of Darling Harbour. Entry from ground level at the southern end. 

    Kinselas is a huge funk nightclub. 383 Bourke Street, Taylor Square, Darlinghurst. 

    EP1 at 1 Earls Place, Kings Cross (next to Kings Cross Station, Victoria Street exit), is very popular with backpackers, especially on Saturday night. The name of the night is "Carpark". 

    Rhino Bar is a popular Kings Cross backpackers venue. 24 Bayswater Road. Phone 02 9357 7700. 

    Pubs and Bars 

    Try the touristy Rocks area for some smaller tourist orientated pubs with a thirty something crowd. 

    Scubar is underneath the city YHA at the corner of George Street and Rawson Place (near Central Station). It promotes itself heavily to backpackers. 

    Cinemas 

    Mainstream cinemas are located on George St between Bathurst and Liverpool Streets. Cost $14 approximately. 
     

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    GETTING TO AND FROM SYDNEY 

    TRANSPORT INDEX 

    Plane 
    Train 
    Bus
  • Intercity Buses 
  • Major Bus Tour Companies
  • Backpacker Specific Bus Tours
  • Car Rental  
    Buying a Car 
     
    Plane 

    Kinsford-Smith airport has international and domestic connections. 

    The airport is 10km south of the city. 

    Australian domestic air travel is expensive. Operators are: 

  • Qantas is the major domestic airline (phone 131313) http://www.qantas.com.au 
  • Virgin Blue also has services between some capital cities (phone 136789) http://www.virginblue.com.au 

  • For timetabling and pricing either phone them or refer to their websites. Virgin Blue, which is associated with Virgin Atlantic, advertises itself as a discount airline, though better prices can sometimes be obtained on both airlines by booking through their websites. 

    The airport express bus runs to and from Central Station every 10 minutes. $7 for the 15 minute journey. 

    Bus 300 runs via Circular Quay to the airport. Bus 350 runs via Kings Cross to the airport. Kingford Smith Transport (phone 9667 0663) for $7 and The Sydney Airporter (phone 96673800) will pick you up or drop you at hotels and hostels in the city, Kings Cross and Darling Harbour. 

    Major car rental agencies are at the airport. 

    Train and Bus 

    Central Station in the city has rail connections interstate and to country New South Wales. Buses are cheaper, and on long trips and faster, though less comfortable. They leave from outside Central Station. Remember distances in Australia are vast. For example it takes 12 hours and an $120 bus fare to get to Melbourne, the nearest big city 900 km away. 

    Intercity bus operators are: 

  • McCafferty's operates in all states except Western Australia. Phone 131499. http://www.mccafertys.com.au 
  • Greyhound Pioneer operates in all states. http://www.greyhound.com.au 
  • Premier Motor Service opertates Melbourne - Sydney - Brisbane. http://www.pioneerms.com.au 

  • Check their websites for routes and timetables. 

    Major bus tour companies are: 

  • AAT Kings http://www.aatkings.com.au 
  • Australian Pacific Tours (APT) http://www.aptours.com.au 
  • There are also backpacker bus tour companies such as: 

  • Oz Experience which have tours that encompass Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the whole east coast, Melbourne, Adelaide, Ayres Rock and lots of places in between. Phone 1300 300 028. Corner Kings Cross and Darlinghurst Road, Kings Cross (under the big Coke sign). http://www.ozex.com.au 
  • Kangaroo Coach 5 day tour one-way to Byron Bay. Phone 1800 666355. 
  • Car Rental 

    The major car rental companies and a number of smaller companies are on William Street. The major companies are also at the airport. Prices for unlimited kilometres and fully insuranced are $60-$100 a day depending on the size of the car. Cheap rent-a-bomb operators are also on William Street. Petrol is around $1.00 a litre in the cities going up to $1.30 a litre in the outback. 

    A car is an excellent way to experience the Australian country side. You can stop for scenic views and detour into National Parks where ever you please. 

    Buy a Car 

    If you plan on touring long distances in Australia over an extended period of time, buying a cheap second hand car with a couple of friends can work out more economical than paying bus fares. It is wise to always have a car mechanically checked before buying, otherwise you might find yourself with a lemon. The motoring body in each state will check cars for a fee under $100. In New South Wales the motoring body is the NRMA. 

    Kings Cross Car Market is where many backpackers meet to buy and sell cars and campervans. Open 24 hours, 7 days. Level 2 of the carpark, Corner Ward Avenue and Elizabeth Bay Road, Kings Cross. Phone 1800 808188. http//www.carmarket.com.au 
     

    .
    GETTING AROUND SYDNEY 

    Attempting to use your own car in inner Sydney would be a nightmare. The traffic is horrendous, many streets are one-way, often right-hand turns are prohibited and parking is almost impossible to find even late at night. 

    Public Transport 

    Sydney has a network of trains and buses. Ferries operate between Circular Quay in the city and harbourside suburbs. A tourist monorail runs from the city to Darling Harbour. A tourist tram runs from Central Station to Star City Casino. 

    Taxi 

    Legion 131451, Premier 131017, RSL 131581, Taxis Combined 9332 8888. 
     

    .
    NEAR SYDNEY 

    Blue Mountains A major attraction. See separate page. 

    Hunter Valley Wineries north of the city inland from Newcastle. 

    Royal National Park (30km south of Sydney) 

    Spectacular coastal drive past sheer cliffs, secluded coves and through lush rainforest. Entry is $8 per car. Accomodation available at YHA Garie Beach which is basic and secluded. It has no electricity or phone. $8. Book and pick up keys from YHA Travel Centre in Sydney (phone 02 9261 1111) 

    Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park (25km north of Sydney) 

    Sandstone cliffs, bushland and great views of Broken Bay. Entry is $8 per car. Accommodation available at YHA Pittwater which has a pretty setting and lots of wildlife. Phone 02 9999 2196. Dorm $19, twin $22 per person. 
     

    .
    WHERE TO GO NEXT 

    Blue Mountains two hours drive west of Sydney 

    Hunter Valley Wineries north of the city inland from Newcastle 

    Canberra the nations purpose built capital city with extravegant modern governmental buildings in five hours drive south-west of Sydney.. 

    Snowy Mountains winter ski fields are three hours further south beyond Canberra. 

    Travel north to Queensland 
    Along the coastal Pacific Highway passing through Newcastle, Myall Lakes, Forster, Port Macquarie, Nambucca Heads, Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay, and the Gold Coast surfing and party mecca to Brisbane the Queensland state capital, then further north to the Great Barrier Reef and Cairns

    Travel south to Melbourne 

  • On the coastal Princes Highway passing through Batemans Bay, Narooma, Merimbula, and Eden; or
  • Directly on the inland Hume Highway detouring into Canberra on the way and possibly the Snowy Mountains ski fields.
  • Travel west to Adelaide 
    Via Dubbo, Broken Hill in the desert and the dry Flinders Ranges; or 
    Via Canberra and Mildura on the Murray River.

    Copyright (c) 2005 Graham Warren. Backpackers Guide to Australia (TM) is a trademark.

     
     

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