In Sydney, the hub of all local public transit is Circular Quay, a very touristy place with lots of festivals and shops. A short walk north of Circular Quay is one of Sydney's most famous sites, The Sydney Opera House. Completed in 1973 at almost $70 million over budget (ouch!), it's a building with as great architectural significance as The Eiffel Tower or the Taj Mahal. While you're over there, pop down to Government House, a beautiful and historical building just south of the Opera House.

Just east of Circular Quay is The Rocks. Named for the sandstone the convicts used to build it, The Rocks is a small collection of streets that originally were slums but now offer a shopper's paradise.

Harbor Bridge-- affectionately called "The Coat Hanger" by locals-- is an expansive bridge that accommodates pedestrian walkways, as well as two railway lines and an eight-lane road. The walk across will take about 30 minutes (depending on how heartily you pigged out at Circular Quay) and will offer you some of the best views in Sydney.

If you only get one chance to see Australian wildlife, the Featherdale Wildlife Park is it. Although small, it houses Australia's largest private collection of native animals. If you are still looking for fun places to visit in Sydney, you can check out other cool things like:

And don't forget to pack your Speedo, because Sydney lies near some of the world's best beach space. Who knows? Maybe you'll spot the next Mel Gibson or Nicole Kidman while frolicking about in the skimpy swimsuits Australians are known for. Now that we've got you all hot and bothered, here are some good beaches:

  • Bondi: Located 15 minutes west of downtown Sydney, Bondi is a city beach, which means that it isn't as pristine as other beaches (but this is more than made up for by its socialization possibilities). You can also get your first taste of beach activities by renting surfboards, boogie boards or snorkeling gear. Check out Bondi's homepage for more information. (P.S. It's pronounced "Bond-eye," so don't embarrass yourself).

  • Northern Beaches: Still tourist-friendly, but far cleaner and far less crowded. Look for such names as Manly Beach, Palm Beach, Whale Beach or Avalon.

If you're looking for non-salt-water activities, check out the Blue Mountains. It houses three national parks: Blue Mountains National Park, Kanangra-Boyd National Park, and Wollemi National Park. This area also offers the opportunity to rock climb, rappel (Australians call it "abseil"), or canyon raft. The most common activity, and certainly the least macho, is to follow one of the parks many hiking trails (Australians call it "bushwalking").

SoYouWanna know more? Check out our full-length article SYW plan a trip to Australia?