Australia, Destinations, Oceania

How we spent 24 Hours in Sydney, Australia

After nearly three weeks in Thailand, we were headed to Auckland, New Zealand, our new home and base for travelling widely around North and South Island as well as other parts of Oceania. Our flights worked out that we had 24 hour layover in Sydney enroute to Auckland from Bangkok. This is obviously not any time at all to travel in a place properly but we made the best of our time here and plan to be back here during our three month road trip around Australia in 2016.

We got in early morning around 830am and our next flight was the following day at 830am. We took the train to our friends place who lives close to central, dropped our bags, had a short rest and headed to Darling Harbour. From there it was lot of walking, sightseeing and enjoying the nice chilled vibe of this beautiful city. The temperature was just perfect, in the low 20s, a nice change from the intense heat we had in Bangkok.

Here is a snapshot of all that we did and would recommend highly if one had only 24 hours in Sydney.

Royal Botanical Gardens

Located in the heart of Sydney just next to the Sydney Opera House, this was one of our favourite spots of the day. We saw bird species we hadn’t seen before (or only in zoos), enjoyed the open space and greenery and the trees were something else!

Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge  

Iconic symbols of Sydney, the Opera house was very impressive to see. Kids wanted to walk on the top of the bridge but there wasn’t anytime this trip. The waterfront outside the Opera House was buzzing, really nice atmosphere – people having drinks and snacks, street performers everywhere, music playing. Reminded me of South Bank in London but less crowded and touristy.

Darling Harbour

The kids particularly loved this part of the walk. We started off here so they had lot of energy and weren’t weary yet from all the travelling. There were so much to do here – for a complete list see here. There were many restaurants and bars, two wonderful play areas which Shama made good use of! There was plenty of attractions to visit but we didn’t have time. Sea Life Aquarium, Madam Tussauds, Australian National Maritime Museum, and Captain Cook Cruises to name a few! The aquarium was highly recommended to us.

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2015-03-27 10.40.30

Beautiful Buildings and Architecture




Writer’s Walk

Ashique had flown out of Bangkok 10 days before us and also had a 12 hour layover in Sydney. Whilst lot of the things we did were similar, he did few other additional things which were really interesting. Also saw these spiders which I am glad we didn’t encounter!



Chinese Garden of Friendship

We passed this on our way to Darling Harbour and it looked very pretty from the outside. We didn’t pay to go in but if we had more time, we definitely would have.

Even though we didn’t really get to dig deeper into any one area or even get past this one part of Sydney, I really enjoyed the chilled out vibe and the great atmosphere of this city. It was very easy to walk around in, food was wonderful and there was so much more we could easily do here. We did find most things were really expensive but we had been warned about that. Just need to plan it really well so we can make the most of our slow travel through Australia in 2016!

This post is linked to #weekendwanderlust hosted by A Brit and a Southerner and #WeeklyPostcard hosted by Travel Notes and Beyond

weekly postcard

weekly postcard


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  • UnrestingSea says: March 27, 2015 at 1:00 am

    You accomplished quite a bit in 24 hours!

  • RomeNYLondonWorld (@RomeNyLondWorld) says: March 27, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Looks like a rich, fun day! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂
    Valeria @

    • samselim says: March 29, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      We did indeed! can’t wait to be back next year!

  • McCool Travel says: March 27, 2015 at 11:39 am

    You did much in your short stay. I would have perhaps added the Taronga Zoo, great for kids.

    • samselim says: March 29, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      Thanks for the tip! Will be sure to add that in when visiting again next year 🙂

  • Esther says: March 27, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Those are some great things to do in Sydney!!

  • Kristi says: March 28, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Looks like you had a great day in Sydney!

    • samselim says: March 29, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      We did indeed! Look forward to being back for more 🙂

  • Penny @ OnePennyTourist says: March 29, 2015 at 10:37 am

    I’d love to visit Sydney, you fit so much into your short time. Seeing the harbour and Opera House would be a must-do for me too!

    I’m not overly scared of spiders but I think I’d probably freak a little seeing that one – no idea if it’s a ‘bad’ one but the bright colours scream ‘warning’ so I’d run a mile anyhow 😉

    Sadly, I’ve never even stepped foot in the southern hemisphere but if (when) I do, it’s totally going to include Australia.

    #weekendwanderlust #weeklypostcard

    • samselim says: March 29, 2015 at 9:14 pm

      It’s our first time in the southern hemisphere too! We look forward to exploring lot more of Australia next year once we are done with new Zealand. Hope you get to visit soon 🙂

  • galanda23 says: March 29, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    I wanted to see Sidney for so long, especially its famous Opera House. We stopped there a few times on our way to New Caledonia, but never really visited yet. Thank you for this beautiful picture tour.

  • Lauren says: March 30, 2015 at 1:20 am

    That’s awesome that you were able to see quite a few places! It would be really cool to see those birds in their natural habitat! 🙂 Thanks for linking up with #WeekendWanderlust!

  • Linda @AsWeSawIt says: March 30, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    It sounds like you had a great time. With just a bit of effort it’s amazing how much one can see in only a day – you certainly managed to fit in a lot. Glad the kids had a good time as well. I’m already looking forward to hearing your slow travel stories in 2016. 🙂

    • samselim says: March 30, 2015 at 10:08 pm

      Thanks Linda 🙂 We did enjoy Sydney a lot, look forward to being back next year. Enjoying our ‘slow travel’ around New Zealand, off to Northlands region in three days time, really excited about that!

  • Katrina the Two Week Traveler says: April 1, 2015 at 1:09 am

    I used to live in Sydney and I think you did a great job seeing the best sights the city has to offer! You covered a lot of ground!

  • 7700miles says: April 1, 2015 at 1:19 am

    We absolutely loved Sydney when we visited – one of my all time favorite cities!

  • […] month already that we have been in New Zealand! Our travels in 2015 led us through Thailand and Australia and it’s now been a glorious 30 days in New Zealand, travelling around the Bay of Islands, […]

  • cvail says: April 25, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Samiya, I have never been to Sydney. I’d love to go even for just one day. Are there huge spiders in NZ as well?

    • samselim says: April 25, 2015 at 8:25 am

      No thank goodness there are no giant spiders in new Zealand! Or at least non I have seen so far! I would love to go back to Sydney and explore some more. I hope you get to as well 🙂

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