Just like any other vacation, it is handy for us travelers to have a little background on the place that we plan to visit months or days before we actually get there – so now that you’re about to visit Syndey, we at TWV will help you get to know this state with The Sydney Honeymoon Travel Guide that we have written just for you.
Best Time to Honeymoon in Sydney
The best time to visit Sydney for your honeymoon are September to November and March to May. These months skirt Sydney ’s high and low seasons. During September to November, you both will have the city slightly more to yourself before the tourists stream in for peak season. Temperatures average at 21-24 degrees Celsius in the day and 12 – 16 at night. From March to May, many of the peak season travelers would have retreated. Temperatures are around 20 – 25 degrees celsius in the day and 13 – 18 in the night. Temperatures are slowly dropping through the months as Australia ’ s winter approaches. Sydney ’ s winter is relatively light, so a light jacket would do. The high season is December – February as visitors flock to Sydney to take advantage of the warm weather as it gets colder in the Northern Hemisphere during winter. Temperatures vary from 25.5 – 26.5 degrees Celsius in the day to 18 – 20 at night. The low season is from June – August, marking Sydney ’ s winter, though the winter is relatively mild in Sydney. Hotels offer their cheapest prices during this time of the year (especially in June), so exploring in a coat might be well worth the money saved. Temperatures vary from 18 – 19 degrees Celsius in the day and 9 – 10 at night. One thing to note, always wear sunscreen. The ozone layer experiences greater depletion down under, so be prepared for a sunburn if you do not have your sunblock.
What You Need to Know Before Honeymooning in Sydney
Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales, and the most populous city (one fifth – 4 million) in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia ’ s east coast, this metropolis surrounds the world’ s largest natural harbour. In 2014, it was also mentioned as the 5th most expensive city in the world (with Singapore at the top!)
Map & Landscape
Uniquely, unlike other cities, Sydney has no city centre. Due to perhaps lack of planning, Sydney is a disparate mosaic, officially divided into 10 distinct villages, each with distinct characteristics. Check them out here. The Central Business District (CBD), clogged with traffic and soaring skyscrapers, isn ’t really the heart of the city. The Harbour areas are expensive and upmarket, the Northern Suburbs affluent. Newtown is hipster, and Surry Hills is filled to the brim with cafes. Redfern, a center of Aboriginal history and culture has distinctive Victorian terraces. Bondi is the touristmagnet of all areas and Haymarket – the old Chinatown is frequently visited too. The city ’ s wide sprawl makes it difficult to walk between villages.
History & People
The early days of Australia showed a troubling past with its indigenous population, known as Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders. Early settlers took the territory by force, and as the new nation formed, discriminatory racial laws (and worse) meant that Aboriginals became second-class citizens. Till today, despite Australia priding itself on multiculturalism and attempts to bridge these gaps, there is still some tension between Aboriginal activists and the government. They continue to experience racial discrimination. The suburb of Redfern is a center for Aboriginal activism and history. Sydney was Australia ’ s first settlement! One fifth of the entire Australian population lives in Sydney – 4 million people. Almost half of Sydneysiders were born overseas. As of 2011, 49.1% of Sydney residents were born overseas, with 34.8% of them coming from a non-English speaking country.
Timezone & Weather
Sydney is located within Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), equal to UTC +10. It’ s sunny most of the time – make sure to always wear sunscreen and protective clothing. Though Sydney ’ s temperatures might not be as high as other tropical countries, the ozone layer around Australia has depleted to a far greater extent, resulting in alarming skin-cancer rates.
Airport & Visa
When arriving in Sydney ’ s international airport, Kingsford Smith, you can take the airport link rail service to the city for $14. It’ s about a 13-minute ride to central Sydney. The trains operate from 5am to midnight daily. Taxis will cost about $45, depending on traffic and time of day. Note that U.S citizens must get an electronic visa online at least 2 weeks before travel for $20.
Transport & Getting Around
WALKING. Sydney is walkable (Comfortable shoes are a must!) – streets are well marked. Though one thing to note is that certain areas can get quite hilly. All city villages are within walking distance or just a short commute to the city center. To note: Do not jaywalk unless you want to get fined. Australia drives on the left side of the road, so bear this in mind if you ’ re accustomed to driving on the right. Always look both ways when crossing! PUBLIC TRANSPORT. There is no metro in the city, only a patchwork of trains, buses and ferries. Be prepared for a more relaxed pace and give yourself ample time to get anywhere. The Opal card is a stored-value transit card. It is the cheapest and most convenient way to access public transportation in Sydney. Fares are capped at $15/day and $60/week for adults. You can get the Opal card at convenient stores, retailers, transport centres, or service centres. Here are some insider tips for taking public transport:
- Do know in advance which platforms you need to connect trips, as well as which exit to get out at. The Sydney Tripview app is a helpful download when it comes to navigating the city, as it tells you timetables and routes.
- You can also refer to the Sydney transport website here for timetables and maps.
- Make sure you avoid Town Hall station (CBD) during peak hours (7-9 am and 4-7pm) – it becomes a hot, crowded mess. It’ s might be a better to use public transport during peak hours due to limited car parks and crawling traffic. I would suggest getting off the roads entirely during this time.
- Travel to different areas by ferry. The experience is much more zen than battling traffic or navigating through public transport. The ferry to Manly from Circular Quay is the cheapest and best “harbour cruise ”. Take a snorkel on a clear day and explore the reef off Shelly Beach when you arrive.
CYCLING. Explore the city on a bike! Sydney Cycleways has all the information you need. Don’t have a bike? No worries as these bike hires will have you rolling in no time. One thing to note though, do not cycle on the footpath (unless you are below 10) and be sure to ride with your helmet and ID. Otherwise, its illegal. TAXI & UBER. Taxis are available. They are mainly yellow and easy to spot. You can flag them down by raising your arm and facing oncoming traffic. Taxis can be hailed from anywhere in the city but you will have better luck on a busy main road or taxi stand. Sydney taxis are all licensed and have metered rates, with initial fares starting at $3.50. Expect 20% surcharges between 10pm-6am. Otherwise with an Uber app nowadays, you can easily get anywhere. Get $10 off your first ride below.
The local currency is the Australian Dollar. As of June 2016, the exchange rate is 1:1 for SGD to AUD. Use OANDA to get updated exchange rates.
Most shops, restaurants, hotels and tour organisers accept credit cards (VISA, Master) sometimes, American Express and traveller ’ s cheques. There are ATMs around the city that accept international credit cards. There are money changers in the airport, though you can also exchange currencies at banks for a small fee.
Tipping is not required in Sydney, though rounding up to the nearest dollar might be appreciated by taxis and waitresses.
A 10% sales tax is included in most goods, but tourists can enjoy tax refunds on $300 or more. Be sure to look out for the sign, or ask the counter staff. Keep these purchases and receipts in your hand to recoup the tax at the airport.
Language, Communications & Electricity
LANGUAGE. English is the main language. In Sydney, though you ’ll encounter less slang than other parts of Australia, it’ s interesting to know that words down under are shorter, as the people seek to use abbreviations quite commonly. People really do say g ’day in Sydney. Maccas refers to McDonalds, exy means expensive and cozzie is swimming costume. Other common ones are servo (gas station), arvo (afternoon) and vego (vegetarian food). Do note that in Australia, a thong means flip flop and not sexy underwear for men. COMMUNICATIONS. IM cards or prepaid cell phones can be purchased from the airport. SIM cards can also be purchased from Woolworths supermarkets. Internet in Australia might be comparatively slower than in the US (source), but can be easily solved with a Telstra hotspot if you need to power up your laptop and cellphone. ELECTRICITY. Voltage is 220. Do carry a universal adaptor for convenience.
Sydney Law & Business Hours
LAW. The law in Sydney is quite strict. Do not jaywalk unless you wish to get fined. Apart from the lockouts and last drink policy, the laws on smoking are also very strict – do not light up near schools, train stations, public buildings or you will be slapped with a huge fine. Speeding tickets are also handed out like confetti. Do note the famous custom law of Australia – food products and animals are strictly prohibited to be brought into the country. BUSINESS HOURS. Shopping centres and major stores are open 7 days a week, but shut by 6.30pm, though it extends till 9pm on Thursdays. For anyone who ’ s used to shopping in Asia, this might seem insane. But look on the positive, you get to get out of the shops to explore the bars, restaurants and cafes as well as admire sunsets in the park. Banks and post offices are open Monday to Friday, with some on Saturday mornings.
Accommodation in Sydney
LUXURY & BOUTIQUE HOTELS. In Sydney, there are tons of accommodation options available. You can find luxury hotels with spectacular harbour or views, or chic boutique hotels, some with pretty fine furnishing. Hotels can go as cheap as $70 a night up to $600 a night! AIRBNB RENTALS. If you are looking for a more localised vacation, rent an Airbnb in an inner city suburb rather than stay at a hotel. Some apartments are so gorgeous and you get your own privacy and space. There are plenty of options available on Airbnb – stay in a quaint cottage, stylish apartment or a fancy loft overlooking the sea! How romantic! We advise you to stay in Surry Hills, where many cafes and quaint little bookstores make up that neighbourhood. Plus, it’ s accessible to everywhere else! BUDGET ACCOMMODATION. Though some might view budget accommodation unsuitable for a honeymoon, but fans of backpacking will love it. Also, if you ’ re using this guide for future couple travels, backpacking can be a real adventure and give you some real chances to bond. Budget accommodation in Sydney includes hotels and bed and breakfast. You can even try couch surfing if you ‘ re up for it! OUT OF THE ORDINARY. Looking for an extraordinary honeymoon? Sydney has out-of-city escapes for you to explore, such as farm stays in cabins or cottages, caravans and camping.
We hope that The Sydney Honeymoon Travel Guide had helped you all throughout your vacation planning process. Enjoy your visit in Sydney and have the best time of your lives!
How to get to Sydney from Singapore:
We used Skyscanner to get the cheapest flights to Sydney! As huge fans of the travel search engine, we never fail to find the cheapest travel dates with their price alerts and cheapest month function. It’s quick, comprehensive and best of all – free to use!
1. First, fill in the search form with your destination, date, and number of passengers.
In a quick as 30 seconds, Skyscanner will give you the best deals from the airports in Sydney. You can filter the list base on your personal selection or just rank them by price. Do note that you can hit the checkbox “direct flights only” if you do not want any transit stops.
2. Have flexible travel dates? Simply select the cheapest month.
If you don’t have a specific date for your departure and return, you can try the “cheapest month” feature of Skyscanner. This way, you can enjoy traveling without spending too much for your airfare!
3. Use their calendar/chart view to find the cheapest travel dates
Skyscanner has a lot of incredible features. One of those is their calendar or chart view. With these, there’s no need to toggle between the sites of different airlines just to find the best deals. All of the airlines are listed for you. Yes, including those budget airlines!
Get a bird’s eye view of all the daily prices within each month
The chart view gives you an easy view of which is the cheapest flight in that month
4. If your travel dates are fixed, hit the “Get Price Alert” feature to be notified when your flight price changes
This way you never miss out on a good flight deal! What are you waiting for, it’s time for your travel adventure to Sydney!
This post was brought to you by Skyscanner.
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