Sydney

Nature, culture, fashion, and food, all lounging by the beach.

Sydney is beachy, beautiful, and packed with things to see and do. From its vibrant fashion scene to its eclectic artistic offerings, creativity is everywhere, and it doesn’t stop with the obvious. The food, the cocktails, even the way people learn here - it’s outrageously creative and incredibly cool.

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Most big cities scrimp a little on nature. A park or two languishes in the middle of a concrete jungle. Not so Sydney. This is Australia’s Harbour City, so you can’t go far without seeing a gorgeous beach, or at least a glimpse of the famous Harbour Bridge from afar. On top of that, sprawling National Parks surround the city limits, offering ample opportunity to hike, explore, and discover nature.

This is Australia’s Harbour City, so you can’t go far without seeing a gorgeous beach, or at least a glimpse of the famous Harbour Bridge.

All that great style has to come from somewhere and the shopping in Sydney is absolutely world class. From the Queen Victoria Building in the city with its elegant, vintage styling to the international brands at the Pitt Street Mall, and shopping centre extraordinaire that is The Galeries, you’re guaranteed to leave better dressed than you came.

Shopping works up a mean appetite but don’t worry – there are great dining spots in almost every suburb, showcasing the diverse mix of cultures and huge love of food that Sydney is famous for.

Whether you want to relax and take in the sights, shop ’til you drop, or take your adventure to the next level, Sydney has got what it takes to ensure your first trip won’t be your last.

Essential information

Best time to go

Many people like visiting in spring (September to October) when Sydney offers the best balance of fine weather, lack of high season crowds and reasonable costs. The hot, sometimes humid summers can be a great time to experience Sydney’s beaches. But you can have a great time in Sydney at any time of the year. If you don’t, you’re not really trying!

How much will it cost

It’s possible to get by on a backpacker budget, buying food in markets and cheap ethnic restaurants, and staying in hostels. At the other end of the scale, you can enjoy a world-class luxury experience in the top-end hotels. Most of Sydney’s tourist sites are only accessible by ticket but there’s always the beach – and that’s free.

Health

New Zealand has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia, meaning New Zealanders are entitled to some subsidised health services. This covers free treatment as a public in-patient or out-patient in a public hospital. Regardless of this, comprehensive travel insurance cover is a good idea. Vaccinations are not generally required for travel to Sydney.

Visas

New Zealand citizens can enter Australia without needing to apply for a visa. When you arrive in Australia you will be issued with a Special Category Visa (SCV), which is electronically assigned to your New Zealand passport. This entitles you to stay in Australia for as long as you need to. Note that foreign citizens who are New Zealand permanent residents cannot get an SCV – they may need to apply for a visa applicable to the passport they are travelling on.