Sydney first stops

Every holiday has to begin somewhere, but knowing where to start isn't always easy.

First Stops is a collection of top picks you can rely on for a great time.

Cocktail in Sydney, Australia.


There's no better way to see Sydney like a local than to check out a neighbourhood bar. From historic pubs that have stood the test of time to intimate speakeasies that are taking cocktail mixology to new heights, you're never far from a delicious drink served with fresh flavoursome food and friendly local conversation. If you're into craft beer or masterful blends from micro-distilleries, you'll love what Sydney has to offer. Jump-start your local knowledge with a guided tour of Sydney's oldest inner city pubs or world-class suburban breweries.

LuMi Bar & Dining, Sydney, Australia.


When you're in a harbour city like Sydney, it makes sense to dine by the water. There's a huge selection of places to choose from, with many clustered around Darling Harbour, the piers by the Harbour Bridge and the historic Rocks area. Sydney's diverse cultural heritage has led to a wide range of deliciously authentic cuisines and innovative fusion menus. Sydney people love their food, so if you plan to try one of the top restaurants consider booking well before you fly.

Explore Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, NSW, Australia.


A trip to Australia isn't complete without experiencing Indigenous culture. Visit Sydney's Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park to see ancient artworks set against a seriously gorgeous natural backdrop. The Aboriginal Heritage Walk here stretches 4.4 kilometres and takes roughly three hours to complete. Along the way, you'll see Aboriginal rock art and engravings, as well as an historic occupation shelter where local families lived for generations. 

Wendy Whiteley's Secret Garden, Sydney, Australia.


Lavender Bay's Secret Garden is one of the most serene and beloved spots in the city. The garden was once a disused railway dump, but over the past 20 years it has flourished into a tropical oasis overlooking the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. Wendy Whitely, a self-taught gardener and professionally trained artist, has applied her intuitive style of gardening to create a burst of colour, texture and gorgeous greenery that's perfectly at odds with its urban home.

Street Art in Newtown, Sydney, Australia.


Want to see this city's coolest spots through the eyes of a real Sydneysider? Try a walking tour with friendly knowledgeable locals. It's a great way to get insider stories on the most fascinating parts of the city. There are plenty of tours to choose from, so you can pick a focus that suits your interests. Take a street art tour of Newtown, a gallery and lunch trip around Redfern, inner city history and architecture tours or a night ghost tour of the historic Rocks area.

Cycling at Manly Beach, Sydney, Australia.


Sometimes the best way to chill out is by getting active. If you're in the mood for some low-key sightseeing that includes a bit of exercise, a bike tour is the ideal option. From gentle beachside tours and the harbour bridge bike trail to serious mountain bike adventures, it's easy to find a ride that suits your interests and capability. Whatever you choose, you're in for a totally unique view of Sydney.


Sydney from Christchurch

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19 January 2018
7 - 17 Feb, 5 - 24 Mar 2018 valid for travel on NZ7000 series flights operated by Virgin Australia only, 1 May - 3 Jul, 24 Jul - 26 Sep & 16 - 31 Oct 2018
Card payment fee may apply Fare conditions

Terms and conditions:  For credit or other card payments, a fee of $6 per person per one way journey applies. A booking is not completed until a booking reference number has been allocated and advised. Payment is required at the time of booking. Fares are shown in New Zealand dollars unless otherwise specified. Prices correct as at 8 Jan 2018. Offer is valid for new bookings only. New deals may be released at any time. Fares from or via Auckland, Wellington & Christchurch include airport and government costs, for travel from points other than these, New Zealand airport departure fees are payable at the airport. Customers who purchase fares using Airpoints Dollars™ online will be required to pay the government and airport charges which are included in this fare by internet banking or credit card. Fares displayed at the beginning of the booking process exclude applicable airport and government costs which will be displayed separately once an itinerary is selected. Direct flights only, unless otherwise specified. Child discounts not applicable. The airfare content is non‐refundable, and non‐transferable. Taxes on return sector will vary from those on the outbound journey. Getaway fares available on Virgin Australia operated aircraft only, if travelling on a Virgin Australia aircraft to Australia (identified by a NZ7000 series flight number) please note the following: No seatback entertainment. You can download the Virgin Australia Entertainment app to your device to access gate-to-gate inflight entertainment. The Works, Works Deluxe and Premium Economy are also not available for purchase on NZ7000 flight numbers. For Australia domestic flight connections operated by Virgin Australia, customers will receive Virgin Australia's domestic inflight offering. Works Deluxe and Business Premier customers will also receive the additional baggage allowance. For Business Premier flights operated by Virgin Australia, product will vary. Pre‐seating is not available. Unaccompanied minors are unable to be booked on a flight operated by Virgin Australia. Date or flight changes to your booking are permitted at any time prior to departure by paying a $100 change penalty (plus a $35 service fee where that change is made through a Contact Centre or at the Airport) and any difference in fare if a fare upgrade is required. Cancellation/changes: Air New Zealand’s conditions of carriage, Smart Saver terms & conditions and Airpoints™ terms & conditions apply. Connections from provincial New Zealand points requiring an overnight break in the journey will be at passengers' own expense. All promotional offers advertised on this website are correct at time of publishing, however Air New Zealand reserves all rights to modify, amend or withdraw any promotion offer advertised at any time, without further notice. TTY assistance is available for deaf and hearing impaired via NZ Relay on 0800 4 711 711.

Keep exploring Sydney