Sydney has some absolutely stunning suburbs, some are nestled beside the sea or small inlets and coves of Sydney Harbour, others are found in the inner suburbs of the city. All are different and offer a diversity of activities and beauty, whether it's a beautiful view or leafy, tree-lined street filled with boutique and antique shops; to small, terrace-lined working class cottages; to huge mansions perched over the ocean. Sydney is breathtaking and one of the loveliest cities in the world.

The main regions of Sydney are:

The City - Includes the suburbs of The Rocks, Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, Haymarket/Chinatown and Pyrmont.  On the eastern side, the city is nestled by the Botanic Gardens, the Domain and Hyde Park, whilst the city is bounded by the magnificent harbour to its north.  The Pitt Street Mall and George Street represent the main retail commercial centre, whilst the financial district surrounds Martin Place. The Rocks, close to Circular Quay is a historical precinct home to cobble-stoned lane-ways, sandstone cottages, converted warehouses, museums, unique shopping, a weekend market and character pubs. The Darling Harbour area adjoins the Pyrmont/Ultimo areas. Darling Harbour is a prime leisure, cruise and dining destination.  Upmarket  designer shopping is generally in the area of Castlereagh St.

Pyrmont redevlopment

Redevelopment of the area of Pyrmont

Inner East - Includes the suburbs of Kings Cross, Darlinghurst, Woolloomooloo, Paddington and Surry Hills. These suburbs are fabulous for cafes, restaurants and nightlife. They are entrenched in Sydney and Australian history, Darlinghurst being the main area for the gay and lesbian community. Kings Cross is now the new hip nightlife of Sydney, Oxford Street is the other clubbing strip, especially for gay clubs. Woolloomooloo houses the Navy dockyards and sometimes there are visiting American warships that are worth a look. There is a unique converted wharf that houses some great dining out over the water as well as Russell Crowe's penthouse (it's the penthouse at the very end of the wharf).

The Wharf

The Wharf, Cowper Rd, Woolloomooloo

Inner South - not a term that is commonly in use by Sydney people however, this geographical area roughly covers suburbs such as Redfern, Eveleigh, Alexandria and Waterloo. The area is undergoing a renaissance and there are now numerous places to visit such as the creative arts complex of the Danks Street Depot in Waterloo, the Eveleigh Markets (fresh food and artisans), plus the factory outlets stores in Alexandra and Redfern. Keep in mind that Redfern could be unsafe at night, so be vigilant.


Redfern streetscape


The Inner West - These suburbs were once known as the working class suburbs but now are interesting, expensive areas filled with history, cafes, and restaurants. The areas of Glebe, Balmain, Newtown, and Leichardt are notable for their vibrant shopping strips, sidewalk restaurants, bookshops and cafes. Glebe Point Rd, Glebe and King Street, Newtown are particularly eclectic and bohemian. Norton Street in Leichardt is part of Sydney’s Italian culture scene whilst Darling Street, Balmain is known for its boutique shops and cafes. A large shopping mall is located at Broadway, near the University of Sydney and University of Technology.

The Quadrangle, Syndey University

The Quadrangle at Sydney University, Camperdown

The Eastern Suburbs - The Eastern suburbs are known for their prestigious and affluent homes that stretch along the foreshores of Sydney Harbour. This area has many famous little beaches, known and visited mostly by the locals. One of Sydney's best secret spots is called Redleaf pool, which is below Blackburn Gardens just next door to Double Bay. The other interesting areas to visit are Nielsen Park, Rushcutters Bay and Watsons Bay which has the harbour on one side, and the other is a huge cliff face that looks out over the ocean (called The Gap) located next door to Watsons Bay. It's worth the trip and can be reached by ferry from Circular Quay.

The Gap

The Gap

The Eastern Beaches - Encompassing the city beachside suburbs of Bondi, Clovelly, Coogee, Bronte and Maroubra. They suffer from a personality complex in endeavouring to embrace the sophistication of the city and the laid back nature of the beach. This renders them arguably the coolest, most relaxing part of Sydney. Bondi Beach, being one of Australia's icons, is a most visited destination by overseas visitors. Keep in mind that there are less crowded beaches along the coast. Bondi is close to the city and it is good for a night out. The Bondi to Coogee walk is one of Sydney top tourist attractions and is worth taking a stroll along the path to take in the spectacular scenery.

Bronte to Bondi

Tamarama to Bondi (in distance)

The Southern Suburbs & Beaches - These suburbs are located south of the city stretching to the Royal National Park & Port Hacking River. The area encompasses Sydney Airport at Mascot, Botany Bay and suburb such as Brighton-Le-Sands. The area also includes The Sutherland Shire, what locals affectionately call "The Shire" within which lie Cronulla, Wanda and Elouera beaches. This region features a disparity of wealth (much like the rest of Sydney) with riverside and beachside glitz contrasting with the red brick suburbs under the shadow of the airport. A visit to Kurnell will see you at the point where Australia was claimed by the British, a very contentious issue. Hurstville has become another smaller Chinatown with many expats choosing to move to the area from Hong Kong. Miranda once boasted the Southern Hemisphere's largest indoor shopping centre at 1 kilometre from ened to end.

The Northern Beaches - Are the suburbs which run along the Northern Peninsula starting at Manly Beach and ending at Palm Beach which leads into Pittwater and the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Manly Beach is accessible by ferry from Circular Quay (The Rocks). They leave every 30 minutes and are the quickest and most unique way of getting there. Manly has two beaches; the harbour beach on one side adjacent to the ferry terminal; and the ocean beach at the other end of The Corso – a pedestrian shopping street.There are plenty of dining options here.

For additional information regarding the Northern Suburbs and beaches click here

The Lower and Upper North Shore - Like the Eastern Suburbs the North Shore houses some of most expensive real estate in Australia. It runs north of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and incorporates the Lane Cove River and Middle Harbour. It is filled with lovely small coves and beaches, great restaurants and cafes.  Balmoral Beach and Mosman are beautiful suburbs and well worth a visit. The famous Taronga Zoo is located in Mosman. If you 'love retail therapy' then hit the vibrant shops at Chatswood. It is the third largest CBD in Sydney. It has two main shopping centres (malls), Chatswood Chase and Westfield. These centres are full of designer boutique shops.

Middle Head

Fortifications at Middle Head

More information:

Other shopping locations include: North Sydney, St Ives (speciality shops), Hornsby (Westfield Shopping Centre), Crows Nest (restaurants), and Neutral Bay (restaurants).

Significant North Shore places include:  Lane Cove National Park, Middle Head which features extensive defence fortifications and tunnels (great fun for children), Balls Head Reserve (Aboriginal Rock Art, fantastic views of Goat Island and Balmain), Kirribilli House (Sydney residence of the Prime Minister of Australia), Admiralty House (the Sydney residence of the Governor General of Australia), the Harry Seidler Apartment Building at Dawes Point and Luna Park at Milsons Point.


The Outer West - Parramatta is the main business centre for Sydney Outer West and is deeply entrenched in Australian history; it is now called a city and was founded in 1788 just after the settlement of Sydney. Catch the RiverCat ferry from Circular Quay to Parramatta and see some wonderful sights along the way.


 Cabramatta is around 30km west of the Sydney and is well known as a multicultural Asian destination within Sydney. It is the place to head for Vietnamese cuisine and the Cabramatta Moon Festival, which is one of Sydney's largest Asian multicultural festivals, held annually in September. The best way to reach Cabramatta is by train. Cabramatta details

The Hawkesbury - Just over an hour North West of the city, a lovely area with riverside villages, historic towns.  A popular route is The Hawkesbury Harvest farmgate trail where you can pick your own seasonal fruit & sample local produce.