6 Big Sydney Day Tour Destinations

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”

– Lao Tzu

Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu emphasized the importance of taking that decisive action of moving towards the direction you want to go. However, where do you begin making that first step if you were in a camper van hired for a quick day tour in one of Australia’s largest and busiest metropolitan centres?

Sydney is a web work of roads, nature trails and bridges that intertwine with the vast expanse of ocean before it vanishes to infinity. A camper van hired for a quick day tour around the city is absolutely a daunting challenge. The city’s approximately 26.15 sqm of steel and concrete towers combined with parks and recreational areas make up the metropolitan region alone. It doesn’t cover the remainder of the city’s rugged nature trails, beaches, and national parks.

Let us help you take that decisive step by giving you a guide on where to go for a quick day tour of Sydney. Not only would you be able to tour some of the most spectacular sights in the city, you would also have a taste of what “the harbour city” has to offer to every traveller eager to make that first step towards a great holiday.

Big Sydney 6

Before even moving a muscle, you must remember that Sydney is a cluster of “regions.” The entire city is so rich in cultural diversity that each of these regions offer a different perspective of what Sydney is truly all about. To help you out, we searched for some of the best places for your day tour in 6 key areas just to get you started.

These locations are within the bay area and are accessible through the various public transportation available in the metropolis. The 6 “regions” are: the City of Sydney, Inner West, Northern Suburbs, Eastern Suburbs, Western Sydney and Southern Sydney.

City of Sydney

The City of Sydney is ideal for first time tourists. The community is right across the legendary Sydney Harbour where you can visit the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and the picturesque Sydney Opera House. Both had adorned postage stamps and tourism posters since anyone could remember. Also, both of these man-made marvels could be visited by going on a leisurely stroll along Circular Quay.

"australia :: sydney :: circular quay” by hjjanisch available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/hjjanisch/7312887462/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

"australia :: sydney :: circular quay” by hjjanisch available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/hjjanisch/7312887462/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/ BY hjjanisch

This area is where you can check out the city’s 1st central business district (CBD). While at the CBD, visit the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) where you can shop for jewellery and home wares. You can also try the line-up of cakes and pastries that are served in the cafés established in this iconic façade.

Speaking of shopping, why not visit Sydney’s Chinatown and Haymarket for an introduction to the Oriental palate? Immerse yourself to a parade of authentic Chinese delights as well as a showcase of gift shops that would absolutely inundate your senses.

"Sydney Chinatown” by Pablo Rodríguez available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/prodriguezmad/7756694684/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

"Sydney Chinatown” by Pablo Rodríguez available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/prodriguezmad/7756694684/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ BY Pablo Rodríguez

Inner West

If you haven’t gotten your fill of the food choices sold at Sydney City’s restaurants, why not try some of those served in the Inner West? This area is all about food and shopping!

Shop around the fashionable streets of Oxford and William. Meanwhile, you can also check-out the second-hand shops at Balmain, Glebe, Leichhardt and Newtown. These streets are also filled with bookshops and cafés that would arouse any bibliophile’s interests.

Among the marketplaces founded in the area, Balmain’s could be one of the oldest, as it has been serving locals and tourists with fresh produce and tasty delicacies since the 1800’s. On the other hand, some of the shops focus on regional gourmet dishes, like Leichhardt, which serves mouthwatering Italian delicacies.

Northern Suburbs

The Northern Suburbs is where you’ll get your first treat of Australia’s wildlife. There are several places that exhibit the local flora and fauna in the continent as well as imported featured species from the African savannah and tropical forests around the world.

Taronga Zoo in Mosman is a perfect spot where family and friends can learn a thing or two about the estimated 4,000 species that have called this park their home. Apart from foreign wildlife, Taronga also hosts several endemic species like the well-loved koala.

If you’re more of a sea-loving chap, you can visit the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary. Or you can also try your agility and strength in commanding the waves at popular beaches in the area, like Manly Beach and Palm Beach. It is also here in Sydney’s Northern Suburbs that you can visit the Northern Beaches for an afternoon of sea and surf.

Eastern Suburbs

The Eastern Suburbs is also about sand, sea and surf, with Bondi Beach serving as the cherry on top of this oceanic delight. Bondi boasts of a 6 km paved path known as the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, which features the thunderous sea juxtaposed the heavy immovable rocks to create an imagery that can only be described as breathtaking.

"Surfer at Bondi Beach” by Justin Otto at https://www.flickr.com/photos/8604504@N03/5664205924/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"Surfer at Bondi Beach” by Justin Otto at https://www.flickr.com/photos/8604504@N03/5664205924/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY Justin Otto

There are also other attractions in the area, most of them beaches and parks where your family and friends can enjoy either a quick dip at the sea or a relaxing afternoon surrounded by nature’s calm. Meanwhile, Watsons Bay is the best place in the area where you can buy fresh, sweet and succulent seafood. It is also known as the oldest fishing village in the city.

Western Sydney

After getting a perfect tan at the fantastic beaches at the Eastern Suburbs, take a step back in time at the heritage sites in Parramatta located at Western Sydney. The Old Government House, which was built in 1799, is the jewel on the crown of Sydney’s 2nd central business district (CBD).

Still hungry for adventure? Well, there’s also something for sports enthusiasts. If you want to catch the latest game, check out the events scheduled at the Parramatta Stadium. Then, visit Campbelltown for their scenic bush walking trails that lead you to Georges River Nature Reserve.

After that, you can end your visit to Western Sydney with a feast at Cabramatta where they serve the best southeast Asian dishes in the city. After all, they aren’t called Sydney’s “Little Saigon” for nothing.

Southern Sydney

Southern Sydney is all about nature’s finest gallery of cliffs, nature trails, and coastlines that strum the chords most familiar to the heartstrings. This area is where you can find the Royal National Park as well as La Perouse Museum, which features the history of Southern Sydney. The museum was named in honour of French explorer Comte de la Perouse who came to the continent in 1788.

These are the 6 biggest tourist zones for a memorable day tour in Sydney. Although there are a lot of them, they are all very accessible through the major roads as well as public transportation that connect them to each other. Looking at the list, your itinerary options are definitely limitless.

It’s up to you which of these destinations you would like to cover. When you’re done deciding where to take that first brave step, why not turn on the ignition of that camper van you hired and start touring the gleaming beauty of Australia’s “harbour city” – Sydney? You know you want to.

We always love to hear from you! Which of the featured tourist destinations in Sydney would you visit next? Share your love and comments via Salamanda Travel’s Facebook and Twitter pages today!

5 Gourmet Camp Cooking Hacks

Holidays on the road are incomplete without a scrumptious meal prepared around the campfire as you share stories while the sun sets on the horizon. However, preparing a mouthwatering dinner while on a road trip in an Australian campervan hired by family and friends can sometimes dampen your mood when all you wish to do is just stretch your legs and lay your back after an adventure-packed day outdoors.

Perhaps a few innovative ways to prepare more than just hot dogs and steaks is what you need in order to upgrade your campervan menu handed down to you by previous generations that have enjoyed the legendary Outback. It really is very easy to add fresh ideas into your favourite camping recipes.

So whether you’re camping with friends or family, make mealtimes more fun by checking out these few hacks on how you could make the most out of your campervan kitchen.

Learn to Improvise

First off, you must plan your meals. Avoid thinking of making dishes that would take forever to cook over a campfire (remember, everybody’s had a long day of adventures and are likely to be very hungry), or would require large and heavy pots and pans to prepare (you don’t have much room to bring your entire home kitchen with you). If you want to impress your mates with an elegantly cooked dinner, look for easy-to-prepare, readily available alternatives. Besides, meals that imbibe the rustic feel of a night at a campsite like pot roast with steamed vegetables or baked beans could be as good as a slab of beef from your favourite steak house.

You can also prepare a hearty breakfast using leftovers from last night’s dinner. Bring out the eggs and grate some cheese to create an omelette that would melt the sleep from your mate’s eyes. Squeeze a few fresh oranges and serve the juice in a pitcher and add some honey to give them that sun-kissed vibe to prepare them for another day outdoors.

Have a Knack for Nibbles

Sometimes, a hearty chatter at the campfire is best complemented with light snacks. Load up on fruits, nuts, and popcorn for starters. Nothing beats the combination of quirky conversations and the crackling of popcorn over a campfire.

"Popcorn” by White93 available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/jt_white/4991059908/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

"Popcorn” by White93 available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/jt_white/4991059908/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ BY White93

If you want something that would be akin to fine dining, try melting some dark chocolate on a pan where you can dip some fruits or marshmallows in it. Voilà, it’s like having your personalised fondue, camper style!

Speaking of marshmallows, a campfire huddle would not be complete if you’re not making s’mores. Try adding new ingredients to this classic campfire snack like candy sprinkles or using vegan marshmallows, as a healthier alternative.

Jostling Jaw Dropping Delights

There are certain dishes that are difficult to prepare outdoors. Examples are baked goodies such as cakes, pies, and brownies so most campers just buy from bake shops or bake them a few days before the camping trip. Well, you’re in luck because there are now innovative ways to make these without an oven, so you and your travel companions can enjoy freshly baked treats in the wild.

For instance, you could try baking brownies using orange peels. You can do this by cutting the top of the fruit and scooping off the pulp. This way, you would be creating a pocket for your brownie mix. Fill 2/3 of the pocket with your prepared batter. Put back the top and wrap the ball in aluminum foil. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes and you’ll have tangy orange-sized brownies for your mates!

You can also make pies using pita bread as an alternative for the traditional pie crust. Or why not try newspapers as an alternative to aluminum foil when cooking fish? The possibilities are endless. You’re camping – you can be as innovative as you want!

"Fish in Newspaper” by Beck available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/beckayork/3803452845/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"Fish in Newspaper” by Beck available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/beckayork/3803452845/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY Beck

Stock Up on the Essentials

After you have planned your meals, right down to your dessert options, it’s now time to stock up on the ingredients and outdoor equipment that you’d be using. Just remember only to bring the essentials, you’ve already planned what to prepare for your gourmet holiday. So, there’s no point in bringing excessive equipment and supplies.

This makes things quick and easy to set-up when you’re at the campsite. Also, this would make your holiday baggage lighter and easier to clean-up when you head back home. If this would be your first time taking a campervan holiday, bring  a sturdy cooler as well as a set of good roasters for your campfire. The rest of the supplies you’d be needing can easily be found in your kitchen cabinet like pots and pans, as well as dining utensils.

Clean as you go

Preparing wonderful meals during your campervan holiday can also be environmentally friendly. Just like the examples earlier, using alternatives to certain materials for cooking your meals would help reduce waste after your outdoor retreat.

Using old newspapers instead of aluminium foil to lock-in the flavours when grilling fish helps reduce your carbon footprint. Biodegradable materials could be turned to compost after using them for cooking your delectable treats, like the brownies stuffed in hollowed out orange peels. If you have a garden back at home, you can collect your biodegradable trash and turn them into home made fertilizer for your beautiful greens.

"Campfire” by Jeff Souville available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/133326959@N03/17779428771/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

"Campfire” by Jeff Souville available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/133326959@N03/17779428771/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ BY Jeff Souville

Just a friendly reminder, it’s a no-no to throw out your garbage at the campfire. It would be better to segregate your wastes and throw them properly after your holiday. Throwing garbage at the campfire not only adds up to the pollution in the surroundings. It could even start wildfires because you keep on adding fuel to the flame.

If that happens, you can wave goodbye to your gourmet campervan experience.

Camping can also be a gastronomic adventure, if you know how to turn home-cooked meals into gourmet dishes miles from the comforts and conveniences of your kitchen. All you need is some creativity and a breath of fresh air in the campsite. Now, why not make your own campervan memories? An Australian campervan hired at our website can help you make the most out of your self-drive holiday.

We always love to hear from you, so share with us your gourmet campfire cooking ideas and experiences today. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for more information on how to make your campervan holidays the best ever.