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!

Great Eats For Under $20: 10 NSW Must-Try Restaurants

Delicious food  doesn’t need to be expensive. If you’re on a tour of New South Wales, driving around in your Australian camper van hire and want a unique culinary experience without hurting your budget, we have compiled a list of NSW must-try restaurants where you can satisfy your cravings for less than $20.

1. Chinese Noodle House

One of the most celebrated small restaurants in NSW is the Chinese Noodle House, where you can enjoy affordable Chinese cuisine.  How affordable? Well, their dumplings are sold at less than $10. The noodles are also a must try. During lunch, the line snakes in this 30-seater diner so be sure to get there early if you don’t want to be left out.

Where: 8 Quay St, Haymarket, Sydney 2000

Sample Menu: Combination Noodle with Minced Beef Sauce and Cucumber, Xinjiang Stir Fried BBQ Lamb, Pork and Chives Pan Fried Dumplings

2. El Loco

For Mexican food that  fires up your appetite without burning  your budget, choose El Loco with their  wide variety of dishes from Torta (Mexican sandwich) to Quesadilla (corn tortilla with cheese and meat/vegetables). They’re also famous for their tacos which can be bought for as low as $6. The place also serves wine and cocktail to complete your gastronomic experience.

Where: 64 Foveaux Street, Surry Hills, Sydney 2010

Sample Menu: Fried Chicken with Chili Dip, Choriso Quesadilla, Grilled Minute Steak, Churros with Chocolate or Caramel Sauce

3. Ocean Master

For over 20 years, Ocean Master has served sumptuous seafood dishes and is now one of the most popular food chains in NSW. They also serve burger combos, salad and desserts. Their fish and chips only cost $11.90. Their stores are also easy to find; just look for the blue and white themed shops.

Where: 385 Barrenjoey Rd Newport Beach, 2106

Sample Menu: Calamari Pack, Sea Scallops, Bacon & Egg Roll, Garden Salad, Grilled Fish & Salad

4. The Soda Factory

Are you a fan of American food? The Soda Factory serves US-style grub like hot dogs and crispy fried chicken. The diner also has a lively, sometimes soundful atmosphere that speaks out to the youth. The best thing about it is the food is almost free! On Tuesdays, you can get gourmet hotdogs for only $1.

Where: 16 Wentworth Avenue, Surry Hills, Sydney

Sample Menu: Kick Ass Hot Buffalo Wings, Cheeseburger Spring Rolls, Texan BBQ Bite Size Pork Ribs, Soda Made Nachos

5. Lord of the Fries

Spinned from one of the greatest coming of age novels, Lord of the Fries cater to every hungry chap. The store primarily serves hotdogs, sausages and fries with at least 10 sauces to choose from. One of the most sought-after items  on their menu is their fries (sweet potato included) that you can get for less than $5.

Where: 537 George St, Sydney

Sample Menu: Melbourne Hotdogs, New Guru (veggies patty), Shoe String Fries, Onion Rings

6. Indian Home Diner

Someone said that variety is the spice of life and that is what Indian Home Diner brings to the table. With food rich in unique flavours and fragrance, it’s a great place to be introduced to Indian cuisine. Their Chicken Tikka Roll (Indian Kebab) only costs $7.00.

Where: 86 Oxford Street, Paddington, 2021

Sample Menu: Lamb Korma, Mango Chicken, Saag Tikka (Tandoori Chicken), Mixed Vegetable Curry

7. Mr. Crackles

If crispy food is your thing, Mr. Crackles is the place to go. One of their iconic dishes is the crispy pork belly that takes 3 days to prepare. The store also has a unique open-front layout which stands out in one of NSW’s busy streets. Their crackling is also sold for only $5.

Where: 155 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, 2010

Sample Menu: Chicken Katsu, Sweet Potato Wedges, Sticky BBQ Pork, Vego (vegetarian) Rolls

8. Lentil As Anything

Lentils_As_Anything

"Melbourne: Lentils As Anything!" BY Eli Duke available at www.flickr.com/photos/elisfanclub/4676085384 under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Full terms at www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0 BY Eli Duke

Have you ever paid for the food you ate with just a donation? At Lentil As Anything, you pay what you think the food is worth. The store is, after all, a non- profit vegetarian catering service. So what’s on the menu? A lot. From Vietnamese salad to Tibetan Momos (dumplings). This self-served restaurant is a definite must-try for the health conscious.

Where: 391 King Street, Newtown, 2042

Sample Menu: Greek Honey Doughnuts, Miso, Tofu Kebabs, Ragu Pasta

9. Takumi

In the mood for Japanese food? This round sushi bar is smack right in one of the busy streets of Sydney and offers food at very reliable prices. At any given time, Takumi has about 40 food selections on the menu. It’s also one of the favourite hang outs of college students. Their sushi train also serves $3 a plate. They also serve bentos and noodles.

Where: Level 3 Market City, 2 Quay Street, Haymarket, Sydney 2000

Sample Menu: Soft Shell Crab in a Bowl, Grilled Scallop Roll, Eel and avocado Roll, Sashimi

10. Room 10

A hole-in-the-wall coffee shop with a warehouse-chic ambiance is a good place  to spend your break. You can also eat a healthy breakfast in this shop that is  famous for their barista-styled cappuccino. One of their must tries is the $13 tuna and egg salad.

Where: 10 Llankelly Place, Potts Point, 2011

Sample Menu: Toasted Banana Bread, Handcrafted Organic Muesli, Breakfast Pane (Toastie), Toasted Sourdough

I know  you’re feeling hungry reading about the great food from  these fabulous diners. If you’re  on a long vacation and travelling via campervan or motorhome, don’t miss these NSW must-try restaurants when you’re in the city.

To get the best deals on your campervan or motorhome while in NSW, use Salamanda Travel’s  vehicle price comparison tool today!

 

New South Wales Music Festivals to Amp Up your Summer

Are you looking for something to do this summer? What better way to amp up the season than going into some of the best music festivals in New South Wales? Music lover or not, these events will surely get you in the groove all summer long.

So rent a motorhome and drive to these New South Wales music festivals this season:

Thredbo Blues Festival (January 15 to 18)

Twenty-five of some of the greatest Aussie artists will gather to perform over a weekend and you’ll soon find yourself singing along to their popular songs. Catch Russell Morris, Fiona Boyes, Christina Crofts, Andrea Marr and much more at Thredbo Village, Alpine Way in Snowy Monaro. Get your full weekend pass for $150.

Electric Gardens (January 23)

Dance to the groove of a new boutique summer dance music festival at the Centennial Park, Parkes Drive, Sydney. Celebrate Australia Day with English Electro icon Fatboy Slim and some of the biggest names in the music dance scene. Ticket prices range from $50 for General Admissions to $275 for VIP Garden.

Goat Island Sounds (January 26)

Its that time again to listen to Triple J’s Hottest 100 in a picnic backdraft of the Sydney Harbour National Park. Enjoy a night with the fastest rising stars of electronic music while feasting on picnic delights from Mary’s and Pretty Picnics. General admission tickets are sold for $62.50 and VIP tickets at $122.50, both with booking fees.

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"DSC_0061" BY Mahendra Purwa available at www.flickr.com/photos/randhaem/8447173286 under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Full terms at www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0 BY Mahendra Purwa

St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival (February 7)

Touring around seven cities in three countries, the St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival is set to showcase the best of eccentric hip-hop, intelligent pop, leftfield electronica and shambolic punk. Catch all the action at Sydney College of The Arts, Balmain Road. Get your tickets for only $165 including booking fee and GST.

Mountain Sounds Festival (February 20)

The proudly local, environmentally sustainable music event is at it again after a successful run last year. This year it promises to fill Mount Penang Parklands, Central Coast Highway, Kariong in the Central Coast with songs from local and international artists from different genres. Ticket price ranges from $79 to $139.

Good Life ’16 – U18s Festival (February 26)

It’s the music festival exclusively for teens. Enjoy music from 20 of Australia’s hottest artist while enjoying an outdoor cinema, a sports zone, a water park and a theme park. Hip-hop star A$AP Rocky and RnB singer Jeremih are headlining the event. You can also catch some of the famous local celebrities. The Good Life ‘16 will be held at Sydney Showground, 1 Showground Road, Sydney Olympic Park. Ticket prices range from $92 to $175.

Girrakool Blues Festival & BBQ (March 5)

Central Coast’s most awaited music fest combines a News Orleans music theme and tasty treats into one world class event. Eat Texan-style barbecue and soul food to satisfy your cravings.  Girrakool also features indigenous bands that play aboriginal music. Tickets are sold at $75 for adults and $38 for children. Group tickets get discounted prices.

Byron Bay Bluesfest (March 24 to 28)

If you want a taste of music from all parts of the world, then head on to the Byron Bay Bluesfest- Aussie’s leading contemporary Blues & Roots music festival. Seven stages and 200 performances over five days promise to draw an audience of more than 100,000 from all over the country. International artists like Tom Jones, Bob Dylan, John Legend and more will perform at the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Black Rock Road in the Northern Coast. Complete the 5-day event for $525. One day tickets range from $159 to $179.

The most convenient way to enjoy the upcoming New South Wales music festivals, which can last from a day to a full weekend, is by renting a motorhome or campervan. Here you can sleep, prepare food and even take a bath inside the vehicle. If nothing else, it helps you save a lot of money during the trip. But make sure that you book early because a lot of people are lining up to rent a motorhome to catch these music festivals. To get the best deals for motorhome and campervan, visit Salamanda Travel’s website and book your vehicle now!

 

Australia in a Campervan – Winter Fun

Kosovo_Skiing

White sandy beaches, perfect waves for surfers, kangaroos and a lot of sun block; that’s the image of Australia. But did you know Australia also has snowfields?

An Australian winter holiday is a well kept secret. Many Australians have never even seen the snow, yet it does exist. You just have to know the right places. Lucky you, because this article will reveal all.

The best times to travel to the snow are June, July and August, because that’s the low season. But the season can last until October in some places.

Hiring a motorhome for your snow holiday is a great experience, something totally different and definitely recommended to all the snow lovers out there. You will be free as a bird because you can take your motorhome or campervan anywhere you like, which means you will be able to experience a broader area than if you just stayed at a resort. Make sure you stay on the sealed roads and always be careful while driving, because snow can be dangerous.

Three out of six States of Australia provide ski slopes. All of them are located in the southern states of Australia – New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. In New South Wales there is even an alpine region called “The Snowy Mountains”.

The alpine region of Australia stretches through New South Wales and Victoria. Be aware of the fact that the weather can change quickly in the mountains and temperatures vary greatly across the area. Did you know that the coldest temperature ever measured in Australia was -23 Celsius? Here is an overview of the most popular ski slopes:

Perisher_Blue_-_Kosciuszko

New South Wales:

  1. Charlotte Pass
  2. Mt Selwyn 
  3. Perisher 
  4. Thredbo

Victoria:

  1. Mount Hotham 
  2. Falls Creek 
  3. Mount Buller 
  4. Mt Baw Baw

Tasmania

  1. Ben Lomond 
  2. Mount Mawson 

Hitting the slopes is a perfect family getaway. Get the whole family in the motorhome and drive towards New South Wales, Victoria or Tasmania. Build a snowman together, the best way to start your holiday! Go skiing, snowboarding, start a snowball fight, race downhill on a sledge, tobogganing, snow tubing, dog sled tour or take part in other amusing snow activities.  If you have never seen the snow and  never skied before, join a class; there is a range of learn to ski classes. You don’t have to purchase your own gear for your snow holiday, because the ski slopes offer equipment hire.

When taking part in any of those activities it is not uncommon to see Australian wildlife. Kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, possums and even wild horses (called brumbies) are seen in the Australian snow country.

Sun-block is part of the image of Australia, you should definitely not forget it when going on you snow holiday. Summer is not the only time you need sun-block. The sun will reflect off the snow and bounces 80% of its rays back at you. In addition wear your sunglasses, to protect your eyes too. Furthermore, drink enough water, it is cold and you will be active in the snow, so dehydration is a risk. Bring some good snow shoes and remember that they should be water-proof. It is important to keep your feet dry.

Hit the road  slopes Jack!