If you are anything like me, then you likely have had Australia on your bucket list for quite some time. Depending on where you live in the world, the land down under can be quite a journey to get to, making it a daunting trip to plan (particularly if you have limited time off). Many people coming from the other side of the globe would not even consider visiting Australia for a mere 7 days, but alas, this is what my husband and I did – and we had an incredible time. This 7 day Sydney itinerary breaks down what to do, where to stay, and what not to miss on your visit.
If you are interested in learning about what to wear in Sydney, be sure to check out this post.
How did it go?
Much to the surprise of friends, family and co-workers that were concerned about how short our trip was, it turned out to be the perfect introductory trip to the land down under! My wise words of wisdom on the subject – don’t try to do too much or go too far with only 7 days in this beautiful country. This guide is all about using Sydney as a base and exploring the surrounding areas, making it an enjoyable pace (with a little time for relaxation)! Without further ado, please find my Sydney 7 days itinerary below.
7 Day Sydney Itinerary: Day 1
Arrive in Sydney, Australia
If you are coming from North America, then you will likely arrive in Sydney in the morning. Regardless of time, I would recommend heading over to your hotel to drop your luggage and check-in. Our first two nights were spent at the Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour Hotel. We grabbed drinks with a view at our hotel restaurant Hacienda Sydney while waiting for check in. I highly recommend Hacienda for the views alone – even if you are not staying at the Pullman Quay Grand!
After this, I recommend keeping yourself awake with an afternoon trip to Taronga Zoo. This zoo is a fun place to kick off your Australia vacation. Purchase your ticket at Circular Quay – the ticket includes admission and round-trip ferry transportation. Upon arrival to the zoo, you will have the opportunity to take cable cars up to the entrance. As you walk around the zoo, don’t miss the opportunity to see sweeping city views of Sydney! After the zoo, I would recommend heading back to your hotel. You have a big week ahead of you with this 7 Day Sydney Itinerary!
The one animal that I highly recommend you seek out is the long-beaked echidna. This is a very rare + critically endangered animal, and this may be your one chance to see one!
Bondi to Coogee Beach Walk
Hit the ground running on day 2 of your 7 day Sydney itinerary by waking up early and heading to Bondi Beach just before sunrise. Watch the sun rise over the famous “Icebergs” pool before heading on a cliff-top coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee. This stunning walk was approximately 3.5 miles of blissful views. Truly, every time I thought I was impressed, we would happen upon another opening of spectacular views. At the end of your journey, reward yourself with breakfast and a flat white at Coogee Pavilion. This is an adorable Mediterranean restaurant with coastal vibes.
Tip: I recommend that you Uber to Bondi from your accommodations so you can uber back from Coogee. Since this is a short trip, this will save time not having to back track.
Sydney Opera House
After taking a quick rest at the hotel, I recommend heading over to the Opera House for a tour. If you are not interested in going inside, simply to admire the views and snap some photos of this icon! After spending time on the Opera House grounds, grab a bite to eat and a drink at Opera Bar. Yes – you heard that right – there is an outdoor bar on the grounds of the Opera House with stunning views of both the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.
Tip: If you wish to take an Opera House tour, book ahead.
Ferry to Manly
After you wrap things up there, walk over to the ferries at circular quay and buy round-trip tickets to Manly. Make sure you have your camera ready, as the ferry ride is just as much of an experience as Manly Beach itself! Upon arrival in Manly, take it all in. Take a walk down to the beach, check out the shops, and pop into a bar or two. When you are ready for dinner, head over to Hugos Manly. While I recommend it mostly for the views and ambiance, they also have “award-winning” pizza! After dinner, catch a ferry back to Circular Quay at sunset! Soak in those sunset views, and then head to bed with a full belly and happy heart.
Head to the Blue Mountains (Katoomba):
Now that you have seen Sydney’s icons and enjoyed some of what the city has to offer, it is time to head into the Blue Mountains. No need to rent a car, as you can take a 2 hour train ride from Sydney’s central station to Katoomba! You can purchase your tickets in advance, but we opted to purchase at kiosks at the station. There are a number of trains departing daily. For more details on how to get to the Blue Mountains and an overall itinerary, visit this post.
Arrive to Katoomba
Upon arrival in Katoomba, take a little time to explore the town and grab a flat white. We took our coffee to go and walked down to our hotel that was positioned right on the blue mountains. We stayed at Echoes Boutique Hotel & Resort (highly recommend for the views alone). After this, we settled into our hotel room, explored the grounds, and had dinner on-site at their fine dining restaurant that overlooked the mountains. We hit the hay early on day 3, as we knew we had a big day ahead for day 4!
On day 4, we woke up bright and early to enjoy all the Blue Mountains have to offer. We decided to start our day at Scenic World. The skyway to Scenic World is conveniently located a short walk from Echoes. If you decide to take this route, you will be able to purchase your ticket upon arrival. Once you have a ticket, you can then ride their railway deep down into the valley (fun fact – the ride is the steepest incline railway in the world). After walking around and taking in the valley views, we decided to leave scenic world and hike our way out of the valley.
Furber Stairs Hike
We made our way up the Furber Stairs, and saw some gorgeous waterfalls and breathtaking views along the way. We continued our journey until we arrived at Echo Point, a lookout where you can view the 3 Sisters in all of their glory! After taking many (many) photos, we decided to head back to the hotel. We ordered wine and snacks on room service, and spent the rest of the afternoon soaking up the views from our balcony! I recommend doing dinner at the Lookout at Echo Point to end a perfect day in the mountains.
7 Day Sydney Itinerary Day 5:
Enjoy Sunrise at the 3 Sisters
Upon waking up in the Blue Mountains, head back over to Echo Point for sun rise views of the 3 Sisters. After this, grab a coffee at the nearby Milkbar, then head to the train station for your 2 hour journey back to Sydney. Don’t forget to check out my post on the Blue Mountains for more details on our time there!
Explore Darling Harbour
Upon arrival in Sydney, we checked into our hotel. For the second half of the trip, we chose to stay in a different part of Sydney, Darling Harbour. As it was a gloomy day, we chose to visit a number of local attractions including the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, the WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, and the Australian National Maritime Museum.
Explore The Rocks Area
By late afternoon the weather cleared up and we made our way over to the Rocks area. The Rocks are one of my absolute favorite parts about Sydney! It was truly magnificent seeing the old architecture, and sampling drinks from the many local bars. Of the bars, be sure not to miss the Fortune of War, which is famed for being Sydney’s oldest pub!
If you are looking to splurge on a meal while you are in Australia, consider making a reservation at Pony Dining. The service, wine, and food were incredible! After dinner, my husband and I were feeling adventurous and headed over to the ferris wheel near our hotel for a spin!
Hunter Valley Chef Led Food and Wine Tour
In advance of our trip, we made a plan to spend one day in the Hunter Valley Wine Region (one of the very first wine regions planted in Australia, and a staple in Australian wine history). We decided to book this one paid excursion during our time in Australia, and we truly were not disappointed! Although there are many options to choose from when looking for hunter valley wine tours, we decided to go with Gourmet Getaway Tours. This tour was a chef-led food and wine tour, which was truly a delight from start to finish.
Details on the Tour
On the morning of the tour, we were picked up from our hotel and taken to the Sydney Fish Market to learn about the market and for the chef to pick up some fresh ingredients for the day. After this, we were on the road to numerous local vineyards around the Hunter Valley Wine Region.
At each destination, we were offered a wine tasting with food pairings prepared by the chef – this tour is truly what dreams are made of. We were left a little time to explore the grounds at the couple of the vineyards (one of which my husband and I ran into a group of kangaroos in the wild – I kid you not – my life was made in that moment). All I will say is – if you head to Sydney at any point, PLEASE consider budgeting for this tour.
Sydney Itinerary Day 7:
If you are like us, you will likely need to head to the airport bright and early on day 7 for your long journey home. If you happen to have a bit more time to explore Sydney on your last day, head over to the Royal Botanic Gardens and check out one of the number of wonderful museums in Sydney.
I hope that this 7 Day Sydney Itinerary was helpful! Need Sydney Style inspiration? Check out my Sydney Style Guide here. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below or reach out via my contact page. Happy travels!