Sydney flights and travel guide

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Reasons to fly to Sydney

When is the best time to fly?

Peak season:

The best time to take a flight to Sydney is during Sydney festival. It starts just after New Year’s and runs through January and is an unforgettable event if you're looking for an exceptional artistic experience. The Sydney festival brings together over 100 events, performed by over 1000 artists, in over 30 venues, including Hyde Park, The Domain, Riverside Theatres and the iconic Sydney Opera House. 

The summer Surfing Carnivals bring travellers from all over, taking flights to Sydney to watch the surfing and other water-sport competitions. There is yacht racing on summer weekends, and the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is on Boxing Day.

Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras attracts over 20,000 visitors, both Aussies and international visitors every year. Expect lots of glitz and glamour during the various exciting events over three weeks during February and March. The iconic celebration of gay pride, diversity, equality, love and acceptance, culminates in the Mardi Gras parade.

For some patriotic celebrations, join the locals in celebrating Australia Day on the 26th of January. Enjoy a variety of events around Sydney Harbour, Hyde Park and throughout the city centre. Then head to Darling Harbour to continue the party while the sun goes down. 

Off Season:

Comfortable to visit any time of year, Sydney is particularly enjoyable in autumn and spring. There is a greater chance of rain in spring, but it usually clears quickly which is why finding cheap flights to Sydney don’t come along everyday.

Why visit?

From the orange-segments shaped Opera House, the Harbour Bridge off which fireworks dance on New Year's Eve, and, of course, Bondi Beach, Sydney is Australia's most instantly recognisable city.

It's not the capital, but it's the top city in the Asia Pacific region for quality of life. With its climate, beaches, parks and gardens, shopping and world-class dining, not to mention the underpinning of any great city, an efficient transport system, Sydneysiders know how to live well.

Take a flight to Sydney and visit Australia's oldest city. Most of the historic buildings stand in Macquarie Street including Hyde Park Barracks (constructed by convict labour), the Mint Building, Parliament House and Sydney Hospital. At the northeast end of the botanic gardens is Mrs Macquarie's Chair, a ledge carved out of sandstone so that Mrs Macquarie, a former governor's wife, could enjoy the views.

A few miles south lies the stunning Botany Bay National Park; the area includes a busy seaport, while opportunities for enjoying the diverse wildlife on land or as part of a diving party are many and varied. Many people choose to eat outdoors at one of Botany Bay's designated picnic areas, but local restaurants provide delicious fresh local produce.

Beyond the city, Sydney is within easy reach of the Hunter Valley vineyards, the Blue Mountains, the beaches and resorts of the east coast, and, for those visiting during the winter months, the ski slopes of the Snowy Mountains, Australia's winter playground. As Sydney is a city with plenty to offer it’s no wonder many travellers look for cheap flights to Sydney.

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Sydney climate

Sydney has a temperate climate with more than 300 sunny days a year. Winters are more cool than cold. June to August are the coolest, and the daytime temperature can drop to 7 degrees Celsius. Sea breezes cool the hot days, and evenings are balmy. Sydney's summer runs from the start of December to the end of February and are humid with occasional downpours. Temperatures are usually in the upper 20s but can go over 37Autumn (March to May) and spring (September to November) are delightful with clear, warm days and mild nights and provide the most pleasant weather conditions. Even during the winter of June to August, temperatures rarely drop below 8 degrees, although the winds can be strong.

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Getting around Sydney

Sydney is a city built around its harbour, and that’s where you will find some of the best sightseeing. The public passenger ferries are run by Sydney Ferries and you can board a monorail down to Darling Harbour. There are plenty of ways to get around the city. The By Sydney Explorer and By Bondi Explorer buses stop almost anywhere you’d want to go in the city and around the harbour and beaches. Take the light-rail tram line to Chinatown, Paddy’s Markets or Darling Harbour. You don’t need to drive, and the one-way streets and lack of parking will eat up your time. Taxis are plentiful and easy to hail on the street. Adventurous travellers who don’t fear heights can join the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb, which walks across catwalks and ladders across the arch of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Getting from the Airport to the City

From Syndey Airport (SYD), the Airport Rail Link is the fastest and most convenient way to reach the city centre and the suburbs. Trains run every ten minutes and the journey to the centre takes 13 minutes from where connections can be made for all suburban services. A taxi rank is located outside the Arrivals hall in both International and Domestic Terminals; passengers must pay airport toll if taking a taxi from any of the airport taxi ranks. Public bus runs between the airport and Bondi Junction. Shuttle bus companies provide direct transport to and from the airport and must be pre-booked; hotel buses are also available.

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Sydney insider information

  • Lots of tourist activities in Sydney are all about the views such as climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There are panoramic views from Mrs Maquarie’s (wife of Governor Macquarie) Chair, in the Royal Botanic Gardens. The Open Air Cinema is close to the Chair. The big screen has the Sydney City Skyline, Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge as a backdrop.
  • Taronga Zoo was opened in 1916 and sits on high land along the waterfront overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Cove and the Opera House. The zoo is just 12 minutes by ferry from the central business district. The Sky Safari cable car runs between the zoo wharf and the top of the zoo.
  • The Rocks is Sydney's oldest preserved colonial area. It is where the first settlers from England landed in 1788. Today, having undergone a makeover, it is a thriving area of galleries, museums, restaurants, cafes and shops. Staying with settlements, Fort Denison was an unhappy place of punishment and confinement for the convicts. It’s part of Sydney Harbour National Park and is open for guided tours.
  • Take the Manly Ferry. Hop on at Circular Quay and cruise the seven nautical miles (takes about 30 minutes each way) to Manly, the suburb by the sea. There’s a lot to do there apart from going to the beach: several heritage walks, galleries and museums, regular festivals and more than 80 restaurants. 
  • For a view of the city and beyond, visit The Sydney Tower, 820 ft above the streets. High-speed double-decker lifts rocket up to the observation desk in just 40 seconds.
  • Don’t forget the beaches especially Bondi, Manly, Coogee, Balmoral, Tamarama and Palm.

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Oonagh Shiel
Content Manager at Cheapflights whose travel life can be best summed up as BC (before children) and PC (post children). We only travel during the school holidays so short-haul trips and staycations are our specialities!
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    In-flight reading

    In a Sunburned Country

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    Unreliable Memoirs

    Clive JamesA must-read. The writer and popular-culture commentator recalls his early years as an only child (his father was killed during the Second World War) in the suburb of Kogarah.

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