Majestic and iconic, Sydney needs little introduction. One of the most culturally rich, picturesque and dynamic cities in the world – not to mention the financial epicentre of the Asia-Pacific region – it’s no surprise that the exciting coastal metropolis has been selected as the setting for Sibos 2018.
For those exhibiting at Sibos, this could be the ideal opportunity to explore all that Sydney has to offer. But of course, you’re there to work, and after a long day on your feet, there’s little time or mental space left to begin contemplating what to see and where to go in Australia’s largest city. If you are lucky enough to get a day off, where do you start?
The good news is we’ve done all the hard work for you. Whether you want to relax, unleash your inner thrillseeker or live the high life, we’ve found something for everyone. Here are our top 10 things to see and do in Sydney during Sibos…
1. Clear your head with a refreshing walk: Bondi to Coogee
More info: www.bonditocoogeewalk.com
Breathtaking cliff-top views, glistening bays, and historic ocean pools where you can cool off with a quick dip – if you only have time to do one coastal walk in Sydney, make sure it’s Bondi to Coogee. The stunning six kilometre walk is the perfect way to shake off the jetlag – and if you find yourself in need of a caffeine boost, you can enjoy the panoramic views from one of the many cafes dotted along the way.
2. Sydney Opera House
Cost: Free to walk around. Prices for tours vary. The standard Opera House tour costs $33.30 for an adult
Opening times: The box office is open 9am-8.30pm Mon- Sat and 9am-6pm Sun. Tours run from 9-5 every day
Contact details: +61 (2) 9250 7111
One of the most famous feats of modern architecture, Sydney’s magnificent Opera House is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the city. If you have time to take in a show, Dario Fo’s political farce Accidental Death of An Anarchist will be running until the 27th October. If you’re short on time but still want to see what’s beneath those famous waves, there are plenty of other ways to experience the splendour of the iconic building. Take a guided tour, an access-all-areas backstage tour, or pay a visit to one of the Opera House’s many beautifully designed cafes and restaurants.
3. Get your adrenaline pumping: Harbour Bridge Climb
Cost: Prices start from $163 per adults
Contact details: +61 (2) 8274 7777
If you suffer from vertigo, look away now. If you don’t mind heading up towards the clouds for a jaw-dropping view, however, the Harbour Bridge climb is bucket list material. Whether you go for the spectacular twilight climb which takes place as the sun is setting, or the less intrepid (but no less breathtaking) halfway climb, it’s guaranteed to be an experience you’ll never forget.
4. Find your inner zen: Royal Botanic Garden
Opening times: 7am – 7.30pm in October
Contact details: +61 (2) 9231 8111
Set against the bustling urban backdrop of Sydney harbour, the historic Royal Botanic Garden is an unexpected oasis of calm and tranquility. Take a stroll through the romantic rose garden, marvel at rare and exotic plants or learn about Aboriginal culture with a heritage tour. When you’ve worked up an appetite, find a suitably shaded spot for a picnic and enjoy the peace and quiet.
5. Feed your inner artist: Art Gallery of New South Wales
Cost: Some collections are free to browse. Prices for exhibitions vary.
Opening times: 10am-5pm every day, 10am-10pm Thursday’s
Contact details: +61 (2) 9225 1744
If you’re a bit of a culture vulture, you won’t regret spending an hour or two of your downtime at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. One of Australia’s most respected and celebrated cultural institutions, the gallery presents over 30 exhibitions each year as well as its own curated collections. Peruse ancient Aboriginal art, discover the works of Australian impressionist John Russell or explore the meaning and history of the colour blue at the hotly anticipated Into The Blue exhibition, featuring artworks by David Hockney.
6. Take to the seas: The Darling Harbour ferry ride
Cost: From $7 per adult
Opening times: Mon-Fri from 8.30am until midnight. Additional weekend services
Contact details: +61 (2) 9206 1111
A trip to Sydney without a ferry ride would be like a trip to Rome without seeing the Colosseum. You simply can’t experience the full majesty of the world’s most famous harbour from dry land – and with so many different ferry rides to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice. If you’re pressed for time and just want to dip your toe in the water, so to speak, opt for the trip from Circular Quay to Darling Harbour. It lasts around twenty minutes and when you arrive at Darling Harbour, the array of shops, restaurants, cinemas and cafes means you’ll have plenty to see and do.
7. Explore Sydney… by kayak
Cost: $100 per person, 20% discount for groups of 10 or more
Opening times: All week – weather dependent
Contact details: +61 (0) 4162 39543
While Sydney is famed for many things, you may not know that it boasts a huge and varied range of kayaking experiences. Whether you’re a kayaking aficionado or an absolute beginner, there’s something to suit every ability- from choppy creeks to lilting beaches. If you want to get up close and personal with the city’s most iconic sights, opt for Oz Paddle’s Sydney Highlights Tour: a leisurely two-hour paddle around the harbour that takes you within touching distance of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.
8. Dine out in style: Bennelong restaurant
Cost: A la carte lunch menu starts at $100 per head
Opening times: Lunch Fri-Sun, 12-2pm. Dinner daily 6.30pm-10pm
Contact details: +61 (2) 9240 8000
Where can you find one of Australia’s most celebrated fine dining restaurants? Inside Australia’s most celebrated building, of course. Located within a majestic wing of the iconic Sydney Opera House, Bennelong’s spectacular setting is superseded only by the quality of the food. Take in the dramatic views across the harbour as you enjoy the mouthwatering menu; a homage to home-grown Australian produce, including local Sydney rock oysters, roasted Tasmanian octopus and ‘chocolate cake from across the water’.
9. Relax and soak up some sun: Bondi Beach & Bondi Icebergs Pool Club
Cost: Pool entry (includes sauna) from $6.50 per adult
Opening times: Mon-Fri 6am-6.30pm (closed on Thurs), Sat-Sun 6.30am-6.30pm
Contact details: +61 (2) 9130 4804
Famed for its beauty and surf appeal, Sydney’s world renowned Bondi Beach is a must-see spot. Apart from golden sands, crystal clear waters and a wealth of watersports to enjoy, it’s there that you’ll find the Bondi Icebergs Pool Club. The historic club is over 100 years old and boasts an immaculate 50 metre saltwater pool, yoga classes by the sea, a gym, and a sauna – perfect for unwinding after a long, busy day. Oh, and the view from its sun-drenched balcony isn’t too bad either.
10. Business and pleasure: Shangri La Hotel
If you like your drinks with a view, make a beeline for Sydney’s Shangri-La hotel. By day you can make use of their business centre which offers ‘office away from the office’ facilities, including individual work stations and high speed internet access. By night you can experience one of the most spectacular views in the city from the luxury of the Blu Bar cocktail lounge, located on the 36th floor.
There you have it: our 10 top things to do in Sydney during Sibos 2018 (although we could easily have stretched to 50). Whether you have an hour in between meetings for a quick walk, a free evening to enjoy a touch of luxury or a full day off to explore the coast, Sydney has something to satisfy everyone.
Sibos may be the main event but the backdrop is just too good to be missed.
And don’t forget, the Invictus Games is also being held in Sydney whilst Sibos is taking place – you can find out more here: https://www.invictusgames2018.org/
*All prices correct at time of publishing.