Sydney offers lots of tours and plenty of things to do if you’re prepared to walk. If you’re not prepared to walk, if you prefer a guided tour, or if you want to do something further afield or more adventurous, talk to one of the Australia Section Board Members, who would love to help.
Get out of town
The Blue Mountains is two hours out of Sydney, and a great day-tour. You can do it by train, but it’s more efficient to do it by car, because you have more flexibility and can take in more – as in additional meals/sights/waystops.
Or you can take a coach tour; there are plenty of those, but they tend to be rigid.
The Sydney rail network extends about 250km, and you can traverse that for less than $10 on the Opal card.
Closer to home
There are lots of things to around inner Sydney, and that might be best done on foot on a Sunday, when you get very cheap travel with the Opal Card.
You’ll find lots of suggestions at Destination NSW’s Sydney.com website. Sydney is even more beautiful than the photos suggest.
Consider some options: Sydney Fish Market which opens for tours and breakfast from 0530, Manly Beach (by ferry), Parramatta (by ferry, just the most wonderfully beautiful and relaxing trip if the weather is nice), Darling Harbour (on foot), Bondi Beach (train and bus), Botanic Gardens and Mrs Macquarie’s Chair (on foot), Sydney Tower, Sydney Aquarium (at Darling Harbour, so on foot), and many other sights: all do-able with just a little planning.
Taronga Park Zoo is possibly one of the best zoos in the world. It’s right up there with (for example) San Diego. More particularly, it’s right up there. Taronga Park is on a plateau overlooking the Harbour, so the excursion gives you a triple exposure: ferry ride to the Zoo, one of the world’s most spectacular views, and and one of the world’s most spectacular zoos. The zoo is also home to a new 5:1 aspect ratio immersive video/audio experience which is a topic of one of the SMPTE17 presentations.
Monday 17 July
Is a non-conference day. Monday would be a good day to test your navigation, so that you don’t face panic on Tuesday just as your session is about to start.
If Sunday 16 July turns out poor weather, then Monday might be the day to do the tourist thing. Outside peak hours, public transport might be quieter on Monday, and the museums and attractions will certainly be less crowded.
Word of warning: Monday is the day that attractions (day) and restaurants (night) are most likely to be dark. If they are going to close at all, it will be Monday. So check carefully before assuming. But most of the attractions that you’re likely to want to see in Sydney are open daily.