Sydney Accomodations? Activities?

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<p>I am headed to Sydney for work, and have a few days to relax at the end. Any recommendations for lodging and activities for three days. Hostels are ok, but I prefer ensuite private rooms usually. Thanks for the help! </p>

Not sure your budget, but I've been to Sydney twice. First visit I stayed at one of the Travelodges (a moderate budget chain in Australia, fancy but rooms come with refrigerator, microwave, and kitchen sink so you can save on food (restaurant meals in Australia are very expensive). They have a few locations in Sydney; I was at the Wentworth location which is a mixed neighborhood and walking distance to the train station and metro.
On my second trip I wanted something better and found Napoleon on Kent ( which offers fully contained studio apartments; quite nice and it was reasonably priced. It's near Circle Quay and the historic Rocks area and a few blocks to the metro.
I'd also advise paging through Trip Advisor for ideas as well.

On activities. The hop-on/hop-off buses in Sydney are great, although I read they were just privatized. New website is When I was there they ran two different routes and you day's ticket was good on both. Great think to do day one to introduce you to the city. Also if you like hiking and nature one of the Grayline day tours to the Blue Mountains is nice as well.

Make sure you go to the Sydney Aquarium -- it's one of the best aquariums in the world.

I totally agree about the Sydney Aquarium. It's amazing.
And then there's the Opera House. You can't miss seeing it, but you really should visit it and attend a performance in one of its theaters if possible. We found the formal tour worthwhile but less interesting than expected. It's great just wandering around that fascinating building and its incredible setting.

Have lunch at one of the outdoor terrace restaurants at Darling Harbor, window shop in the Queen Victoria Building, and stroll across the Domain to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, where you'll be introduced to wonderful Australian artists whom you probably never knew existed, such as Roberts, McCubbin and Streeton. Take a ferry from Circular Quay to Bondi or to the Taronga Zoo, or both. There's no better way to see Sydney than from the water.

I've found good and reasonably priced accommodation at the York Street Apartments, about three blocks from Circular Quay. Living room, dining area, bedroom, and working kitchen. About two blocks from a full-size supermarket in one of the underground stations.

I was in Sydney with my husband November 2007 as part of a tour group. Following are my specific notes for Sydney:
Sydney: Find a centrally located hotel on the Circular Quay. Do go to the top of Sydney Tower, but avoid the Oz Trek. Do take a Sydney Opera House tour. We got tickets to the opera after our tour; however, you can get tickets in advance via Do visit the Queen Victoria Building, not for shopping, but for the clocks and architecture. Do visit the Museum of Sydney and Hyde Park Barracks Museum. Do take a harbor cruise or ferry. Do see Priscilla Queen of the Desert—the Musical. It’s been an ongoing engagement at the Lyric Theater. Eat Italian at Rossini on the Circular Quay and cook your own steak at Phillip’s Foote (101 George Street, the Rocks). We would have liked more time in Sydney.
ITN (Dec09) shared that BridgeClimb Sydney opened a Sydney Harbor Bridge Visitors Center (3 Cumberland St, The Rocks, Sydney, featuring display galleries, interactive exhibits and a digital, high-definition cinema detailing the bridge’s history from preconstruction through the present day. Admission is free. We have friends who did Bridge Climb and raved about the experience.
ITN (Dec07) posted a warning that in the Rocks district of Sydney, men impersonating police have had tourists hand over passports and credit cards for scanning. This is a scam. Authorities advise all visitors approached by any policeman to insist on seeing his badge and ID card and knowing his name, rank, and station. Under no circumstance should an officer ask to scan your bank information on the street.
Australia is a diverse country with warm, friendly people. We enjoyed our time there and would return in a heartbeat!

Regarding the tour of the opera house (not sure if you are interested but what the heck) there is the standard hour tour which is offered during the day for a moderate price.
Then there is a very early morning tour (I think we had to be there at 6am) which is two hours, very expensive, and they treat you to breakfast in the Green Room afterwards. This is far more extensive and you see much more of the opera house. They'll even let you sing on stage if you want to.
In January 2008 we stayed at the Hyde Park Inn which was nice enough, with a kitchen, but the rate then was 175AUD per night for a double. It is facing the park and there is much in the neighborhood. It is a short bus ride from the harbor area. (Back then the dollar was a lot stronger than it is now!)
If you are interested in seeing a performance at the Opera House (they don't only do opera), you can book online very easily. Then you just pick up your ticket before the performance.
Sydney is a great city!