Known worldwide for its picturesque harbour and iconic Opera House, Sydney is a dream destination for many travellers. Arguably the best thing about the city, though, is its close connection to nature despite being a buzzing metropolis, full of life and many places to discover.
This is why Sydney is a perfect place for an English course, and surely one of the most rewarding places on Earth – read on to find out why!
Sydney’s harbour has an energetic pulse and offers lots of options for things to do in your free time. Luckily, our school is just a 20-minute walk from this vibrant area, so you can easily access all the attractions here after your lessons have finished.
Sydney Opera House
An emblematic symbol of the city, Sydney’s Opera House sits proudly on the harbour. Not many buildings are as well known as this architectural masterpiece. Built in 1959 and finished in 1973, the Opera House not only changed the face of the city but also many people’s picture of Australia itself. The building hosts over 1,500 concerts and performances every year, drawing in a total audience of more than a million. Its key role in city life caused it to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.
The best thing about this monumental building is that you can take a look inside. And no, you don’t need to buy a ticket for show: the building offers regular tours, allowing you to learn more about its history and construction. If you want to have a peek behind the curtain, the Opera also offers daily backstage tours that reveal insider information about the building.
We highly recommend seeing one of the performances here during your stay. It’s not just about an evening of entertainment – watching an English-language play, musical, or comedy act is a great way to put your new skills to the test and maintain your immersion.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the Opera House shows and tours, check out the website!
Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Sydney Harbour Bridge spans the harbour and connects two of the city’s key districts: The Rocks and North Sydney. The Rocks neighbourhood is just across Circular Quay Wharf from the Sydney Opera House and is one of the city’s most historic areas. Boasting funky bars and some of Australia’s oldest pubs, it’s a must see for any visitor. Across the river in North Sydney is the Central Business District (CBD), a built-up area which is home to various multinational corporations and luxury apartments.
Nicknamed ‘The Coathanger’ for its shape, Sydney Harbour Bridge is another iconic Australian monument. After dark, this colossus shines with warm lights and is quite a sight to behold. As the widest long-span bridge in the world and the 6th-longest-spanning arch bridge, it’s on the list of Australian National Heritages.
As well as offering easy connections between two sides of the city, the bridge also offers astounding views over the harbour and surrounding city. If seeing this from road-level isn’t enough for you, you can climb the 89 m to the top of the south-eastern pylon, where an observation deck allows you to look out over the city. For the even more adventurous, why not join the climb to the very top?! Yes – there are tours that let you walk on the arch itself, giving you a birds’ eye view of the city. Overcome your fears and experience a once-in-a-lifetime panorama!
To see the harbour from yet another perspective, take part in a Sydney Harbour cruise! You’ll learn more about the area, its history, and the many sights and attractions in the area.
There’s a variety of different cruises available, from speed boats to sailboats, and even traditional tall ships. Some tours also include dinner on deck. Our school is happy to give you advice about which cruise will fit you best, and a boat tour may even feature on the activity programme.
If you have a do-it-yourself-mentality, you can rent a kayak and have your very own cruise around the harbour. This way, you decide which route to take, which places to admire, and where to paddle next. A kayak adventure on the waters of Sydney sounds like a fun and unforgettable experience!
On the other side of Harbour Bridge is Luna Park. It’s close to the bay and you can’t miss the entrance – a giant clown’s face framed by two huge towers is hard not to see! This amusement park, at over 80 years old, is an iconic feature of the city and a heritage-listed attraction.
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You can take a gentle turn on the more lighthearted rides like the carousel or the Ferris wheel or, if you need more thrills, you can check out the gravity-defying Rotor. This ride presses you against the wall while you spin around, while the nearby Moon Ranger pendulum swings back and forth until you make a complete 360° turn. There’s also the drop tower called The Hair Raiser that will bring you up 50 metres high and offer you a great view of the city before plunging you down at 80 km/h.
Whatever you prefer, this colourful park will provide hours of entertainment!
What’s different about Sydney compared to other Australian cities is the many green places you’ll find here. Parks and gardens are almost everywhere, even in the very centre, and there’s a huge number of lovely beaches on the eastern edge of the city. There is a place for everyone, whether you want hiking trails, tranquil gardens, grassy fields for playing sports, an afternoon on the sand, or a nice meadow in which to relax and recharge your batteries.
Royal Botanic Gardens
One of the most impressive spaces in Sydney is the Royal Botanic Gardens. Well worth a visit, you’ll find this public park next to the Sydney Opera House. The Gardens, which are over 200 years old, contain over 27,000 different varieties of plants! This beautiful, peaceful area is one of the most popular attractions in the city.
Throughout the year you can also visit different exhibits in the Gardens. For example, the Plants with Bite Exhibit – which is open until July 2020 – gives you a great insight into the world of carnivorous plants. Enter this strange realm and learn more about these fascinating lifeforms – at just $5 AUS a ticket, you’d be silly not to!
The Gardens are also home to other themed sections, including the Succulent Garden, the Palm House, and the Oriental Garden. This huge space has several workshop spaces, a visitors’ shop, and a café, so you can easily spend an afternoon here.
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When people think of Australia, they often picture life by the beach, and Sydney is no exception to this. In fact, this cosmopolitan city has well over 100 beaches! Wherever you are, you’ll be within easy reach of one or more beaches, making this a great place to enjoy the sun down-under. There is one important thing to keep in mind, though: Australia is in the southern hemisphere, so their seasons are the opposite of those in the northern hemisphere. July has an average temperature of 16 °C, while December temperatures often reach 30 °C.
As our language school is located close to the harbour, you can easily access Sydney’s beaches using the many public transport links in the area. Double Day Beach, Seven Shillings Beach, and Rose Bay are all available to you after your lessons have finished. What’s more, our school often arranges trips to a beach as part of the activity programme, so you’ll be able to enjoy a barbecue by the water with your classmates.
A little further out of the city is the suburb of Manly, where many other beaches await, including the popular Manly Beach. You’re guaranteed to find a nice place to relax on this enormous strip of sand. Afterwards, you can check out the laid-back Manly suburb, which is full of interesting shops and eateries.
Blue Mountains National Park
Another great natural sight just outside Sydney is the Blue Mountains National Park. Our school includes trips to this wonderful UNESCO World Heritage area in its activity programme, allowing you to discover some of the stunning nature in this wonderful country. The area is so named because of the blue haze created by the eucalyptus forest in the area. Oil droplets from the trees mix with water vapour and the sunlight to create this magical and distinctive haze. It’s a place like no other!
There’s a wealth of things to do in this natural treasure. You can explore impressive caves, go rock climbing, take part in an aboriginal Blue Mountain walk and learn more about the national park’s history, or pay the Three Sisters a visit. These iconic rock formations should be on your bucket list!
Our English language school in Sydney is a large and friendly facility with 2 student lounges, a communal kitchen and dining area, and lots of quiet study spaces where you can do your homework or go over lesson content. It’s a 5-time winner of Study Travel Magazine’s Star School Award and is a member of quality-control organisations like English Australia and Australia Future Unlimited. It offers a variety of immersive language courses and an interesting and educational activity programme after class. What more could you need?!
To find out how we can help you make your English language experience happen, contact us now!