Sydney Expat Interview Series Part 7: Advice for a Tourist

Sydney, Sydney Expat Interviews

So many expats bring an insatiable curiosity to their new homes, causing many of us to explore with a fervor unmatched even by long-term residents. Perhaps it is because a lot of expats know they they only have a limited time before the next assignment, and also the inherent sense of wonder that brought us across the world to begin with, that we want to peek into every crevice.

With that in mind, I asked the expats this month to play tour guide. Assuming we’ve seen the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour, and Bondi Beach, and we have one last day in Sydney, where would you tell us to go? I think you’ll agree that there are gems in here for any taste. Our tourists are going to need to add a few more days to their trip!

This is the 7th in an 18 part interview series with expats living in Sydney. Please make sure to visit the fantastic websites of the participants here, and follow me on Facebook for much more on expat life in Sydney.

Sydney Expat Interview Series - Advice for a Tourist


Question 7: I’m a tourist. I’ve seen all of the typical “must-do’s.” I have one more day in Sydney. What should I see?

Name: Debbie
Country of origin: England
Lived in Sydney: 10 years

Oh wow, so many places; for a slower pace I love to recommend Fagan’s Park up at Galston to families with kids. It’s a huge, open, green park with paths for bikes, scooters, prams etc. plus a playground, coffee shop, barbeques, a lake and lots of different cultural gardens.

It’s a little way out of Sydney, but while out that way, there’s also the Cumberland State forest which also has a café and some small bush walks and right next door is the Koala Park.

The Sydney Olympic Park is always worth checking out – they have lots of events going on all the time.

Then there’s Palm Beach where ‘Home and Away’ is shot on location, there’s not much else there though – so take your own food and drinks.

And of course, not forgetting the fabulous Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. Stunning views and if you time it right, you get to see all the sculptures in ‘Sculpture by the Sea’ between Bondi and Tamarama.

Name: Erin
Country of origin: Texas, USA
Lived in Sydney: 6 1/2 years
Erin blogs at TexErin-in-Sydneyland

I’d suggest a coastal walk – Bondi to Coogee is probably the most famous of the bunch (and is worth its reputation), but there are so many others as well. A great site for this is

Bondi to Coogee

Name: Victoria
Country of origin: England
Lived in Sydney: 5 years
Victoria blogs at The Freedom Travellers
I have two recommendations for tourists in addition to the usual tourist attractions. The first is Taronga Zoo, get the ferry across from Circular Quay, the bird show is a must, one of the best views of Sydney from there.
The second would have to be Manly, again, a ferry ride from Circular Quay. Think beach, bars, restaurants and shopping all in one place!

Name: Dido
Country of origin: India
Lived in Sydney: 1.5 years

Couple of options: Taronga zoo in the morning and Luna park at night. Balmoral Beach is another hidden gem if you are a family picnic and beach person.

Name: Julia
Country of origin: UK
Lived in Sydney: 6 years

Go to Balmoral beach and have fish and chips sitting on the grass in front of the Rotunda. I think its such a beautiful beach compared to the “must see” Bondi. Walk up and down the promenade, go and walk up on the island and look out at the stunning views. Or if you’ve not done the zoo – catch a ferry from Circular Quay and go – as it has to be one of the most stunning locations for a zoo in the world – the Giraffes have views to die for!!

Another option would be to go to the Sydney fish markets and have fish and chips at Doyles! just beware the seagulls!!

Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo

Name:  “Bushranger”
Country of origin: Serbia
Lived in Sydney: 6.5yrs

Featherdale Wildlife Park if you actually want to pet kangaroos and koalas.
Also, I would have them visit West Head – amazing views and nature.

Wallabies at West Head Lookout

Wallabies at West Head Lookout


Name: Caitlin
Country of origin: England
Lived in Sydney: 1 year
Caitlin blogs at Where’s Wallis

Hop on a ferry from Circular Quay over to Cockatoo Island. If it’s summer time you can get a drink and a pizza from the Island Bar before exploring the island. It has such a rich history and it’s great fun poking around the deserted buildings.

Name: Kirstie
Country of origin: United States
Lived in Sydney: Since September 2013
Kirstie blogs at Venga Vale Vamos

Wander around Newtown and take in all the character!

Name: Shane
Country of origin: USA
Lived in Sydney: 1 year
Shane blogs at Sea Salt Secrets

Newtown Street art via Sea Salt Secrets

Newtown Street art via Sea Salt Secrets

The street art of Newtown!!!



Name: Mollie
Country of origin: USA
Lived in Sydney: 4 years

Go walk around Balmain and see the shops, check out the views from one of the parks, and eat at a cafe and get dessert at one of the patisseries. Have a relaxed day.

Name: Ashley
Country of origin: United States
Lived in Sydney: 2 years (in Newcastle)
Visit Ashley on Instagram

The view from the park in Dover Heights. It’s such an amazing view of the harbour and I don’t think many people get to that area.
If you’re feeling brave, there’s nothing like checking out Ikea in another country!
Also, check out a cricket match. I thought I would hate it when I moved here but I find that I really enjoy watching it and my kids love playing it!

Name: Rachel
Country of origin: England
Lived in Sydney: 3 years, 9 months

Apart from seeing and appreciating the incredible historic architecture around the city (QVB, The Rocks, Australian Mint, etc), I would recommend participating in or watching a live Australian sporting event. Whether it be Aussies Rules game, the Australian Tennis open, a cricket match at SCG, seeing the Melbourne Cup or local soccer match, I’ve always found it gives real perspective to the Aussie culture. It amazed me at my first Aussie Rules game to see the spectators from each team sitting amongst each other and being good natured. This would never happen in the UK, with much less verbal chanting in Sydney.

What’s your best tip for a Sydney tourist who has seen all the most famous sights?
Your favorite spot just a little off the beaten path?

Read Part 1: Expectations vs Reality
Read Part 2: The Most Memorable Sydney Day
Read Part 3: Your First Day in Sydney
Read Part 4: Drinking Like an Aussie
Read Part 5: The Birds of Sydney
Read Part 6: Australian Christmas