Cheap Alternative Cruise Shore Excursions in Sydney (On Your Own)
Sydney, capital of New South Wales and one of Australia's largest cities, is best known for its harbor front Sydney Opera House, with a distinctive sail-like design. Massive Darling Harbor and the smaller Circular Quay port are hubs of waterside life, with the arched Harbor Bridge and esteemed Royal Botanic Garden nearby. Sydney Tower's outdoor platform, the Skywalk, offers 360-degree views of the city and suburbs. National parks ring the city and penetrate right into its heart. Large chunks of the harbor are still edged with bush, while parks cut their way through the skyscrapers and suburbs. On the coast, Sydney ends abruptly in sheer walls of sandstone punctuated by arcs of golden sand. In summer they're covered with bronzed bodies making the most of a climate that encourages outdoor socializing, exercising, flirting and fun. After a lazy Saturday at the beach, if you want to dress up and show off, there's plenty of opportunity for that among the sparkling lights of the harbor. Compared to its Australian sister cities, Sydney is loud, uncompromising and boisterous. Australia's best musos, foodies, actors, stockbrokers, models, writers and architects flock to the city to make their mark, and the effect is dazzling: a hyper energetic, ambitious marketplace of the soul, where anything goes and everything usually does. With all of these fabulous attributes, Sydney is a great place to experience, and there are several options for budget friendly shore excursions and tours for while you are in port here.
When your cruise ship docks in Sydney, go ashore for the experience of a lifetime: climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Begin your Bridge Climb experience at the Sydney Harbor Bridge Visitors Centre. Your guide meets you after check-in and provides a thorough safety briefing. Next, slip the protective Bridge Suit over your clothes and you're ready to go. Your climbing group has a maximum of 14 people, which allows for customized attention from your professional guide. Once you are securely clipped into the safety line, follow your guide on the steady incline that takes you along catwalks, ladders and arches of the bridge until you reach the summit. Enjoy some time at the summit, 440 feet above ground level, to take in the sights and pose for photos taken by your guide, who also stops to take group photos at several points during your journey. Admire the sails of the Sydney Opera House to the east, the Blue Mountains in the west (on a clear day) and the waters of Sydney Harbor sparkling all around you. When you return to the visitor's center, your guide presents you with a Bridge Climb completion certificate, hat and group picture to take home. Most people with a moderate level of fitness can do the climb, and the staff offers extra reassurance to nervous climbers. After receiving your certificate, make your own way back to the port to re-board your ship.
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Explore the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains with a private guide on a full-day shore excursion from Sydney. Start your day with morning pickup from your cruise ship at the port in Sydney, then set out in an air-conditioned private vehicle to the Blue Mountains region. About 90 minutes from Sydney, stop for morning tea and an easy stroll around Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah. Admire extensive hillside gardens with a collection of 40,000 cool climate plants and views overlooking the Blue Mountains. Then go to nearby lookout point that shows the expanse of Grose Valley's sandstone rock and blue-tinged forests. Continue driving to Echo Point where your guide takes you to a lesser-known lookout with a great perspective on the Three Sisters rock formation. Next up, visit Waradah Aboriginal Culture Center to gain a deeper understanding of Aboriginal culture. Watch a dance performance accompanied by didgeridoo, then listen to a talk about the culture led by an indigenous guide at the center. After a busy morning, relax over a two-course lunch at a restaurant in Leura, a quaint mountain town. In the historic town of Wentworth Falls, you can stroll to a lookout point with views Jamison Valley and the waterfall that gives the town its name. Learn about the region's history, settlement and ecology from your informative guide. You can hike, take photos and spend more time in your favorite places on this customizable private tour. At the end of a fascinating full-day Blue Mountains tour, your guide returns you to your ship in Sydney.
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Enjoy an insider's perspective on the iconic Sydney Opera House during a 1-hour walking tour. The Sydney Opera House consists of a number of theaters that host more than 1,500 performances per year and attract millions of visitors. Widely considered one of the world's premier performing arts venues, the Sydney Opera House is also an architectural masterpiece and UNESCO World Heritage site. As you stroll at a leisurely pace around the famous opera house complex, your guide shares the controversies that erupted during the construction process, which began in 1958. The venue opened formally in 1973, with Queen Elizabeth II in attendance. Hear fascinating stories you explore one of the concert halls and access parts of the complex that are not regularly open to the public. If you're lucky, you might even catch a rehearsal in progress or get the chance to walk onstage.
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Enjoy Sydney sightseeing on a white-knuckle speedboat ride on this 1-hour high-speed cruise to Bondi Beach. Arrive at Circular Quay 15 minutes prior to your scheduled departure to meet your driver and complete the brief sign in process. Once you board the vessel you will then observe the safety briefing. A requirement for all offshore adventures. The vessel will then depart the wharf and you'll have a unique perspective of Sydney's famous landmarks as you speed through Sydney Harbor. Sights include the Harbor Bridge, Opera House, Fort Denison, Lady Macquaries Chair, Clark and Shark Islands. At the opening of the Sydney Heads the vessel will reach full power and skip across the waves all the way to the 90 meter, sandstone cliffs of North Head and out into the opening ocean. It is here your driver will stop and explain the ocean conditions for that given day and explain what type of ride you are in for. The driver will then reach full speed again and shoot back across the heads to the infamous 'Gap' before riding the waves at the base of the cliffs for almost 7 kilometers down the coast to Bondi Beach. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, whales, sharks and seals. Once at Bondi the vessel will come to a stop and you will have a chance to get out of your seat and move around the vessel to get the perfect 'selfie' in front of the world famous Bondi Beach. Your driver will point out various points of interest as you cruise further south past Tamara and Bronte Beaches. Then it's back into your seat and holding on tight and you blast over 1 kilometer offshore over the swell and back up the coast to the harbor entrance. Once back inside the harbor you will cruise past Watson's Bay and Taronga Zoo on route back to Circular Quay.
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