Before you hit the beach or the outback, get the best of Sydney. In a day you’ll easily see the opera house, the cute Aussie animals and much more. And wherever you go, there’s the best harbour view in the world.

 

Only have one day? Sydney is often the first, and possibly the best you see of Oz. Here’s how I’d spend a jetlagged, laid back day.

WHERE TO WAKE UP
The Haven Inn
196 Glebe Point Rd.
haveninnsydney.com.au
At the Haven Inn, a three-star hotel with a pool, air conditioning and a location right where I want to be — in Glebe. This is a quietly fashionable inner city suburb with a warm and laid back atmosphere, where arty intellectual locals mix with backpackers.

 

WHERE TO SPEND THE MORNING
Circular Quay
Start with a healthy veggie breakfast at Iku Whole food (25A Glebe Point Rd.) and then hop on a bus down to Circular Quay. The city centre is compact and the historic quarters The Rocks, the stunning Opera house and the Royal Botanic Gardens are all within a comfortable stroll.

 

WHERE TO LUNCH
The Shop on the Hop
I would get some takeout food from The Shop on the Hop at Mrs Macquaries Point in the Royal Botanical gardens and munch on it in the shade of a gigantic tropical tree with the best harbour view in the world. I’d advise meat eaters to continue to the verandahs of the Botanic Gardens restaurant.


WHERE TO SPEND THE AFTERNOON
Taronga Zoo
taronga.org.au
I’d get the ferry to Sydney’s Taronga zoo. A zoo pass ($49.50, adult) includes return ferry ticket, zoo entry, bus transfer and sky safari. My apologies to fuzzy indigenous creatures, the highlight is the 3 p.m. daily Free Flight Bird Show with a stunning Sydney Harbour backdrop.


HOW TO SPEND THE NIGHT
The Rocks Pub Tour
therocks.com
With some luck I’ll be back at Circular Quay for The Rocks Pub Tour, a way to learn more about Sydney’s early days of convicts, whalers and sailors and wash it down with local brews like Tooheys (Australians don’t drink Fosters at home).


WHERE TO HAVE DINNER
Zaffran
zaffran.com
Then it’s off to the sparkling lights of Darling Harbour and divine Indian food at award winning Zaffran. (Set menu: three courses, $31.50) Darling Harbour is Sydney’s favourite dining, drinking and entertainment playground and a short cab ride back to Glebe.