Wrapped around its unspoilt beaches and heavenly harbour, Sydney possesses all the ingredients of being a dreamy holiday. It is an iconic and cosmopolitan city that boasts of some of the most beautiful sights on this planet and world heritage sites apart from the rich sporting history, which it continues to preserve.
Sydney ranks as one of the most expensive cities on the world map and it goes without saying that planning a sudden trip to Sydney is not a feasible idea if you are tight on money.
However, the concept of backpacking is a good idea if you want to travel on a budget. For a traveller who is also a sports fan, Sydney is an ideal vacation spot and you can well explore it as a backpacker.
If the purpose of your trip is just to soak in the Sydney vibes and get a taste of their heritage, avoid the peak season – around Christmas, New Year and early January – and visit from late September to early December or February to April. You’ll get cheaper deals and find lesser crowds in an otherwise cramped Sydney.
You must have an itinerary in place and more importantly, stick to it if you wish to have a smooth and comfortable stay in Sydney.
First things first: get an Opal card. This a free Metro card. You just need to recharge it and it can be used anywhere on the transportation system – ferry, light rail and Metro. Per day, the maximum fare is 15 USD and on Sundays, it is just USD 2.50, irrespective of the distance and place.
The closer you are to the centre, the more the cost is. In order to not splurge on accomodation, food and drinks, you must head to the Kings Cross street. Book a bed in a hostel’s dorm and for most of the time, try to survive on cheap meals like sandwiches, burgers and fries.
One of Sydney’s biggest tourist attractions is the Cockatoo Island, Sydney harbour’s largest island. You need to take a short ferry ride from the Sydney Centre to get there. Meanwhile, don’t restrict your beach-list to just the famous Bondi beach as there are a few more lovely beaches in Sydney like Manly, Watson’s Bay, Coogee and Bronte. If you are not ready to fight for a space to relax on the beach, avoid going there on weekends.
Apart from the turquoise waters, the tourists are attracted to the wildlife in Sydney. The widely recommended zoos in Sydney are Taronga and Featherdale. The Victorian capital of Melbourne is called the sporting capital of Australia. But, it does have a competition in Sydney that houses the famous Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
Sydney is the largest city in Australia and it will not be possible to explore everything in one single trip. If you travel to Sydney as a sports fan, you need to get your priorities straight and look for ways that will not burn your pocket.
From beaches, museums, nature walks to some exceptional local deals, Sydney offers several free and cheap tours that will help you save plenty of money, which can be used on sports tours.
No sport means more to Australians than Cricket. With it’s two Victorian-era pavillions alongside its 21st-century grandstands, the SCG is the most picturesque stadium in Australia. It comes in the spotlight every year in early January for the annual Test Australia plays. The stadium goes pink as the match raises funds for breast cancer research.
A lot of iconic names in Cricket have been associated with Sydney. Memories of Victor Trumper, Don Bradman, Keith Miller, Richie Benaud, Michael Clarke and many more legends are shielded at the SCG – the place that has witnessed some of the enduring moments in the history of Australian cricket.
The city is also home to Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunders – the two franchises of the Big Bash League (BBL), Australia’s professional T20 league. While Sixers play at the SCG, Thunders shine at the ANZ Stadium in the Olympic Park.
As a sports enthusiast, a walking tour of the historic SCG should be on the top of your to-do list. It is a guided walking tour that takes the guests behind the scenes of Sydney Cricket and the stadium (Ticket – 30AUD per adult). You need to pay extra if you wish to get access to the SCG Museum. The other stadiums you could explore in the city are Sydney Football Stadium, ANZ Stadium and Leichhardt Oval.
Sydney, a dynamic city with laid-back beach culture and prolific sporting history, is on the bucket list of almost every traveller. But, if you do not watch out, it can burn your pocket faster than a fire ! It just needs you to be smart with better planning as Sydney offers an array of cheap and affordable activities that will keep you busy.
– Sakshi Gupta