Thanks in advance for your thoughts...
Take the ferry to Mosman from Circular Quay. Leave the station, make left, walk behind the Sea Scouts hall (or when leaving the dock, go straight, see Mosman 1908 scout hall which was mine, the first established in Australia, and has a direct link to Baden Powell). Walk through the forest (the name escapes me). Easy to find. Climb up the steep steps behind the hall. If you get lost, you shouldn't, you'll soon see hikers. Forest is absolutely unlike anything else in the world. You'll be in a rainforest, turn a corner, sweeping dramatic views of the Harbour, Opera House, Bridge etc. then you are enveloped in a rain forest again and you'll have no clue you're in a major metropolitan city. You can hop on the ferry at Cremorne Point or keep walking over to Neutral Bay along the inlet.
Chinatown is pretty sweet. BBQ King is incredible. The proprietor is this awesome, huge Chinese dude who runs the register. Every transaction ends with: Thank you very much MMMMMMMMMMMMMate!
The Botanical Gardens are stunning.
You can get to the prison in the middle of the Harbour now too I was reading recently. Always wanted to go.
St Anne's Cathedral is amazing as well. It is one of those churches where you can truly feel the presence of God. They also just finished the steeples in the past few years. 100 years after the church.
Walk around the CBD, you'll find something neat.
If you can get to a test match at the SCG, do so.
Some other stuff I have in mind is just what I liked from living there for three years and kinda hard to get to, such as the Mosmon military base. You can drive there and walk around the nature park. Again, just incredible stuff.
Beach wise, I really liked Balmoral but not really too much to keep you there too long. Bondi was meh. I guess go see it. Never spent much time there. North Curl Curl was my favorite although many of the northern beaches are nice. Manly is too crowded.
If you can, take the train out to the Blue Mountains. Those are neat. Plenty of English BnBs out there.
I also liked the bush. TBH, spend a couple days out there wandering around. Nothing else resembles it in the world. You can take the highspeed rail out west or head southwest to Appin. There's a big scouts australia campsite out there you can go to.
Well, that's a start I suppose.
If you like coffee, check out Campos in Newtown. It is excellent. http://www.camposcoffee.com/
Other than the before mentioned, I would suggest Oxford St. in Paddington, or a trip to Hunter valley, a wine region some 200km north of Sydney.
The symphony at the Opera House, under 27s can get c reserve tickets for AUD30
Once Chauvel reopens, the Cinematheque every Monday night
Apart from that there isn't much except the boring and overbuzzed king st Newtown, Oxford st Darlinghurst/Paddington, Five Ways Paddington, Crown St Surry Hills, Darling st Balmain, Norton St Leichhardt for Restaurants.
Are you still in Sydney? If so:
... take some time for yourself in the botanical gardens & hyde park
... for coffee, go to:
- Mecca Espresso (Harris St, Ultimo, King St, CBD)
- Coffee Alchemy (out of the way on the corner of Addison Rd & Cook Rd, Marrickville)
- Reuben Hills (great new Melbourne-style cafe in Surry Hills with a focus on South American cuisine & coffees)
- Sample Coffee (Surry Hills)
- Single Origin (if you like 5-10ml double ristrettos & lots of metrosexuals & queens (mostly heterosexual ones) poncing over fairly nice food)
- Joe Black (Surry Hills, closer to CBD)
... for cakeries, go to:
- Black Star Pastry (just off King St, Newtown)
- Flour & Stone (Wooloomooloo, some of the best cakes in Sydney w/ Coffee Alchemy coffee)