Using the Sydney Bus Tour to explore the city

Sydney is one of those iconic cities that you can recognise as soon as you get near. For me, that meant seeing the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge for the first time as my train from the airport arrived at Circular Quay. And what better way to sightsee all the famous attractions than with a Sydney bus tour?

Hidden away within Sydney is a lot of charm, and it’s often understated. It certainly isn’t all centralised. By utilising the Sydney bus tour, travelling on foot and the occasional ferry voyage, I explored Sydney the quieter, more scenic way.

As I mentioned, most journeys tend to begin and around Circular Quay, and mine was no different. My first port of call was to find the hostel I would be staying at. At this point, I was unaware of the Sydney bus tour. I ended up walking the winding cobbled streets and getting a feel for what seemed to be the quietest part of a major city I’ve ever been to. Excluding Adelaide on a Sunday morning.

Walking along the cobbled streets I came across something that intrigued me. A warning sign to point out that there was artwork ahead was lying by the side of the road. At the time it made little sense, but if you look in the background you’ll see what it was trying to point out.

Artwork ahead sign

Or for a better view of the smiley-faced rock crushing a car.

Smiley face rock crushing a car

It’s not what I’d call traditional art, but it’s far more thought-provoking and downright hilarious than most of the island sculptures we have over in England. I thought it might be for an exhibition, but it will still there during my latest venture to Sydney.

After checking in and dumping my single backpack, I headed back to Circular Quay. This time, I was planning to get a Sydney bus tour with Big Bus Tours which is a hop-on-hop-off deal for $50.

Getting around the city became a lot easier, and meant I could spend the travel time on the open-top roof. I used my unobstructed view to get a few sneaky snaps. Otherwise, I spent the trip listening to the guided tour to learn about the various sights and stops.

Not gonna lie, I may have also stopped for a Maccas breakfast to fuel my day, but shortly after I was on the Sydney bus tour.

Sydney from a distance

Depending on the route you decide to take and where you get on the Sydney bus tour, you can end up going quite a distance out of the city. It helps you to get a feel for how big Sydney is, and the size of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Not much later the Sydney bus tour arrived at Bondi Beach. I took some time to get off the hop-on-hop-off bus and went for a walk.

Not too far from Bondi is a walking trail that takes you further along the coastline and back on yourself. I’d recommend wearing some comfortable footwear; thongs/flip-flops don’t quite cut it. The walk ends back at Bondi so you can spend some time at the beach.

Bondai Walk

In this picture, although you can’t see it, the route takes you around the outside of the coast. Behind me, is where you’ll find Bondi, a beautiful gem of a beach.

Fast forward a few hours and I’ve jumped back on the Sydney bus tour ready to check out the next few stops. The route takes you through the city, and past a few of the lesser-known landmarks. By lesser-known, I mean not the major two or three. I’m not going to go into detail for all these because you should go and check it out yourself. My pictures should give you a decent hint of the kind of places you’ll go to or pass.

Sydney as seen from a bus tour
Photograph taken on the Sydney Bus Tour

Having jumped on and off the bus a ridiculous amount of times, I found myself back at Circular Quay. I decided to call my exploration for the day and find a nice chill place for a well deserved ice-cold beverage.

The point to all this is that Sydney is a huge place with a ton to see. I found it to be cost-effective to get a day pass for the Sydney bus tour. Mixed with a bit of walking, I managed to get around to all the places I wanted to see.

If you plan your trip properly you can save a fair few dollars by utilising the different transportation networks in the city. Between the Sydney bus tour, the ferry system, and your legs, it’s extremely easy to get around.

I hope this might inspire a few more people to see everything Sydney has to offer.

If you’ve done a similar trip, please share it with us in the comments!

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