Why go to Sydney (Australia)?
Arguably the world’s most spectacular harbor; Sydney Opera House lives up to the hype
Expensive, especially for some tourist activities, dining and public transport
Forget the expense and make the most of Australia's iconic city
Sydney (Australia) Cruise Port Facilities?
The area around Circular Quay is delightful in itself, with some bars and eateries located in the actual terminal (open to the public), or you can meander along the waterfront to The Rocks and Sydney Opera House.
If your ship docks at White Bay, leave. There are absolutely no attractions, restaurants or services beyond the terminal.
Outside the main harbour, Darling Harbour is the city centre's premier tourist destination, with popular attractions like the Sydney Aquarium. There are taxis and public transportation to other parts of the city.
Mass transit options abound from Circular Quay. Trains (there's a stop across from the terminal) are easily accessed. Buses also serve the city, and many depart a couple of minutes' walk from the Quay's terminal.
Taxis line up at the terminal. All accept credit cards, but rides are expensive. You can't get anywhere within the inner city for less than $20, and expect to pay at least $40 to get to the eastern. The Manly ferry is the best option for the northern beach suburbs. Water taxis are only for big spenders.
Rental car agencies such as Hertz, Budget and Avis have downtown Sydney locations. Rates start at around $55 per day, but unless you're planning to visit a spot that's not served by the city's public transport system, it's not worth the expense and effort.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
Currency is the Australian dollar. ATMs are easily accessible all over the city. Money also can be exchanged at banks and bureaus. There is a currency exchange booth located in the main Circular Quay terminal, beneath the railway stop. The nearest bank is a St. George directly across from the main terminal at 20 Loftus Street.
English -- but be careful, because Aussies shorten everything when they speak. Breakfast becomes "brekkie," sunglasses are "sunnies," and a bathing suits are called "cozzies" (short for swimming costume!). Even the word afternoon gets turned into "arvo."
Where You're Docked?
Ships dock in two different spots, depending on size. Those that cannot fit underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge will find themselves tied up at the atmospheric and centrally located Overseas Passenger Terminal in Circular Quay, adjacent to the Rocks, Sydney's original old town. Smaller ships dock at White Bay, near the residential suburb of Balmain, about 20 minutes' drive from the city centre.
Those at Circular Quay are in the middle of everything. Water taxis, ferries, trains, cabs and buses all depart regularly from the wharf location. Those at White Bay will need to catch a shuttle or taxi to the city, as there is no public transport.
A third location for ships in the increasingly popular Sydney Harbour is a tender position out beyond the Sydney Opera House. Passengers are transported to shore via tender boats.