Just a short ferry ride from Circular Quay - home to the famous Harbour Bridge and Opera House - lies Watson's Bay. This area of Sydney is known for it's pleasant beaches, scenic walking routes and the lovely Macquarie Lighthouse (pictured).
Another ferry ride from Circular Quay will transport you to Cockatoo Island. The Island was used as a ship building yard during the second world war and has been opened to the public over recent years. The Isand also has a number of noteworthy artworks.
A bus from Circular Quay will transport you to Balmoral Beach, a ideal spot for a beach picnic. Here you will discover a beach that is not only pleasant but also lacks the crowds that frequent the beaches of Manly and Bondi. Be sure to explore the beach's other-worldly rock formations (pictured).
Probably the most popular daytrip for visitors to Sydney. Manly has a lively vibe and a true beach town feel. For those with eager feet a beachside walk towards Queenscliff is a must. Also popular - albeit in the opposite direction - is the walk to Shelley Beach.
For those after nature walks with unspoilt beaches a bus from Sydney's Circular Quay to La Perouse is just the ticket. La Perouse is on the last stop of the bus route and is home to the splendid Cungwong and Little Cungwong Beaches as well as the eye-catching Bare-Island Fort (pictured).
A stroll through Sydney's Botanical Gardens will take you to Government House. The house offers free guided tours (book at the reception, near the main gate) which last about forty five minutes. Note: photography is allowed but only in the last two rooms of the house.
The suburb of Vaucluse boasts some great beaches and beautiful Manor homes such as Greycliffe House (pictured), Strickland House and Vaucluse House. Vaucluse house is open for tours and has a pleasant café and gardens. Buses head to Vaucluse from Watson's Bay and the City.
A short train ride away is the historical town of Parramatta. Here you can visit the UNESCO listed Parramatta Park - where you will find the Old Government House, take a walk along the river or stroll the historic houses route.
From Sydney Opera House one can head through the Botanical Gardens walk alongside the harbour to wharf at Woolloomooloo (pictured). The walk has some interesting features along the way and - with the expception of a few detours involving stairs - is also very accessible.
Although still quite popular during the day, Darling Harbour is best experienced at night when the colourful lights of the buildings reflect upon the waters and a sense of excitement can be felt amongst the night-goers. For those not wishing to eat at the fairly costly harbourside eateries, head over to nearby Chinatown - an experience all in itself.