Sydney Discovery

A Sample of “The Harbour City”

Join us for a look at one of the world’s great cities through the eyes of locals – both present and past – to fully appreciate its enchantment. Our friendly Small World Journeys guide will introduce you to locals’ hangouts, quirky shops, favourite viewpoints and buildings steeped in history. Whether its your first visit to Sydney or your fifth, you will find new things at which to marvel during this action-packed adventure.


  • Enjoy a classic beach BBQ and surfing lessons
  • Cruise Sydney Harbour’s hidden coves and past masions of the rich and famous
  • Tour the world-famous Sydney Opera House
  • Take in fantastic views of the Harbour from “The Gap”
  • Visit the celebrated Fish Market and sample its bounty
  • Stay in the quaint historic Rocks district and do a walking tour with your guide
  • OPTIONAL Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb


All accommodation is included. You stay at an immaculate hostel in the quaint historic district with rooftop views of the Sydney Opera House! Spacious rooms have their own ensuites, laundry facilities are available, and you can relax at the in-house cafe with WiFi access.


Some meals are included. You are provided with all continental breakfasts, a couple of hearty lunches and a dinner in the historic Rocks district. You try a delcious seafood sampler from Sydney’s famous fish market as well as a cook-your-own–BBQ in one of Sydney’s landmark restaurants! Ask us about vegetarian, kosher and halal options.

Day 1: Arrival, Orientation and Walking Tour

Day 1: Arrival, Orientation and Walking Tour

Arrival: Welcome to Sydney! On arrival you are greeted by your local guide, a “Sydneysider” with an intimate knowledge of Sydney’s best-loved sites.

Central Accommodation: Your hostel is located right in ‘The Rocks’—the historic district where Sydney began. Built above archaeological remnants of colonial Sydney, this hostel combines state-of-the-art facilities with a unique heritage experience of Sydney. All rooms have ensuites and a/c, and there are spacious communal areas, internet, on-site grocery store, coffee bar and large rooftop terrace with spectacular views directly to the Opera House.

Walking Tour: With your guide you learn about the cultural, historic and natural sites of Sydney as you walk the city streets, cobblestone alleys and seaside paths of this attractive city. Your walking tour follows in the steps of colonists and convicts, learning of The Rocks’ scandalous and eerie past.

Opera House Tour: You finish your walking tour at the most recognisable building in the world – the Sydney Opera House! The Opera House has about 1000 rooms, including five theatres, five rehearsal studios, and two main halls. You explore this amazing structure with a guide – a work of art that came into existence against impossible odds, and stands as a miracle of architecture and engineering.

Aussie BBQ: What better way to kick off your Sydney experience than by enjoying a BBQ at a local restaurant. Located in a heritage building in the heart of the historic Rocks district you will enjoy standing around the “barbie” and learning to cook a steak like a true “Sydneysider”.

Accommodation: Sydney Rocks Budget Accommodation
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Sydney Harbour Cruise & Historic Sites

Day 2: Sydney Harbour Cruise & Historic Sites

City Highlights from the Water: This morning you are picked up at your hotel by your guide and you travel to Rose Bay – a sophisticated Sydney suburb and the start of today’s adventure. In a small group you travel all around the spectacular Sydney Harbour to get acquainted with the highlights of Sydney – Darling Harbour, the Harbour Bridge and the iconic Opera House to name a few.

Cultural and Historic Sites: On this intimate cruise, your captain gives you insight into Sydney Harbour’s historical and cultural city sites as well as stories behind the people and places of this unforgettable city. Cruise by the holiday homes of multi-millionaires and stars such as Nicole Kidman, Bono and Russell Crowe.

Darling Harbour Fish Market: A highlight is a seafood lunch at Darling Harbour’s Sydney Fish Market – “where the city meets the sea”, and the largest working market of its kind in the southern hemisphere. As one of the most popular places for local Sydneysiders, here you can taste old favourites like fish and chips, or the more adventurous can try fresh-from-the-sea octopus, squid and Oysters Kilpatrick.

Sydney Harbour National Park: On your cruise you also stop at Store Beach for a secluded swim (weather permitting) and soak in the million dollar cliffside views from The Gap in Sydney Harbour National Park, followed by a refreshment at the picturesque Watsons Bay.

Accommodation: Sydney Rocks Budget Accommodation
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 3: Full Day Surf Experience & Beach BBQ

Day 3: Full Day Surf Experience & Beach BBQ

Royal National Park: This morning you escape the hustle and bustle of Sydney and head for the beach! In your 4WD vehicles (SUV) you drive through Royal National Park and explore the sand dunes in search of the best waves.

Professional Surf Lessons: Once your instructors have found the most suitable location it’s time to set up your beach base camp and hit the surf. In small groups your instructors will get you started with the basics on the sand before hitting the waves. You learn about proper standing and paddling techniques, surfing etiquette and how even first-time surfers can catch a wave.

After lunch it’s back to the water to practice those surfing skills; you have approximately four and a half hours of surf time. By the end of the lesson with a little practice, you should be standing and shredding!

Beach BBQ: All that surfing is bound to work up an appetite and for lunch you’ll enjoy a beachside Aussie BBQ.

Accommodation: Sydney Rocks Budget Accommodation
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 4: Free Time and Depart

Day 4: Free Time and Depart

After breakfast this morning you have free time for last-minute shopping or souvenir purchases. Then you are transferred to the Sydney airport for your flight home.

Optional Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb: If you like you could plan to depart Sydney in the afternoon and spend your morning taking in views of the entire city atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge with an incomparable bridge climb. Led by a climb leader, you will “hike” to the summit of this world famous bridge, 134 metres (440 feet) above Sydney Harbour. It is a 3 ½ hour journey to the top of the Bridge along catwalks and all the way to the summit, 134 metres above Sydney Harbour. The steady incline to the summit leaves you free to focus your attention on your Sydney experience, with opportunities to witness 360 degree views of Sydney, including east to the Sydney Opera House, west to the Blue Mountains and the Harbour city surrounds. When you reach the top you will have a sense of achievement that you will remember forever – you’ve conquered an Australian icon recognized the world over. Prices start at $AUD208.

Included: Breakfast

Land Cost, 15 + participants: $725 AUD

Land Cost, 10-14 participants: $775 AUD

Trip Fees Include:

  • Sydney airport transfers
  • Small World Journeys Guide on Day 1
  • Local guides on Day 2 and 3
  • All activities and entrance fees as described in the itinerary
  • Transportation to activities
  • 3 nights at a Sydney hostel (4 or 6 share dorm rooms with private bathroom)
  • All breakfasts
  • 2 lunches
  • 1 dinners
  • Pre-trip educational information
  • Small World Journeys reusable water bottle and cloth shopping bag
  • ClimateCare™ carbon offsetting for a carbon-neutral trip

Trip Fees Exclude:

  • Domestic Airfare
  • Lunch on day 1 and dinner on day 2 & 3
  • Personal expenses (phone, laundry, etc.)


  • Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb- (prices start at $208)

Small World Journeys reserves the right to change the order of activities for logistical reasons.


Question 1: How do we arrange airfare?

Answer: We do not arrange airfare in house, however we do work closely with a couple of travel agents who would be happy to help:In Australia, we recommend Kim Salter, our Melbourne-based travel agent. Contact Kim at or call + 61 0433 324 455 or toll free within Australia 1 300 640 821. In the US, we recommend: Sandra Marron at Millennium Travel California. You can contact Sandra at or call  1-415-898- 7974.

Question 2: What happens when we arrive at the airport?

Answer: You will be met by a Small World Journeys staff member who will give you an orientation and then accompany you to your accommodation.

Question 3: When is the best time to visit Sydney?

Answer: Sydney has a temperate climate. Summer is warm temperatures at 18-25 degrees celsius/64- 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Winters are mild, with average temperatures at 8-16 degrees Celsius/46-60 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainfall is spread throughout the year.

Question 4: What happens if a student cancels?

Answer: If an individual student cancels from a trip within 30 days of the trip departure, no refunds are given. For this reason, we strongly encourage all parents to purchase trip cancellation insurance in order to protect against unforeseen circumstances which are the main cause for student cancellations.For more details, please see our Terms & Conditions.

Question 5: What is your safety record?

Answer: Our safety record is outstanding. Please ask us for teacher/supervisor references specifically regarding our safety measures and practices.  We do risk assessments for every excursion we run. We carry a first aid kit in our vehicles, as well as on the guide's person when in remote areas.  All guides are certified in first aid and CPR.  We give every student  a card with emergency numbers and safety information on it to carry, and we review safety measures as part of our orientation.Safety is absolutely our number one concern at all times. We do everything in our power to make sure each trip is as safe as it can possibly be.

Question 6: Do you do risk assessments?

Answer: Yes. We evaluate and re-evaluate the safety of each of our destinations and activities, and we always reserve the right to modify or cancel an itinerary if the guide feels that conditions are unsafe. We will gladly provide a risk management assessment specific to your trip on request. Small World Journeys' staff also adhere to a comprehensive Risk Management Strategy.

Question 7: Why should we purchase travel insurance?

Answer: We strongly recommend the purchase of travel insurance for your protection. Should a participant need to cancel their trip for any reason, our cancellation policy applies. However, travel insurance protects any loss they may experience should s/he or an immediate family member become ill or sustain an injury that prevents them from going on the trip.

Question 8: What makes Small World Journeys "eco-friendly"?

Answer: An eco tour, in our opinion, is a trip in which everyone benefits: the community, the environment, you and us. Simply by joining one of our trips, you will be supporting carbon offsetting, Rainforest Rescue's Adopt-A-Square initiative, aboriginal cultural ventures and locally-owned businesses who are working towards a more sustainable future in tourism. As our guest, you are supporting us as well. Thank you! For more information, see 10 Reasons Why We're Eco.

Question 9: How does Small World Journeys incorporate our educational objectives?

Answer: We work directly with the teacher organiser or group leader to understand the goals of the trip. Then we suggest activities and learning opportunities to match these objectives.For example, a group may be interested in learning more about marine biology. In this case we will facilitate some fun classroom time dedicated to marine science in Cairns, then a couple of days at the Great Barrier Reef with our marine biologist guide. We can include such things as waterproof fish and coral ID cards for each student, and mini-lectures after snorkel time. A SCUBA certification course may also be appropriate. Alternatively, we might suggest a few days at an island research station, during which students have classroom and snorkel time, as well as a service project monitoring coral bleaching on the reef.Whether it is marine science, aboriginal culture, rainforest ecology or another topic, we will work with each group to ensure an educational yet fun experience for all.

Question 10: What kind of insurance do you have in place?

Answer: Small World Journeys has public liability insurance up to $20,000,000 and is required for us to maintain our commercial permits for the national parks.

Education in the City

Sydney is a city rich in culture and history where your students will learn about Australia’s convict past, colonialism and the move towards multiculturalism. In this itinerary your students will learn the history of iconic harbour sights, experience life as a “Sydneysider” by exploring the harbour and engage their sense of adventure on a full day out learning to surf!

  • Explore the theatres of the Sydney Opera House
  • Hear about Sydney’s convict origins and early colonial history
  • Learn to surf!


How your trip supports the community

SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESSES: We use locally owned restaurants, and suppliers whenever possible to keep income in the community. This includes supporting farmers by purchasing locally-grown fruits and vegetables for you on your trip. We also give you a list of where to buy locally-made crafts and souvenirs so you can continue this support as well.

SUPPORTING LOCAL CHARITIES: For more information on how we donate to Harold’s House for homeless and disadvantaged youth as well as donate to environmental groups, see Philanthropy and Partnerships.

How your trip is “Eco-friendly”

REDUCING WASTE: We give you your own water bottle and cloth shopping bag to eliminate the need for disposable bottles and plastic bags. By reducing our need for plastic bags and bottles, we avoid having these things go into landfills or into the tummies of our native animals. For more information on how we donate to The Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and other environmental groups, see Philanthropy and Partnerships.

CARBON OFFSETTING: We calculate the total carbon footprint of your trip. Then we pay Sustainable Travel International (STI) to offset your emissions by investing in environmental and community-based projects. For more information about our carbon offsetting, see 10 Reasons Why We’re Eco.

How your trip is safety-oriented

REFERENCES:  We have had hundreds of students travel with us, and our safety record is excellent.  Ask us for teacher references specifically regarding safety.

VEHICLES: All of our vehicles are equipped with seatbelts for every seat. While this is not a Queensland law, we feel your safety is a priority.  Our guides do safety checks at the start of each day of the trip. In addition, vehicles go through a Department of Transport safety inspection every six months.

RISK ASSESSMENT: We have a complete Crisis Management Plan, we assess risks of the tour and are happy to complete a risk assessment for you upon request. In addition, students are given a safety briefing during orientation, along with a card with emergency numbers, accommodation addresses and phone numbers.

GUIDES AND SAFETY: Small World Journeys’ guides hold current Senior First Aid and CPR certificates, along with government-issued Driver’s Authority and Working With Children cards (also known as a Blue Card). For more information on our guides, see The Small World Journeys Team.