Sydney Discovery – 5 Day Adventure

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.

Areas of Learning:

  • History
  • Australian Culture
  • Performing Arts
  • Aboriginal Culture


  • Experience a dazzling performance inside the famed Sydney Opera House
  • Discover Aboriginal culture and create art on boomerangs
  • Tour Sydney Harbour on a chartered boat for your group with a friendly captain
  • See the Three Sisters from Echo Point in the Blue Mountains
  • Swim or take a surf lesson at the incomparable Bondi Beach
  • Enjoy Sydney Harbour National Park and the views from The Gap
  • Stay in the quaint “Rocks” district and do a walking tour with your guide
  • OPTIONAL Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb, Luna Park and/or our Urban Challenge!

Benefits & Bonuses:

  • All accommodation, meals, guides and transport included
  • We make it easy for you – we plan everything!
  • Price Guarantee: price will not change once you sign up for your trip
  • Expert guides – not “bus drivers”
  • We cater to student special diets and swimming levels
  • Goodies! Water bottle and cloth shopping bag you can take home
  • MAKE IT YOUR OWN – This trip is fully customisable.  Ask us for details!


Day 1: Arrival, Orientation, Walking Tour and Aboriginal Culture in the City, Sydney Tower

Day 1: Arrival, Orientation, Walking Tour and Aboriginal Culture in the City, Sydney Tower

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.  She gives you an orientation and you are transferred to your accommodation.

Historic District Accommodation: Your new hostel is located right in ‘The Rocks’—the historic district where Sydney began.  All rooms have ensuites and air-conditioning, while the accommodation offers spacious communal areas, internet, coffee bar and large rooftop terrace with spectacular views directly to the Sydney Opera House!

Walking Tour: With your guide you learn about the cultural, historic and natural sites of Sydney as you follow in the steps of colonists and convicts.  Tracing cobblestone paths and narrow laneways, you learn where scandals emerged and history happened.

Aboriginal Culture in the City:  Later with an Aboriginal guide you trace a circuit through an area once inhabited by clans of the Indigenous Eora Nation. An enthusiastic Aboriginal tour guide provides an in-depth explanation of the Aboriginal history of Sydney Harbour and surrounds and in particular, the significance of this special reserve.  Although the reserve lies in the shadow of Sydney’s skyline, you weave among a mosaic of plants and herbs used by Aboriginal people, like a sweet and salty plant that also eases foot blisters, one that’s used for damper and for weaving fishing bags.  Your guide illustrates the beliefs of his people through the telling of stories and you learn the significance of this land to those living here thousands of years before European settlers.

Sydney Tower Eye: Your next stop lets you see the city from above. Standing at 309 metres (1014ft) tall, the Sydney Tower is the highest point in Sydney and has panoramic views stretching from Bondi Beach in the east to the Olympic Park and on a clear day the Blue Mountains in the west.

4-D Cinema: In the Tower you also see what makes Sydney the city it is through a whole new perspective with spectacular footage transporting you across Sydney Harbour, its famous coastline, iconic landmarks and events that are integral to the city. The engaging film experience is taken to the fourth dimension with evocative in-theatre effects including wind, bubbles and fire – a perfect way to get to know the inspiring city of Sydney.

Accommodation: Sydney Rocks Budget Accommodation
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Private Charter Sydney Harbour Cruise & Historic Sites

Day 2: Private Charter Sydney Harbour Cruise & Historic Sites

City Highlights from the Water:  Today you travel all around the spectacular Sydney Harbour to get acquainted with the city’s highlights on a privte boat just for your group! Your friendly captain gives you insight into Sydney’s sites as well as stories behind the people and places of this unforgettable city. You cruise by the holiday homes of the rich and famous such as Nicole Kidman, Delta Goodrem, Bono and Russell Crowe.

Sydney Harbour National Park:  Next your captain takes you to Sydney national Park, where the hustle and bustle of the city seems a world away.  Here the craggy coastline creates endless lookouts, with perhaps the best being a special spot called The Gap.  In the winter time, you may see whales on their annual migration north.

Watsons Bay:  When you stop in the picturesque Watson’s Bay, you can be among the Sydneysiders sipping a refreshment, or sample some classic fish and chips from the famous Doyle’s on The Beach. This is a perfect day to see the famous and out-of-the-way gems of Sydney’s grand Harbour.

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

Day 3: Blue Mountains National Park, Scenic World, Aboriginal Culture and The Three Sisters

Day 3: Blue Mountains National Park, Scenic World, Aboriginal Culture and The Three Sisters

Blue Mountains National Park: This morning you’re up bright and early for a trip into the nearby Blue Mountains – named for the blue tinge the range takes on when viewed from afar. You ascend the mountains for a series of short walks, your guide teaching you about the significance of this UNESCO World-Heritage area.  More than 400 different kinds of animals live within the rugged gorges and tablelands, including in spotted-tailed quoll, the koala, the yellow-bellied glider, and the long-nosed potoroo.

Skyway, Cableway Ride & Scenic Rail: At Scenic World, you glide between clifftops and gaze at the rainforest canopy through the glass floor of the Scenic Skyway, ride the world’s steepest railway track down into the lush Jamison Valley, and view Three Sisters, Orphan Rock and Katoomba Falls from a unique cableway. A highlight is seeing the Three Sisters – a trio of giant sandstone pillars carved from nature and time that stand like sentinels above the Jamison Valley.  

You return to Sydney at the end of the day.

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

Day 4: Bondi Beach, Optional Surf Lesson, Darling Harbour and Opera House Performance

Day 4: Bondi Beach, Optional Surf Lesson, Darling Harbour and Opera House Performance

Bondi Beach: Bondi Beach is an icon, world-renowned as one of the most popular beaches in Australia.  The beach hosted the 2000 Summer Olympics volleyball competition and multiple movies and shows have been filmed here, including Bondi Rescue.  The 1km length beach is perfect for people watching and swimming, and the trail from here to Bronte is considered one of Australia’s best coastal walks!

Optional Surf Lesson: Nothing soaks in the true spirit of Australia like surfing, and here if you wish you can get your feet wet learning how to catch some waves.   In a small beginners group, you start your lesson with ocean hydraulics, tides, rips and surf-related safety skills.  Then you learn about proper standing and paddling techniques, surfing etiquette and how even first-time surfers can catch a wave.  (Surf lesson is extra cost).   

Darling Harbour:  Sydney’s most exciting harbour! Here you are free to explore and you can choose to shop at the Harbourside Shopping Centre, see what’s fishy at the famous Sydney Aquarium*, encounter Aussie animals at Wildlife World*, be blown away by special effects at the Imax 3-D Cinema theatre* or meet celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Lady Gaga at Mme Tussaud’s Wax Museum*(*extra cost)

Sydney Opera House Performance:  Later you attend a live performance in the Opera House–a quintessential Australian experience!  While exact schedule is not known until close to the date, you will be treated either to a play, symphony, opera or dance performance in one of the most famous buildings in the world.

Accommodation: Sydney Rocks Budget Accommodation
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5: Optional Harbour Bridge Climb, Urban Challenge or Luna Park and Depart

Day 5: Optional Harbour Bridge Climb, Urban Challenge or Luna Park and Depart

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. 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 $218 AUD).

Optional Urban Challenge: If you have an afternoon flight, you can choose to participate in Small World Journeys’ Urban Challenge! (no extra cost)  The Urban Challenge is a fun team-building exercise that allows students to learn more about the history, art and culture of Sydney.  Small group teams compete against time in this treasure hunt-type activity in Sydney’s Rocks historic district.  This is a popular activity for students and the winning team gets a prize!

OPTIONAL Luna Park: Just across the harbour is the iconic face that welcomes visitors to this historic fun park. Rides include the Devil’s Drop, the Wild Mouse roller coaster, and DodgeEm City. On the Ferris wheel you can take in amazing harbour views!  (park hours are more limited in winter time; please ask us when planning your tour, entry is free but rides are extra cost)

Later you are transferred to the Sydney airport for your flight home.

Included: Breakfast

Is this Sydney program too long or too short? Contact us for custom tour options that match your budget and objectives!

School Excursion Fees Include:

  • Sydney airport Meet & Greet and airport transfers
  • Small World Journeys guide on Days 1, 3, and 4
  • Boat captain/guide on Day 2
  • All activities and entrance fees as described in the itinerary
  • Sydney ferry, bus and train pass
  • 5 nights Sydney hostel in Historic District (4 or 6 share single-gender rooms)*
  • All continental breakfasts
  • 3 dinners
  • Small World Journeys reusable water bottle and cloth shopping bag

*Two teacher rooms (private twin or triple share rooms) are included in the trip price for groups of 15 students or more.  For trips with low numbers (10-14), one teacher room is included. A supplement of $488 AUD is charged if an additional private room is required for the trip. If teachers are happy to share a room, no additional costs are incurred.


School Excursion Fees Exclude:

  • Airfare to Sydney
  • 5 lunches and 1 dinner
  • Personal expenses (phone, laundry, etc.)


  • Darling Harbour optional activities (prices vary)
  • Surfing Lesson at Bondi Beach ($85 AUD pp)
  • Ride pass at Luna Park (prices start at $16 AUD pp)
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb (adult prices start at $268 AUD for standard climb)

Land Cost to 31 March 2021:

  • 15+ participants: $1395 AUD (add $50 pp for 15 June – 15 July)
  • (Low numbers) 10-14 participants: $1425 AUD (add $50 pp for 15 June – 15 July)


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.

Optional Lodging Upgrade to Hotel:

If your group desires hotel accommodation rather than staying at a hostel, you can upgrade to a 3.5-star central hotel, add $194 per person.


Many meals are included. You are provided with all continental breakfasts, a seafood lunch on your Sydney Harbour cruise and delicious dinners including a buffet dinner in the historic Rocks district. Ask us about vegetarian, kosher and halal options.


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



  1. Read our Terms & Conditions and tell us you want to come.
  2. Pay a $200 AUD deposit for the group (not per person – just a flat $200 to secure your booking) via our payment page or by direct deposit/cheque.
  3. Receive a link from us to your special web page that has an electronic booking forms, waivers to e-sign, and more information about the trip.
  4. Have each student sign up via this link and pay you (the teacher) no later than 60 days prior to the trip. You then submit whole payment to us at 60 days.
  5. Enjoy your trip!

Question 1: 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 or first activity. Please note if you select flights that arrive or depart outside of the hours requested we can not guarentee supervision, or a staff memeber to meet you until the requested times.

Question 2: 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 3: 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 4: 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 5: 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 6: 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 7: 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 Ways We're ''Sustainable''.

Question 8: 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 9: 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.

A Sample of Sydney Nature, Culture and History

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 during an optional afternoon learning to surf or climbing the Harbour Bridge!

  • Learn about Aboriginal culture in the Blue Mountains
  • Taste the delicacies of the country’s biggest fish market
  • Wander the trails of the Blue Mountains
  • Hear about Sydney’s convict origins and early colonial history
  • See the city from above and gain a bird’s eye perspective of the size of Sydney’s urban areas
  • Learn about Australia’s variety of native wildlife

Sydney Urban Challenge: This is activity is designed to teach students more about Sydney’s colonial and Aboriginal history whilst encouraging them to work as a team. Taking place entirely in the historic Rocks district, this urban challenge leads students through backstreets and alleyways, among statues and artifacts, discovering clues about Sydney’s past up through the 20th century.


How your trip supports the community

SUPPORTING ABORIGINAL CULTURE: We acknowledge  Aboriginal People and Torres Strait Islander People as the first inhabitants of Australia and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where we work and our groups travel.Your program includes activities and interaction with local Aboriginal people, the traditional owners of the land on which you are traveling. By taking this trip, your are supporting grassroots indigenous tourism ventures and encouraging Aboriginal pride in culture. It is our policy to include a talk or an activity with an Aboriginal person on every trip we offer. Additionally, we are proud to say that in the financial year of 2018-19, Small World Journeys gave over $43,000 in business to Aboriginal-owned ventures.

SUPPORTING HOMELESS & NEEDY PEOPLE: We make both financial and in-kind donations to Rosie’s Friends on The Street. Rosie’s seeks to provide homeless people and people living rough a hot meal, conversation and a non-judgemental human connection.  For more information on Rosie’s and other organisations to which we donate, see Philanthropy and Partnerships or ask us how you can incorporate community service with Rosie’s into your educational excursion.

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 the community groups to which we donate,  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. In 2018 we offset 76.72 mega tonnes of carbon dioxide! For more information about our carbon offsetting, see 10 Ways We’re ”Sustainable”.

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.

RISK ASSESSMENT: We do a risk assessment for every student tour we run. That risk assessment then gets sent to the organising teacher. We have safety protocols for our activities and a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Manual that documents these protocols. We also have a complete Crisis Management Plan. In addition, students are given a safety briefing during orientation that addresses hazards and risks for this region.

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.