What to do in Sydney
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Between its sparkling beaches, gorgeous vistas, and plentiful outdoor adventures, Sydney is a paradise that often feels a million miles away. On a recent trip, we explored the best of this coastal city, and we want to help you do the same. In that light, here are a few of our favorites activities in the Land Down Under.
Get to know the city
Sydney is known around the world for its friendly atmosphere and welcoming hospitality. In addition, its sunny disposition, good weather, unique architecture, vibrant gardens, and hidden gems merit a place at the top of any bucket list.Whether your stay in this Australian city is short or extensive, your first stop should be Sydney's most recognizable structures: the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Their iconic designs helped put Sydney on the map, and their location on the waterfront makes them all the more beautiful.If you're jetlagged and are in need of some downtime, spend an afternoon relaxing in the city's multiple green spaces. From the unique, sunken plots of Paddington Reservoir Gardens (built on land that used to supply water to the city) to the thriving flower beds of Wendy's Secret Garden (established by a local in the 1990s), you'll have your pick of parks and nature reserves. Commit to an afternoon in your chosen locale, and if you're so inclined, bring along a picnic lunch, a camera, or a sketchbook.
Explore the great outdoors
No trip to Australia would be complete without exploring the country's beaches and peaks.
The Blue Mountains are the best option for those looking to escape the bustle of Sydney without the long haul of a multi-day journey. This stunning range is part of a national park, which lies just 60 miles (100 kilometers) outside of Sydney proper. The mountains themselves offer plenty of outdoor activities, such as hiking, canyoning, and mountain biking — so be sure to pack your walking shoes!
During your time in Sydney, don't pass up Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, which is home to pristine shorelines and sparkling blue waters. No matter the season, this national park will stun you with its abundance of wildlife and cultural legacies. While you're at the park, keep an eye out for brightly colored birds, and stretch your legs with a trek on the Aboriginal Heritage walk, where you can see handprints and rock carvings from the area's aboriginal people. No one's quite sure how long these artifacts have been there, but archaeologists estimate that the carvings are more than 7,000 years old.
Finally, get up close and personal with Australia's most famous animals at Featherdale Wildlife Park. If you've always wanted to cuddle a koala, pet a dingo, or hold a baby crocodile, this is your chance. The park is run by a team of animal specialists, who love to teach visitors all about the animals and their ecosystems, and they'll gladly snap a photo of you interacting with these uniquely Australian species!
Water enthusiasts rejoice! Sydney is home to some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet, and the sandy shorelines certainly live up to the hype.
Make Sydney Harbour your first stop and venture into the water for activities such as kayaking and whale-watching. Or, if you'd prefer to stay on dry land, you can always explore Barangaroo, a dynamic precinct that bustles with attractions, including restaurants, boutiques, gardens, and art installations. Although Barangaroo's development is still ongoing, this creative hub will be the centerpiece of the waterfront for years to come.
For beautiful views of the harbor, take a stroll down Circle Walk. If you do, remember to wear sneakers — after all, the trail is 37 miles (60 kilometers) long! You can either traverse a small portion of the walk or you can commit to taking several days to complete the entire route. Regardless of which option you choose, the scenery makes this trek a must-see.
Lastly, whether you consider yourself a beach enthusiast or not, Bondi Beach has something for everyone. While water-lovers take to the crystal-clear water to swim or surf, other visitors can traverse the coastal cliff tops, shop at the area's many markets, or grab a bite at one of Bondi's famous eateries. Whatever you choose to do, enjoy this area's iconic offerings!
Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Here's a fun way to take your next video call….from a United Polaris seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude. We're introducing United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom, a video conferencing tool that many people are using to stay connected.
So for your next meeting or catch up with friends and family, download the app to either your computer or mobile device to get started. If you've already downloaded Zoom you can skip ahead to updating your background image (see instructions below).
- Start here by downloading your favorite United image to your computer or mobile device. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- Next go to your Zoom app (you'll need to download the app to access backgrounds) and click on the arrow to the right of your video camera icon in the bottom of the screen.
- From here select, "choose virtual background" to upload your uniquely United photo.
When and where possible, we are working to repatriate travelers who are stranded abroad in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Our teams are working closely with government officials here in the U.S. as well as in other countries where flying has been restricted to gain the necessary approvals to operate service. In regions where government actions have barred international flying, we have coordinated with the the U.S. State Department and local government officials to re-instate some flights. Additionally, we have been operating several extra flights to countries in Central America and South America as we continue to play a role in connecting people and uniting the world.
We have operated more than 56 repatriation flights from Panama City, Guatemala City, Quito, Lima, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and Roatan, bringing nearly 8,000 people home. We will continue working with government officials to operate extra flights to Houston from Quito, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and from Lima to Washington Dulles and beginning April 5, we will begin operating multiple charter flights between Delhi and San Francisco. We continue to review more opportunities for flights between the United States and other countries to bring citizens home.
Video provided by the U.S. Embassy Ecuador of Americans returning home on United.
Additionally, our Customer Solutions and Recovery team is working with customers in the following markets to rebook them on flights back to the United States as capacity allows, either on our aircraft or on one of our airline partners' planes:
- Quito, Ecuador
- Managua, Nicaragua
- Roatan, Honduras
- San Pedro Sula, Honduras
- Seoul, South Korea
- Melbourne, Australia
We also recently reinstated several international flights back into our schedule to support customers and essential businesses which depend on these routes. As a result, we will be the only airline to offer service between Newark/New York and London, San Francisco and Sydney, as well as Houston and São Paulo, Brazil.
In the midst of mobilizing our cargo operations, our teams at New York/Newark (EWR) and Jacksonville (JAX) stepped in to assist Roche Diagnostics with transporting a vital component for an instrument being used for COVID-19 testing.
The component was stuck at EWR en route to the Mayo Clinic in Florida after another airline's flights were cancelled. A Roche employee contacted us asking for help and, within a few hours, our teams had the piece loaded onto a Jacksonville-bound aircraft, with arrangements in place to deliver it to the Mayo Clinic.
The item we shipped will allow the Mayo Clinic in Florida to process hundreds of COVID-19 tests per day. Mayo Clinic Laboratories has been on the front lines of increasing testing capacity to expedite caring for patients at this critical time and working to ease the burden being felt at test processing laboratories in a growing number of areas.
Together, we are facing an unprecedented challenge. United Together, we rise to meet that challenge.