How to experience the heart of Sydney

CORINNE WHITING | January 14, 2019

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On a morning run through Sydney, the world feels somewhat enchanted. A sleeping city eases into action, as long shadows spill across the dancing fountain of Hyde Park and the faces of historic, neighboring buildings. Chairs fill at a sunny-side cafe, while other residents grab an aromatic cup of fuel to go. Until now, your jetlagged body hasn't quite grasped you're on the other side of the globe. Yet once inside the tranquil Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, you catch glimpses of mysterious, colorful flora, a fluffy-headed kookaburra and the unmistakable Opera House that all confirm you've officially arrived "Down Under."Thanks to Australia's exotic and far-flung coordinates between the Indian and Pacific oceans, it takes time to reach this magnificent continent that's located southeast of Asia. Based on the time zone adjustment alone, you'll want to dedicate a significant number of days to your visit, if at all possible. (Sign up online for an electronic visa before arriving.)Located in New South Wales, the nation's most visited state, Sydney is a sprawling city that offers natural beauty, plenty of green space, countless beaches and a trove of cultural offerings. As of June 2017, the city had 33 suburbs and an estimated 232,926 residents. The vibe spans the gamut from suits to surfboards.

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