Everyone fantasizes about a trip to the land down under. The laid back lifestyle, meeting a kangaroo face to face, the iconic opera house, these thoughts dance through your mind, but when it all comes down to it, what do you really know about Sydney? If we were to tell you that you were leaving for Australia's cultural heart tomorrow, would you have any idea what to bring? While they speak English, Sydney is on the other side of the world, in the other hemisphere, and we're here to help you make it seem less foreign.

Without further ado, three things you must pack for a trip to Sydney (given you are already bringing your camera or smart phone to take plenty of photos).

"Sydney" by Jason Tong via Flickr Creative Commons

Something to Wear Swimming

Swimsuit, bathers, swimming costume, togs. Whatever you call your beach attire, just pack them. There are very few months of the year that are too cold for swimming in the ocean and even then if you come from a much colder place you might decide to risk it. Tanning is good year round and let me assure you the sun still works wonders in winter.

Comfortable Walking Shoes

You don't necessarily need bulky hiking boots unless you actually plan on doing some hiking. Just bring something comfortable enough to walk around the city for hours. Sydney was designed to explore on foot and there are a number of beautiful coastal paths, the famous Harbour Bridge climb for breathtaking cityscapes or the zoo. Just getting from the Opera House at Circular Quay to Chinatown for Yum Cha is a pretty long haul, but worth the effort. You will want to stay right downtown in a hotel like the Vibe Hotel Sydney to maximize your time.

Protection from the Sun

I've cheated a bit with this one as protection from the sun covers at least two things: sunscreen (30+ and no less) and a hat. And really, if you were to follow the rules of that 1980's Aussie jingle you would also need a t-shirt. For those of you that don't know: Slip-Slop-Slap: Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat. (It sounds better with music and an occa Aussie accent). They've expanded it a bit these days to also include sunglasses, or sunnies as we like to call them and shade.

In case you didn't already know there is a whopping hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica. What does this mean? Australia gets more UV rays than most of the world. In the height of summer if you are out in direct sunlight for more than half an hour you will certainly get burnt so you may want to pack aloe vera just in case.