The Best Things To Do In Sydney

Written By: Oliver Payne

With one of the most iconic skylines in the world, Sydney has a lot to offer. From gorgeous weather throughout most of the year to a blend of outdoor recreation and vibrant city attractions, this Australian destination is a favourite for visitors around the world and it’s easy to see why!

For those who love to visit destinations with many of the popular conveniences combined with boutique and artisan amenities, Sydney is one place you’ll never get tired of exploring. From luxury hotels like the Park Hyatt Sydney to more boutique hotels like the Old Clare Hotel, each neighbourhood offers its own distinct charm and appeal. Walk down any street and you’ll find an assortment of shoppes, museums, art galleries and, of course, many spots to stop and have a delicious meal. Within the city limits of Sydney, you’ll have an opportunity to explore many of the various villages and scenic points of interest – Newtown, Chippendale and Potts Point all have their own appeal and cater to many different personality types. Want to get out to one of the most famous beaches in the world? Throw on that swimsuit and head down to Bondi Beach for breathtaking coastal views and people watching!

One of the most famous destinations in Sydney is the Opera House, located right on water with the nearby Harbour Bridge. This iconic point of interest is one of the most photographed sights in the world – for a good view, head over to Dawes Point Park for several lookout opportunities that will give you stunning views of the Opera House, in addition to the surrounding Sydney skyline. As the largest city in Australia, as well as being New South Wales’ capital city, Sydney is also an ideal spot to learn about the history of the country and Aboriginal heritage. Museums are plentiful throughout the city for children and adults alike, such as The Australian Museum, which highlights extensive collections of cultural and natural sciences. For those who are interested in true crime or prison history, the Hyde Park Barracks Museum is interesting and located close to other art galleries and museums in the neighbourhood.


Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is an Australian icon in the hub of vibrant Sydney, surrounded by the bustling harbour, the famous Harbour Bridge, and only a few steps away from the historic ferry terminal, Circular Quay. Admire the architecture of the Opera House, watch the cruise ships glide into the dock, and then stroll to one of the many restaurants for a bite to eat.


Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge is the most iconic attraction in Sydney, knick-named “The Coathanger” because of its design. Stroll over the bridge capturing magnificent views of the Opera House and the harbour, or book the popular “BridgeClimb” to get the best possible view of the city. If you’re lucky enough to be in Sydney on New Year’s Eve, the fireworks on the bridge are an absolute must!


Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour is both beautiful and hard working. Sit for a while and just enjoy the beauty of this harbour and watch the bustle as ferries, cruise ships and sailboats travers the magnificent blue waters. Take a stroll; you’re on the doorstep of so many things to see including the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and the historic “Rocks” area of the city.


SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

In a country as large and diverse as Australia, you expect a wide range of aquatic life, and this aquarium delivers exactly that. One of the world’s largest aquariums, it takes you to experience the far north of Australia with its crocodiles, through to the quiet backwater streams where the platypus plays. Touch pools are so much fun for the kids and the sharks deliver a never forget experience.


Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo is not just a world class tourist attraction, it truly is so much more. Overlooking the Sydney Harbour, a visit to Taronga Zoo can range from an exciting day of observing the animals – native to Australia, and from around the world – through to the experience of a lifetime as you stay overnight for a “sleepover” and then share breakfast with the “residents”


Sydney BridgeClimb

As Australian as the bridge itself, the Sydney BridgeClimb is like a “rite of passage” to Australia! Take a “gander” at Sydney from 134 metres above the water and take in all the iconic sights. There are three guided tours, taking from 2 hours for the person wanting the adrenalin rush, to 3.5 hours for those who want to combine the adrenalin rush with an appreciation of the history and engineering of this magnificent bridge.


Sydney Tower Eye

See all of Sydney and beyond from 250 metres above the ground. Built in the 1970’s this tower is a real favourite. You can see from the ocean’s entrance, to the harbour (The Heads), and all the way to the Blue Mountains. You can enjoy the observation deck and even take the Skywalk open air tour if you’re feeling adventurous! Finally, cap the visit off with a meal or drink at the restaurant while admiring the views.


Circular Quay

The birthplace of Sydney, take some time to watch the hustle and bustle. It’s easy to imagine back to a time when convicts arrived and worked in Sydney. Take a ferry ride or stroll over to the Opera House and catch a great view of the Harbour Bridge. Or, wander up to the historic “Rocks” district and enjoy a drink or meal at one of the fabulous restaurants and pubs.


Sydney Tower Restaurant

Want to combine great food with a sit-down tour of the city? This revolving restaurant, 80 stories above central Sydney, is just for you. You can choose a buffet or dine a la carte, while taking in the magnificent views on offer as you tower over the city skyline. Cocktails at dusk are highly recommend.


Featherdale Wildlife Park

While just 40 minutes from central Sydney, this park takes you direct to an outback experience! Over 2000 native animals, this is a day for everyone. Australia has a vast array of animals – cuddly and dangerous – and this is the place to see them all. Don’t forget, you cuddle the koalas but not the crocodiles!! Take a picnic or enjoy the cafe.


Sydney Tower 360 Bar and Dining

Want to combine great food with a sit-down tour of the city? This revolving restaurant, 80 stories above central Sydney, is just for you. You can choose a buffet or dine a la carte, while taking in the magnificent views on offer as you tower over the city skyline. Cocktails at dusk are highly recommend.


Sydney Tall Ships

Sydney is a modern and bustling city, its harbour is busy with modern ships, and its history is exciting! The Tall Ships are an authentic trip back in time, and provide a unique opportunity to have a meal while experiencing the historical transport of times past, all while gazing over a wide range of the city’s icons, such as the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.


Sydney Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

Every traveller knows about these bus tours – but Sydney is different because the buses are great, and the climate is usually perfect for this type of open-air tour! These tours will get you to the iconic Bondi Beach, the Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, and almost every other destination you might want to take a look at. Explore any of the 34 stops along the way, or stay on the bus and see the sights in around 90 minutes.


Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour is all about excitement on the waterfront! Located right in the heart of Sydney, Darling Harbour is filled with bars, restaurants, theatres and museums, all joined by walkways and bridges so you can explore and join in the fun at your own speed. It’s quirky, but the “Little Train” travels through this district at a leisurely pace and is an ideal way to look around this hub!


Sydney Tower SkyWalk

When you visit Sydney Tower, why just stay inside! The Sydney Tower SkyWalk is a 45-minute adrenalin hit! You will be harnessed and tethered, so that you can enjoy the outside, glass floored extension of the Sky Tower Eye. With expert guides, you will take in the magnificent sights while you experience a fresh breeze at high-altitude. Get bragging rights on your friends and experience the city like you have never seen it before!


Watsons Bay

Watson’s Bay is full of history, and once you arrive be sure to have a wander around, but take our word for it, the real fun is getting there by ferry from Circular Quay! The return trip takes you on a tour of the magnificent harbour, and once you’ve finished for the day, having enjoyed a drink and a meal, the trip home is direct and fast.


Manly Beach

Join the locals who flock to this favourite Sydney beach. Manly Beach has it all – the beach, the restaurants, and even the scenic walks that take you away from the hustle and bustle right into Australia’s magnificent nature. Our insiders tip is to catch the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly – it’s a great way to see the harbour at a budget price.


Madame Tussauds Sydney

Madame Tussauds Wax Museums can be found right throughout the world, and Sydney joined the fun in 2012! This is a great place to see the famous people of the world, and to be introduced to many of Australia’s great icons and celebrities. Australian history is brought into view, going back to colonial days, and of course, Kylie Minogue is included in the displays!


Blue Mountains

Almost on the edge of Sydney, and visible on a clear day from the city’s observation towers, the beautiful World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains are the perfect destination for an idyllic day trip. The Blue Mountains offer the stunning scenery of rugged sandstone outcrops, cavernous valleys and towering forests.


Bondi Beach

Seven kilometres east of the city is Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach. Shaped like a shallow boomerang, locals flock to its soft sands to swim and surf. Pubs and restaurants line the street opposite, and there are great cliff top walks, too!


Hunter Valley

The picturesque Hunter Valley is 120 kilometres north of Sydney and is a favourite for foodies and wine lovers. With vineyards and restaurants scattered throughout, there is no shortage of wine and food to taste. So come and relax for a few days, you won’t regret it!


The Rocks

Right in the heart of Sydney, next to Sydney Harbour Bridge, is The Rocks. It’s a great place for pubs and restaurants and to explore the old history of the city. There are buskers and markets that set up along the cobbled streets, and there is always something happening in this vibrant locale!


Goat Island

History buffs will love Goat Island and it’s just a short trip by ferry from Circular Quay. It played an important role in the early days of Sydney, being used to store ammunition and incarcerate dangerous convicts. Join the walking tours and see The Queen’s Magazine where gunpowder was stored. The island has also been used for movie shoots in the past – you might recognise it!


Jenolan Caves

If you enjoy cave walks, this is the perfect day trip from Sydney. Located in the Blue Mountains, the trip alone is a terrific introduction to Australia’s “bushlands”. Once there, there are 40 kilometres of caves to explore, and nature walks to relax on. Due to uneven surfaces, a visit to the caves is not recommend for small children or people with injuries.


Sydney Olympic Park

The world came to Sydney Olympic Park in 2000, and the legacy lives on through several sporting venues and stadiums. Today, the main stadium hosts the local rugby league. It’s a great place to unwind and just explore, walking on the many boardwalks, or by hiring a bike or Segway! If the Olympic spirit stirs you, “have a go” on the High Ropes at the Urban Jungle Adventure Park.

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