10 things to do in Sydney
1 - Coast Walk from Bondi to Coogee
A cliff top coastal walk, the Bondi to Coogee walk extends for 6 km in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Stunning beaches, bays, rock pools and parks offer a place to rest, swim or a bite to eat at one of the many eateries. All beaches offer picnic shelters, coin-operated barbecues, play areas, kiosks, toilets and change-rooms. The walk is not difficult, there are medium gradient paths and several staircases with occasional seating. The Bondi to Tamarama Beach section of the walk is the venue for the Sculptures by the Sea exhibition. Tamarama Beach and Mackenzie’s Point is a favourite with surfers and Bronte Beach is popular with families. A cliff top board walk takes you past Waverley Cemetery, the most scenic burial ground in the world. Swim snorkel or dive at Clovelly Beach and Gordon's Bay. Enjoy the cafes and Wylie’s Bath at Coogee. You can continue to Maroubra Beach via Lurline Bay and onto Malabar Beach via Malabar Headland National Park. Make sure you wear comfy shoes, bring a hat, sunglasses, sun screen and water.
2 - Discover Cockatoo Island
Cockatoo Island is a heritage-listed island in the middle of beautiful Sydney Harbour. Hop on a ferry and explore the island for the day or stay overnight in the campground or holiday houses. Retaining all its character and heritage from decades of human endeavour by convicts and shipbuilders alike, Cockatoo Island has undergone a renaissance in every sense of the word and opened its doors to all.
3 - Visit The Rocks
What are the Rocks? You have not heard of them before? But guaranteed you have seen this area on almost every postcard from Sydney. The Rocks is the place where the first European settlers stepped ashore on 26 January 1788 and nowadays hosts some of the most famous sights Sydney has to offer, namely the Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera and the Botanic Gardens. To visit this area is a must on your first days - no matter how jet-lagged you are - and you will fall in love with Sydney immediately. If you think we are exaggerating, please prove us wrong.
4 - Bike trip to Hunters Bay
Looking for an alternative to all the crowded beaches in Sydney? So take your bike and leave the city behind escaping over the Harbour Bridge. Enjoy a beautiful view and head further north-east for approximately 8 km to the suburb of Mosman on the Lower North Shore of Sydney. Race your bike down one of the steepest hills in Sydney and welcome the lovely Hunters Bay. Chain your bike to a tree next to the beach and walk your way to Rocky Point which divides the beach into two parts. Make sure to allow for enough time as you are likely to spend hours just gaping at the ocean from this best of all spots. If you feel like challenging yourself on the way back, try to ride your bike up the hill - but don't be too disappointed if you end up walking your bike for the last couple of metres, you won't be the first.
5 - Barbecue in Centennial Park
Centennial Park is a large public, urban park that occupies 220 hectares in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Centennial Park is located 4 kilometres south-east of the Sydney central business district, in the City of Randwick. The Park forms part of the larger Centennial Parklands. One of the favourite activities of visitors to Centennial Park is to meet with family and friends for a picnic or barbecue. Rumour has it that Centennial Park is the best place for having a barbecue in Sydney - gather your friends, bring some grillable food and find out yourself!
6 - Whale Watching
Whales do venture between Sydney Heads but most stay off shore. You can't really beat seeing a whale from a boat but there are some great spots around Sydney where you can get a good view of these wonderful animals. Cape Solander, at Kurnell Bay, is widely considered Sydney's best whale watching spot. The Cape Solander lookout has a viewing platform and a permanent display with information about the whales seen in the waters around Sydney. There is limited parking at Cape Solander. You can park at the Visitor Centre near the Kurnell entrance to the Kamay Botany Bay National Park, off Captain Cook Drive. A free shuttle bus runs regular circuits from the Visitor Centre to Cape Solander on weekends during the whale watching season. Other good whale watching spots around Sydney include North Head near Manly, Long Reef on the Northern Beaches, South Head, La Perouse and Cape Banks, Maroubra and Ben Buckler Headland at North Bondi.
7 - Hiking in the Blue Mountains
Take the train from Central station and enjoy the breathtaking view while heading to Katoomba - or just have a two-hour nap. Having arrived in Katoomba, follow the signs to Echo Point / Three Sisters, look around for a park then gape at the view. It's just incredible that a place like the Three Sisters can exist so close to a city the size of Sydney. The Blue Mountains offer plenty of opportunities for hiking trips. For example, the Giant Stairway provides a spectacular entry to the Jamison Valley, descending approximately 300 m via more than 800 steps and runways. It is located adjacent to the Three Sisters, on Prince Henry Cliff Walk & the Cliff Drive. For more information, visit the link listed below.
8 - Harbour Paddle
If you want to see the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera from a slightly different perspective and are not overly afraid of water, you might be interested in joining the Sydney University Canoe Club for a Harbour Paddle. All paddles start from the club's boatshed at the Blackwattle Bay in Glebe and last for approximately two hours.
If you are feeling even more adventurous, you can also go on the club's infamous whitewater trips (there will be trips for all levels from beginner to expert) and enjoy the rapids on New South Wales' rivers. Whatever you fancy, just get in touch with the club via its website.
9 - Visit a Museum
Before you came to Sydney you were told Australia was the sunniest continent on Earth. Pure sunshine and cloudless sky was what made you come here. Having arrived in Sydney, you quickly realised that it rains every third day on average, though. Quite a disappointment! Luckily, Sydney was founded by the English and since they are experts on how to deal with rainy weather, they made sure to establish a broad selection of outstanding museums in and around Sydney.
10 - Taronga Zoo
Everybody loves the zoo - well maybe some of the lions might look a little fed up with it but most humans seem to enjoy it. Taronga Zoo also boasts classic views across Sydney Harbour including the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Catch the ferry from Circular Quay. Anything less than a dozen pictures with the Sydney Opera House/Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background and you are just not trying. There is a cable car leading from the ferry wharf to the Zoo or you can bus your way up the hill. Don't walk it unless you are mad. Specifically for families Taronga Zoo includes a kiddies zoo, an excellent well-shaded playground and farm animals for brave under fives to pat.
What more to do?
You have already done all these things but are staying in Sydney for longer? There is no reason to get bored as you haven't seen the list of the top 100 things to do in Sydney yet!