There’s nothing better than exploring a new city and feeling as though you have had an authentic experience. Unfortunately, falling into tourist traps can sometimes mean that you miss out on some of the best excursions, activities and locations that are on offer, and can also leave you spending many hours queuing, cutting the hours in the day that you have left to explore short.
Whether it’s your first time in Sydney or your fifth, there are a host of exciting places waiting to be discovered. However, if you have little knowledge of what is on offer, it’s hard to know where to begin. Damien from Eco Treasures, a locally owned and operated nature-based experience provider in Sydney, shared with us that: “There are lots of nice things to do in Sydney including going to the beach, being on the water and bushwalking. Snorkelling and paddle boarding are also fun adventures.”
With the incredible weather that your around the world cruise will hopefully afford, you’ll have the freedom to explore the city at your own pace, making the most of your time in Australia.
Although venues such as the Sydney Opera House may be the most logical attractions to visit, finding something unique will provide you with memories to last a lifetime. We’ve included a list of some of our must-visit destinations whilst in Sydney for you to discover. Find out more below!
Explore the water
Damien recommends trying something different whilst in Sydney, and what better way than arranging a trip through Eco Treasures? He suggests a snorkel tour of Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve which has a “very diverse ecosystem that is incredibly close to the city”. If you’re visiting Australia, it is likely that you’ll be tempted to check the weather forecast, praying for the warmer weather to welcome you to the country. However, Damien offers this piece of advice: “Don’t listen to the weather forecasts and just get outside whilst dressing for adventure. Too many people don’t spend time wandering around the city if the weather is less than perfect”.
If you’re looking to stay above water, Sydney offers a plethora of other ways in which you can get up-close and personal with the incredible marine life. Discovery cruises can inform you of the history of the city, allowing you to view it from a completely different vantage point whereas whale watching boat tours are an exciting way to spend an afternoon. Although many boat tours are a relaxing way to spend your time in Sydney, adrenaline junkies with a sense of adventure may prefer hopping over the water on a jet boat, allowing the refreshing spray from the harbour to feel cool against your skin.
Walk amongst the gardens
Walking through the city is one of the best ways to fully immerse yourself in its culture. Sydney is a vibrant place with many dynamic communities. Stroll through Surry Hills, picking up an artisan coffee before people watching for half an hour or relax at Bondi Beach, watching swimmers in the freshwater pools. With an increasing number of young professionals living and working in the city, feel young at heart as you watch them go about their busy days.
Deb from Sydney Chic, a website highlighting the best attractions and things to do whilst in the city, recommends the Chinese Garden of Friendship to those looking to enjoy the city’s slower pace of life. “The Chinese Garden of Friendship offers a ‘Zen’ experience right next to the city. Although the Gardens are surrounded by buildings, it’s truly a magical escape from the busyness of Sydney’s CBD.” Similarly, The Botanical Gardens hosts educational events aiming to improve your knowledge of horticulture and science in a spectacular setting. As Australia’s oldest botanical garden, there is something for everyone here and has everything you need to have a fun-filled day.
Whilst enjoying an afternoon acquainting yourself with the city, make sure to walk along a coastal path at your own pace, taking in the sights. Deb suggests that from May to November, “if you take one of the coastal walks, you might be lucky enough to spot whales migrating down south”. Alternatively, if you’re interested in learning more about the history of Sydney, join a walking tour. I’m Free Walking Tours have knowledgeable tour guides on hand to provide you with invaluable insight, allowing you to get the most out of your time on holiday.
Soak up the culture
Sydney has an assortment of things to keep you busy. So, if you’re looking to escape the weather for a moment, head indoors to one of the many art galleries situated around the city. The art scene is thriving, so visit the Art Gallery of New South Wales which was first opened in 1871 or enjoy a trip to the Museum of Contemporary Art to see something different.
The Rocks Markets are definitely worth a visit if you’re looking to buy a souvenir of your time in Sydney. From clothes and jewellery to food and drink, there is something for everyone here. In addition to the stalls, live music from local buskers can be heard travelling along the cobblestoned lanes every Saturday and Sunday, so make sure to head down to the harbour for this.
The best things to do in Sydney
If you’re heading to Sydney on holiday and are looking for some alternative things to do, make sure to check out the list below and discover something new!
- Go on a snorkel tour
- Enjoy a whale sightseeing cruise
- Hop on a jet boat at Sydney harbour
- Walk through the Chinese Garden of Friendship
- Learn something new at the Sydney Botanical Gardens
- Join a walking tour of the city
- Visit an art gallery
- Browse a farmers market