Are you traveling to Australia and wondering what to do in Sydney? This is a guide with activities and tours to do while you are in Sydney ,organized by subjects to help you make the best of your time in Sydney, depending on your preferences/loves.
Things to do for ANIMAL LOVERS
- TARONGA ZOO: located across the Harbour from the Opera House, the Taronga zoo combines stunning landscapes with the discovery of exotic and native animals. Check out what it has to offer on the Zoo battle post or consider splurging to get a behind the scene tour as a keeper for a day
- WILDLIFE SYDNEY ZOO: in the heart of touristy Sydney, Darling Harbour, they have set up the Wildlife Sydney zoo to get up close with Native Australian animals. I am personnally not a big fan. Check out what it has to offer on the Zoo battle post
- FEATHERDALE WILDLIFE PARK: Not as central as the other 2 wildlife park, Featherdale is a small but well set up environment to admire and learn about native Australian animals. Check out what it has to offer on the Zoo battle post
- SYDNEY & MANLY AQUARIUMS: Both are great attractions to visit in Sydney. They are well organized with tunnels and big window displays. A nice option on a rainy day. Discover more on the Aquarium battle post.
- AUSTRALIAN WILDLIFE DAY TOUR(4WD): organized by Sydney Boutique tour, this activity takes you South of Sydney to spot and observe native Australian animals in their environment. Many photos and info on the dedicated post.
- DOLPHIN CRUISE - JERVIS BAY: 2 hours South of Sydney is the stunning and pristine Jervis Bay where pods of dolphins have settled. Dolphin watch cruise organises boat tours to find and observe them swim and jump. Photos and info on the Jervis Bay post.
Things to do for NATURE EXPLORERS
Note: I have been to most of those but before this blog and before paying attention to my photography so I do not have posts for all of them.
WALKS IN THE BAY OF SYDNEY
- MANLY TO THE SPLIT: moderate walk that takes you from the head of the Sydney Harbour to hidden beaches and more discoveries. (ferry from Circular Quay to Manly and bus for the return)
- WATSON's BAY: take the ferry from Circular Quay to discover a nice harbour suburbs with great views of Sydney. The easy walk around the head displays spectacular cliffs and stunning landscapes of the Harbour
- More walks along the coastal area of the Sydney Harbour are described on the Walking Coastal Sydney website
NATURE AREAS - WEST OF SYDNEY
- BLUE MOUNTAINS: small mountain ranges west of Sydney, they are famous for their color blue that is created by the Eucalyptus leaves. Information and photos on my Blue Mountains post
- JENOLAN CAVES: Under the blue mountains are some impressive caves with stalactites and stalagmites. Lucas and Orient are 2 of the best. Many visits are organised and I wrote a post to help you plan you visit to the caves.
NATURE AREAS - SOUTH OF SYDNEY
- BONDI TO COOGEE WALK: starting at the most famous Australian Beach this easy walk takes you through stunning cliffs from small cove to long beaches - More info and photos on my Bondi to Coogee post
- ROYAL NATIONAL PARK: with beautiful protected beaches, white and grey cliffs, this NP has a lot of bus walks to offer. Learn more on the Royal National Park website. Or discover it in a different way with the Moonwalk activity.
- KIAMA & JERVIS BAY: the South Coast of NSW is stunning the whole way. On the day tour from Sydney you can discover the blowhole of Kiama and the nature reserve of Jervis Bay. Check out the photos of my own day tour.
NATURE AREA - NORTH OF SYDNEY
- KU RING GAI CHASE NATIONAL PARK: Great cliffs and views over Barrenjoyey's head. Many hikes are available. Check out their official website.
- PALM BEACH: considered as one of the most beautiful beaches of the area, it is a long sandy area and a short walk up to the lighthouse at the Barrenjoey Head (busses from Sydney)
- PORT STEPHENS / STOCKTON BEACH: white sand dunes, beautiful bay, dolphins and great food, this is a great day tour from Sydney. Many photos on my dedicated post.
Things to do for HISTORY AFICIONADOS
- THE ROCKS: Next to Circular Quay in the heart of the Sydney Harbour, is the neighborhood of The Rocks with all its convict and settlement history. A great way to discover many stories and building is via an organized tour.
- MUSEUM OF AUSTRALIA CURRENCY NOTES: A new settlement, a new currency created by convicts. It makes for good stories. Check them out at the museum
- THE ROCKS DISCOVERY MUSEUM: in The Rocks you can start by visiting the museum with many old photos and stories of convicts. Check out its website
- THE GOVERNOR HOUSE: discover the center of government history in Australia. More info on the Governor House website
Things to do for ARCHITECTURE AND ART LOVERS
- WALK THE HARBOUR BRIDGE: their is a free walking path on the Opera House side of the Harbour Bridge. One tower also opens during the day but you have to pay
- CLIMB THE BRIDGE: this is a very popular attraction but quite expansive and not for people with vertigo. You can climb on the structure of the bridge all the way to the top. They even have tours at sunset
- FREE WALKING TOUR of the city: a good way to have a glimpse of the mix of "old" and modern architecture of Sydney. See my review and photos
- SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE: from the ground or from a boat, the Opera building can be admired from so many angles. Enjoy! And you can also take one of the organized visit
- SYDNEY ARCHITECTURE WALK: Apparently someone is organizing such tour. I have not tried so cannot comment on it.
- ART GALLERY OF NSW: for classical and modern art visit the National Gallery
- MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART: if you are in the mood for more abstract, contemporary art, check out the museum on the side of Circular Quay
Things to do for ADRENALIN JUNKIES
- Sky dive – some colleagues of mine did it and had a real blast
- Climb the bridge – mixed opinions from persons I met + you are not allowed to take your camera.
- Skywalk – I have been told that it is not that great, that the bridge walk is better
- Dive with Sharks at Manly Aquarium
No photos here, as I am not so much into Extreme sport. Sorry
Things to do for BEACH PEOPLE
Spend time at one of the many beaches in the Harbour and ocean side. I am not a beach person so I cannot recommend any. But TimeOut Sydney listed a top ten of Sydney beaches.
ITINERARY AND OTHER TIPS
- And if your are a foodie, check out those 8 Must East food in Sydney
- And have a look how Mapping Megan included a bit of everything in her article on how to spend 5 days in Sydney.
- Or check out the article from Make Time to See the world with what they recommend to do while on weekend in Sydney
- And to go and see all that you can use ferry/buses/train… plan your trip with Timetable / Trip planner
Want to see more of AUSTRALIA?
Ready to plan your activities?
I have also been to Sydney, but at that time I didn’t know much about it. This is a good guide. Appreciate it!
Claire Robinson says
Some great ideas here, would love the climb the bridge!
Claire Robinson says
Thanks Catherine! Yes the bridge climb is a very popular activity!
Marvin Sowers says
We’re going to visit Sydney quite soon and thanks to you we are already booked for the Sydney Boutique Tour. Can’t wait for our visit and now with this post we have even more inside information. Thanks for all the help!
Claire Robinson says
Thanks for the comment Marvin. Enjoy your time in Sydney!