As Australia’s largest city with everything from the city, surf, mountains and harbour to take in, it can be hard to know where to start when in Sydney; but regardless of what you’re most in to, there are a few things that every visitor to the harbour-side city absolutely must do at some point in their lifetime.
If you want to get the full Sydney experience, make sure you add these six Sydney favourites to your travel bucket list.
1. Climb “the” bridge
The most recognised landmark in Sydney would easily have to be the Sydney Harbour Bridge. With its central location hovering over the waters of Sydney Harbour connecting the CBD and North Shore, it’s near impossible to visit Sydney and not grab at least one glimpse of the world-famous ‘coat hanger’ structure.
While catching a view of the bridge from the ground or water is no doubt impressive, if you want the full bucket list experience, take it one step further and climb your way to the top to take in the breathtaking open-air views of the surrounding harbour and cityscape.
With celebrities of the likes of Jamie Oliver, Hugh Jackman, Sam Smith, Bill Gates and the Beckhams all choosing to include it on their Sydney itinerary, you know it must be good!
Visit the Sydney Bridge Climb website for more information and bookings.
2. Take in a show at the Sydney Opera House
Sydney’s next most iconic attraction would have to be the Sydney Opera House. With its picturesque central waterside location which also offers some of the best views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House is home to some of the nations’ most prestigious performing arts troops including the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Opera Australia, The Sydney Theatre Company and The Australian Ballet.
Everyone should take in at least one Opera House performance during their lifetime, or at the very least, take a tour of the impressive building to become acquainted with its intriguing stories, rich history and captivating magic.
Visit the Sydney Opera House website to find out what’s on while you’ll be in town or to book a tour.
3. Jump on a ferry
No Sydney experience is complete until you’ve taken a ride on a Sydney ferry. With the harbour forming the heart of the water-side city, the ferry network is the primary mode of transport for most Sydneysiders daily commute—sure beats taking the bus, car or train!
Offering up some of the most superb views of the harbour it’s hard to believe the ferry network is part of the city’s public transport system, but it does mean you can catch a ferry to some very impressive locations for an affordable fare. For some good route ideas, start your trip at Circular Quay in the CBD and jump on a ferry to Manly, Balmain, Cremorne/Mosman or Parramatta. You can thank us later!
Visit the NSW transport website for route, timetable and ticket information.
4. Soak in the sun at Bondi Beach
While there are plenty of beautiful beaches within easy reach of the city, Bondi would have to be the most famous drawing in millions of locals and tourists alike every year.
Getting a taste of the sun-kissed sand and surf on offer is a must for everyone that comes to Sydney—whether you’re keen for a dip in the waves or famous Icebergs beach pool, or you’d prefer to sit back soak in the atmosphere, Bondi beach provides an excellent snapshot of Sydney’s beachside lifestyle and culture.
If you have the time, take your runners and do the six-kilometre Bondi to Coogee cliff top coastal walk to take in the stunning water views, beaches, parks, cliffs, bays and rock pools. If you’re there between May and November you may even spot a whale or two!
5. Dine waterside
As a city famed for its harbour-side location, it only makes sense that it offers up some fine waterside dining opportunities. Whether you opt for something quick and casual or you’d prefer something a little more refined with delicious seafood and paired wines, as long as you get to enjoy it while taking in a scene of sparkling blue waters it’ll make it a meal you won’t forget in a hurry.
The Sydney tourism website provides a great list of waterside dining opportunities to help you decide where to go.
6. A day trip to the Blue Mountains
So you won’t find this one in the heart of the city, but being within relatively easy reach, everyone needs to take a day trip to the Blue Mountains at some point in their lifetime.
With its breathtaking scenery, tall forests, picturesque waterfalls, quaint villages and attractions aplenty, you’ll find it hard to believe that you can find such a grand display of nature at its finest in such close-proximity to a major city.
A visit to Katoomba and nearby attraction the Three Sisters rock formation overlooking the Jamieson Valley, the Jenolan Caves, the Featherdale Wildlife Park or the Skyway, Cableway and Railway at Scenic World are all sure to please.
You can find more information on the Blue Mountains tourism website.