Your vacation leave is approved. Your flights and accommodation are booked, and you are finally off to the Harbour City! You have done your research and know (roughly) the things to do in Sydney, but you have a nagging feeling that there is still so much you need to see in the city. Luckily, Mad Monkey has rounded up a list of fun and unique things you should not ignore while visiting. Here, cool and unique attractions in Sydney you should not miss out on seeing!
What to do in Sydney: see the seals at the Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is known for its shows, musicals, theatrical acts, and talks. This means, however, that you will have to budget for these shows as well as plan your itinerary around their schedule. If you find a show you are keen on going to, by all means, go! With that being said, the seals that call the Sydney Opera House home are quite the sight to see, as well. Take photographs of the iconic sails while keeping your eyes peeled for these incredible creatures found lounging on the stairs. They can usually be found soaking in Sydney’s sunshine.
Things to do in Sydney for free: enjoy 360-degree views from the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Nothing beats the views from the Sydney Harbour Bridge. If you are a fearless traveler with Australian dollars to blow, you can join the BridgeClimb Sydney. This climb brings adventurous locals and tourists alike to the bridge’s summit, which stands some 134 meters above sea level. For those of you who want the same incredible view but without the price tag, the next best thing is to walk or cycle along the bridge. Whatever it is you choose, both will certainly be one of the most memorable aspects of your trip to Sydney!
Adventure sports in Sydney: get up close and personal with the Sydney Harbour
There is no doubt that Sydney has one of the most beautiful and popular harbors in the world. It is what has visitors coming back for more. Most tourists choose to catch the sweeping harbor views from their hotel rooms in Circular Quay or in restaurants such as the Opera Bar. This may stretch a backpacker’s budget, however.
For amazing (and free) views, you can instead travel to North Sydney. This area has loads of great vantage points where you can get a glimpse of the glittering harbor, including Balls Head Reserve, Blues Point Reserve, and Milsons Point. With that being said, why see it from afar when you can get up close and personal with it? Thankfully, there are kayaking tours that will bring you around the harbor. These last about 90 minutes and are best done in the morning. Some of the best places that offer kayaking tours include Sydney by Kayak, OzPaddle Sydney, and Sydney Harbour Kayaks.
Sydney Zoos: Experience Australia’s unique wildlife
You are familiar with the koalas and kangaroos of Australia, but the country’s wildlife is much more diverse than people might think. Be sure to visit the WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo in Sydney’s Central Business District or the Taronga Zoo Sydney to see how unique, diverse, and rich the wildlife is in Australia. Learn more about Australian dingoes, Tasmanian devils, wombats, bilbies, and a whole lot more at these incredible attractions. Be sure to check out the animals talks that happen throughout the day, as well.
Unusual things to see in Sydney: visit the ghosts in the Quarantine Station
The Quarantine Station (Q Station) used to be the quarantine station for migrants that came to Australia. It is found on the northern headland. People who suffered from typhus, scarlet fever, and Spanish influenza were kept here, and almost 500 people died at this location. Known as one of the most haunted sites in all of Australia, the area is equipped with accommodation options, event venues, and guided ghost tours for visitors to partake in. Grab your walking shoes and torch and prepare to be scared out of your wits. Watch out for the little girl with blonde plaits; she is known to hold the hands of guests and lead them to an isolated part of the building!
Fun things to do in Sydney for couples: see an outdoor cinema
If you visit Sydney during the summer, you must catch an outdoor cinema at the Moonlight Cinema in Centennial Park. The shows normally run from December-April, and movie options range from classics to newly-released films. The theatre even shows advanced screenings! Bean bags are available for rent, but you are free to bring your own mats and chairs. Food trucks linger and are at the ready to serve food for those movie-goers who want some mid-film snacks. You are welcome to bring your own food and drinks, as well. Be sure to watch out for the bats that fly through the night!
Cricket Australia: witness an intense game
Nothing could be more Australian than watching everyone’s favorite sport of cricket. Get ready for shouting, heckling, and trash-talking from passionate Aussies at one of the world’s most popular cricket grounds: the Sydney Cricket Grounds. This bat-and-ball game is not quite like baseball, and it may be hard to understand for those who are not familiar with the rules. This should not stop you from having fun and enjoying the sport, however! Simply pick a team and cheer your heart out.
Australian beer in Sydney: breweries and distilleries you should visit
If you are in the mood for some day-drinking or alcohol brewing lessons, be sure to visit a brewery or distillery in Sydney. Young Henry’s in Newtown is known for its craft beers and is quite popular. Prepare for a long, snaking line outside the bar almost every weekend. It offers a brewery tour that takes guests through the steps of their brewing process, including their most popular one: the Newtowner. Afterward, you get to taste the beers straight from the tank! This particular brewery also collaborated with the Foo Fighters to create their very own brew known as the Foo Town. If spirits suit you more than a beer does, be sure to check out Archie Rose Distilling Co. in Roseberry. They make vodka, gin, and whiskey that will surely satisfy your sophisticated taste!
Sydney pools: swim in a rock pool overlooking the ocean
Choosing to stay in Coogee Beach has many advantages. You are near the ocean, you can go on the Bondi to Coogee walk, and you can try all the delicious restaurants and cools bars found here. You also have access to plenty of accommodation options that suit every type of budget. Most importantly, you can enjoy some of the most magnificent rock pools in Sydney. One of the most impressive ones of them all is the Ross Jones Memorial Pool. It is oozing with old-time charm. Giles Baths remain a favorited one amongst young people. Wylie’s Bath, on the other hand, is an iconic sight that offers stunning views of the Coogee Bay since its conception in 1907. What better way to end a day spent in Sydney’s sun than at one of these incredible rock pools?
Things to do in Sydney at night: watch the sun go down
After a long day of exploration in Sydney, you certainly deserve to sit back, relax, and watch an incredible sunset. One of the best places to watch the sun go down is at the Observatory Hill Park with the Sydney Harbour Bridge as the main attraction. You can also view it from Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair in the Royal Botanic Gardens. Another amazing spot to watch the day come to an end is aboard the ferry from Manly to Circular Quay.
More information about things do in Sydney
Did this article inspire you to want to learn more about all of the incredible things to see and do in Sydney? Then check out this amazing list of articles filled with fun things worth checking out in the city. Now, get exploring!
- Things to do in Sydney at least once in your life for TimeOut
- 18 Free Things to Do in Sydney by Craig for Ytravel
- Best Things To Do in Sydney for U.S. News & World Report
- 25 Best Things To Do In Sydney (Australia) for The Crazy Tourist