From pristine beaches to outstanding dining and shopping experiences in spectacular locations, Sydney is one of the most unique cities in the world. Enjoy stunning stretches of coastline, great bushwalks in beautiful national parks and the awe-inspiring Australian outback when you visit its Surrounds.
Grand Pacific Drive: Coastal Lifestyle & Adventure
The spectacular Grand Pacific Drive is a spectacular journey that meanders through coastal rainforest, seaside towns and along a string of uncrowded beaches, with the Sea Cliff Bridge being the main highlight. Be adventurous and try your hand at hang gliding, or experience the thrill of jumping out of a plane at 14,000ft with amazing views over Wollongong. At Jervis Bay, find the world’s whitest sand at Hyams beach, or join a Dolphin Watch Cruise to see wild dolphins at play.
Port Stephens: Dolphins & Sand Dunes
Port Stephens, often referred to as ”dolphin capital of Australia”, is home to around 150 bottlenose dolphins. To see these playful animals up-close and personal, take a dolphin-watch cruise (Go whale watching from May – Nov). South of Port Stephens, the Stockton Beach sand dunes is the largest coastal moving sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere. Several adventure operators offer trips among the dunes, from dune buggies to quad bike safaris to horse riding, camel treks and sand dune tobogganing. Hop on a quad bike and get set for the thrill of a lifetime!
Blue Mountains: Nature and Wildlife
A trip to Sydney wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the dramatic region of the Blue Mountains. Just 90-minutes from Sydney, the sandstone plateau of the Blue Mountains is part of the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage-listed area that covers more than one million hectares. Enjoy fresh Eucalyptus scented mountain air as well as a range of outdoor activities that include easy bushwalks, wildlife-spotting and exploring the world’s oldest limestone caves at Jenolan Caves.
Ballooning in the Hunter Valley vineyards
The Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest wine growing region- – and there are few more novel and breath-taking ways to see it than from the basket of a hot air balloon. Visit over 150 wineries and cellars, taste cheese, chocolates and the abundance of fresh local produce.
Harbourside dining with magnificent waterfront views
With so many beautiful waterside locations to choose from, you could spend your entire Sydney holiday dining at a fabulous bar, café, pub or restaurant. The best harbourside neighbourhoods are Cockle Bay, Pyrmont, The Rocks, Sydney Opera House, Walsh Bay and Woolloomooloo Wharf.
Cocktails at Icebergs Dining Room & Bar
Enjoy the waves of famous Bondi Beach from this stylish bar and restaurant. Get amongst Sydney's cool set and enjoy a No 2 Martini with crab sandwiches in the bar before moving into the restaurant for lunch.
Fall in love with Sydney’s café culture
Sydneysiders love brunch and, with so many great choices of style and location, you will too! Check out the great value, all-day traditional breakfast menus in Bondi and Newtown, enjoy mouthwatering yum-cha in Chinatown, or discover bakeries with a gastronomic twist in Surry Hills, Balmain and Paddington.
Taste fresh and yummy seafood at Sydney Fish Market
Teetering out over Blackwattle Bay on the city’s western fringe, this boisterous market is a must see for any seafood lover. The range of produce is amazing. Lobsters, fresh tuna, the famous Sydney rock oysters, crayfish and Atlantic salmon are just some of the varieties arrayed in glistening ranks, together with a handful of sushi bars, cafes and seafood restaurants, staffed by a cast of colourful characters from the local fishing industry.
Fresh Produce at Farmers’ Markets
Sydney’s outdoor markets are another great place to check out! Enjoy a wide range of food and local fresh produce at Carriageworks Farmers Market, an award-winning authentic Farmers’ Market, held every Saturday. Another fabulous market is The Rocks Foodies Market, opens every Friday, and you get a smorgasbord of seasonal and artisan produces.
Dolphin and whale watch experiences at Jervis Bay
Located South of Sydney, Jervis Bay is famous for its pristine clear water and white beaches. Join a cruise, and explore breathtaking rock and land formations, majestic coastline, ancient sea caves and natural seal colonies. Experience close encounters with dolphins, or even whales from May to November.
Catch spectacular sea views along Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk
This short and sensational stroll is a symphony for the soul, wrapping up the very best of the city’s coastline. In an easy, one-hour walk, the trail rides the headlands, cresting high to offer a view of sea-carved sandstone and crashing waves, then dipping down for a close-up look at some of Sydney’s best-loved beaches. At either end, you’ll find smart cafes where you can chill with a bluewater view.
Discover Sydney’s Secret Beaches
Cycling is the ideal way to explore Manly Beach. Hire a bike and discover secluded coves, deserted beaches and breathtaking coastal views. With over 20kms of dedicated bike paths and off road trails, Manly caters for all levels of riders. A short walk or kayak along the coast from Manly is Shelly Beach. People watch or go snorkeling and diving!
Get up close to wildlife at award-winning Taronga Zoo
With Sydney Harbour as its backdrop, Taronga Zoo is a must-do experience for visitors. See a huge range of Australian animals such as koalas, kangaroos and emus as well as rare and endangered species from around the world. An unexpected adventure is the cable car ride from the ferry wharf to the zoo entrance.
Picnic in the Park
Enjoy a wonderful picnic with your family and friends at Hyde Park, Australia's oldest park. Divided by Park Street, the southern section of Hyde Park contains the ANZAC Memorial building and visitor centre, the pool of reflection and numerous monuments and statues. Explore Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, an oasis in the heart of the city. Occupying one of the city’s most prominent positions next to the Sydney Opera House on the Harbour.
Explore Sydney Harbour
Sydney's harbour is truly breathtaking and there are many ways to enjoy it. Explore stunning Sydney Harbour on a Sydney ferry, a relaxing sightseeing cruise or a thrilling high-speed jetboat. For something unique, go for a twilight sail with onboard dining, or even be a skipper for the day.
Conquer top of Harbour Bridge with BridgeClimb
BridgeClimb offers the ultimate experience of Sydney with 3 1/2 hour guided climbs to the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, day and night. The exhilaration and personal satisfaction achieved by reaching the top of the Bridge is as much reward as the breathtaking view that lies below. Shorter 1 ½ hour BridgeClimb Sampler experiences are also available!
The magic of Sydney Opera House
Complete your visit in Sydney with a trip to Sydney Opera House, a World Heritage architectural jewel, where you’ll enjoy a feast of dazzling performances. Join a tour to experience the beauty of the House and obtain a sneak peek behind the curtain, or enjoy an evening cocktail while watching the sunset from the Opera Bar.
Discover your own sense of style at Sydney’s best shopping destinations
From designer labels to high-street fashion, Sydney’s favourite shopping streets are perfect for serious retail therapy. You’ll find major international and Australian brands at boutiques and shopping centres like the Pitt Street Mall and the historic Queen Victoria Building. Discover Sydney’s many quaint precincts, from funky Newtown to eclectic Surry Hills for unique boutiques and high street fashion.
Gifts hunting at Weekend Markets
Weekend markets are a great place to pick up unique arts and crafts, fashion and accessories. Check out Paddy’s Market (Thurs – Sun) in Chinatown for gifts and souvenirs, the Rocks Markets (Sat – Sun) for arts and crafts or Paddington Market (Sat only) which is the base for Sydney’s young fashion and art up-starts.
Have a fun-filled day at Darling Harbour
Darling Harbour is a popular waterfront entertainment precinct with more than 50 restaurants and cafes, fabulous shopping and a happening nightlife. Darling Harbour is also home to some of the city’s most popular family attractions like SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo and Madame Tussauds. The nearby Australian National Maritime Museum offers a closer look at the secret world of submarine warfare. Don’t miss the Darling Harbour Fireworks happening most Saturday nights between 830pm and 9pm.
What’s On in Sydney
Sydney is Australia’s year-round events capital with all styles of entertainment on offer. For the largest festival of its kind in Australia, experience Vivid Sydney from 27 May – 18 June 2016. Watch as Sydney transforms into a wonderland of ‘light art sculptures’ and grand-scale projections for all to enjoy – for free. Other events include the Blackmore Running Festival (Sep), Sydney Good Food Month (Oct), Sculpture By The Sea Bondi (Nov) and New Year’s Eve celebration (Dec). Visit sydney.com for a full listing of events, festivals and performances
Need a bit more inspiration? Check out these holiday ideas for Sydney