Sydney’s personality is all sparkle, glitz and glamour. With an irresistible combination of beaches, coves, architecture, nature and nightlife, a holiday in one of Australia’s favourite playgrounds tops travel bucket lists the world over. The only problem is, how do you choose an itinerary with such a wide array of delectable options? To help you out, take a look at the best things to do in Sydney, for first-time travellers.
See and Be Seen at Bondi Beach
Home to the hip and the happening, Bondi Beach characterises the Sydney lifestyle of beach and city living at its best. Spend a day swimming and people watching, hang out with the locals in cafes and bars or do the Bondi to Coogee walk to explore the stunning coastline, including the beaches of Tamarama and Bronte.
Get a Culture Fix at the Sydney Opera House
No matter where you view it from, the famous Opera House is dazzling. Cruise by on a sailboat, snap some pics from one of many lookouts or simply stand outside and admire the architecture as the sun reflects off the white. It’s also a hub of music, performance and the arts, so you can catch a show or take a backstage tour for an insider glimpse.
Explore the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney’s beloved ‘coathanger’ changes and enhances the city skyline, depending on where you view it from. You can walk or ride across it, or, better yet, check out the entire city on a Bridge Climb that will take you into the heights of the iconic structure.
Bathe in History at The Rocks
For a splash of glamour among the history of the colonial era, visit The Rocks and stroll down the cobbled laneways. Filled with quaint shops, markets, restaurants and swish hotels, The Rocks highlights Australia’s first European settlement, while turning on the glitz.
Cruise Sydney Harbour
There are many ways to get out on the sparkling waters of Sydney Harbour and it’s a ‘must do’ activity. Take a ferry over to cosmopolitan Manly, treat yourself to a yacht charter, try some sailing lessons or rent a kayak to do your own explorations of secluded coves and sandy beaches.
Picnic at the Royal Botanic Gardens
Sydney city is surrounded by lush greenery, in amongst the high rises and bustle of CBD life. The Royal Botanic Gardens is the perfect spot for a break from the busyness, with walking paths, educational programs and plenty for the kids to see and do.
Dive into Adventure in the Blue Mountains
When it’s time to escape the city, the Blue Mountains National Park is the place to go. Home to the Three Sisters rock formation, waterfalls, quaint towns and sleepy B&B’s, the Blue Mountains are a haven for walkers, hikers, climbers and outdoor adventurers.
Camp at Cockatoo Island
Cockatoo Island’s history includes a convict prison and, now, it’s one of the most amazing spots in the country to camp for the night. You’ll go to sleep with the stars and the city lights and wake up in the Middle Harbour, with 5-star views from your tent.
Don Your Dancing Shoes
Whatever you choose to do by night, Sydney offers it to you on a silver platter. Indulge in gourmet dining, vibrant nightclubs, live music and a thriving pub and bar scene. Sample the grunge and glitter of Oxford Street and the twinkling lights of Darling Harbour. Sydney is always waiting for you to dance the night away.
Don’t worry about sleeping in the next day either. Sydney does fantastic brunch and wearing your sunglasses inside is perfectly acceptable.