When this pandemic is over, and when we’re all allowed to travel again, one of the places I’ve promised my girls we’ll visit is Australia. I’d say maybe half my family who don’t live in the UK live in Perth, so that will definitely be on the list, but I’d really love to visit Sydney too. I was asked to host this post on 19 things to do in Sydney Australia, and I have to say, it’s getting my itchy travel feet going again. I can’t wait to travel again when this is over but for now, I’ll have to live vicariously through other people’s experiences.
This is a Guest Post by James Banerjee.
19 Things to do in Sydney, Australia
When I first arrived in Sydney, I was overwhelmed with the huge number of activities to do and simply didn’t know where to start. I have, therefore, compiled a list of the top activities I would suggest doing to ensure this does not happen to any future travellers! So here are 19 things to do in Sydney Australia. The list contains things to do with kids, family, and others for those much needed grown-up time off from the kids!
1. Sydney Tower Eye
One of the first things I did when I was in Sydney was to visit The Tower Eye. Take in the sights of Sydney from 250 meters above the city streets on the observation deck! If you’re feeling adventurous, embark on the Skywalk experience where you’ll experience a spectacular 90-minute tour of the city skyline with two of the most experienced tour guides. You can also combine your tickets with other top attractions such as the SEA LIFE Aquarium, WILDLIFE Zoo and Madame Tussauds! – Absolute savings!
2. Sydney Opera House
Iconic. Architectural beauty. Fine Arts. A must-see. All the above? You can’t visit Sydney without seeing the Sydney Opera House! One of the most famous buildings in Sydney performing over 40 shows a week, there’s something for everyone! With multiple events, tours, kids’ activities and dining experiences, the opera house is one for the bucket list – Make sure to get a picture for the gram!
3. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
One of the largest varieties of Australian aquatic life; SEA LIFE Sydney has more than 700 species and consist of well over 13,000 individual fish and other sea life creatures! With added bonuses of cageless scuba diving with Grey Nurse Sharks 2-3 meters long and The Penguin Expedition which houses King and Gentoo penguins – What better way to get up close and personal with the wildlife of the seas!
4. WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo
Head down to Darling Harbour and visit the WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo and get to know the animals that call the zoo home! Jump around with kangaroos, hang out and have breakfast with Koalas, get real close with crocodiles, see the wallabies, snakes, spiders, birds and so many other weird and wonderful creatures that inhabit this beautiful country here at the zoo. With the chance to feed animals and hold insects, the WILD LIFE zoo has it all.
5. Bars and Pubs
If you’re in Sydney and looking for a great bar to frequent then you won’t be short for choice! With an estimate of over 820 bars and pubs in Sydney you’ll have plenty to bounce between, from Irish pubs, quirky dive bars, to fancy cocktail bars and even beautiful roof top drinking spots with balcony seats to soak up the sun with views of the entire CBD – Just remember to bring the camera and try not to drop it!
6. Large Chess
If you find yourself in Hyde Park, located near the Archibald Fountain, you’ll come across the giant chess board! Play against your friends or other members of the public and draw in a crowd to see who the real chess champion amongst you is. It’s quite common for a passer-by to make a move and leave the board for the next passer-by to make a move so you’ll find yourself playing against multiple people throughout the city – How cool is that!?
7. Royal Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney is a sight to behold, with over 74-acres of garden, plants and other amazing horticulture free for public visitation, it’s the perfect walk in the park to see the beautiful wildlife, bright blue waters and unique flowers. With walking and biking tours, Aboriginal heritage tours and other outdoor activities, it’s a great day out for the whole family.
Related Post: Bloemfontein Botanic Gardens, Free State, South Africa
If you are ever on Bloemfontein and are looking for a great family day out with lots of fresh air, space, beauty and amazing value for money, please check out the Bloemfontein Botanical Gardens. You will love it.
Located in central South Africa, Bloemfontein is the Provincial Captial of the Free State, and the Judicial Capital City of South Africa.
8. Bondi beach
One of Australia’s most iconic and famous beaches, Bondi Beach, known for its white sands and sparkling blue waters, attracts visitors from all over the world. Amazing spots for surfers, morning swimmers, joggers, coastal walkers, backpackers, sunbathers, holiday makers and Sydneysiders! Coastal tours to surrounding Bronte and Coogee beach with plenty of café’s, restaurants, shops, bars and pubs – who doesn’t love a day at the beach and it’s likely to be on everyone’s list of things to do in Sydney, Australia.
If you’ve made it to a beach in Australia, chances are you or a friend will want to have a go a surfing and what better place than Sydney to carve through the waves of the ocean! There is no shortage of beginner friendly locations in have your chance at learning to surf. Places such as Manly Beach, Bondi, Palm Beach and Umina Beach will be a great start.
10. Royal National Park
If you’re a fan of walking or cycling through beautiful wildlife scenery and forests, then a day trip to the Royal National Park will be the place for you. Take a trek down the Uloola walking track, Cycle the Loftus loop trial, have a picnic at the Wattamolla Picnic area, stay the night at the Uloola Falls campgrounds, explore the figure eight pool and plenty more along the way. With an abundance of opportunities to have a barbeque, whale watch, birdwatch and go fishing; there’s much to do in one day so what better reason to return for another adventure!
11. Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge
A great way to see Sydney from atop the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge into the city, a breath-taking view of the Opera House and CBD. With many different climbs available from sampler to express summit climbs, learn more about the construct and the history of the iconic bridge first hand from one of the experienced tour climbers.
And if you don’t fancy climbing it, you will most definitely want to marvel at this exquisite steel arch linking Sydney’s CBS with the North Shore which you could do from a boat cruise.
12. Darling Harbour
Take a short walk from the city centre and discover Darling Harbour, a beautiful waterfront destination for dining experiences and sensational nightlife. Local attractions include the already mentioned SEA-LIFE aquarium, WILD-LIFE zoo and Madame Tussauds. Other attractions include the largest cinema screen at IMAX, tenpin bowling, laser tag and plenty of places to shop till you drop!
13. Sydney Cricket Ground
The Sydney Cricket Ground is the place to be for the sports fans out there, with a capacity of 48,000 seats, this leading entertainment venue houses Test, One Day International, Twenty20 cricket, Rugby Union, Rugby League (NRL), and Aussie Rules Football (AFL). Get down there and immerse yourself into the atmosphere of the sporting spectating world!
14. Taronga Zoo
Opened in 1916, just off the Sydney harbour shores, the Taronga Zoo has been a top tourist spot for travellers, holidaymakers and Australians alike. Caring for over 4000 animals from over 350 species, such as Tigers, Elephants, Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Giraffes, Meerkats, Red Kangaroos, Koalas, Sun Bears and so much more. With accommodations available and the Wild Rope adventures, you can tackle the suspension bridges, climbing walls and high ropes course to get another amazing view of the harbour! This should definitely be on your list of family things to do in Sydney. It’s a great day out for everyone.
15. Cockatoo Island
Prior to colonisation, the cockatoo islands served as a meeting grounds for the Eora People and still has string ties to the First Nations. With a complicated yet rich history, from the convict era circa 1839, the Island was a cruel but crucial point in time for the building projects of the new colony, to the Maritime Era where the island was the official dockyard to the Royal Australian Navy during WWII. There’s a lot more to Sydney than sun, sea and beaches!
16. Big Bus Sydney Tours
What better way to visit all these amazing attractions, sights and adventurous activities in Australia’s largest city than utilising the Sydney Bus Tours. It take 2 spectacular sightseeing route, The City Tour and The Bondi Tour. With Hop-on/Hop-off services and free on-board wi-fi they will have you covered with travelling around the city in style.
17. Blue mountains
One of the most famous mountain ranges in Australia, west of Sydney in New South Wales. It boasts of extraordinary mountain views, sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, canyons, forests and villages throughout the one million hectares (3861 squares miles!) The world heritage sight is a 2 hour drive from the city but well worth the journey, take a bushwalking trail with an experienced Aboriginal tour guide or take a blue mountains explorer bus to take in the many wonders of The Greater Blue Mountains.
18. Sand boarding
Maybe not quite in Sydney, if you’re visiting Syndey for a few days, why not take a drive north of Sydney to Port Stephens and sandboard in some of the largest dunes in the Southern Hemisphere! With up to 40m dunes to surf your way down, 4WD tours, quad biking, camel and horse riding, water activities, boat hire, kayaking and so much more including bars, restaurants and accommodations. Take a mini holiday within a holiday!
19. Sunday funday pub crawl
Finally of the most fun things to do in Sydney, for me, was the Sunday funday pub crawl, with no shortage of companies, venues and amazing people to do this with, Sydney hosts incredible bar hopping opportunities. Cheap drinks, cheap yet amazing foods, photographers, Games&Prizes plus the infamous games of beer pong, meet many locals and travellers alike and have an amazing night in the city to be remembered forever… or forgotten forever!
This is just a small handful of the amazing things to do in Sydney, Australia! Have we sold you on the idea? If so, get online, find a cheap flight and hotel and enjoy Oz!
More Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Sydney with Kids
Is Syndey Kid Friendly?
Yes, Sydney, Australia, is a kid-friendly city with plenty of activities and attractions for families to enjoy. There are lots of places for kids to run free, enjoy being outdoors, and just having fun. Overall, Sydney is a great place for families with kids, offering a range of activities and attractions to keep everyone entertained.
What is the best time to visit Sydney with kids?
The best time to visit Sydney, Australia with kids depends on your preferences and what you want to do while you’re there. Here are some factors to consider:
- Weather: Sydney’s weather is mild year-round, but the summer months (December-February) are the warmest and sunniest, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as visiting the beaches and parks.
- School Holidays: If you’re traveling with school-age children, you may want to plan your visit during school holidays. The summer holidays run from mid-December to late January, while the winter holidays are in July.
- Events and Festivals: Sydney hosts a range of events and festivals throughout the year that may be of interest to families, such as the Sydney Festival in January, the Royal Easter Show in April, and the Vivid Sydney light festival in May-June.
- Crowds: If you want to avoid the crowds, it’s best to avoid the peak tourist season, which is from December to February. March to May and September to November are generally quieter times to visit.
Overall, the best time to visit Sydney with kids is during the summer months (December-February) when the weather is warm and there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. However, if you prefer fewer crowds and cooler weather, the shoulder seasons (March to May and September to November) may be a better choice.
Do kids pay on the Sydney Bus?
Yes, children in Sydney, Australia, do need to pay to travel on public transportation, including buses. However, the fare for children is typically lower than the adult fare, and children under the age of four can travel for free.
The exact fare for children varies depending on the type of public transportation, and the distance travelled. For example, on buses, children aged 4-15 years old are eligible for a Child/Youth Opal card, which offers a 50% discount on the Adult fare. Children aged 16 and over must pay the adult fare.
It’s worth noting that children can also travel for free on Sundays with an Adult Opal card, which is a great option for families who want to explore the city together.
Overall, it’s important to check the fares and rules for public transportation in Sydney before travelling with children to ensure that you have the correct fare and Opal card.
How many days in Syndey is enough with kids?
The ideal duration of a trip to Sydney with kids depends on your interests and what you want to see and do while you’re there. However, as a general guideline, I would recommend spending at least 4-5 days in Sydney to experience some of the city’s main attractions and activities.
Is Sydney Walkable?
Yes, Sydney is a walkable city, especially in the central areas. Many of the city’s main attractions are located within walking distance of each other, including the Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, the Royal Botanic Garden, and the Rock’s historic district.
In addition, Sydney has a well-developed pedestrian network with many dedicated walkways, including the famous Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, which is a scenic 6 km walk along the coast.
However, Sydney is a large city, and some areas may require the use of public transportation or taxis to get around, especially if you’re travelling with children or have limited mobility. The city has an extensive public transportation system, including buses, trains, and ferries, which are easy to use and cover most areas of the city.
Overall, while walking is a great way to explore Sydney and take in the city’s sights and sounds, it’s worth considering other transportation options depending on your itinerary and personal preferences.
Hopefully this guide to visiting Syndey is helpful when planning a trip to Sydney, Australia, with kids.