40 Things | Sydney, Australia
It’s been an emotional past few days for me as I’ve been packing my bags and preparing to head back to the U.S. after 7 months of living abroad. Sydney has been such an experience for me. I’m sure the greater impact on my life will reveal itself with time beyond things like, driving on the left side of the road, eating beans for brekky, coastal walking any day of the week, and calling ketchup “tomato sauce” all of which have become second nature to me. It’s been 7 months, a hint of all four seasons (in backward order), a few new friends, and memories that I will certainly never forget. Last weekend I took the ferry into the city for the last time where I noticed a cruise ship in the harbor, which is becoming much more common with the warmer weather. It was a ship that I’m lucky to have cruised on 4 times and seeing it triggered strong feelings of nostalgia that I would’ve never expected. I realized that it was one of the only times in the past 7 months that I’ve seen something I am familiar with, from my life before I left the U.S. I’ve seen and discovered so many new things every day while I’ve been here and now it’s time for me to go back to friends, family, and little more familiarity again :) Here is a list of some the of the best new-to-me things I’ve seen and done and discovered while living in Sydney!
40 Things to do in Sydney, Australia:
1. Bondi to Coogee Walk - This is an absolutely MUST for anyone visiting Sydney. Some of the most spectacular Australian views just outside of the CBD.
2. Ride a ferry from Circular Quay - My favorite way to see the Opera House.
3. Explore Sydneys Northern beaches - Palm Beach, Whale Beach, Freshwater Beach and so many other hidden gems are an hour or so drive north up the coast. Much more remote and just as scenic as Bondi or Coogee.
4. Eat a sausage roll or meat pie.
5. Go inside the Opera House - Because what is a trip to Sydney if you don’t?
6. Be a vegan hipster in Newtown - lol okay, but Newtown is the place to go for all things Hipster. Take a stroll down Kings Street and you’ll see!
7. Picnic with the best view of the city at the Royal Botanic Gardens - The best view of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House from Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair and tons of green grass to set up an afternoon picnic.
8. Walk over the Harbour Bridge / Go to Pylon Lookout / Do the Bridge Climb - There are many ways to see the bridge up close! For one you can simply walk across it! I ran across as part of my half-marathon route, but I’d guess it’d take around 30 minutes to walk it. The Bridge Climb is for the thrill seekers! You actually walk up the top part of the bridge! Pylon Lookout is the more cost effective and less adrenaline inducing version of the bridge climb, just $15.
9. Grab dinner in The Rocks - The oldest part of Sydney with some of the best pubs (and pub food).
10. Go stand up paddle boarding - Manly, Watson’s Bay, Balmoral Beach are some great places to do this.
11. Vintage Shop in Bondi - The best vintage shops and stores with Aussie-made, sustainable products have homes in Bondi!
12. Enjoy ice cream in Watson’s Bay - The restaurants on Marine Parade are some of the best and overlook the water. Or grab an ice cream cone and stroll the beach :)
13. Shop on Pitt Street - I’d consider Pitt Street the Times Square of Sydney. Lots to see and do here! You’ll find the typical Aussie shops like Myer and David Jones. Sportsgirl and Cotton On quickly became my favorites.
14. Walk through the Queen Victoria Building - Surprise! More shops and restaurants are located in the QVB. Easily one of Sydney’s most architecturally beautiful buildings.
15. Curry - Eat curry. Just do it. The restaurants here have a heavy Asian influence and the curry is easy to find and phenomenal.
16. Go to The Grounds of Alexandria - Preferably on a weekday to avoid the crowds. It’s by far the most “insta-worthy” cafe/restaurant/marketplace in Sydney, if that’s your thing :)
17. Walk around Hyde Park - A tranquil escape right in the CBD
18. Dine al fresco and beachside at one of the Boat House restaurants - Even though the Boat House Restaurants are a chain, they are some of the best because they’re located right on the beach, and usually the more secluded beaches at that. I’ve gone to their locations at Balmoral Beach and Whale beach and enjoyed both so much!
19. Stroll through Darling Harbour at Night - So many restaurants, lots of lights and a ferris wheel overlooking the harbor, need I say more? :)
20. Go to Celsius Coffee Co. in Kirribilli - They have great coffee, beautiful and delicious food, and it’s located right on the Kirribilli ferry wharf! (I’m sensing a theme here, turns out I like to eat waterside :) )
21. Do a Tim Tam Slam - Tim Tams have been my VICE in Australia! One of the yummiest (and most awful for you) cookies out there. Youtube Tim Tam Slam cause you’ve got to do one while you’re in Oz!
22. Browse the Boutiques on Crown Street in Surry Hills - So many great restaurants and boutiques on Crown. It’s a great place to pick up some Aussie made souvenirs!
23. Get a beetroot latte from Gertrude and Alice - Aussies love their beetroot! So much so that it’s not hard to find a superfood beetroot latte in Sydney. My favorite place to sip one is at the cafe/bookstore, Gertrude and Alice in Bondi.
24. See Angel Place AKA Birdcage Alley - A picturesque alleyway in the CBD.
25. Grab a drink at the Coogee Pavilion - Coogee is such a fun beach and the Pavilion is too! It’s a big establishment with food, drinks, games, and events! Although it’s right off the beach, it’s also a great place to spend a rainy day!
26. Stop at cafes in Potts Point - Orwells Cafe and Joseph Hyde being my favorite.
27. Go to the NSW State Library and NSW Art Gallery
28. Walk from Spit to Manly - A beautiful walk along the coast. Incredibly scenic and allows for you to take a dip! Takes about three hours to get to Manly.
29. Get a poke bowl in Manly - When you’ve finished your coastal walk….treat yourself! Manly has a lot to offer when it comes to food and cafes :)
30. Spend a day in Mosman - I may be biased because it’s the suburb I lived in, but Mosman is definitely worth spending a day in. There’s Balmoral Beach, lots of great cafes, and Taronga Zoo!
31. Go to Taronga Zoo - Okay so I just mentioned this one, but I’m giving it it’s own number because you could spend a lot of time in Mosman and lot of time at the Zoo. If time allows plan on doing them on seperate days!
32. Luna Park - An amusement park and another north of the bridge gem!
33. Wooloomooloo wharf - Very upscale restaurants! I never dined here let’s be honest, but I’ve longingly walked past them a time or two ;)
34. Find a free barbecue - An amazing thing about Australia is that you don’t have to search too hard to find a free barbecue at a beach or park! Just do some google searching and then get grilling!
35. Eat at the opera bar - A classic, must do in Sydney. It doesn’t get better than harbor and Opera House views al fresco!
36. Hike in the Blue Mountains - About two hours drive outside of Sydney. Echo Point and the Grand Canyon Walk are the hikes/views!
37. Go to Royal National Park - An hour drive south of Sydney! It’s where the famous Wedding Cake Rock and Figure 8 Pools are located.
39. See Vivid Sydney - The CBD comes alive with colour and lights for 23 days ( scheduled for end of May to Mid-June)
40. Whale watching - The season to do this runs from May - November!
Hope this was a helpful post!