After spending 2 weeks in Australia, we are sharing our top 10 things to do in Sydney, Australia! My name is Sydney and ever since I was a little girl I have dreamed of visiting Sydney. I even had a Sydney Australia themed bedroom growing up and a koala instead of a teddy bear. Needless to say, our Australia trip was an actual dream come true!
Sydney, Australia is filled with so many things to do you really can’t go wrong. But after doing hours of research and experiencing the city, we made a list of our top 10 things to do in Sydney, Australia! We hope this blog helps you plan your dream trip to Australia. Feel free to send us a message on Instagram [@thewildlylife] to ask us any questions!
1. See the iconic Sydney Opera House in Sydney Harbour
The Sydney Opera House is probably one of the most iconic landmarks in the world. It took almost 15 years to build due to it’s unique and challenging white-shelled roof design. Seeing it in person feels surreal! The Opera House is beautiful every time of day – morning, afternoon, and night! At night, the white “sails” are light up and depending on the night have a light show!
While seeing it from the outside is cool, we highly recommend booking a tour of the inside or even seeing a show! We did this guided tour of the Sydney Opera House with entrance ticket included. On the tour, you learn a lot about the history of the Opera House and go inside many of the famous theaters. It was super cool! We wanted to see a show so badly during our trip but sadly it didn’t work out. Even if you’re not a fan of the Opera, still check out what shows are happening during your visit! The week after our visit they were showing a Harry Potter movie with the live orchestra playing the sound track during the movie – how cool!? You can see a list of the current shows here.
Want to know the best places to get photos of the Sydney Opera House? Check out our blog about the 5 Best Places to view the Sydney Opera House!
2. Walk the Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk
The Bondi to Coogee Beach is costal walk along the cliffside connecting many beautiful beaches together. It’s about 6km or 3.7 miles and can take anywhere from 3 hours to all day, depending on how much you stop to enjoy the sites! Here’s a map we made of all the notable stops along the walk for you to use!
The walk starts at Bondi Beach [no surprise!]. Bondi Beach is probably the most popular beach in Sydney and parking is quite limited. The public transportation is super accessible and easy to use so we recommend taking the bus to Bondi. Click here to learn more about how to get there.
A few things to note about the Bondi to Coogee Beach Walk:
- Start early in the morning and avoid weekends to help miss the crowds.
- Wear lots of sunscreen and sun protection. The sun is quite intense and you can get burned very easily!
- Along the walk there are places to refill you water bottle, restrooms, and even places to grab food or a snack.
- Be sure to swim in one of the rock pools, they are so unique and cool! The most famous one is the Bondi Icebergs but the one we’d recommend going to is below [#3].
Our advice: Just walk the portion from Bondi Beach to Bronte Beach. It’s filled with beautiful views and allows you to spend more time actually enjoying the beaches! We spent about 5 hours doing the walk and ended up stopping at Clovelly Cove Beach. We felt rushed to the entire thing and cut our time short at the beaches and rock pools to keep going!
You can read more about this in our Ultimate Guide to Bondi to Bronte Beach Walk!
3. Take a swim at the Bronte Baths
Bronte Bath is an ocean pool located at Bronte Beach. It’s often overlooked by it’s more famous neighbor [Bondi Icebergs Pools], but the Bronte Baths are our personal favorite! The Baths are always open to the public with not set times and there’s no entrance fee. Sometimes it’s closed if the waves becomes too dangerous [they crash over the sides] or for cleaning.
The Bronte Bath offers an area to do laps, freely swim, and even a ledge to lean on looking out at the ocean. Beware, the water is quite cold haha! It’s best to visit in the summer months [October to March] so the water feels refreshing. And like anywhere else, mornings on weekdays will be the time with the least amount of crowds.
We loved swimming in the ocean pools because it’s the same water as the ocean but without the crashing waves, currents, or potentially harmful sea-life! Wish more places in the world had these cool ocean pools.
4. Feed Koalas & Kangaroos at the Featherdale Wildlife Park
The Featherdale Wildlife Park NEEDS to be at the top of your list! If you’ve dreamed of seeing some of the iconic Australian animals from kangaroos and koalas to dingos and wombats, this is for you. “Featherdale provides a home to over 2,000 Australian native animals from more than 260 different species and is home to the world’s largest collection of Australian wildlife.” We got to see and interact with so many cool animals, including koalas and kangaroos!
Featherdale offers a few different animal encounters where you can interact with them in a safe and ethical way. We got to feed and pet koalas through their Koala Kindly Experience. This was one of our FAVORITE things we did on our entire 2 weeks exploring Australia! We also got to feed lots of kangaroos. You can buy a $3 AUD bag of food for kangaroos at the entrance of the park [save some for the end to feed the larger kangaroos – pictured below].
Note: You cannot hold koalas anywhere in NSW, it’s illegal. It’s for your protection and the koalas!
Read more about this experience in more detail on our blog Visiting Featherdale Wildlife Park!
If you like animals, check out our blog about bearing viewing at Lake Clark National Park in Alaska!
5. Watch the sunset at Mrs. Macquarie’s Point
Mrs. Macquarie’s Point (or Chair) is located within the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. It’s one of the best viewpoints overlooking the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. There’s a few benches and areas to even do a picnic! It was one of our favorite places in Sydney so naturally we watched the sunset there!
Check out our home video where you can see us experience all these things to do in Sydney, Australia!
6. Enjoy the flowers at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
The Royal Botanic Gardens is free and open to the public daily from 7:00am to 8:00pm. We were happily surprised with how big and beautiful the gardens are! There is so much to do in the gardens. From enjoying the beauty of the different flowers or having a picnic to guided tours and exploring the Calyx, a center for shopping, eating, and activity. Read more about the latest activities in the Gardens here!
7. Take the ferry to Manly Beach
Manly Beach is one of Australia’s most famous surfing beaches. Manly is where the Australian Open Surf Competition is held each February! It’s a great place to watch surfers, lay out, and even swim if you feel comfortable with your abilities. Just be sure to obey posted signs and swim between the flags. But there’s so much more to Manly than just the beach! There’s lots of cute restaurants and shops to explore. It gives quintessential Aussie beach vibes!
Manly Beach is about a 30 minute ferry ride from Sydney. You don’t need to book your tickets in advance but you can see the ferry schedule here and the Fast Ferry here. Pro tip: take the ferry back at sunset from Manly so you can see the sunsetting over the Sydney Harbour!
8. Explore The Rocks + Circular Quay
The Rocks is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Sydney. It’s home to Sydney’s oldest pubs and many different upscale restaurants with beautiful harbour views! It’s a great area under the Harbour Bridge to walk around the historic streets and open-air markets.
Circular Quay you will explore without even realizing it! It’s the busy port area from the Opera House around to the Harbour Bridge. It’s Sydney’s main transportation hub with the train station, ferry port, cruise line docking, and more!
You may wonder why The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb isn’t on our list? It is a super popular thing to do in Sydney! We didn’t include it on the list since we didn’t personally experience it. It was a bit of $$ and I’m [Sydney] terrified of heights haha. If you’re looking to check something off the bucket list and explore Sydney at new heights, we’d recommend doing it!
9. Visit the Sydney SEA LIFE Aquarium
Sydney’s SEA LIFE Aquarium is located in Darling Harbour and is known as one of the world’s leading aquariums. They have 7 themed exhibits, including a short ride through a penguin exhibit! The entire aquarium is designed for you to walk through it rather than large open area exhibits. We loved all the different under water tunnels where you walk through and under different animals! It’s a great 1 -2 hours activity to get out of the sun or rainy weather.
We’d recommend you purchase your tickets in advance since they do sell out and you choose an entry time to visit the aquarium! Click here to purchase tickets and learn most updated visiting information.
10. Walk around Darling Harbour
Darling Harbour is home to some of Sydney’s best waterfront dining and entertainment. From the SEA LIFE Aquarium to Australian National Maritime Museum. It’s a great area to grab lunch and walk around the Harbour. Check out a full list of things to do in Darling Harbour here!