1) Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre in Sydney, Australia. It is situated on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and adjacent to the Sydney central business district and the Royal Botanic Gardens, between Sydney Cove and Farm Cove.
2) Take a Cruise on Sydney Harbour
As one of the best possible ways to explore one of the world’s most beautiful harbours, the sheer number of options means that the choice is yours when it comes to Sydney Harbour cruises. There’s everything from dinner cruises, speedy jet boats, romantic sailing tours and vintage tall ship adventures to whet your appetite
3) Visit a Zoo or Wildlife Attraction
Australia’s animal life is a signature feature that sets the continent apart from many other countries throughout the world, and Sydney is home to a wide array of wildlife-based attractions that aim to showcase this to both locals and visitors from abroad alike. This is particularly a boon to families travelling with kids – there’s plenty of choice here, and the number of zoos, aquariums and other facilities means that even in a busy city none of them are ever too crowded.
4) Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Typically dubbed with the not-unimpressive label of Sydney’s “second best” and most famous landmark, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is an iconic feat of construction that helps to make Sydney’s harbour one of the world’s most unique and distinctive. The massive, girder-lined landmark is crossed by hundreds of thousands of cars each week, and is as an essential a part of Sydney’s infrastructure as it its skyline.
5) Visit Sydney’s Beaches on a Coastal Walk
Despite its status as a large, built-up city that’s the hub of all things urban in Australia, as the birthplace of Surf Life Saving Sydney has a strong beach tradition which is reflected in the sheer quantities of people who flock to its sandy stretches each year. Many of Sydney’s beaches are among the most famous in Australia simply because of their connection to the city – places such as Bondi, Manly and other areas may not be as strikingly beautiful as some of the offerings in the tropical north, yet they carry a distinct character of their own and should be visited at least once for first-timers to the city.
Several of Sydney’s beaches can be reached via a number of wonderful coastal walks that meander along beautiful stretches of shoreline and picturesque lookouts over both the natural and man-made highlights of the city. Strolling along Sydney’s coast you’ll see the likes of expanses of heathland, rocky outcroppings and cliff faces, and some of the most exclusive and expensive properties in the entire country.
6) See Sydney From Above
Sydney is impressive and beautiful enough when explored on foot, however those willing to fork over some extra money can gain an entirely new perspective on the city by viewing it from the air. There are several options for scenic flights that specialise in showcasing the city’s blend of blue waters, modern skyline and patches of well-developed greenery, and when viewed from high above it’s easy to gain a different level of appreciation on their level of scale and construction.
7) Visit the Blue Mountains and Jenolan Caves
One of the most treasured nature-based destinations in the state of New South Wales, the Blue Mountains continue to be the destination of choice for those looking for a single or several day escape from the city. Combining epic, rugged scenery that blends greenery with some vast rocky outcroppings that contrast beautifully with one another, the Blue Mountains region is also rich with a bevy of native Aussie wildlife, leading it to be a location that has something to offer for almost everyone.
8) Go Whale Watching
All that water surrounding Sydney and providing it with its lovely coastal location isn’t just for show – it’s also home to a variety of marine life, not the least of which are the whales which can be seen each year during their annual migratory season from May to November. While the whales can occasionally be seen from a few select sections of shore or from some higher cliffs or coasts, the undisputed best way to see them is to get out on the water. As a result, whale watching cruises in the harbour and further out on the open waters are exceedingly popular in Sydney for a variety of reasons.
9) Experience one of Sydney’s Family Attractions
Due to its size and sheer quantity of things to do, Sydney offers a number of unique attractions that can’t be encountered anywhere else in Australia, covering everything from the entertaining, to the cultural, to the historic and everything in between. Aside from the standard famous sightseeing fare – including more renowned landmarks listed further below – Sydney also offers a variety of “less traditional” attractions that provide some of the more distinct and refreshing experiences you’ll come across.
Many of these are designed to cater to families, and include wildlife exhibits, wax museums, wonderful gardens and many more diverse offerings, several of which can be experienced for free. If you’re looking for a break from the norm, then the following tours and attractions in and around Sydney may fit the bill.
10) Sydney Tower (with Optional Skywalk)
In terms of places to start your journey if you’re a first-time visitor to Sydney, this is easy to recommend as the first item on your itinerary. At twice the height of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Tower Eye is the perfect start to get your bearings on this amazing city and spy some spots to visit on the rest of your trip, while also getting a true sense of the sheer scale of Sydney and its surrounds.
Measuring 250m high, Sydney Tower Eye (previously known simply as “Sydney Tower”) provides a vantage point that no other location in the city can match, and is located almost exactly in the heart of the city at 100 Market St. Visiting Sydney Tower serves as a less-pricey (and less physically exerting) alternative to the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb, and it also offers an included “4D” video experience providing a brief yet informative overview of the regional spectacles