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If you’re only in Sydney for a short while, you’ll need to prioritise what you see. Should you be whizzing by the city with only enough time to see the highlights, make sure to add these places and tastes to your list. Here is Sydney’s best food, fun and sun that would be a crime to miss out on.
Only a sliver of sand separates you from the cool ocean water on this gorgeous beach. Although it’s in close proximity to some of Sydney’s most popular beaches, you can come here and feel a world away. For sand, surf, and sun, Tamarama is a favorite for some obvious reasons.
Easily accessible from the city, Bronte is one of the most popular beaches in Sydney. Here you can bask in the sun, swim in the sparkling waters, catch a wave, or chill at the park and barbeque. Bronte has something for everyone.
Should you want a tour of more of Sydney’s best beaches just take the 6km walk from Bondi to Cogee. Hot? Just take a dip in the ocean at any time. Hungry? There are heaps of cafes and restaurants alongside the coast. Need a tan? Just relax on the beach for a while and set off again when you’re ready to hit the next stretch of sand.
This park quite simply has everything. Rainforest, coastlines, trails, and surf are a haven for any nature enthusiasts, surfers, hikers and bikers. There are waterfalls, waterways and wildlife to enjoy. Whichever activity piques your interest, Royal National Park is likely to accommodate it.
Many of Sydney’s top sites are concentrated in a small inlet known as Sydney Cove. The founding site of the famous city and of the country for that matter holds some of the attractions that have probably drawn you in to visiting this spot. While you are here you will experience a lively and buzzing place. Take a ferry to the different parts of the Harbour to places like the famous Manly Beach and Taronga Park Zoo to see some real Australian wildlife.
On the southern end of the Quay you will find the iconic symbol of the city and possibly the country, the Sydney Opera House. Grab a ticket if there is a show or just gaze in awe of its remarkable architecture. Take a stroll through the Royal Botanical Gardens and enjoy the serenity. While on the northern side take a daring climb up the Harbour Bridge or enjoy just casually walking to the other side while snapping epic views of the city. When you get to the other side, don’t miss out on one of the most visited places in Sydney, The Rocks. Walk through the old and well preserved colonial district, grab something to eat at one of the many cafes, do a little shopping and enjoy the charming historical feel of the area.
There is plenty more to see and do in the area such as museums, pubs, more beaches, the central business district and numerous other attractions. You could spend a lot of time in this area and still not see it all.
Want to see more of Sydney’s skyline? The observation desk at Sydney Tower, the tallest in the city, is the perfect spot to get breathtaking views. You can even see the Blue Mountains in the distance.
If you want an escape from the city, head for the Blue Mountains. Here you can take beautiful walks through the valleys and hills to see the famous Three Sisters Rock formation at Echo Point and see some stunning views of the Jamison Valley. While in this mountain range, don’t forget to visit the amazing Wentworth Waterfalls. If you’ve got cash to burn, why not travel through the mountains in style by hiring a rental car.
The Blue Mountains
For a different experience try exploring the Jenolan Caves. The impressive limestone formations make this oldest open cave system in the world certainly worth a visit.
Climbing the beautiful Sydney Harbor Bridge is a must-do for every visitor; it is one of the absolute best ways to capture the best views in all of Australia. You even have the option of climbing at three different times of the day! If you want to see this beautiful view in the daytime, you would have to register for the morning climb. To see Sydney all lit up, including the Sydney Opera House, you should register for the “twilight” or the “night” climbs. This is a great activity for your family to do together, since climbing the bridge can strengthen your trust between one another – after all, you will be standing 440 feet over the harbour. However, if you or any member of your family is afraid of heights, this may not be the activity for you! But don’t worry; there are many more things to do in Sydney.
Another great place to visit while in Sydney is the Taronga Zoo! This is both a kid friendly and adult friendly activity that is a guaranteed day of fun! Australia is known for kangaroos, koala bears, wallabies, and dingoes. The Taronga Zoo offers many different types of experiences for its guests. One unique experience is the “Sky Safari” that they offer. This unique chair lift takes you to all different parts of the zoo and allows riders to take in a beautiful view of Sydney and the harbour. Another great hands-on experience is the “Animal Encounter.” The animal encounter experience allows you to get up close and personal with the animals with the help of a zoo ranger. You can pet the animals, take pictures with the animals, and sometimes even hold the animals. This is a very memorable experience that everyone in your family can enjoy!
It would be a shame to leave Sydney without eating some and chips. Enjoy to battered and fried John Dory fillets served with chips, herbed mash potatoes and a salad. Popular and satisfying, this dish can be caught at the Golden Sheaf Hotel.
Throw another shrimp on the barbie.” Typically is a famous saying from Australia known worldwide, but this isn’t what a true Aussie would actually say. We refer to the yummy crustacean as a prawn, so throw one or ten down at the Etch in Sydney because it would be a sin to leave the city without doing so.
Meat Pies. In Aussie slang, meat pies are referred to as ‘Dog’s Eye. You can sink your teeth into this famous Aussie pie down at Harry’s Cafe de Wheels.
While many nations don’t eat their national animal, Australia does and you should too while you’re here. I’m Angus Steakhouse serves these bad boys up cooked medium with plenty of delicious spices. ‘Roos are overpopulated in many areas so don’t feel guilty.
Ready for dessert? Aussies will argue that Pavlova originated in their country, but the nearby country of New Zealand vehemently disagrees. Either way, you can enjoy this popular meringue-based desert with fresh fruit on top at Pavlova Pantry.
The controversial Pavlova
Breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day or so they say. In Australia, we don’t mess around with our beloved Vegemite. So go to the nearest store, grab a jar along with some bread and make this true Aussie breakfast. It wouldn’t be weird to eat it any other time of the day either.
There are of course other foods that Australians call their own such as smoked emu, witchetty grub, barbecued snags (sausage) and even crocodile. One thing is for sure, you will try something new while you’re here, so eat up!
Meet the full-sized Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends at Trainworks, and experience a genuine steam train ride from Sodor Island Railway Station pulled by Henry. Your kids will also be surprised to see Toby the Rail Motor and watch Donald in “Live Steam” on the Trainworks platform. You can spend a whole day there trying out the exciting activities like mini train rides, Thomas movie station, jumping castles, inflatable slide, and of course, photo opportunities with Thomas that the kids should never miss.
Enjoy the ultimate movie experience at the IMAX theater in Darling Harbor with all your family members. With crystal clear images towering 8 stories high and 15,000 watts of digital surround sound, an IMAX movie has the power to take you to places that you can only dream of visiting and see the views that only exist in fantasies. With a wide variety of documentaries and selected blockbuster feature films in 2D and 3D, IMAX has something to suit all ages and interests.
Being one of the most classic touristic programs in Sydney, Bridge Climb welcomes visitors from around the world to experience the city on the iconic SydneyHarbourBridge. There are three types of climb – Express Climb, Discovery Climb and Bridge Climb – which are available at dawn, day, twilight and night. You will also get a group photo and a Climber Certificate when the tour is over. Make sure you have checked with Sydney Harbour Bridge Visitor Centre in advance for safety information.
If you are looking for an adventure journey together with your kids, what’s better than the sensational experience at Tree Top Adventure Park? With their adrenaline pumping, the participants move between a series of suspension bridges, flying foxes and trapezes throughout the canopy of tree tops. Various programs with different levels of difficulty are designed for participants of different ages, so you don’t have to struggle to follow the pace.
Located next door to Darling Harbour, the Power House Museum is one of Australia’s largest and most diverse museums. It features an extraordinary range of collections from decorative arts and design to science, technology, transport and social history. Get ready to be amazed by the 250 interactive exhibits including holographic images, science experiments and a virtual reality space. The museum also provides hands-on activities for teenagers and kids all year round, such as production workshops with animation designers, meetings with children’s book authors, and building your own electronic circuits using Arduino.
Located at Circular Quay on the edge of Sydney Harbour, the MCA is housed in the historical Maritime Services building – a fine example of late Art Deco architecture. With a collection of contemporary art across Australia and around the world, the museum makes a great tour site for those with a passion for arts. Besides the extraordinary exhibitions, the MCA also presents an exciting range of opportunities which inspire both adults and children to discover contemporary art and to participate in the fun learning experience together.