It depends on what you’re into, but here are a few suggestions from a local’s perspective… You may not have heard of these places, but trust me, they are up there with the best parts of Sydney.
1. Pittwater/Palm beach (catch a bus from Wynyard or Central Station). It is the most northern point of Sydney. There is a light house on the headland at Palm Beach, if you’re feeling fit, you could walk up to the light house and prepare yourself for one of the most breath taking views Sydney has to offer. In my opinion, it looks a bit like the Greek Islands. The walk up will take about 40 min approx.
2. Catch the train out to Parramatta (30 min trip from Central Station) and walk to the River cat wharf (10-15 minute walk from Parramatta Station). Catch the River cat along the entire length of the Parramatta River. The river eventually becomes the Sydney Harbour and you can finish your trip back at Circular Quay. This will give you an entirely different perspective of Sydney. The trip goes for about 50 minutes. The first 10 minutes of the ferry trip is industrial and fairly average, but after that it is beautiful. The ferry trip will cost about $7.00 one way.
3. Go to Doyles at Watsons Bay. If you love sea food, do yourself a huge favour and catch the bus to Watsons Bay. Doyles is Sydney’s most famous seafood restaurant, plus the setting is beautiful.
4. You can do a walk from the southern end of Bondi Beach, all the way around to Coogee Beach. It’ll take about an hour if you walk consistently. It’s a beautiful walk around the coastal fringe and you can catch the bus back to the city from Coogee. You can also do the walk starting at Coogee Beach. Have a beer at the ‘Icebergs’ (at the southern end of Bondi Beach), then head around to the Beach Palace Hotel at the northern end of Coogee beach (drop in for a drink at the beer garden located in the Coogee bay Hotel as well). Icebergs and the Beach Palace offer great views across both beaches from their balconies.
5. Catch a bus down to Balmain (15 min trip from the city) Balmain has nice pubs, cafe’s and restaurants.
6. Go to the Jenolan Caves. Book a day tour which covers the Blue Mountains and the Jenolan Caves. The caves are located about 3 hours west of Sydney.
7. Do the ‘Spit’ to Manly walk (catch a bus there). It’s about a 3 hour walk around the edge of the harbour. Go for a walk at Manly beach then catch the ferry back to the city.
8. Go abseiling, horse riding, rock-climbing, canyoning, adventure caving or hire a mountain bike up in the Blue Mountains. It is undoubtedly one of the best places in Australia to do these types of activities. People are doing themselves a huge disservice if they only go the Blue Mountains for a day, the place is beautiful.
9. Check out different markets around Sydney:
- Glebe markets
- Bondi beach markets
- Balmain markets
- Rocks markets
- Paddington markets
10. Catch the train down to Cronulla beach ( south Sydney/about 45 min on a train) to lap up a great local’s beach.
11. Go to Newport Arms at Pittwater on a Sunday afternoon, sit in the beer garden and just chill chill chill. Another local’s favourite place. You’ll have to catch the bus up from Wynyard station (ask the driver where to jump off).
12. Hire a sea kayak down near the Spit Bridge.
13. Go sailing at Middle Harbour.
14. Catch a train up to Brooklyn (Hawkesbury River/ 1 hour north of Sydney) get on the little boat that takes you over to Hook Island. Go for a walk on Hook Island and just enjoy being up there.
15. Round up 10 people from your hostel; hire a houseboat on the Hawkesbury River for two days and a night. Beautiful.
16. Head down to Newtown (5 minute from central station on the train), walk along King st, great shops, pubs, cafes and food to die for… especially Thai food. Newtown is a bit like the ‘Camden Town’ of Sydney.
17. If you want to visit Vietnam whilst in Sydney, catch a train out to Cabramatta (45 min on the train south west Sydney), great Asian food. Practically everyone down there hails from Asia or are first generation Aussies.
18. Go on a harbour party cruise at night time or day time. These are damn good fun.
19. For a mind blowing day out, go to a rodeo!
20. Hire some roller blades and go rollerblading along the esplanade at Manly Beach.
There’s many many more things you can do in Sydney, but coupled with the ‘usual sights’ of Sydney, you’re destined to have a fantastic time… enjoy it.