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The Absolute Best Tourist Attractions in Sydney: You’re spoilt for choice when in comes to tourist attractions in Sydney, as there seems to be enough sights to see in Sydney to even keep the pickiest of tourist busy.
With a population close to 4.3 million Sydney is Australia’s largest metropolis, with it being home to some of the most iconic landmarks in the world. The attractions in Sydney range from the beautiful cityscapes and harbours, blood pumping amusement rides, picturesque beaches, zoos, city parks, heritage buildings, and even catching the odd sports game.
Read on as we’ll tell you the absolute best tourist attractions in Sydney that must be added to your itinerary to this popular destination!
| The Absolute Best Tourist Attractions in Sydney |
Sydney in my opinions is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with the harbour being a key reason for it’s beauty. The harbour area in Sydney is truly special, as this is where the city truly feels like Sydney. That’s not only because you’re able to view the majority of Sydney’s landmarks, but because this is the point in the city which people like to wine and dine, or simply relax in one of the surrounding parks overlooking the spectacular views.
Because the harbour is the heart and soul of Sydney, quite a few of the best tourist attractions to see in Sydney are based in this this area. So when choosing accommodation in Sydney you may want to lend a thought to the ease of reaching the harbour area from your hotel as it truly is the crown in the jewel when it comes to attractions in Sydney.
Bondi Beach/Manly Beach
Bondi beach is the quintessential Australian beach. Back in the 1980’s there was a stereotype that Australians were one of two things, they were like Crocodile Dundee, or they were blonde, tanned and a surfer type. This is where the latter sterotype originates from, and to an extent that culture is still very strong in Bondi.
The beaches in Bondi and Manly are phenomenal, and are the perfect antidote for those hot and humid Australian summers. During sunset towards the rocks and even by the Icebergs Lifesavers infinity pool will offer you some fantastic photo opportunities.
An interesting note is that in the last few years there has been an Australian TV show called ‘Bondi Rescue’ being on on air. The show is semi-popular which showcases the day of a select number of lifesavers from the beach. If you’re lucky, or unlucky enough you may end up on the TV Show. It could be the start of a glistening model career.
Generally speaking there will always be some sort of sporting event happening in Sydney. Sydney is home to several different sporting codes and teams which are all spread out through out the city. For football/soccer there is Sydney FC who recently had Alessandro Del Piero playing for them.
In terms of Australian Rules Football (AFL) there are the Sydney Swans, Rugby League (NRL) there are the Sydney Roosters, Rugby Union (Super Rugby) the New South Wales Warratahs, and in cricket season the Australian side usually plays test matches, one day internationals and Twenty20 matches at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). So take your pick, if you’re a bit of a sports enthusiasts like myself you’ll definitely want to take a peak at watching one of these games.
The football/soccer season in Australia for the A-League is from October to May. AFL, NRL, and Super Rugby seasons are generally from March to September, while cricket season starts from October to February.
This was by far one of my favourite attractions in Sydney. Do you like skydiving? Do you want to try skydiving but are a bit too hesitant to jump out of a moving plane? While I feel as though that’s a normal reaction not wanting to jump from a plane high in the sky, there is a place where you can artificially recreate the feeling of skydiving all while being several meters from the ground at your highest point. This magical place is called iFly, situated 40 mins west of Sydney in Penrith.
Lexi and I had the opportunity to try iFly when we were in Sydney last, and I must say it was amazing. We had a blast, we cannot recommend doing this attraction in Sydney more enough. If you’re like to read more about our experience please click here.
Helicopter Tour Over The Harbour
This is the ultimate viewing experience of the harbour. Unlike the bridge climb in which you are restricted on bringing cameras along with you, in this experience since you’ll be in the confines of a safe helicopter you’ll be able to bring an appropriate amount of camera gear.
If you’re after that amazing birds eye photo of the harbour, or are simply wanting a romantic activity to do with that someone special, this is the perfect idea. Prices start around $1100 AUD.
From April to December is whale watching season with there being two distinct periods of migration. The whales passing by Sydney are humpback whales. From April to August the whales migrate north to the coral sea to breed and give birth in warmer waters.
While from August to December the whales do the opposite and travel to the colder waters of Antarctica for feeding. This is a unique experience to witness one of Earth’s largest mammals.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
The second part to the equation of ‘must see attractions in Sydney’. Lucky for you the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge are in the same vicinity, so it’s very hard not to see one without viewing the other.
Opened in 1932, the Sydney Harbour Bridge has become as iconic as the Opera House itself, with the two attractions complementing each other rather nicely. Interestingly the design for the bridge was influenced by the Hell Gate Bridge in New York
As best to view around sunrise or sunset for some spectacular view. For the best vantage points for photography we recommend viewing the bridge from Milsons Point, Kirribilli, and Mrs Macquarie’s Point.
Luna Park is a great way to unwind and kill a few hours, or even spend the entire day. Not the biggest theme park in the world, but it is a nice little amusement park to enjoy yourself. There is a ferries wheel, roller coaster, dodge ’em cars and a few other rides which are signature carnival attractions.
One of the best aspects to Luna is the location, which is right on the edge of the Sydney Harbour overlooking the bridge. This is perfect since it makes access to the park rather easy.
If you manage to get a little tired of the carnival food, there is a nice restaurant next to Luna Park where you can relax with a glass of red and watch the sun set behind the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. A great way to spend the day.
Sydney Bridge Climb
If you want to take your appreciation of the bridge and the Sydney cityscape to the next level, we’d recommend doing the Sydney Bridge climb. From $150 – 280 AUD with prices dependent on the time of the climb and the day, you and a small group will be able to casually walk to the top of this amazing bridge and truly soak in the amazing scenery around you.
Cameras are restricted due to safety reasons and the risk of a tourist accidentally dropping them on traffic underneath.
Taronga and Melbourne Zoo are Australia’s biggest zoo’s. Taronga Zoo is renown for their care and sensitivity that they show towards their animals. Taronga Zoo is home to over 4000 animals, and up to 350 different species of animals.
If you’ve been itching to get some selfies of you posing next to some of Australia’s cute and famous animals like the kangaroo, koala, platypus, Tasmanian devil, wombat, and even an echidna this is the place to do it. Taronga Zoo is also home to tigers, lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, and penguins.
On top of that there are shows and talks, a program where you can be a feeder for a day, and even an adventure swing and ropes adventure course called ‘Wild Ropes’ which is sure to get the blood pumping. As an added benefit Taronga Zoo overlooks the Sydney Harbour and Bridge which makes it a great location to capture some stunning photos.
Kings Cross is the entertainment district of Sydney, so naturally it truly comes alive at night. If you’re after a spot to let your hair down and party through the night, than Kings Cross is your answer. The great thing about Kings Cross is that it’s been built as an entertainment district, which means you can spend an entire night in the one location without the need of darting from one location to another across town. Due to this reason it is easily included on this list on best attractions in Sydney.
You can start the night by having something to eat at one of the many restaurants in the area, and than follow this up by putting on your dancing shoes and dancing your way into the wee hours of the morning. You can end the night by coming full circle and finish the same way you started, by having a bite to eat.
As a change of pace from the Taronga Zoo, the Sydney Aquarium offers you chance to witness some of the creatures lurking in the deep blue ocean. The biggest attractions at the Sydney Aquarium are the sharks. If you’re game enough you can even swim with the sharks in a shark tank.
Alternatively if you’re wanting to get your feet a little wet, the Sydney Aquarium do offer scuba diving in the tanks with some of the sea animals.
Sydney Opera House
This and the Sydney Harbour Bridge are the two most obvious inclusions of this list. When visiting Sydney this is one of the main attractions which you need to see.
It’s almost like going to China and not seeing The Great Wall of China, because as soon as you till people about your holiday to Sydney the first thing people will ask is, “Did you see the Opera House?” If you come back and tell them no, everybody will feel as though the holiday was wasted and will silently judge you. So let’s put an end to that and tick this one off your list mighty quick.
The Opera House is on everybody’s best attractions in Sydney list, and there’s a reason for it. The Opera House is a true work of art. It complements the harbour superbly. It really does need to be seen to be believed.
During the day you can walk around the the Opera House soaking in the views of passing yachts, or you can wander down at dusk to see the city truly come to life. The promenade running alongside the opera house is littered with restaurants and cafes as they’re the number one spot to chill and relax to take in the magical surroundings.
Hyde Park / St Mary’s Cathedral
Directly located in the center of the city, Hyde Park is a great attraction in Sydney to check out even if it’s just to give yourself a moment to relax. Hyde Park is Australia’s oldest public parkland with the park being a true area where locals like to relax during there lunch break and let the bust city noises pass them by.
There are some great street photography opportunities to be had in this area since Hyde Park is a true reflection of the locals of the area making it a fantastic sight to see in Sydney. Additionally there is also the quint, but beautiful St Mary’s Cathedral located on the end of the park to also photograph.
Another great location to get a glimpse of the cityscape from above. Sydney Tower is the tallest structure in all of Sydney and it being the second tallest in the Southern Hemisphere, so you should be able to capture a few photos from a birds eye point of view.
The tower opens at 9am and closes at 9:30pm, which makes it perfect for sunset. There is a cafe located in the observation deck which is great if you happen to get a little peckish or thirsty.
For those who want to get that tad bit closer to the city view there is a sky walk available. The sky walk is essentially walking outside the tower on a circular platform while you are attached to a railing. Probably more suited to those who aren’t afraid of heights. The sky walk offers spectacular views and a great chance to really appreciate the sights by feeling the wind on your face.