An all-round adventure
To all the thrill-seekers, food lovers, and children of the ocean, you haven’t lived till you’ve visited Sydney. The stunning coastlines, fresh organic produce, unique wildlife and exquisite wines of the city and its surrounds will capture your heart in ways no other place in the world can.
There’s so much to taste and experience in the bustling Harbour City, but we’ve managed to narrow it down to the top 10 things you MUST do in Sydney. Whether you’ve never stepped foot on its shores before or have visited so many times you know Sydney’s streets like the back of your hand, there’s always a greater adventure lying in wait!
1. Skydive over the pristine Wollongong Beach
Photo courtesy of Destination New South Wales
What’s a bucket list without the adrenaline pumping act of skydiving? Skydive the Beach Sydney is the only tour operator in the city that allows you to take the plunge over pearly white sand and the vast turquoise ocean. You’ll leap from a height of up to 14 000 ft (more than 4 km!), Australia’s highest altitude for tandem skydiving, and land on the pristine North Wollongong beach.
If you’re feeling a little jittery, don’t be. You’re going to be so proud of yourself once you’ve conquered that initial fear, and you’ll feel so liberated from all your earthly shackles during your dive. All you have to do is muster your courage and step out of your comfort zone for the most enthralling experience of a lifetime.
There are free transfer services available from Sydney CBD to Wollongong, but be sure to make your bookings in advance on their website!
Skydive the Beach Sydney
2. Ride the Crazy Rider at TreeTop Adventure Parks
Have a go at the TreeTop Crazy Rider and you’ll be rewarded with the ultimate Tarzan experience. The Crazy Rider is the world’s longest rollercoaster zip line at 1 km, and it marries an adrenaline junkie’s two favourite sensations – the freedom of flight and stomach-churning twists and turns. A ride can send you flying down the forest canopy at up to 31 km/h!
If you prefer something more mellow, you can always opt to go on The Pioneer which is a shorter version of The Xtreme Crazy Rider. There are also tons of high rope courses suitable for all ages and interests.
TreeTop Adventure Park
Address: Ourimbah State Forest, 1 Red Hill Rd, Wyong Creek (Corner of Yarramalong Rd)
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm | Saturday – Sunday 9am – 4pm
3. Go quad biking at the Stockton Sand Dunes
I’ve been on some really exciting adventures over the past years, but nothing felt as liberating as riding my own quad bike in the vast expanse of the Stockton Sand Dunes. Although it rained when we were there, we had a ball of a time whizzing against the chilly winds and we were even greeted with a beautiful rainbow in the middle of our experience. If you’re there on a clear day, the sunset quad biking tour is sure to take your breath away.
During the tour, we were also given verbal insight into the rich Aboriginal history of the region and the uses of the land. It’s a fascinating and exhilarating journey that you can’t miss when in Sydney!
Sand Dunes Adventure
Address: 2163 Nelson Bay Rd, Williamtown NSW 2318, Australia
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 9am – 4pm
4. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge
If you’re a thrill-seeker craving to view the beauty of the harbour from way up high, you have to make the climb up the Sydney Harbour Bridge! There’ll be professionals guiding you each and every step of the way, and they’ll even feed you intriguing stories about the history of the bridge.
At the summit, you’ll be a staggering 134m – that’s 40 storeys – above sea level, and smack in the center of Sydney Harbour where you can take in the views and gaze poetically into the horizon. Romantics, be sure to make the climb at sunset for a spellbinding view that’ll stay etched in your mind forever.
Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
Address: Bradfield Highway, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
5. Explore local farmers’ markets
On the hunt for fresh produce at the Eveleigh Farmers’ Market
Everything is so organic and fresh in Australia, and Sydney’s farmers’ markets boast the best of the best. We spent a crisp Winter morning at the Eveleigh Farmers’ Market immersing ourselves in the delightful whirlwind of vibrant colours, cheerful music from street buskers and nature’s organic scents. The wildflowers on sale are gorgeous, and we highly recommend the banana breakfast flavored yoghurt from Yalla which comes topped with fresh granola.
You can also spruce up your everyday salads with pressed olive oils from Pukara Estate, my personal favourite being the one infused with truffle oil. We ended up sampling and buying much more than we expected, but who can blame us for caving in to the temptation of all that’s fresh and good? No visit to Sydney is complete without exploring one of their local markets!
Eveleigh Farmers’ Market
Address: 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh NSW 2015, Australia
Opening Hours: Saturday 8am – 1pm
For a comprehensive list of Sydney’s farmers’ markets, click here.
6. Taste the world’s best gelato at Cow & The Moon
Who’d expect the best gelato in the world to be found in a little family-run gelato and coffee bar in the inner city suburbs of Sydney? The Mandorla Affogato is Cow & The Moon’s precious recreation of the classic affogato (a shot of espresso topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream). A blend of caramelized almonds from Italy with single origin coffee on a Madagascan vanilla base, this star flavour beat 23 other finalists worldwide to take home the Gelato World Tour title in Remini, Italy in 2014.
I’ve never been a huge fan of coffee, but the Mandorla Affogato hit all the right notes. This divine concoction of caffeine, caramel and crunchy almonds had a creamy consistency that will send the tastebuds of even the most critical foodies to heaven.
Despite its world- class standards, a ginormous single scoop costs just AUD 5 (SGD 5). Italian gelato can take a step back; Australian gelato is taking center stage!
Cow & The Moon
Address: 181 Enmore Rd, Enmore NSW 2042, Australia
Opening Hours: 8.30am – 11.30pm
7. Complete the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk
There’s no better way to take in Sydney’s awe-inspiring coastline than with a stroll down the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. This medium grade walk extends for 6 km and takes about 3 hours to complete a one-way journey.
Let the ocean breeze ruffle through your hair as you saunter past action-packed beaches, sparkling rock pools, majestic cliffs and calm bays. Embark on the walk in the summer and you’ll have the time of your life stopping every few minutes to take a swim in crystal clear waters. Did I mention that it’s also bursting with gorgeous photo opportunities?
Find out more about the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk here.
8. Go grape stomping
Having the time of our lives
Learn to make wine the good ol’ fashioned way by stomping on some fresh grapes! It’s unbelievably fun; you and a partner hop into an oak barrel filled with fresh grapes and begin stomping with all your might to squeeze all the juicy goodness out of them.
It’s kind of gross to know that wine used to be made in this unfiltered manner to produce a concoction of alcohol and dead skin cells, but that doesn’t make the experience any less fun! Grape stomping is best done in large groups, as it’ll be turned into a competition where the team that fills a bottle up with juice first wins. If you’re in the Hunter region, you have to make this your first stop!
Hunter Valley Resort
Address: Corner Hermitage Road & Mistletoe Lane, Pokolbin NSW 2320, Hunter Valley, Australia
Email: [email protected] //
9. Pet a koala
Take a road trip north of Sydney to the charming town of Newcastle and meet one of the cutest little koalas ever! Baby Indy is the star of Blackbutt Reserve, and visitors will be able to get up close and personal with her at 2pm daily.
The winning shot of baby Indy
Koalas are one of the most iconic animals in Australia, so petting one in your lifetime surely makes the cut as a bucket list activity!
Address: Carley avenue, Kotara NSW 2289, Australia
Opening Hours: 7am – 7pm, but wildlife exhibits open from 10am – 5pm
Entry is free, but the public koala encounter is priced at AUD 6/person (SGD 6/person).
10. Visit the Sydney Opera House
What’s a trip to Sydney without a visit to the one and only Sydney Opera House? Designed by Danish Architect Jørn Utzon, the Opera House is hosts over 1 500 performances and 1.2 million people per year. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007, and continues to host major acts ranging from The Australian ballet to Florence and the Machine.
A magical way to take in the sights of the Harbour City would be to hop on a ferry from Circular Quay. There are many different routes for you to choose from, and more information on the Sydney ferries can be found here.
Sydney Opera House
Address: Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
With all these exhilarating bucket list activities to be checked off in Sydney and the surrounding areas, you should be revved up and ready to jet any moment now! Go forth and explore Sydney with an open mind and an open heart, and you’ll have a wonderful collection of memories to keep close to you for life.
Fly to Sydney with Qantas and there’s a chance you’ll be able to enjoy the luxury of their tastefully refurbished airbus, the A330! We were spoiled for choice with their range of movies, music and tv shows on the latest Panasonic eX3 inflight entertainment system, which, to our delight, boasted touchscreens. The award-winning Recaro seats we had the privilege of having a night’s rest on was also spacious and comfy, making for such an enjoyable flight.
If Business Class is more your style, you’ll be able to enjoy your precious pre-flight time in the classy Qantas Singapore Lounge. You’re greeted with the most cheerful staff from the moment you step in, and they’ll make sure that you’re well looked after for the entire duration you’re with them. This sleek, modern space boasts all the food you can eat and fine wine you can drink, and there’s even the occasional serving of piping hot chicken wings. That extra you pay for such service? Totally worth it.
For more information for your Sydney trip planning, visit www.sydney.com
This post was brought to you by Destination New South Wales and Qantas.