Tourist attractions can be horrible, let’s face it. No matter how famous the Sydney landmark is, sometimes the long lines and hefty costs aren’t worth the bother. Fortunately, the city boasts hundreds of attractions that don’t let visitors down for everyone that does. We’ve visited the greatest of Sydney’s well-known and lesser-known sights, and we can attest that there are plenty of them that unquestionably isn’t terrible.
Anything that is popular does not necessarily imply that it is tacky. And something may be worth looking into even if you’ve never heard of it. In this article, you’ll find a comprehensive list of the most popular tourist attractions in Sydney, from exhilarating excursions to tranquil sightseeing tours.
1. Climbing the iconic Harbour Bridge
Nothing compares to seeing the magnificent Harbour Bridge silhouetted against the Sydney sky. Unless, of course, you’re on that bridge, where the vistas are truly breathtaking. This single-span steel arch bridge, the fourth-longest of its kind in the world, has a hair-raising climb to the top. However, once you’re up there, you can take in Sydney Harbour’s majestic beauty, featuring a stunning view of the Sydney Opera House, as well as the Blue Mountains in the distance. Additionally, you’ll learn fascinating details about how the bridge was built.
2. Ride the ferry at Sydney Harbour Cruise
A day or night cruise over Sydney Harbour is a beautiful experience and frequently includes drinks and supper, even though the regular ferry services are a great way to appreciate the grandeur of Sydney Harbour.
On a cruise, there are often fewer passengers than on a regular ferry, giving you a lot more room to move around. Additionally, a cruise is significantly slower, allowing you to fully appreciate the beauty all around you.
3. Take a trip down memory lane at the Botanic Gardens
Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, regarded as one of the oldest public gardens in the Southern Hemisphere, were established in 1810 when Governor Lachlan Macquarie and his wife had an idea for an “English parkland setting with a beautiful residence.” This 30-hectare oasis has endured fires, livestock grazing, flying fox invasions, a windmill, an aviary, and even a zoo over the years. Except for a few sulphur-crested cockies, it is now a tranquil oasis in the middle of the urban jungle. Take an Aboriginal botanical tour to learn more about the area, or just bring a picnic to enjoy in the park.
4. Learn more about the Chinese Garden of Friendship
You’ll experience a complete change of environment. It’s difficult to believe you’re in the centre of Sydney city in the garden because it is so tranquil (the skyscrapers being the only real giveaway). It’s bigger than you’d anticipate and pleasantly devoid of people, making it the ideal getaway for some alone. Reach one of the garden’s lovely pavilions by passing through bamboo forests and across stone bridges; sit by the water’s side to observe schools of koi; or take in the magnificent Dragon Wall, a Chinese gift that symbolises the relationship between New South Wales and the Chinese province of Guangdong.
5. Bring the family to Sydney Olympic Park
Sydney Olympic Park is undoubtedly accessible to both locals and tourists. People can have fun, unwind, and have a lovely day in a park. There are many different kinds of games, and the majority of them are engaging. The park’s total land area is roughly 4300 hectares.
The Sydney Olympic Park precinct is accessible by train, ferry, normal buses, and special event buses. To organise your journey to Sydney Olympic Park, use the trip planner. There are plenty of quality hotels near Olympic Park.
6. Take a horseback ride in Centennial Park
Centennial Park is the place for you if you have any riding experience or skill. Some of Sydney’s (and Australia’s) best riding schools may be found in this vast, beautiful green region, which welcomes both experienced riders and total beginners.
Whether it’s for solo riders or those wishing to have full-on “pony parties,” Sydney Horse, Eastside Riding Academy, Budapest Riding School, Centennial Stables, and Papillon Riding School are all here to assist city youth get to grips with the equestrian world. Even better, while you stroll around the 3.6-kilometre track, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding parkland.
7. View Sydney from above at the Sydney Tower Eye
A trip to the Sydney Tower Eye should be at the top of your list of must-see sites if you wish to view Sydney, the Harbour, the shoreline, and its surrounding districts from above.
The Sydney Tower Eye, the second-tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere, offers the greatest views and a thrilling 4D moviegoing experience.
The spinning restaurant and the observation deck, which is 820 feet above street level, are just two of the unusual experiences available to visitors visiting Sydney Tower.
8. Visit the scenic world
The beauty of the Blue Mountains can be appreciated without a tonne of technology, but there’s no denying that Scenic World is a lot of fun. The original Scenic Railway, once used by miners, descends a 52-degree incline to the valley floor.
Other options include the Scenic Skyway, a glass-bottomed cable car that travels from clifftop to clifftop, the Scenic Cableway, a cable car that ascends and descends while providing views of the Three Sisters, Orphan Rock, Mount Solitary, and Katoomba Falls, and the Scenic Walkway, which is, well, At Scenic World, the rainforest is transformed into a gallery between April and May.
9. Go snorkelling at Fairlight Beach
Discovering Australia’s marine life doesn’t require a trip to the Great Barrier Reef; you can witness cockatoo fish, leatherjackets, sea urchins (so many sea urchins), and tiny pomfrets right here in Manly. Every day, Dive Centre Manly offers Snorkel Safaris to three well-known locations in the region, taking tourists on underwater explorations. Our guide Ana describes the route we’ll take and the sights we may expect to see before we get to the beach because today we are travelling to Fairlight (the wind isn’t favourable for us to snorkel at Shelly Beach).
We swim through the kelp and seagrass in the calm bay for 40 minutes as Ana points out a school of goatfish, pygmy leatherjackets, and red-banded wrasse. Since snorkelling is a group activity, having Ana as our guide gives us more eyes to look for marine life while we concentrate on breathing and swimming. A pair of silky cornetfish are spotted in the depths by Ana before our eyes have time to adjust. We soon find ourselves surrounded by tennis ball-sized jellyfish, which we scoop up in our hands to see the gentle currents flowing through them, while we swim around the boulders, where the drop increases from three metres to twelve. Already an expert snorkeler? For $35, you can rent a mask, snorkel, fins, and float for the day.
10. Explore Chinatown Sydney
Sydney has a Chinatown, just like many other big cities across the world. The largest Chinatown in Australia is located in Haymarket, a neighbourhood close to Darling Harbour in the southern portion of the CBD.
Since the 19th century, Sydney and New South Wales have welcomed Chinese immigration, and today there is a sizable Chinese community in and around Sydney.
The tiny lanes of Sydney’s Chinatown are lined with a variety of eateries, including noodle bars, food courts, Asian grocers, yum cha restaurants, and even fine dining establishments.
Ivandrea Ollero is a content writer who researches and writes custom content.