Sydney, Australia is a spectacular destination to visit, but the distance to travel here can take anywhere up to 24 hours depending on where you live, so you need to plan your visit well.

As a Sydney sider, we are very proud of our city and harbour, and we love to share our top 5 activities with you. All of these activities are accessible by either walking around Sydney or catching a ferry.

#1 Sydney Opera House

Sitting proudly on one of the world’s stunning harbours is the Sydney Opera House. It was opened in 1973, and it is Sydney’s top tourist attraction. It is a venue for the performing arts with 2,000 shows staged yearly.

 
 

Apart from seeing a show, you can dine in one of the top restaurants and enjoy a glass of wine or champagne in the famous Opera Bar with its famous views over the harbour and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

#2 Sydney Harbour Bridge

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The Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened in 1932. Its claim to fame is:

  • The sixth longest spanning arch bridge in the world.
  • The tallest steel arch bridge – 440 ft. from the top of the bridge to the water level in the harbour.

You can walk the length of the bridge from North Sydney to the Rocks area. You can also enjoy Bridge Climb Tours, where the views are spectacular, especially at Sunset. If you have a fear of heights, we recommend that you walk across the bridge instead.

#3 The Rocks Area

Located around the Sydney Harbour Bridge and close to the Opera House is the historic Rocks area of Sydney. Since 1788 the Rocks area has been an integral part of Sydney’s history.

Originally part of an aboriginal settlement, over the years the Rocks area fell into decay, became a slum and had many of its historical buildings demolished. Today it is Sydney’s #3 tourist destination thanks to the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority established back in 1973.

If you are cruising into Sydney Harbour, the Rocks area is the first place you will set foot in. Small laneways with boutique shops, bars, cafes and restaurants will have you wandering around for ages, and the weekend Rocks Market is one of Sydney’s best.

#4 Taronga Zoo

We are proud of the Zoo in Sydney. Commanding a high position in Mosman, overlooking the Sydney Harbour, the Zoo is one of the most beautiful in the world.

One of the best photo opportunities is to head towards the Giraffe enclosure with its background of Sydney Harbour – it’s a photographer’s heaven.

There are over 4000 animals from 350 species, some of which are threatened species. Koalas, kangaroos, emus and wombats are the Australian stars of the Zoo, alongside your usual zoo families of elephants, tigers, lions etc.

Take the Ferry from Circular Quay across the harbour to the Zoo. It runs every 30 minutes. We recommend that you also take the chair lift from the Ferry Wharf to the entrance. Apart from the great views, the climb by foot can be a little exhausting.

To save your feet there is also a Zoo train around the grounds.

#5 Manly

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A fun day out is to take the 30-minute ferry from Circular Quay to Manly. Manly Beach is Sydney’s top beach, although those who live around Bondi – the other famous Sydney beach – will not agree with us on this! It’s a friendly rivalry!

When you arrive at Manly Wharf, head down the Corso – Manly’s main shopping pedestrian street – and you will arrive at the famous surf beach.

Here you can enjoy fish and chips with the seagulls, or you can take a 20-minute walk to Shelly Beach along its Mediterranean-like shoreline to a quieter beach and nature reserve.

It is a perfect area for families and you can enjoy a coffee or lunch at the Boat Shed with its stunning views over the beach.

Have you visited Sydney? What was your favourite activity? Do you have a story you’d like to share? Please join the conversation below!

Jane and Duncan Dempster-SmithJane and Duncan Dempster-Smith are nomadic semi-retirees, baby boomers, travellers, House Sitters and co-founders of To Travel Too. Their motto is “Age is no barrier when it comes to travel.” Although not yet pensioners, their goal is to travel the world on what is currently the Australian Age Pension of approx. AUD 33,716 (USD 25,110) per year, or AUD 92 (USD 69) per day for two people.

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