Let’s just be honest here: when you think of Australia, a google image of kangaroos pops up in your head. Maybe of the famous Sydney bridge or the home to the best spot in the world to skydive: the Great Barrier Reef.
(And we don’t know about you but there are more kangaroos in Australia than people and that’s the kind of ratio we like the sound of!)
There’s so much more to the 6th largest country in the world than the snorkeling and the beaches (although it goes without saying this is still an essential selfie opportunity for Facebook). The 10,000 beaches that exist in Australia mean you could visit a new one every day for over 27 years. Now that’s the kind of statistic we want to try out…
So, we have one question for you. Why haven’t you cruised to Australia yet?! You can’t miss out on the hidden gems around its main port, the dreamy spots found off the radar and its underground parties no-one really knows about…
The Beauty Is Free
Bondi Beach To Coogee Walk
Not all the amazing things you go home talking about have to come out of your budget or have you saying ‘it was worth the money’. Beautiful things are free too and in Sydney, you can walk along the Bondi beach to Coogee Walk. Tourist spots are popular for a reason and this is the perfect place for a peaceful walk along a cliff top.
It’ll only take you two hours to walk the 6km that’ll show you the beaches, parks, cliffs, bays and rock pools along the way from the perfect height. You can appreciate Aboriginal carvings during the walk and you’ll find a prime whale watching spot, too. Once you’ve reached Coogee beach there’s a protected bay you can have a dip in.
Booking tip! If you carry on a little further towards the Tamarama coast you’ll find their yearly exhibition (between October and November) Sculpture by the Sea; over 100 sculptures will feature outside from artists in Australia and all over the world so book to go in these months to witness the most unique art show you’ve ever seen.
Get Appreciating Art (At No Cost But Your Time)
The White Rabbit Gallery
Here you’ll find the world’s largest and most significant collection of contemporary Chinese Art (yes, in Sydney!) A note from the director will give you some insight into the method behind the madness: ‘The establishment of the gallery was a very deliberate matter; we wanted to share with Australians and the rest of the world the best of Chinese contemporary art since 2000. I hope it gives all visitors surprise, delight and fascination’.
So, just when you think it’ll be Alice-In-Wonderland-esque or rabbits quite literally being pulled from a hat, it throws at you a different magical surprise in which you can delve into the thoughts of Chinese artists.
Not only is it free to appreciate the innovative pieces of art you can experience a tranquil, street-level tea house where you’ll have a range of Chinese and Taiwanese tea’s with the mantra that is ‘life is not a rush’. Head to the third floor of the gallery for a library that’ll throw you into further discovery of Chinese contemporary art. It’s official, you don’t need to travel all the way to China to get a taste of the culture!
Seek This Out! Sydney has a bookstore where books are wrapped in brown paper with short descriptions written on the front so no one can ‘judge a book by its cover’. Find this inspirational spot!
A Whole Other World In The Centre
The perfect combination of an ideal tourist-friendly spot and a unique escape from the norm. This harbourside quarter with cobbled streets and cul-de-sac’s gives you countless out of the ordinary things to do. You can find everything here from an interactive theatre, silent disco tour, treasure hunt, Panic Room you must escape from and power walking tours!
It’s pretty much the birthplace of modern Sydney and has moved from being a settlement of convicts, soldiers and sailers into a real 21st century spot bursting of innovation and sleek stop-off’s in the form of funky bars, restaurants, pub and photography tours, a musueum and even Oz Jet where you can hop on a jet boat for an adventure round the harbor.
Historic Spot: You’ll also get to visit Sydney’s oldest lasting pubs and the oldest surviving building in Australia, built in 1816! Once home to the last government coxswain but the National Parks and Wildlife Service Information Centre.
Be A Part Of History
It might not be your first choice to dine in what used to be a prison but the heart of Sydney harbor has existed in various forms for over 150 years and has been used for everything from a fishing spot to a defense structure, from a navigational guide to the place convicts were believed to be sentenced for weeks at a time through isolation on the island. Not to worry though, it has been entirely transformed and you can now even get married there!
Not only do you have the perfect spot to see the iconic Sydney skyline but you can witness the historic canon fire at 1pm every day. Ever since 1906 a cannon has been fired at 1pm so the sailors could set their ship’s chronometer to the right time and it’s been carried all the way into 2016!
So Sydney’s most historical spot is now a restaurant and event space with historic museum- and also a delightful spot for New year’s eve with its annual Dinner Gala, five course meal and front row seats for a sparkling firework display! Next stop, Fort Denison?
Go On, Be A Tourist
Snorkelling , Shelly beach and Sydney’s iconic sights
Snorkelling and scuba diving is a popular one for the residents and guests of Sydney with Shelly beach being the perfect spot. The protected marine reserve and its shallow water make it the ideal place to get close to the variety of marine life. You’ll see beautiful fish, wobblegong sharks, stingrays and even the large blue groper. There’s a first for everything!
The perfect family day can still include these water activities with free electric BBQ’s and a restaurant for more formal dining. It’s completely free and you’ll also have the loveliest view of the Northern beaches.
After you’ve ticked all the hidden gems, secret streets and low-key activities off your list you might realise you don’t want to miss out on the typical tourist things that are the stereotype for a reason! Sydney’s opera house is a must-see And Australia’s most recognizable building. It’s an icon of the country’s creativity and it’s worth the visit for a selfie even if you don’t fancy witnessing a performance (but the sensory experience inside of colour and sound is worth walking through the door for!).
If you’re visiting Sydney, you’re visiting the home to the world’s tallest steel arch bridge. With more than 200,000 cars travelling across it every day and its connecting between the Northern suburbs and the city centre, it’s a vital landmark and icon for Sydney. Take a selfie in front of it or catch a ferry to see it from the harbor.
Photo tip: Wait for the sunset over the harbor and head for a cocktail at the Opera bar at Sydney Opera House. That way you’ll leave with photos for the album that have a world-class backdrop of the bridge!
So yes, snorkelling is a tourist essential when visiting Sydney, but what was your favourite out of the ordinary attraction? Have you visited Australia already? What sight sounds most magnificent to you? Would you dine in Fort Denison? Let us know your thoughts below…
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