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What to do around Sydney

What to do around Sydney

Sydney is located in the state of New South Wales on the shores of the Tasman Sea.

Extending for over 12.300 km2 the city has many exceptional cites. Among them are the imposing Harbour Bridge, the beautiful Botanical Garden, the Opera House with its impressive architecture, Bondi Beach with its spectacular waves and many more! But what is there to see around Sydney?

Many hidden treasures! Close to the city you can find  the Taronga Zoo and cable car crossing the jungle, the Blue Mountains National Park and its three sisters. Also the famous wine region of the Hunter Valley, Port Stephen and the sand dunes as well as the amazing Eight Pool and beach of Jervis Bay are worth a visit.

Taronga Zoo

Sydney → Taronga zoo : 10km

The Taronga Zoo invites you to discover unique animal species and offers stunning views of Sydney Bay. Located only 10 km from Sydney, the best way to access it is via the ferry. There are departures every 30 minutes from Circular Quay, Quai Number 2.

Program & prices

Free shows and entertainment throughout the day and unique animal species await you here. Stroll through tropical vegetation, cross a jungle at the edge of the most beautiful bay in the world or hop on board of the Sky Safari (Taronga Zoo cable car) for a day.
The Zoo is opened all year round from 9:30am to 5pm.

Adult $46
Child (4 to 15 years) $26
Child (under four years old) Free

Plus: For an unforgettable night, book the Roar & Snore Pack which allows you to spend the night at the zoo.

Coastal Walk – Bondi to Coogee

Coastal Walk - Coogee to bondi

If you want a great view of the cliffs and the ocean and discover famous beaches, do not miss this walk. Five kilometres long it will take you about two hours to get there from Bondi Beach. The track starts near the Iceberg seawater pool.

To get to Bondi take one of the many buses from the centre of Sydney (that stop at Bondi Junction).

The Walk will firstly take you to Tamarama beach, then to Bronte Beach which is more family friendly. You will then cross the Waverley Cemetery to reach Coogee with its cafes and extensive beach.

Royal National Park (Eight Pool, Wedding Cake Rock)

Sydney Royal National Park : 52km

Located 52 km from Sydney, the Royal National Park is full of incredible sites, including the Figure 8 Pools. It is the second oldest national park in the world. Entrance to the park is 12 AUD.

Figure eight pool

From Sydney head for Burning by car which takes 40 minutes. Once there you can park at the Garrawarra Farm car park. From there walk the Burgh Ridge track to the Coast Track junction. The walk to the pools is around 3 kilometres one way. Count at least one and a half hour to two hours.

Tips:

– Be sure to check the weather and tide before going, the Pools are only accessible at low tide;
– Do not venture alone, the phone reception is very bad and there is no rescue center on site;
– Finally, wear a good pair of shoes (watch out for the slippery rocks!).

Wedding Cake Rock

To access it you can take the train in the direction of Cronulla until the end (one hour from Central). Then you will have to take the ferry (about 12 AUD). The boat trip to Bundeena is sublime. From there you can take the long hike along Jibbon Beach to finally arrive at Wedding Cake. Know that it is forbidden to climb on the rock to take pictures (even though everybody does…) and this is for security reasons. Rangers now plan to fine people who disobey the signs.

Morriset National Park

Sydney → Morisset Park : 126km

Located 1h45m from Sydney this park is known for its abundance of kangaroos. Morrisset can be reached by train from Central Station (Central Coast and Newcastle line approximately 3 hours).

This is the place for feeding, patting and taking selfies and even lying next to them! They are very curious and will not hesitate to come to you. Kangaroos there are used to tourists however if a female carries a baby stay on guard. They are still wild animals!

Tips: Go early! And take bananas!

Featherdale Wildlife Park

Sydney → Featherdale 40km

Located in Doonside near Blacktown west of Sydney this wildlife park is accessible by car (45m) or via train. Take the North Shore and Western line to Blacktown Station. This park is very well preserved and looks more like a nature reserve. You can see all the typical Australian animals, take selfies with the kangaroos or pat a koala and take a picture with him. 

Schedule & prices

The park is opened all year from 9am to 5pm.

Adult 32 AUD
Child (4 to 15 years old) 17 AUD

Blue MountainsBlues mountains

Sydney → Blues mountains : 129km

For a great nature experience go on a getaway to the Blue Mountains, 129 km from Sydney. Admire the rainforest, listen to the exotic song of the birds, and watch the bluish color of the mountains. It is two hours from Sydney by car or accessible by train from Central Station. Take the Blue Mountain line which will take you there in two and a half hours. Once in Katoomba you can either walk to the national park or catch a bus.

Different walking tracks are available for all levels of fitness. You can take a short walk to admire the iconic Three Sisters or take longer hikes to waterfalls and beautiful views of the mountains.

Tips: Leave well equipped! Remember to take comfy shoes, a jacket, a cap and most important: a lot of water!

Port Stephens / Anna Bay

Sydney → Port Stephens : 213km

Splendid natural bay located 2h30 drive north of Sydney, this place consists of large beaches with huge sand dunes as far as the eye can see. You can enjoy a camel ride, ride on the sand dunes and even meet dolphins!

In addition: For a breathtaking view, climb the mount Tomaree Head.

Hunter Valley

Sydney  Hunter Valley : 244km

Do you like cheese, charcuterie, bread and good wine? Make sure to visit Hunter Valley. Located only 2h30 from Sydney (224km) it is Australia’s oldest wine region. You can also take a day trip for around 100 AUD (bus ride and wine tour).

Taste Australian wines, enjoy gourmet cuisine and escape to the Hunter Valley’s expansive green spaces while playing a round of gold or taking a hot air balloon ride.

Events

The Lovedale Long Lunch, which takes place in May, takes place at lunch time at various Hunter Valley wineries and restaurants.
In September, take a walk among the flowers during the Festival of Flowers.
In November, the vineyards turn into open air art galleries as part of the ‘Sculpture in the Vineyards’ event.

Jervis Bay

Sydney  Jervis Bay : 207km

Just three hours south of Sydney (207km) you can not miss the famous Hyams Beach. White sand beach and clear water! It’s one of Australia’s must see beaches. The area is also full of beautiful beaches where you can snorkel or dive. This area is also an ideal place to watch whales during their migration or dolphins in the early morning. Boat tours are available for those who want to see them up close. You can also explore the Booderee National Park and the ruins of its lighthouse, an excellent point to observe marine life.

 

Article written by Astride & translated by Joshua.

What to do around Sydney
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Joshua Waleson
Written by Joshua Waleson