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Best things to do around Sydney

Best things to do around Sydney

Australia’s most famous city, Sydney is the capital of the state of New South Wales. Extending over nearly 12,300 km² on the east coast, it has many exceptional places to visit. Among them: the iconic Opera House, the imposing Harbour Bridge, the lush Botanical Gardens… but that’s just the beginning! Many other wonderful attractions can also be found in the surrounding regions!

Taronga Zoo

Meet the Australian wildlife by visiting the famous Taronga Zoo. In addition to the host of unique animals (platypuses, wombats, koalas…) and tropical vegetation, Taronga Zoo offers breathtaking views of Sydney Bay.

🎟 What to do at the zoo?

Free shows and entertainment throughout the day and unique animals await you. Stroll through tropical vegetation and cross a jungle on the shores of the most beautiful bay in the world, or board the Sky Safari* (Taronga Zoo cable car) for a day in the heart of Australian nature. For an unforgettable night, book the Roar & Snore Pack (from $555) and meet the animals during a night safari.

The Taronga Zoo also offers retreats – Wildlife, an eco-retreat in the heart of the animal park! Taronga Zoo is an example of eco-responsibility and received the 2022 “World Luxury Hotel Awards – Top Luxury Eco Hotel – Australia” award. Different packages exist but the retreat mainly consists of being in the middle of the sanctuary surrounded by echidnas, koalas, or platypuses.

The zoo supports the conservation programs of animal parks in Australia and around the world so that wildlife and people can flourish together. Solar panels and recycling are part of its global policy so the sanctuary does not lose sight of its commitment to defend the animal welfare cause. Taronga remains an association in which every dollar is invested in saving animals.

⏰ Schedules and prices

Hours: Open all year from 9:30am to 5pm.
Price: $45.90 per adult, $27 per child (4 to 15 years old), free for children under 4 years old.
Up to 20% off with an online reservation
Reservations: Click here.

📍 How to get there?

Bradleys Head Rd, Mosman NSW 2088
By car: 10 km
By ferry: 17 min from Circular Quay, quay n°2 (departures every 30 minutes)

Coastal Walk – Bondi to Coogee

Do you dream of cliffs by the sea and a breathtaking view? Then the Coastal Walk is for you. 5km long, this walk runs along the coast and crosses some renowned beaches. After Bondi Beach, cross Tamarama Beach, then join the family beach of Bronte Beach. Finally, walk along Waverley Cemetery to reach Coogee Beach and enjoy its trendy cafes.

📍 How to get there from Sydney?

By car: 10 km.
By Bus: Many buses from the city centre serve Bondi (change at Bondi Junction).
Start of the walk: Near the Bondi Icebergs Pool.

Manly Beach

If you enjoyed your journey along the Coastal Walk, then you’ll love Manly. This small town, a perfect representation of the Australian lifestyle, enchants with its pedestrian streets, surf shops, cafes and art galleries. Moreover, it also has a beach famous for its waves! You can go there for surf lessons or board rentals. The ferry ride from Sydney is superb. A tip: come back at sunset to admire the bay in its most beautiful colours.

⏰ Ferry timetables and fares

Opening hours: between 6:10 a.m. and 8:50 p.m. on weekdays, and between 9:40am and 8:30pm on weekends and holidays.
Price: $9.90 per adult, $6 per child.

📍 How to get there from Sydney?

By ferry: 20 min from Circular Quay.

Figure Eight Pools – Royal National Park

Located south of Burning Palm Beach, the Figure Eight Pools are part of the second oldest national park in the world, the Royal National Park. It is famous for the shape of its basins that form natural pools in the rock. To get there, 3 kilometres or about 1h30 to 2h of walking awaits you. Put on your trainers and discover Figure Eight Pool and Wedding Cake Rock.

⏰ Schedules and prices

Hours: 7:00am to 8:30pm (these times may vary depending on the weather).
Price: $12 per vehicle for entry into the national park.

📍 How to get there from Sydney?

By car: 55 km, direction Burning Palms Beach.
By train: 2 hours from Central Station, direction Otford.
On site: Departing from the Garrawarra Farm car park, walk the Burgh Ridge Track until it meets the Coast Track.

Our advice

  • Be sure to check the weather and the tide before going, the Pools are only accessible at low tide.
  • Do not venture there alone, the telephone reception is very poor and there is no rescue centre on site.
  • Finally, remember to put on a good pair of shoes (be careful, the rocks can be slippery from the water!).

Wedding Cake Rock – Royal National Park

The Wedding Cake Rock is a spectacular landmark that owes its name to its distinctive shape. Located by the sea, the hike to get there is from the village of Bundeena, via Jibbon Beach.

📍 How to get there from Sydney?

By car from Sydney: 29km to Bundeena.
By train: 1 hour by train from Central Station towards Cronulla, to the terminus.
By ferry from Cronulla: $7.60.

WARNING: It is forbidden to climb on the rock for safety reasons, under penalty of fines enforced by the park rangers.

Featherdale Wildlife Park

Featherdale Wildlife Park is a wildlife preserve park that looks like a nature reserve. It is reputed to hold the largest collection of Australian fauna. It’s certainly touristy, but it allows you to get closer to the emblematic animals of Australia: hugs with koalas, selfies with kangaroos, penguins and even small Quokkas! Every day you can come and take your picture with them from 11 a.m. to noon… In short, not to be missed!

⏰ Schedules and Prices

Opening hours: Open all year from 9am to 4pm
Price: $38 per adult, $22 per child (3 to 15 years old)
Reservation: Click here.

Ticket and encounter with the Koalas – online reservations only, $58.50 per adult, $48.00 per child, $55.50 student rate.

📍 How to get there from Sydney?

217 Kildare Rd, Doonside NSW 2767
By car: 40 km.
By train: via North Shore and Western Line, direction Blacktown Station.

Blue Mountains

For a 100% natural experience, go on a getaway to the Blue Mountains. Feast your eyes on a verdant national park, aboriginal sites, go hiking, discover the gigantic canyons, observe the bluish colour that emanates from the mountains… Different routes are offered for all walking levels. To admire the famous Three Sisters it’s only a short walk, while other hikes allow access to breathtaking waterfalls and canyons.

Our advice: Make sure you’re well equipped. Take good shoes, a vest, a cap and plenty of water!

📍 How to get there from Sydney?

By car: 129 km.
By train: 2h30 from Central Station, BMT line (Blue Mountains Line) to Katoomba. Then 3 kilometres (on foot or by bus) await you to the Three Sisters.
Organised tour: Day trip with cruise.

Port Stephens / Anna Bay

Anna Bay is a real playground for those who venture out there! Located in the heart of the Central Coast, the bay reveals a landscape of thousands of dunes, where kilometres of sand stretch as far as the eye can see.

Camel rides, excursions to observe dolphins and sandboarding sessions will delight any visitor, young or old!

Our favourite? The ascent of Mount Tomaree Head to enjoy a breathtaking view. Pay attention to your surroundings as well, koalas often hide high in the trees.

📍 How to get there from Sydney?

By car: 200 km north.
Good to know: Permits issued at the gas stations closest to the beach give you permission to drive a 4×4 in the dunes.By organised tour: Boat trip from Sydney and 4×4 in the dunes.

Hunter Valley

Do you like cheese, charcuterie, bread and good wine? Then a stop in the Hunter Valley will delight your taste buds! Australia’s oldest wine region, there are over 120 farms for you to immerse yourself in the local wine culture. Taste Australian wines (sémillon and shiraz are the most common grape varieties), enjoy gourmet cuisine and escape to large green spaces.

You can even indulge in the famous old-fashioned “stomping” and crush bunches of grapes or even learn to cook with a real chef! It is even possible to book a round of golf or be tempted by a trip in a hot air balloon (or helicopter!) above the vineyards at sunset, for a truly unique moment.


MayLovedale Long Lunch (2 days): It is possible to book a tour to visit different wineries and restaurants in the region on the same day.

September – The Spring Festival of Flowers: The Hunter Valley offers its most beautiful colours in spring. Take the opportunity to attend many events and exhibitions that will delight your senses.

September – Sculpture in the Vineyards (15 days): In the village of Wollombi, the vineyards are transformed into real open-air art galleries hosting all kinds of sculptures.

📍 How to get there from Sydney?

By car: 244 km north.
By organised tours (from Sydney): Visit vineyards, taste gin, cheese, chocolate.

Jervis Bay

White sand and transparent water, Hyams Beach is one of the must-see beaches in southern Sydney to admire the riches of the ocean.

Indeed, Jervis Bay is a famous spot for snorkelling and diving. Dolphins and whales inhabit the area (particularly during migratory seasons). It is possible to see them during the various boat trips. Also not to be missed: the Booderee National Park and the ruins of its lighthouse. Another great vantage point for observing marine life.

📍 How to get there from Sydney?

By car: 207 km.
Organised tour (departure from Sydney): Day in Jervis Bay by bike.

3 ideas for itineraries from Sydney

From Sydney to Melbourne

This is an opportunity to experience the Australian road trip! 2370 kilometres separate you from Melbourne and it is a real adventure to spend at least over 10 days travelling. Drive or bus along the coast towards southern Australia to arrive in Melbourne, passing through many surf spots south of Sydney but also the territory of Canberra and finally some unmissable natural parks such as Wilsons Promontory or Jervis Bay.

From Sydney to Brisbane

This route on the east coast of Australia allows you to go north and enjoy more tropical temperatures! Brisbane is one of the sunniest cities in the country, but the cool breezes make the climate very pleasant. Its botanical garden and its beaches in the city centre are also a definite advantage. The route crosses the NSW coast to Queensland for more than 1200 kilometres of hiking, surfing spots and superb landscapes on the coast, passing through Port Stephens or Coffs Harbor in NSW to finish in the famous Australian ‘cool spots’: Byron Bay then the Gold Coast.

From Sydney to Cairns

To continue the journey, after Brisbane you can keep going north towards Queensland where you’ll discover paradise beaches with turquoise waters, the Great Barrier Reef or even the largest waterfall in Australia! This is also the time to discover Australian wildlife: whales, koalas, cassowaries, wallabies and more! In over 3000 kms you will cross national parks such as Carnarvon National Park, Noosa and the Sunshine Coast, or Daintree National Park via the famous Whitsundays. Allow around 4 weeks to enjoy these stunning landscapes.

The Sydney region is full of places to discover, so do not hesitate to share your favourites.

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