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Things to do in Sydney

Sydney is the largest and cosmopolitan city located in Australia. The city is considered a major tourist destination and holds the enviable position of being one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is brimming with culture, history, art, and scenic natural landscapes. Visitors can find many scenic spots that are scattered all across the city.

The Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera house are two iconic structures located in the city. Both places present a picturesque spot for photo ops. Various events are held at the Sydney Opera House that offers insights into the cultural aspect of the city. The city also contains lots of skyscrapers with the Sydney Tower towering high above the skyline.


Darling Harbour is another great entertainment spot located in the city. There are a plenty of things to do in Sydney Darling Harbour such as shopping, dining, and passing time at the museums. Other interesting places to visit and things to do in Sydney include Royal Botanic Gardens, La Perouse, Anzac War Memorial, and Luna Park. On the whole, a visit to the city is certainly worth it as it offers lots of fun, excitement, and adventure to the visitors.

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Barrenjoey, New South Wales

Barrenjoey, New South Wales

Barrenjoey is a place located in the suburb of Palm Beach, in New South Wales. The place was initially named Barrenjuee by Arthur Phillip in 1788, which means a little wallaby or a kangaroo. Located at the northern tip of Pittwater, this place mostly consists of Hawkesbury sandstone.

The headland washed away from the mainland by rising sea levels about 10,000 years ago. One of the reasons that this place is popular is the Barrenjoey Lighthouse that was built in 1881. This Lighthouse stands at 113 m and is located 35,000 m out to the sea.

Another interesting thing associated to Barrenjoey Lighthouse is that it holds the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend celebrated by the Manly-Warringah Radio Society. The main aim of this celebration is to spread awareness about lighthouses and promote restoration. This event also promotes amateur radio for international acclaim and goodwill. Over 400 radio-active lighthouses from across the world are contacted using HF frequencies over the weekend.

The Barrenjoey Beach is a fun place to visit with friends and family. This beach offers an array of entertainment activities for the visitors including river cruises, ferries, kayak tours, whale watching, standup paddle, and much more.

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Australian Museum

Australian Museum

When in Sydney, don’t forget to visit the Australian Museum because the place is known throughout the world for its anthropology and natural history exhibits. It is one of the oldest museums in the country and was established back in 1821 by the Philosophical Society of Australasia. The museum is situated in the William Street and was originally known as the Colonial Museum.

The architecture of the building is truly beautiful as it amalgamates different styles. For the first few years, the museum kept changing its location and was finally moved to its current place in 1849. In order to accommodate more people, major construction work took place from 1868 till 1890 under the supervision of James Barnet, and finally a third story was added to the museum. Since then, the Australian Museum has undergone several renovations, the last one being in 2008, when laboratory, storage areas and offices were added to the structure.

The museum has different temporary as well as permanent exhibitions out of which the most prominent ones are Beauty from Nature: Art of the Scott Sisters, Dinosaurs from China, Festival of the Dreaming, and Wildlife Photographer of the Year. If you’re fond of history, then do visit the Australian Museum.

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Elizabeth Bay House

Elizabeth Bay House is a beautiful colonial house from the 19th that is located in New South Wales. The place is a popular tourist spot and people visit it to explore the magnificent architecture that was designed by architect John Verge. The house was built during a period of 4 years from 1835 till 1839 and has an expansive garden that is spread over 54 acres. The Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales takes care of the maintenance of the house.

The house is furnished and was originally occupied by a colonial secretary, Alexander Macleay, and his family. The architecture of the house is truly beautiful, and you can’t help but be awed by the furnishing, impressive fireplace, and the high ceiling that gives a very regal look to the whole place.

The ground floor of the house consists of the dining room, drawing room, library, and the saloon, and you can get to the Upper floor by taking the grand staircase, where you will be able to see the bedrooms, maid's room, and the morning room. The garden consists of flower gardens and orchids, and it will take you almost an hour to explore the whole place. Since the place is so beautiful, people book the place for their special occasions like birthdays, parties, and weddings.

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Featherdale Wildlife Park

Featherdale Wildlife Park

One of the main attractions in Australia is the country’s diverse wildlife. If you are fond of nature and want to interact with animals like penguins, kangaroos, and koala bears, then you should head straight to the Featherdale Wildlife Park. The zoo is located in Doonside in Sydney and is home to several birds and animals.

The place is spread over 7 acres and opened back in 1972. It received international fame after it was awarded the best Major Tourist Attraction award in 2005 and 2009. Featherdale Wildlife Park has been visited by several celebrities that include Dave Grohl, Gwen Stefani, Kristen Stewart, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Robert De Niro, Smokey Robinson, and Taylor Lautner.

The park consists of more than 2000 animals from more than 280 species that includes bats, bilbies, emus, reptiles, saltwater crocodiles, wallabies, and wombats. If you are planning to visit the place, then it is recommended that you do it during the feeding times, so that you can experience the wildlife. The Featherdale Wildlife Park consists of a souvenir shop, a café, and different picnic areas for families to enjoy their evenings admiring Mother Nature.

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Hyde Park Barracks

Hyde Park Barracks

Hyde Park Barracks is one of the must visit places in Sydney as it is an important historical attraction that was built between 1817 and 1819. The place was initially made to provide lodging to convicts who were brought in by the government. The architect of the building was by Francis Greenway, who was an emancipated convict himself.

The architecture of the building is beautiful and consists of three stories. Not only this, there is a bakery, soldier quarters, cookhouse, as well as cells during the premises. Each floor has four rooms, and back in the days at least 70 people lived in the rooms, which means a total of 800 convicts resided in the Hyde Park Barracks.

Today the place serves as a museum, and tourists can explore the place by paying a small entrance fee ($10 for adults and $5 for children). The museum educates the tourists about how the convicts suffered with the help of artifacts, pictures, and videos. The Hyde Park Barracks is on the UNESCO World Heritage list along with 10 other Australian sites. Don’t forget to visit the museum if you are fond of history, as the exhibitions are worth a trip.

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Luna Park Sydney

Luna Park Sydney

Luna Park Sydney is located on Milson’s Point that is on the northern shore of the Sydney Harbor. The park was constructed back in 1935 and was closed for a number of times due to different reasons. The park has been functional since 2004 and receives thousands of people every year.

The park’s layout consists of Big Top, Coney Island, Crystal Palace, Maloney's Corner, Midway, and The Face. Some of the famous rides in the Luna Park include Carousel, Dodgem City, Ferris wheel, Hair Raiser, Moon Ranger, Rotor, Spider, Tango Train, Tumblebug, and the Wild Mouse. There are four rides for young children that include Magic Castle, Space Shuttle, and the Whirly Wheel. The Luna Park has appeared in a number of different films and television shows, such as Betty's Bunch, Dil Chahta Hai, Number 96: And They Said It Would Not Last, and Summer of the Seventeenth Doll amongst others.

There are three different types of tickets (red, yellow, and green) and are valid for around 3 months. The opening hours of the park varies during the weekdays and the weekend, so it is recommended that you check it out before visiting it. If you are looking forward to having fun or are travelling with children, then it is highly recommended that you visit the Luna Park Sydney, as you will surely love it.

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Port Jackson

Port Jackson

Port Jackson is the natural harbor of Sydney and New South Wales. An inlet of the Tasman Sea, it takes in waters from the Lane Cove and Parramatta Rivers, the Sydney Harbor, North Harbor, and Middle Harbor, and is home to the iconic Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. As a result, the Port is the center point for various recreational events, including the Sydney-Hobart yacht races and the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

The port harbor is home to several islands, including Goat Island, Clark Island, Fort Denison, Spectacle Island, Shark Island, Cockatoo Island, Rodd Island, and the Snapper Island, making the harbor a great spot for taking ferry ride tours as well as visiting the natural vistas jutting from the ocean’s floor. Alternatively, you can ride The Barque James Craig of the SHF, one of the heritage vessels restored by the Sydney Heritage Fleet.

Take a tour of the maritime history at the Australian National Maritime Museum, at Darling Harbor. The museum holds themed exhibitions that can range from history of the maritime defense and aquatic sport to European seafaring and Indigenous lore. The RAN Heritage Centre on Garden Island also holds exhibits chronicling the history of the Royal Australian Navy.

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Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach

Renowned as one of the most exotic beaches, the Bondi Beach offers loads of attractions and plenty of events. A magnet for swelling waves and powerful gales, it is a great spot for anyone who wants to enjoy a day surfing the waves and the winds. Embark on the 6 km coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee to explore and discover the wide variety of oceanfront dining, restaurants, and bars before heading out to surf the waves, or meet the winds head-on with windsurfing and kite surfing.

Alternatively, if you want more adventurous surf, you should head over to the adjoining Tamarama Beach. Located between the headlands on the Bondi-Coogee Walk, it offers great surfing conditions but is often prone to stronger currents.
Find the renowned Bondi Baths at the southern end of Bondi Beach. Renowned as an historic landmark, these baths date back over a hundred years. It is a great place for a family outing, allowing you to relax in the 50-meter pool and have a fun time with kids.

Then head over to the nearby Coogee Aboriginal Art Gallery, the home of aboriginal history — arts, crafts, and their vivid traditional and modern stories. Finally, return to the urban lifestyle by visiting the Westfield Bondi Junction, a large retail shopping centre boasting over 400 specialty stores and services.

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Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo

Home to over 4,000 animals including exotic and endangered animals, and the Australian native wildlife, the Taronga Zoo is one of the most popular and award winning attractions in Sydney. Open round the year, the zoo offers a range of regular shows and access to Sydney’s only cable car ‘Sky Safari’.

Delight yourself with the QBE Free-Flight Bird Show that features exotic birds. Watch the skill and graceful collaboration of New Zealand’s fur-seals and Australian and Californian Sea-lions at the Daily Seal Show. Take your kids to discover the Lemur Forest, a playground where they can discover and explore the natural habitat of the lovable troops of lemurs. Challenge yourself for a sky-high full-day of adventure, crossing suspension bridges, tackling obstacles in mid air, and soaring through the forests in Taronga's Wild Ropes.

Alternatively, pack your camera and get up-close and personal with the diverse wildlife by taking one of the guided Taronga Zoo tours. These tours take you behind the scenes in keeper-only areas. Under the guidance of the experienced guides, these tours allow you to chance a meeting with the native animals. Finally, learn about Taronga’s aboriginal stories by taking the Aboriginal Discovery Tour. It will take you on a journey through the zoo, informing you of the stories of Australian wildlife as told from the perspective of an Aboriginal guide.

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Manly Beach

Manly Beach

Spread between the Northern beaches of Sydney and the New South Wales, caressed by the ebbing Tasman Sea, and undulated with gifts from the pristine waters of the Coral Sea, the majestic beauty of the Manly Beach has made it a magnetic attraction for tourists across the world. The beach is divided into three main sections, the North Steyne, Queenscliff, and South Steyne. Which one should you head out to first? Choose your setting by taking the Manly ferry from Circular Quay for a half hour journey across the Manly Beach to the Manly Wharf.

Take a bike-ride along one of the many beautiful bushwalks along bike-riding paths and through historic sites, or use the curling pathways designed for joggers and cyclists. Additionally, you can take the Manly Scenic Walkway that meanders around the foreshore, taking you through some of the most stunning scenery between the Split Bridge and the beach.
Alternatively, you can take a leisurely stroll towards the untouched bush-lands for the surprising, yet beautiful movement of native animals and birds. Other popular activities include scuba diving, kayaking, beach volleyball, and fine dining at beachfront restaurants and cafes. If you head out to the beach on a weekend, you can find original handmade arts and crafts in the flea market.