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The ULTIMATE Bucket List Things to Do in Sydney This Year

The best things to do in Sydney:

Sydney, the vibrant capital of New South Wales, Australia, offers a plethora of exciting and diverse activities for locals and visitors alike. Whether you’re exploring for a day or spending several days in the city, Sydney has something for everyone. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, here are the bucket list activities you need to do.

1. Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk (Free Things to Do in Sydney)

Best things to do in Sydney (Australia) – the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk is a scenic 6-kilometer coastal trail just outside the city.

It offers breathtaking ocean views, picturesque beaches, and dramatic cliffs.

The walk takes you through iconic landmarks, including Bondi Beach, Bronte Beach, and Gordon’s Bay, making it a must-do for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

To begin the walk, head to Bondi Icebergs on Bondi Beach, a unique oceanside swimming pool that offers breathtaking views of the coastline (you can take a refreshing dip whilst you’re here!)

This is one of the most popular things to do in Sydney, and for good reason. You’ll never forget those breathtaking views and that celebratory drink at the Coogee Bay Hotel when you’re finished.

2. Marvel at Sydney Opera House

The Iconic Sydney Opera House

Of all the things to do in Australia, this one is usually at the very top of tourist’s lists.

No visit to this city is complete without admiring the architectural marvel that is the Sydney Opera House, definitely one of the best things to see in Sydney.

Take a guided tour to learn about its history or catch an opera performance for an unforgettable experience.

Prefer to enjoy the view from the outside? A drink at the famous outdoor Opera Bar won’t go amiss.

3. Take a Day Trip to the Blue Mountains

Best things to do Sydney: visit the Blue Mountains

There are so many amazing things to do in Sydney, and taking a day trip to the Blue Mountains is right at the top of the list.

Located just outside of the city, the Blue Mountains offer a stunning natural escape.

With its rugged cliffs, deep valleys, and dense eucalyptus forests, this World Heritage-listed area is a paradise for hikers and nature lovers.

Discover breathtaking vistas, ancient rock formations, cascading waterfalls, and charming mountain villages.

Depending on your budget, you can choose to do an ultimate one-day small group tour with lunch, a mid-range small group day tour or a budget hop-on-hop-off bus tour.

Visiting the Blue Mountains is one of the best things to do in Sydney in March, when the weather starts to get a little cooler and you can enjoy some scenic walks without getting too hot.

4. Kayak on Sydney Harbour (Unusual Things to Do in Sydney)

Epic things to do in Sydney right now – kayaking on the harbour

If you’re looking for unique things to do in Sydney, you should definitely book a kayak tour.

Kayaking on Sydney Harbour is a fantastic way to explore the city’s stunning waterways.

Paddle along the iconic harbour, passing by the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge with an experienced kayak instructor.

Enjoy breathtaking views, spot marine life, and feel the thrill of gliding through the sparkling waters, creating lasting memories of this incredible city.

5. Discover the Chinese Garden of Friendship

Best things to do Sydney CBD – Chinese Garden of Friendship

The Chinese Garden of Friendship is a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city and undoubtedly one of the top 10 things to do in Sydney.

Inspired by traditional Chinese gardens, it features serene landscapes, delicate waterfalls, and intricate pavilions.

Explore winding pathways, admire the lush greenery, and experience a sense of peace and harmony in this beautifully designed cultural attraction.

Whilst in the area, a walk through Chinatown is a must.

The vibrant and bustling precinct is filled with Chinese culture, food, and shopping.

Explore colourful streets, dine on delicious cuisine, and discover an array of Asian markets and stores.

You may wish to do this highly rated Chinatown Street Food Tour to sample some of the most tasty Asian food in Australia.

6. Learn to Surf at Bondi Beach (Fun Things to do in Sydney With Friends)

Fun things to do in Sydney – surfing at Bondi Beach

Surf lessons at Bondi Beach offer an exciting opportunity to learn how to ride the waves in one of the city’s most iconic surf spots.

Experienced instructors provide guidance on surfing techniques, ocean safety, and equipment usage.

Whether you’re a beginner or looking to improve your skills, it’s an unforgettable and fun experience in a vibrant beach atmosphere.

Surf lessons are one of the best things to do in Sydney in December, when the crashing waves can cool you down during the hot and sunny weather.

7. Go Wine Tasting in The Hunter Valley

Unique things to do near Sydney – Hunter Valley Wine Tasting

Wondering what to do in Sydney in 4 or 5 days? A tour of the magnificent Hunter Valley wine region is a great option.

Wine tasting trips to the Hunter Valley in New South Wales offer a delightful escape for wine enthusiasts.

Explore picturesque vineyards, sample exquisite wines, and learn about the winemaking process.

Indulge in gourmet food pairings, visit cellar doors, and embrace the serene countryside while savouring the region’s renowned wines and hospitality.

The preferred way to experience the Hunter Valley is on a Winery Tour from Sydney, offering several wine tastings, gourmet lunch and gin and vodka tastings too!

8. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Activities for thrill-seekers in Sydney – the Harbour Bridge Climb

Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge is an exhilarating adventure and offers unparalleled views of the city skyline and the stunning harbour.

With a professional guide, you’ll ascend the bridge’s arches, learning about its history along the way.

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that guarantees breathtaking panoramic vistas and unforgettable memories.

9. Take the Ferry from Circular Quay at Sunset

Best things to see in Sydney Australia – sunset over the city from the deck of a boat

Looking for best things to do in Sydney for a weekend? You can’t miss a ride on the passenger ferries.

Taking the ferry from Circular Quay at sunset is a magical experience.

As the sun casts a warm glow over the city, the ferry glides across the sparkling harbour, offering panoramic views of iconic landmarks.

Witness the sky ablaze with colours as you sail into the enchanting twilight, creating a picture-perfect memory.

My recommendation is to take the public passenger ferry from Circular Quay to Manly or Watsons Bay at sunset to enjoy dinner or drinks at either of the two bustling Sydney hotspots.

Alternatively, you could do a Sunset Harbour Cruise on a catamaran which includes an appetizer platter and BYO booze!

If you’re considering the best things to do in Sydney in one day, this needs to be on your list.

When it comes to things to do in Manly, Sydney… don’t miss the scenic walk from Manly Beach to Shelly Beach, a picturesque cove known for its calm waters and snorkeling opportunities.

Best things to do in Manly NSW – visit Shelly Beach

You can also take a walk along Manly Corso and enjoy a drink and some dinner in one of the bustling bars before you head back to the city.

At Watsons Bay, a drink and bite to eat overlooking the ocean at Watsons Bay Hotel won’t go amiss.

10. Eat Amazing Sydney Street Food

Delicious paella street food in Sydney via Mikki’s Paella

Wondering about the best things to eat in Sydney? We’ve got you covered.

This is an incredible foodie city and the locals favorite thing to do in Sydney is eat the brilliant street food.

From Asian delicacies in Chinatown to hidden gem street food spots in the vibey Surry Hills neighbourhood, you won’t go hungry in this city.

Trying street food is one of the bucket list things to do in Sydney CBD.

11. Peruse Australian Art at The Art Gallery of New South Wales (Best Things to do in Sydney on a Rainy Day)

Free things to do in Sydney – the Art Gallery of NSW

Art enthusiasts will appreciate the Art Gallery of NSW, which houses an impressive collection of Australian and international artworks.

Explore the galleries and exhibitions, attend talks or workshops, and immerse yourself in the world of art.

From classic to contemporary works which celebrate indigenous culture, you won’t be disappointed by this gallery.

With free entry, it’s definitely one of the best things to do in Sydney when it’s raining.

12. Check out Sydney’s Rooftop Bars

Visiting a rooftop bar is a must-do activity for breathtaking views of the city skyline.

Sip on cocktails, enjoy delicious food, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere while taking in the stunning panoramic vistas.

The best rooftop bars for epic views are The Glenmore Hotel, Rooftop on Botswana Butchery and Old Mate’s Place.

13. Get Lost in Nature at the Botanic Gardens (Things to do in Sydney For Free)

Best things to do in Sydney Australia – The Botanic Gardens

The city’s Botanic Gardens is a verdant oasis nestled near the bustling city center.

Spanning over 74 acres, it showcases an impressive collection of plants, including native and exotic species.

Explore serene gardens, enjoy scenic walks, admire stunning floral displays, and unwind amidst nature’s beauty while enjoying breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour.

A trip to the Botanic Gardens is definitely one of the best things to do in Sydney for NYE, offering the perfect spot to see the famous fireworks that mark the beginning of January.

The Botanic Gardens is also one of the top things to do in Sydney for families… take a picnic and let the kids run about in the lush greenery to blow off some energy.

14. Take the Train to Hip Newtown

Top things to do in Newtown – peruse the quirky stores and international eateries of King St

Newtown is a vibrant and eclectic neighborhood known for its bohemian atmosphere and diverse culture.

Explore the bustling King Street, filled with quirky shops, vintage boutiques, and unique eateries.

Enjoy live music performances, visit local art galleries, and immerse yourself in the creative energy of this thriving community.

The suburb has a long history of multiculturalism and is home to a rich tapestry of cultures, ethnicities, and communities.

One of the best things to do in Newtown, Sydney is this Street Art and Multicultural Food Tour, which explores the impressive street art and murals of the town and takes you to sample Japanese, Pakistani, Egyptian and Turkish street food.

The train line that goes from the city centre to Newtown is the T2 Inner West & Leppington Line. This train line connects various stations in the centre, such as Central Station and Town Hall Station, with suburbs in the inner west, including Newtown.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my guide to the ten best things to do in Sydney Australia. Looking for things to do in Melbourne? Don’t miss these Unmissable Photo Opportunities in Melbourne and the Best Street Food in Melbourne.