attractions in sydney

Unique Things To Do In Sydney

There's no doubt that Sydney is a world-class city with plenty to see and do. But sometimes, it can be hard to know what to choose from the huge range of activities on offer. So to help you out, we've put together a list of some of the most unique things that you can do in Sydney. So whether you're looking for something adventurous or simply want to try something new, we've got you covered! So without further ado, let's take a look at some of the best unique experiences that Sydney has to offer. 

There's no doubt that Sydney is one of the most beautiful and interesting cities in the world. With its iconic landmarks, stunning beaches, and diverse culture, there's always something new to discover in Sydney. So if you're looking for unique things to do in Sydney, you're in luck - we've compiled a list of some of the best! From exploring aboriginal art to sailing on the harbour, these activities are sure to leave you with lasting memories of your time in Sydney

Unique Things To Do In Sydney

Sydney is jam-packed with things to do and things to see. It’s a beautiful city to live and play in, and it’s not just beaches and cafes, there’s a whole lot of unique and exciting new things to try like horse riding, escape rooms, art galleries, surfing and the food of course. So we’re sure you’ll have something to add to your bucket list. So why not check out all 66 fun things to do in Sydney.

Picnic At Wendy Whitely's Secret Garden

Five-star views of Sydney harbour and fairy garden vibes, for absolutely nothing. Secluded and private, in spite of its popularity. Peace, quiet and zen. A spot so special, locals are loathe to share it around. Located in North Sydney - just a few stops on the train from Sydney Central YHA - Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden is a no-brainer for a unique and special romantic or social date. 

Bond over picking out items in the supermarket to prepare for your picnic, make the scenic walk down the steps together and find a table or a lovely patch of grass to settle into for the afternoon. It provides a truly romantic backdrop for a date, especially as the sun is setting. It is the perfect hideaway for friends for stimulating conversations and an all-around relaxing catch-up. You can even go by yourself for the ultimate relaxing experience, take a book or take nothing and feel your worries float away. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with this spot.

Spice Things Up At Spice Alley

Just a short walk from Sydney Central YHA, there’s Spice Alley – dozens of hawker-style Asian eateries under a canopy of glowing lanterns. Highlights include Japanese dining hall KYO-TO and Vietnamese delicacies from Viet. So you and your companions can soak up the atmosphere, breathe in the smells and experience a touch of Asia right in the heart of Sydney, settle into a couple of the 350 seats available. Converse and connect as you munch on some of the best Asian food in the country.

What Quarantine Used To Be Like At (The Haunted) Q-Station

This is a must-do if you’re an adventurer and water-baby at heart! Hire a kayak from Manly Kayak Centre (or bring your own!) and push off from a little beach right near Manly Wharf. If you’re not confident on your nautical navigation skills, Manly Kayak Centre also hosts a tour, so you can relax and enjoy knowing you’re in safe hands. 

The difficulty of this kayak depends on a number of a factors, but it’s always best done with a buddy to ease the workout and for maximum fun! Hug the coastline as much as you can. Steer into secluded and peaceful Store Beach to rest and refuel when you need a break. When you’re ready to head off again, you’ll scoot around to the famous (and allegedly haunted) Q-station – where you can snorkel and frolic around Quarantine Beach or take a ghost tour if you’re game! 

Find Your Next Fave At The Glebe Markets

Like a local, suburban market, Glebe Markets are diverse, colourful, and full of life. Meander through stalls of fashion, books, jewellery, artwork, furniture, bric-a-brac and pretty much everything cool you can possibly imagine. But, of course, the most popular stalls are the rows upon rows of colourful vintage clothes. 

Both new and handmade, and pre-loved, you very well may find your next perfect pair of jeans or statement tee here! Recycling is a strong theme of these famous markets – turning something old into something new and fabulous. When you get peckish, take your pick from the countless stalls, ranging from the best gozleme in Sydney to Hungarian donuts. So grab your nosh, find a lovely grass stretch, enjoy live music, and soak up the atmosphere as you eat. Rain, hail or shine – you can always rely on Glebe Markets to fill your Saturdays with fun, food and fresh discoveries. 

famous attractions sydney

Missing Good Old - Fish And Chips 

As a big island, it’s no surprise that Australia’s seafood is absolutely glorious, and there’s only one place the Sydney locals go to get it: the famous Sydney Fish Market. The largest fish market in the Southern Hemisphere and the second-largest seafood market in the world outside of Japan, the Sydney Fish Market offers you the opportunity to sample the freshest of the fresh.

 Browse the countless seafood retailers and pick up some seafood to cook up at Sydney Central YHA later, or let others do the work for you and enjoy an endless array of fantastic dining experiences. There's something for every seafood lover, from casual eating at the sushi bar to an epic seafood platter overlooking the water. If you’re into upskilling, book a class at Sydney Seafood School – where some of Australia’s leading chefs teach you how to cook anything from canapes to BBQs perfectly!

Sip Cocktails In An Underground Bar

But first, you have to find it! Enter a fire door next to a sandwich shop on Sydney’s Pitt Street and follow a long corridor you’ll be sure you’re lost. But soon, you will see a polished brass pineapple door knocker – enter, and you’re in! Boasting a diverse and delectable cocktail and nibbles menu with a distinct Japanese feel, you’ll fall head-over-heels in love with the cozy atmosphere at Door Knock Bar, described as “feeling like you’re in a mate’s place.” Specialties include the Hey Macadamia cocktail served in a tiki cup and the substantial mac and cheese croquettes. If you’re after something fancier, there’s also freshly shucked oysters, perfect for sharing with someone. It also makes it a perfect spot to take a first date with dim mood lighting.

White Rabbit Gallery

The White Rabbit Gallery is a vast space housed in a former Rolls-Royce showroom near Sydney’s Central Station that highlights contemporary Chinese works.

Opened in 2009 and dedicated to works made in the 21st century, the White Rabbit Collection includes 2000 works by almost 700 artists. Privately owned, the works are inspired by the creative energy and technical quality of art in China and Taiwan, and the exhibition space is born from a desire to share this with Sydneysiders.

Covering four floors, the Gallery has two new exhibitions a year, each involving a full rehang – meaning the Gallery is closed during installations, usually in February and August. However, the entire space is free to visit, and there are free guided tours at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm should you want to gain a deeper understanding of the art.

The Gallery’s tranquil street-level Tea House is also a perfect place to relax before or after with the most delicately flavoured Chinese and Taiwanese teas, heavenly handmade dumplings, or just a good coffee.

Rose Seidler House

In 1950 when the Rose Seidler House was completed, it was ‘the most talked about house in Sydney.’ Today, this architectural treasure in the North Sydney suburb of Wahroonga is one of the cites most underrated attractions.

The house upturned conventional suburban home design was composed by the young Harry Seidler for his parents. Harry Seidler was an Austrian-born Australian architect who was the first architect to fully express the principles of the Bauhaus and modernism’s methodology in Australia. In fact, it was the idea of designing a house for his mother in Sydney that tempted him from Vienna to Australia, and the success of the Rose Seidler House launched his prolific career.

The revolutionary design unified architecture, art, and technology both inside and out and presented a daring vision for a new way of living. Today his creation stands out as one of the most distinct examples of mid-20th-century modern domestic architecture in Australia. Its furniture and fittings on their own also form an impressive post World War II design collections. Indigenous bushland still covers most of the site. There are panoramic views of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, which you should explore before or after.

The Rose Seidler House is open to the public only on Sundays only, and pre-purchasing tickets online are essential.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

If you and your kids are up for a wholesome and educational family activity, then you should check out and meet the most dapper penguins at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium.

Get up close and personal with an amazing King and Gentoo penguins colony by joining the SEA LIFE Penguin Expedition. Take your kids, hop aboard a raft and journey through an immersive Macquarie-themed Island exhibit.

But that’s not all. You can also see a wide variety of fascinating animals, like the majestic dugongs, incredible sharks and sawfish, wonderful seahorses, stingrays, and thousands of tropical fish, among others.

Sydney Harbor Thrill Ride

 No list of thrilling things to do in Sydney could ever be complete until you enjoy a jet boat ride of breakneck speed across the Sydney Harbor with spins, splashes, fishtails, and dashes!

See Sydney Harbor’s famous and iconic sights, including the Opera House, the Harbor Bridge and more – plus you’ll even get a commentary from your Sydney-born guides who will tell you about the famous skyline sights so you can come back heart-racing and filled with fun facts. So try an unbelievable combination of sightseeing and fun that makes it an unforgettable ride and experience – and if you are in town with your partner, it is also a romantic addition to your Sydney holiday plans.

Art Gallery of New South Wales

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is the most significant public Gallery in Sydney and one of Australia’s most comprehensive. Opened in 1871, the Gallery proudly presents fine international and Australian art in one of the most impressive art museums in the world.

Modern and contemporary works are presented in new vast, light-filled galleries – many of which offer striking views of Sydney and the harbour. At the same time, the heritage Grand Courts building is home to a world-class collection of colonial and 19th-century Australian works. There are also dedicated galleries extolling the arts of Asia, the European old masters, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.

A truly magical place to be with a wonderful mix of timeless art, including paintings, sculptures, and more. There is always something interesting to see, and you can easily spend a few hours here. 

Admission to the permanent galleries of the Art Gallery of New South Wales is free for everyone, as is access to most exhibitions and events.

sydney attractions

Sydney Tower Eye

Want to overcome your fear of heights? If so, what better way to do it than to visit the Skywalk at the Sydney Tower Eye, an extremely high outdoor structure where you can casually stroll around outside of the tower and get a 360-degree bird’s eye view of the gorgeous city. But if that’s too much for you, just head over to the observation deck and appreciate the breathtaking view of the city on a sunny day.

You can also take advantage of a bundled package tour of the Sydney Tower Eye Observation Deck and Skywalk and a 24-hour hop-on, hop-off Sydney Harbour Cruise with Captain Cook Cruises.

Barangaroo Reserve

Barangaroo Reserve is the newest Harbor foreshore park in Sydney – and while the secret is not yet out, it is sure to be a popular tourist attraction in the future.

A magnificent example of urban renewal, the creation of Barangaroo Reserve saw the transformation of one of Sydney’s earliest industrial sites into an expansive six-hectare headland pace for Sydneysiders and tourists to savour.

It’s hard to believe this space was a desolate concrete container terminal only a few years ago but has now been reborn as a welcoming park filled with over 75,000 native trees and shrubs. There are extended walking and cycling trails, pleasant coves, picnic spots aplenty, and step-downs to access the water. 

You’ll see the harbour bridge right in front of you and be mesmerised by the water flowing smoothly past. And all those spectacular sandstone steps… It will come as no surprise that no project in history has ever used more Sydney sandstone than Barangaroo Reserve.

Christened after Barangaroo, a Cammeraygal woman who was a commanding voice in the early days of the Sydney colony, Barangaroo Reserve is rich in Aboriginal and cultural history. You can explore the area's significance for Australians with signboards dotted around the park.

Extraordinary, beautiful, and calm – here you can experience being in “nature” while in the heart of a 21st Century modern city. Best visited on an extended walk from Darling Harbour through the Rocks to Circular Quay.

Scavenger Hunt – Fantastic Race Sydney

Another one for the thrill-seekers, the Fantastic Race Sydney is an experience of a life time. Run through Sydney, find clues, solve puzzles, and experience the city like never before. For the adrenaline junkies, this is a must-do in Sydney.

Outdoor Cinema – St. George Open Air Cinema

outdoor cinema sydney

This harbourside venue celebrates film, food and summer in the city. So if you’re ever wondering what to do in Sydney during the warmer months, the St George Open Air Cinema is a great option. Sitting outside with a few drinks and a giant screen isn’t a bad way to spend an evening.

Golf With A View At Randwick Golfcourse

Established in 1960, the Randwick Golf Club is the perfect spot for a bit of golf in Sydney. However, this gold course is special because of its stunning Long Bay and Pacific Ocean views. Not only that, there’s live music every Sunday, a gourmet restaurant, clubhouse and more.

Grab Some Brekky At Carriageworks Farmers Markets

You know what they say, brekky is the most important meal of the day, so start yours at the Carriageworks Farmers Market. The perfect start to your list of things to do in Sydney that you can tick off, here at the farmer’s market, you’ll find crusty artisan bread, boutique cheeses and more. Try the bacon and egg rolls from Bird Cow.

Hot Air Balloon over Camden Valley

You couldn’t pick a prettier place to float over than Camden Valley. The Balloon Aloft hot air balloon flights are usually an hour in duration, finishing with a champagne breakfast. It’s a great idea if you’re looking for things to do in Sydney this weekend.

Take A Swim At The Bondi Icebergs Pool

Possibly the most Instagram-able pool in Australia, the Bondi Iceberg Pools are a great option when wondering what to do in Sydney. This huge pool offers all the luxury of a modern pool while still feeling like you’re one with the ocean as it sit right above the water’s surface.

Bowl The Night Away At Strike Bowling

Located at the King Street Wharf, Strike Bowling at King Street Wharf offers a brand new waterside bar featuring gourmet food and delicious cocktails. But, of course, no evening at Strike is complete without some bowling, try your bowling skills out at one of the 10 bowling alleys.

Mary’s Burgers, Newtown

You might wonder why this epic burger place makes the list of unusual Sydney icons. Well, that’s because Mary’s is a bar and burger restaurant built on a former STD clinic. With a red light hanging out front, it’s easily spotted. Thankfully the burgers and drinks have a clean bill of health nowadays. In fact, this kitsch establishment is known to have the best Bloody Marys in the city. Tip: check the street art scene while you’re here.

Palm Beach

The glamorous and seaside enclave of Palm Beach on Sydney’s northern beaches is domestically well known for its sky-high property prices and celebrity inhabitants. So, why does it make it to our unusual list? Well, it’s also where Australia’s famous soap ‘Home & Away’ is filmed. As a result, many scenes are regularly shot here, and tourists like to pop by and watch their favourite actors deliver lines.

Luna Park

While not totally outlandish, this theme park is definitely a trip to explore. Luna Park rocks! It exudes a certain 1930s charm by way of the park layout, rides and decorative signs. Jump on the Wild Mouse, visit Coney Island or attack the many slides. A hot dog and some fairy floss are essential. To do: take a photo inside the giant mouth on entry.

Virtual Room – Virtual Reality Sydney

This is a great option for people who also love escape rooms. At Virtual Reality, Sydney, the concept of escape rooms and virtual reality are blended with a full 3d cinematic experience to deliver a mind-blowing adventure that’s truly unique and immersive.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sydney

Sydney is a vibrant city known for its yacht-studded harbour, superb beaches and the iconic Opera House with its towering sail structure.

Sydney is most famous for: Sydney Harbour Bridge. Sydney Opera House. Amazing zoos (Taronga & Sydney Zoo) -Iconic Beaches (Bondi, Coogee, Manly to name a few)

Phillip originally named the colony 'New Albion', but then the colony acquired the name 'Sydney', after the British Home Secretary, Thomas Townshend, Lord Sydney. Sydney has many influences upon its style.

An international survey has ranked Sydney as the tenth most desirable city in the world.

The Emerald City. Sydney — a coastal metropolis whose five million residents make it the largest city in Australia — is famous for many things. The glittering harbour, complemented by landmarks like the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge
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