50 things to do in Sydney now that lockdown is over

Sydney rejoice, we’ve reached the 70 per cent double vaccination mark. That means from 11 October there’s A LOT more things you can do in Sydney that you haven’t been able to for the past 3.5 months.

From the Northern Beaches to Western Sydney, the Inner City and Eastern Suburbs we’ve covered it all so you can get back to the city you love.

Of course, make sure you’re doing so in line with the NSW Government rules.

Inner City

1. Enjoy a drink and a world-class view at Opera Bar

© @operabarsydney

Of all the bars in Sydney, none can beat the views at Opera Bar. As the name would suggest you will get an uninterrupted view of the Sydney Opera House.

Pair with that live music, great company, a menu overseen by celebrity chef Matt Moran and all-day drinks. A hot seafood platter with a crisp cold pale ale and a side of Sydney – yes, please.

Details: Open Monday to Thursdays from 11.30am to 11pm, Fridays from 11.30am to 12.30am, Saturdays 11am to 12.30am and Sundays 11am to 10pm. Book here.

2. Get snubbed by the rudest waiters in Sydney at Karen’s Diner

Australia’s strangest dining concept delivers great food with a big side of attitude. Expect rude waiters to greet and serve you, who in return expect the full ‘Karen’ treatment from you.

Karen’s Diner Sydney offers an American comfort food menu. We’re talking hand-crafted burgers, fries, sticky wings – basically anything cholesterol-heavy. They do also offer vegetarian-friendly options.

Details: Karen’s Diner plans to open on Thursday 21 October at World Square, Level 1/644 George St, Sydney NSW 2000.

Open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 12pm to 10pm; and Fridays and Saturdays from 12pm to 11pm.

3. Encounter some wild locals at Taronga Zoo

Meet some new friends © @tarongazoo

With over 4,000 animals and 350 species, you are guaranteed a special animal sighting at Taronga Zoo.

The zoo features harbourside views and hosts shows and keeper talks, pat-a-pet experiences, treetop rope experiences and sleepovers.

Details: Reopening on 18 October, Taronga Zoo will be open seven days a week from 9:30am to 5pm. You can buy general admission tickets or family packages here.

4. Delve into history at the Powerhouse Museum

With more than 500,000 items in its collection, The Powerhouse Museum is definitely worth a visit.

The collections on display span science, technology, design and decorative arts, engineering, architecture, health and medicine, fashion and contemporary culture.

Details: Open every day from 10am to 5pm and Thursdays from 6pm to 9pm. The museum is just a stone’s throw away from Central Station. Its exact address is 500 Harris St, Ultimo. Entry is free.

5. Leave the planet and head to Neighbourhood Earth

© Neighbourhood Earth

The multi sensory, immersive space experience combines cutting edge technology with the latest in science to tell the story of space exploration.

Expect the coolest gadgets, spacesuits, holographics, spacecraft, huge cinematic productions and interactive experiences.

Details: Australians will get the chance to explore Neighbourhood Earth at the ICC Sydney, Darling Harbour. Tickets will range from $25 to $45 per person for an hourly timed session.

6. Unleash your inner artist at Champainting by Cork & Canvas

“Fun art, not fine art” is the motto and Champainting let you create a masterpiece with the help of some liquid creativity. Perfect for a date, girls night out or Christmas party.

Follow a step by step art class (or go completely rogue) while you enjoy a glass of wine (or your drink of choice) and nibbles. All art supplies are part of the cost.

Details: Champainting has studios in Darlinghurst and Crows Nest. Sessions run for two hours and are generally $60. Book here.

7. Enter another dimension with Virtual Reality Sydney

© Canva

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.

In groups of two, three or four players, each player has their own dedicated room. You will talk to each other, walk around, bend, throw objects and collaborate together to solve the puzzles and challenges. Allow about one hour for a virtual reality session.

Details: You will find Virtual Reality Sydney on Level 5, 393 George Street, Sydney. They trade 7 days a week from 10am to 10pm.

8. Take the Manly Ferry from Circular Quay

If you’re looking for things to do while in Sydney, the Manly Ferry is a quintessential Sydney experience. Departing every half hour from Circular Quay, the ferry will take you over by the Sydney Harbour Bridge and then to beautiful Manly Cove.

Go in the late afternoon for some spectacular sunset views.

Details: Wharf 3, Circular Quay, use your Opal card to get on board.

9. Get tipsy at The Drunk Dumpling

For Asian fusion food and a cocktail menu with a difference head to The Drunk Dumpling in Newtown.

Its dumpling menu is inspired by the zodiacs, the Scorpio (or BBQ pork buns) are a personal favourite. While the cocktail menu is inspired by the Chinese zodiacs, does anyone fancy an Ox? You will when it’s mostly vodka and cranberry juice.

Details: Open Sunday to Thursday from 4pm to 9pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 4pm to 9:30pm at Level 1/196 King St, Newtown.

10. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Grant Denyer climbs Sydney Harbour Bridge © @grantdenyer

How could we not include this? It’s one of the most touristy things you can do in Sydney. And there’s no better time to be a tourist in your own Sydney than post-lockdown.

Bridge Climb Sydney is reopening on 22 October and encouraging Sydneysiders to limber up their muscles and get #backontop. They have five new experiences to welcome you back including an Indigenous storyteller climb.

Details: For a bucket-list worthy experience go to 3 Cumberland St, The Rocks. Prices start from $198.

11. Down a $10 Sake Bomb at Goros

Tucked in the side streets of Surry Hills is Goros, a Japanese restaurant/late night party place that gives off the best weird and wacky vibes. Think Nintendo and arcade games, bingo and drag queens.

Alongside a Japanese menu of dumplings, chicken karaage and miso pork belly, Goros also offers a unique drinks selection. Try the bubble tea cocktails or get the party started with $10 Sake Bombs. They also have three state of the art FREE karaoke rooms for you to sing your heart out (when permitted by NSW Government).

Details: Head to 84 – 86 Mary Street, Surry Hills from Thursday to Sunday from 5pm till late. Make a booking here.

12. Drink at Sydney’s highest bar, Bar 83

© @bar83sydneytower

Bar 83 soars high above the city CBD at 83 floors above street level in the iconic Sydney Tower. Floor-to-ceiling windows afford sky-high revellers a 260-degree view of Sydney’s glittering cityscape.

Alongside the views enjoy a classic Bar 83 cocktail, perhaps a Sunset Martini, and some share plates from their bar menu.

Details: Open Tuesday to Thursday from 3pm to 10pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 12pm to 12am and Sundays from 12pm to 10pm. Bar 83 is between Pitt & Castlereagh Streets, entry via Level 4 Westfield Sydney, 108 Market Street.

13. Watch an indie flick at Gold Age Cinema

The boutique, 60-seat cinema in Surry Hills screens all the latest indie releases and cult films. Constructed in 1940, Gold Age Cinema still retains its old-world feel with moss-green velvet walls and a levelled stage at its front.

Head to the candy bar for the ultimate choc top or level up at the Bar & Kitchen for more sophisticated menu items including bruschetta or a charcuterie board.

Details: Reopening from 13 October, Wednesday to Fridays from 5pm till late, Saturdays from 2pm till late and Sundays from 12:30pm till late. Check the website for screening times. Adult tickets are $22.50, concession tickets are $18.

14. Decipher the ultimate escape room

You and a team of two to eight people will be “locked” in a room with unknown objects. You’ll have 60 minutes to investigate, find clues and solve the mystery to set yourselves free.

The Cipher Room is the brainchild of two escape game and puzzle fanatics – Newtown locals Marise and David. They make most of the games from the concept to the mechanics, entirely themselves.

Details: Reopening from 13 October, check the website for the full list of session times. Prices start from $49 per person. Find at 640 King St, Erskineville and 31-35 May St, St Peters.

15. Sample local beers at Young Henrys

You’ve probably spotted Young Henrys on tap at the pub. Sit and sample the golden juice straight from the brewery.

Try one of the several offerings of Young Henrys’ beers while watching the brewing process take place right in the bar. Brewery tours can also be taken with a reservation.

Details: Open seven days a week from midday to 7pm on a first-come-first-served basis. So head to 76 Wilford Street, Newtown to get the first seat.

16. Expand your mind at the Museum of Contemporary Art

For cutting-edge local and international art, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) is the place to be.

The MCA hosts exhibitions by huge international artists, including heavyweights like Anish Kapoor, Yoko Ono and Grayson Perry. 

Although it’s not all about the art at the MCA. Check out the rooftop café and sculpture terrace with epic views of Circular Quay, including the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. 

Details: Reopening on 12 October from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm at 140 George Street, The Rocks. Entry to the museum is free.

Northern Sydney

17. Release some rage at Smash Splash

Blow off some steam © @smashsplashhq

Blow off some steam as you smash up random objects with your weapon of choice (a baseball bat, golf club or sledgehammer). Do it all to a soundtrack of your favourite tunes.

At Smash Splash you can ease the tension in the most creative way possible by hurling colourful paints against the wall. It’s easy to see why this is one of our favourite things to do in Sydney.

Details: Head to Unit 2/33-37 College St, Gladesville for your ‘therapy session’. Sessions run anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour and 45 minutes. You can fly solo or bring up to eight friends.

18. Ride the Ferris Wheel at Luna Park

© Canva

The smiling gates of Luna Park await you. Australia’s favourite amusement park is packed with rollercoasters, thrill rides and sideshow games. Don’t miss out on riding the multicoloured Ferris Wheel, Luna Park’s second most recognisable feature next to its toothy entrance.

Details: Luna Park plans to reopen on 23 October on Fridays and Saturdays (11am to 10pm) and Sundays (10am to 9pm). Come December they will expand their opening times to weekdays.

Day passes are $34 for under 13s and $44 for over 14s. You can get there via trains, buses or ferries that terminate at Milsons Point Station. You can also drive with paid parking at Paul Street, just off Alfred St South, Milsons Point.

19. Shop for locally-crafted knick knacks at Kirribilli Markets

The markets feature over 220 stalls selling new and recycled fashion and accessories, emerging local fashion designers, home and giftwares, arts and craft, jewellery, plants, gourmet foods and a whole lot more.

Details: The first market back opens on Saturday 23 October from 8:30am till 3pm. Check here for following dates.

You’ll find the Kirribilli Markets on Alfred Street South, Milsons Point (next to the Harbour Bridge). The Markets run from the Burton Street Tunnel into the bowling Green next to the Bradfield Park Community & well-being Centre.

20. Stroll through Wendy’s Secret Garden

The bridge view from Wendy’s Secret Garden © Canva

It’s the worst-kept secret in Sydney and with full views of Sydney Harbour Bridge, it’s easy to see why.

The part private, part public garden is at the foot of artist Brett Whiteley’s home in Lavender Bay. When Whiteley died in 1992, his widow Wendy channelled her grief into creating a place of enchantment.

Spend your time searching through all the native flora for a collection of artefacts scattered across Wendy’s Garden, including a bronze statue of a female head by Australian sculptor Joel Elenberg.

Details: The garden hides amongst the Lavender Bay Parklands, with no signposts to show directions to the garden it’s best to track Wendy’s Garden via Google Maps. As a public space, there are no official opening hours.

21. Scout out the cultural scene at The Concourse Chatswood

The cultural home of the North Shore, The Concourse is one of Sydney’s leading entertainment venues. The Concourse has a dynamic range of live arts and entertainment including ballet, comedy, cabaret, orchestras and exhibitions.

The outdoor Urban Screen is programmed with digital art, open air cinema, live sporting events, news and national events and live broadcasts of sold out performances. Watch the Urban Screen from the outdoor precinct which has two open green spaces, restaurants and cafés.

Details: The Concourse Box office is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm and two hours prior to show times on weekends & public holidays. Over 400 paid parking spaces are available and The Concourse is a short walk from Chatswood station.

22. Live La Dolce Vita and hire a luxury Italian speed boat

© Any Boat

A day on La Dolce Vita is something to remember. La Dolce Vita was handcrafted in Italy and commonly known in Sydney as the “Italian wooden speed boat”. She is actually a Comitti and is one very slick boat that is polished for hours every month.

Create a romantic experience and snuggle under a blanket with a glass of champagne, or enjoy a day out with friends. La Dolce Vita seats a maximum of four guests.

Details: Priced at $495 an hour and departs from Lavender Bay Boat Shed 23A King George Street McMahons Point.

23. Eat pasta just like Nonna makes it at Italian Street Kitchen, Neutral Bay

Find little Italy at Italian Street Kitchen, tucked away on Grosvenor Street in Neutral Bay.

Italian Street Kitchen’s menu features Roman-style pizza, made with dough fermented for 48 hours for maximum flavour and house-made pasta, made fresh every day with real eggs and Italian flour.

Book for Aperitivo Hour and enjoy $10 cocktails, $6 beer and wines and light bites, available on weekdays from 5-7pm.

Western Sydney

24. Make a splash at Raging Waters Sydney

© @ragingwatersydney

With over 40 slides and attractions, Raging Waters Sydney is home to some of the tallest and fastest water rides in the world.

Get the adrenalin pumping on the 360Rush. Climb six stories to race side-by-side against your mates in a 360-degree looping water slide at 60 km/h. Or slow things down and chill by the best beach ever with white sandy shores minus the rips and sharks.

Details: Just 40 minutes from the centre of Sydney, Raging Waters Sydney is in Prospect off the M4. Access the park from the East via Prospect Highway Exit, or from the West via Reservoir Road Exit.

Single tickets and family packages are available for purchase, head here for all the prices.

25. Watch a flick at Skyline Drive In Blacktown

Spend a night under the stars (be it in a snazzy convertible or a grunty pick-up truck) and watch a blockbuster movie.

With a ‘Happy Days’ style retro diner, Skyline Drive In is a unique and nostalgic night of fun that’s way more exciting than just “going to the movies”.

Details: Drive to Cricketers Arms Rd, Blacktown just off the M4. Parking for sessions is allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis. Check out all the session times here.

26. Zoom around Sydney Premier Karting Park, Eastern Creek

One of the fastest things to do in Sydney © @sydneypremierkartpark

Adrenaline junkies, this should be at the top of your list of things to do in Sydney post lockdown.

Sydney Premier Karting Park (formerly Eastern Creek International Karting Raceway) is the only venue in Sydney to offer the super fast 13HP Sodi RT8 karts. They are the benchmark of rental karts, reaching up to 100km/hr.

A range of karts are available including ‘Cadet Karts’ for a kid’s first drive and ‘Double Karts’.

Details: Head to 50 Peter Brock Dr, Eastern Creek for a 10, 20 or 30-minute session. Prices vary depending on age, kart and session time.

Sydney Premier Karting Park is open on Thursdays from 9am to 5pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 9am to 10pm and Sundays 9am to 9pm.

27. Watch a show at Riverside Theatre Parramatta

With over 1,000 events a year, Riverside Theatre is Western Sydney’s premier performing arts centre.

The theatre is home to stand up comedy acts, small scale productions, exhibitions, Shakespeare, drama, ballet, contemporary dance and musicals.

Details: On the banks of the Parramatta River, Riverside Theatre is in the Church Street Restaurant precinct. You can easily get to the theatre by road, train and river.

28. Sip a handcrafted cocktail at Nick & Nora’s rooftop bar

@angus.lewry

You’ll feel like you’re at one of Gatsby’s soirees when you visit Nick & Nora’s on the 26th floor of V by Crown in Parramatta.

Inspired by fictional murder solving duo Nick and Nora Charles from the novel The Thin Man, this rooftop bar is every bit classy and quirky.

Indulge in a ‘Leading Lady’ a cocktail of Wyborowa vodka, blackcurrant, green pepper, lemon and bubbles. Or try the ‘Upper East Side’ with Beefeater gin, lime, dry sherry, elderflower and mint. Nick & Nora’s also serve up a light menu of oysters, caviar and charcuterie boards.

Details: Open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5pm to midnight, Fridays and Saturdays from 4pm to midnight and Sundays from 3pm to 10pm. Nick & Nora’s Parramatta take reservations for up to 16 guests. Book here.

29. Do it all at Sydney Olympic Park

Sydney Olympic Park is a one stop shop for recreational fun. Enjoy a swim at the Aquatic Centre or bike ride along 35km of safe cycling pathways. Stroll through 430 hectares of parklands or perhaps try your hand at a game of archery at the Archery Centre.

Hop on a Segway tour around the park or have your own picnic on the grassy banks of Lake Belvedere at Bicentennial Park. Have your own sausage sizzle using the free electric barbecues while kids can explore the nearby adventure playground.

Details: You can easily get to Sydney Olympic Park via the T7 line, change at Lidcombe station for services leaving every 10 minutes.

If you’re driving the park is signposted from the M4, Silverwater Road, Victoria Road and Homebush Bay Drive. Parking is available.

30. Hot Air Balloon over Camden Valley

Sea Sydney from above via hot air balloon
© The Balloon Aloft

See Sydney from a whole new perspective – above. There couldn’t be a prettier place to go hot air-ballooning than Camden Valley, which boasts picturesque scenery and endless lush greenery.

Balloon Aloft‘s hot air balloon flights are usually an hour in duration, finishing with an a la carte champagne breakfast at the Camden Valley Inn.

Details: Head to 15 Old Menangle Rd, Campbelltown for an unforgettable time. Flights generally run from Thursdays through to Mondays but double-check as the flight schedule varies over the year. Prices start from $269.

Eastern Suburbs

31. Go for a swim at Bondi Icebergs Pool

© Canva

Sydney’s most Instagramable pool, Bondi Icebergs offers all the luxuries of swimming in a modern pool while still sitting right on top of the ocean.

There’s also a sauna for you to enjoy. If after all that swim and steam you’ve worked up an appetite, head next door to Bondi Icebergs for casual bistro dining.

Details: Open Monday to Friday from 6am to 6:30pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 6:30am to 6:30pm. Admission for adults is $9, children and seniors will be admitted for $6.

32. Eat Sydney’s best chicken schnitzel at The Unicorn Hotel, Paddington

If you’re on the hunt for a good pub feed, look no further than The Unicorn Hotel.

With strong Australiana vibes, you’ll find a ‘schnitty’ on the menu (the best in all of Sydney) a classic meat pie and we can’t go past the Jatz and french onion dip as an entree. Plus pooches are welcome in the courtyard area.

Details: Head to 106 Oxford Street Paddington to enjoy good food, conversation and music. Make a booking here.

33. Soar over Sydney in a seaplane

Sydney Seaplanes
© @sydney_seaplanes

Experience the magic of Sydney’s coast from thrilling heights on this scenic seaplane flight.

Buckle up and take off from Rose Bay with Sydney Seaplanes. For 15 or 30 minutes (you choose), you’ll be sweeping over the postcard-perfect sights of Sydney Harbour, all the way up the coast over Manly and to Palm Beach, before returning over Hawkesbury and Pittwater.

At an added cost you can come back and enjoy a champagne brunch or seafood lunch at Empire Lounge.

Details: Take off from the Sydney Seaplane terminal at Lyne Park, Rose Bay. Prices start at $230.

34. Take a dip in Wylie’s Baths

© Canva

Just a few hundred metres south of Coogee Beach is Wylie’s Baths. The Baths have sweeping 180-degree views of the Pacific Ocean and overlook Wedding Cake Island.

After a refreshing swim in the baths, lay on a comfortable massage bed and relax as you listen to the soothing sounds of the ocean.

Individual swimming and coaching lessons by qualified instructors are also available by appointment.

Details: Open daily from 7am to 7pm. Single adult entry is $5.50, students, seniors and children are $2.60. Check the website for daily condition reports before heading to Neptune Street Coogee.

35. Treat yourself to a spa day at Sol Spa

Housed within The Botanica Vaucluse, Sol Spa is a world-class facility celebrating natural treatments and the healing power of pure Australian and botanical ingredients.

The spa offers signature massages, facials, acupressure and skin treatments. For something a little different, try the Signature Rose Quartz Facial which will rebalance your complexion and your inner Chakra.

Details: Treatments start at $150 for 1 hour, bookings open from 19 October at Sol Spa. Entry is required through the main entrance of Mark Moran Vaucluse on Old South Head Rd.

36. Pick up a pastry from Madam & Yves, Clovelly

Check out the Eclairzillas @madameandyves

Owner and baker boss Yves Scherrer was coach of the 2019 Australian Team in the World Pastry Cup (yes, there really is one), so there’s no doubt you’ll be served world-class pastries.

You can’t go to Madam & Yves and not get one of their famous Eclairzillas (a giant eclair). But if they don’t tickle your fancy, you can also choose from a drool-worthy display of lemon tarts, gluten-free chocolate cakes and croissants (including a raspberry-almond version).

Details: Open every day from 7am to 4pm at 343-345 Clovelly Road.

37. Master the art of pottery at Bondi Clay

It’s never too late to start a new hobby, so why not tap into your creative side with a pottery class? Learn how to work the wheel, glaze a mug or become a full-blown pottery expert.

Bondi Clay offers one-off classes and four to six-week pottery workshops. As an eco-friendly studio, they don’t use single-use plastic bags and only use renewable energy to power equipment and lights. 

Details: Reopening in-studio classes from 18 October, Bondi Clay is open every day from 11am to 4pm at 2 Flood Street, Bondi.

38. Golf with a view at Randwick Golfcourse

© Randwick Golf Course

This golf course is special because of its spectacular Long Bay and Pacific Ocean views. With views like that, good luck keeping your eye on the ball.

Randwick Golf Course is an 18 hole links style course overlooking Long Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The course is par 59 for men and measuring 3,545 metres from the back tees. The course is par 62 for ladies.

Not only does Randwick Golfcourse have great views and great golf, it also offers live music every Sunday, a gourmet restaurant, clubhouse and more.

Details: The Pro Shop is open from 6:30am to 5:30pm, call on 83473733 to enquire about social playtimes and prices.

Northern Beaches

39. Be the captain of your own boat at Bayview

Level up your day out by hiring a powerboat, yacht or catamaran through Skipper a Clipper. Explore the breathtaking beauty of Pittwater’s charming bays and coves.

Swim in the clearest waters, sunbathe on the snow-white deck, relax on the soothing bay waves or experience the peace of the starry night sky at sea.

Details: Prices start at $350 a day for up to 5 people, which by the time you split it between mates is a pretty good deal. Leave from Gibson Marina, 1710 Pittwater Road, Bayview.

40. Head to Barrenjoey Lighthouse

© Canva

The heritage-listed lighthouse is Sydney’s northernmost point, so you’ll get fantastic views over the Hawkesbury River and Broken Bay.

At 113-metres above sea level, it’s a great spot for whale watching during the May to November peak season.

The hike up the steep trail may be strenuous for some, but the views make it well worth it. Pack a water bottle and some snacks to keep you energised.

Details: There is no fee to visit Barrenjoey Lighthouse. You can tag onto a guided walk of the lighthouse every Sunday (every 30 minutes from 11am-3pm; $2-$5). Paid parking is available at Governor Phillip Park.

41. Go barefoot bowling at Mona Vale Bowling Club

Kick your shoes off for a game of barefoot bowls. You don’t have to be a pro to have a go, just round up a couple of friends for a drink and yarn on the greens.

Details: Barefoot bowls is on every day except for Tuesdays at 1598 Pittwater Road, Mona Vale. Bookings are required.

42. Kayak around Manly Beach

© @manlykayakcentre

A Manly local will teach you the basics of kayaking before heading out to some of the most spectacular lookout points in Sydney. Expect soft caramel sand, isolated beaches and insider knowledge of some of the best secret spots.

If you’ve already tried your hand at kayaking, try something new. Manly Kayak Centre also offer Stand Up Paddleboard hire.

Details: Hire starts from $25, lessons start from $55. All lessons take place at Manly Wharf, East Esplanade.

43. Live out your Home & Away fantasies at Palm Beach

You might recognise it as Summer Bay from Home & Away, but Palm Beach is much more than a TV show setting.

It’s won nature’s lottery with a narrow peninsular surrounded by water on three sides: Pittwater to the west, the Pacific Ocean to the east, and Broken Bay to the north at the mouth of the Hawkesbury River, which meanders inland to historic Windsor.

Die-hard Home & Away fans can enjoy the ultimate Palm Beach experience by tagging along a Flamin’ Galah Tour of the filming locations and possibly meet a star.

44. Take a hike through Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park

things to do in Sydney - take a hike through Ku-Ring-Gai National Park
© Canva

You’re bound to find some solitude amidst this massive stretch of almost 100 square kilometres. It’s an ideal spot for bushwalking, cycling and fishing.

For a taster of some of the park’s best bits, start with a mid-morning visit to Great Mackerel Beach. Then try the Red Hands Cave Walk to see some of the area’s oldest Aboriginal cave art. Round off the day with a stop at West Head Lookout for magical water views.

Details: The park has three entry points from Bobbin Head Road, Ku-Ring-Gai Chase Road and McCarrs Creek Road. It also has plenty of parking and amenities like toilets, barbecue areas, boat ramps and drinking fountains.

45. Pick up a book and a coffee at Bookoccino

Combining great coffee with even better reads is Bookoccino, a local Avalon book shop.

Enjoy the timelessness of your favourite literature alongside a cuppa or a small selection of wines. A community of world-class musicians perform over the weekends. Bookoccino also regularly host events with some of the finest writers from Australia and abroad.

Details: Open Monday to Saturday from 8am to 5pm at 66 Old Barrenjoey Rd Avalon Beach.

South Sydney and Sutherland Shire

46. Learn how to scuba dive

Become a globally recognised scuba diver in just two days. Abyss Scuba Diving run small classes lead by some of Australia’s most experienced and highly qualified PADI Scuba Diving Instructors.

The team have certified over 20,000 divers – which means this is something anyone with basic swimming skills can do.

Details: Open seven days a week from 9am to 5:30pm at 278 Rocky Point Road, Ramsgate.

47. Cruise from Cronulla on a Boat & Basket experience

A dreamy picnic set-up awaits. We’re talking beach umbrellas, chairs and tables, catered hampers and drinks in an esky. A private boat will drop you off at a beach where your picnic will be set up.

Boat & Basket also offer a half-day boat charter where guests can enjoy a private cruise on the Port Hacking River before being dropped to their picnic set up at Audley in the Royal National Park for lunch.

Details: Boats & Baskets operate seven days a week from 9am to 5pm and can take bookings of up to eight people. Check the website for a full list of packages and prices.

48. Become a student of Cronulla Surfing Academy

things to do in sydney - surfing lessons at Cronulla Surfing Academy
@cronullasurfingacademy

Cronulla locals live and breathe surfing. You can get in on some of the action by learning the basics from the best surf coaches.

They run adults groups, ladies, intermediate, private and kids lessons, all tailored to suit the individual’s ability.

Details: Lessons run from one hour to 90 minutes. Cronulla Surfing Academy operates daily from 6am to 6pm from Wanda Beach, 2 Marine Esplanade, Cronulla.

It’s just a 20 minute Cronulla station if you’re getting public transport or free untimed parking is available at Wanda Beach. We do recommend allowing extra time to look for a parking spot in the summertime.

49. Walk the Walls Street Art Trail, Caringbah

Cruise the streets of Caringbah to marvel at the large-scale murals that have brought colour to its streets. More than 30 visual artists have been involved, including Phibs, Mulga, Ox King, Peque and Georgia Hill.

The artists painted 1,500 square metres of walls in Caringbah as part of a large crime prevention program to stop graffiti and vandalism and as a way to revitalise open spaces in Sutherland Shire.

50. Snap a pick at Wedding Cake Rock

Wedding Cake Rock is a highlight along the coast. The pure white rock stands out against the harder sandstone of the coastal cliffs. Its deep cracks and unique shape resemble a slice of cake.

The white colour is caused by iron leaching, which makes the sandstone layers dangerously soft, prone to cracking and at very high risk of collapse. For your safety, don’t stand or sit on the rock, or get too close to cliff edges.

While getting the Insta shot might be the end goal, getting to Wedding Cake Rock is half the fun. Trek through coastal heathland, wildflowers and pass plenty of vantage points.

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