This Sydney bucket list is jam packed of all the iconic spots as well as a few local secrets that you must visit! We’ve both grown up in Sydney and over the years we’ve found some pretty incredible places while exploring our home. Hopefully this bucket list will give you some inspiration on the best things to do when visiting Sydney. No matter what you’re after, Sydney will have plenty of things that’ll interest you.
Top 25 Sydney Bucket List
1. Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach is one of the most iconic beaches in Australia and even all over the world. This has to be at the top of your Sydney Bucket List for one of the best beaches. You can’t beat the powdery white sand and refreshing clear blue water at Bondi. The day begins early at Bondi, so be sure to head down at sunrise one morning. You’ll witness an unforgettable sunrise over the ocean horizon and you’ll also be able to watch the surfers hit the waves. Bondi can be super busy and touristy which is why we’ve also listed a few of our local favourites further down the list!
2. Sydney Opera House
Another iconic feature of Sydney is the Opera House. Located right in the harbour, this unique design is sure to stand out. You can easily get there by getting any transport into the city and making your way down to Circular Quay. The Sydney Opera House is actually a performing arts venue so be sure to check out what’s on. They have dance shows, theatre and plenty more entertaining shows for you to see.
3. Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is well-known all over the world and definitely shouldn’t be missed out on your Sydney bucket list. If you’re up for it, you can even do the bridge climb that will take you to the top for some breathtaking views. You can also walk along the bridge yourself for some equally spectacular views.
4. Bronte Beach
Another popular beach that shouldn’t be missed is Bronte. There’s a beautiful oceanside pool with crystal clear water and a breathtaking secret viewpoint. Additionally, there is a large grassy area by the beach with huts and BBQ’s where you’ll find plenty of people chilling for the day.
5. Picnic at Nielsen Park / Shark Beach
Nielsen Park is our go to spot for a beachside picnic. It’s perfect views, calm beach, harbourside cafe and grassy area makes this spot ideal to set up for a sunny day out. The beach is also known as Shark Beach but don’t let the name put you off. There is a large shark net that’ll keep you safe!
6. Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk
The Bondi to Coogee walk is a coastal trail that stretches for 6km along some of the finest beaches in Sydney. The walk features beautiful views, pristine beaches, large parks, as well as refreshing rock pools. There are also plenty of places along the way to relax, swim, as well as cafes and restaurants to grab a bite to eat.
7. Grab brunch at the Grounds of Alexandria
The Grounds of Alexandria is a beautiful stylish garden with markets, cafes and flower shops. They change the theme of the grounds every so often, so it’s always exciting to revisit and get new unique photos. The Grounds of Alexandria is a trendy place that can get quite busy. There are plenty of delicious cafe’s for you to try and also a few popup stalls that sell delicious drinks!
8. Mrs Macquarie’s Chair Harbour Lookout
Mrs Macquarie’s Chair is one of the best vantage points to view the Harbour. You’ll have a clear view of the Sydney Opera House as well as the Harbour Bridge. This spot is one of our favourite places to watch the sunset right behind two of Sydney’s most iconic structures.
9. Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens are an oasis right in the heart of the central business district in the city. The gardens are home to a variety of Australian plants as well as some from overseas. The beautiful diversity and spectacular location of the gardens is what makes this place so stunning.
10. Luna Park
Luna Park is Sydney’s most iconic amusement park and is a great place for a fun filled adventure. There are plenty of thrill seeking rides and fun games to play where you might even get lucky and win some prizes. You’ll also be able to enjoy classic carnival favourite snacks like hot dogs, fairy floss and ice-cream.
11. Lincoln’s Rock Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains is such a large area to explore with plenty of walking trails, viewpoints as well as waterfalls to discover. One of our favourite viewpoints is Lincoln’s Rock since it’s so easy to access. The lookout provides breathtaking views over the mountain landscape. Additionally, it’s only a 2 minute walk from the carpark which you can’t beat for the view you get! This is also the perfect spot to watch the sun go down over the valley.
12. Palm Beach Viewpoint
Palm Beach Viewpoint from Barrenjoey Lighthouse is one of our favourite beach views. It’s a 1 hour drive from Sydney CBD, but it’s totally worth it! The viewpoint from the top of Barrenjoey lighthouse provides incredible views back over the golden sand and clear waters. Palm Beach is where the Australian TV show Home & Away is filmed so definitely add it to your bucket list when visiting Sydney.
13. Ride the Manly Ferry
Taking the famous Manly Ferry is another must for any Sydney Bucket List. The trip takes about 30 minutes from the city and ferries operate daily. The Ferry ride is super relaxing and you’ll be able to enjoy the spectacular harbour and ocean views. Manly is also a great place with a relaxed vibe. They have a ton of cafe’s, restaurants, bars as well as a beautiful beach to spend the day at. We definitely recommend taking a day trip to Manly during your visit.
14. Swim at the famous Bondi Icebergs
Bondi Icebergs is a famous landmark all over the world and no Sydney bucket list would be complete without a visit to their pool. Everyone is welcome and for just $8 a day you’ll be able to take a swim in their stunning beachside pool. They also have casual bistro style dining available with breathtaking views overlooking Bondi Beach.
15. Grab a Gelato From ANITA
Anita’s is one of the best places to get gelato in Sydney. They have a store in Bondi which is perfect on a hot day as well as a few other stores so keep your eyes out. It’s a little pricey but for what you get, it’s totally worth it! Their real gelato is delicious and they have a ton of unique and exciting flavours to choose from. Definitely don’t miss out on this place.
16. Museum of Contemporary Art
If the weather isn’t looking too good, we usually make a day trip to the Museum of Contemporary Art. The MCA is open from 10AM until 5PM and is located on Sydney Harbour. They always have new and exciting exhibitions which are sure to keep you engaged. Be sure to also bring your camera as they sometimes have cool light displays that you can walk amongst.
17. Visit Taronga Zoo
Take a day and check out some of the unique Australian wildlife at Taronga Zoo. If you’ve never seen a Koala or Kangaroo, definitely add Taronga Zoo to your Sydney bucket list. It’s just a short 12-minute ferry ride from the city.
18. Clovelly Beach
Clovelly Beach is another one of our local favourites. It’s perfect for those that want to go for a swim in the ocean without the hassle of getting sandy. Clovelly Beach is more like a large ocean pool than a beach. The beach itself is tiny but the best part is the concrete promenade that lines both sides of the bay. It’s perfect for sunbathing and with just a few steps you’ll be able to jump right into the water. This spot is also great for snorkelling with such a variety of marine life.
19. Parsley Bay
Parsley Bay Bridge is a little bay hidden in the heart of the Eastern Suburbs. There’s a white footbridge that connects both sides of the bay and below it you’ll be able to see the clear blue water. You won’t find many other people around, especially during the week, so the area is quite peaceful. There’s a large grass area where people have a picnic as well as a jetty where most people go swimming.
20. Dudley Page Reserve
Dudley Page Reserve is a beautiful underrated park that many locals know about but not many tourists. The park has an open view overlooking the Sydney Harbour in the distance and is another great place to watch the sunset over the city. We highly recommend coming down one afternoon with a picnic blanket to enjoy the view!
21. Wander Darling Harbour at Night
Darling Harbour has plenty of things to offer with amazing entertainment, museums, wildlife and also a massive variety of restaurants to choose from. The place really comes to life at night when the city lights up and everyone’s out enjoying the harbourside.
22. Dine at Sydney Opera House Bennelong Restaurant
If you’re looking for somewhere to go for a special night, why not have a unique dining experience set at the iconic Sydney Opera House. You’ll have the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Royal Botanic Gardens as a backdrop while you enjoy delicious Australian cuisine. We’ve been here once for a special occasion and absolutely loved it! The food was incredibly delicious and the portions were also quite generous.
23. 360 Revolving Restaurant
Another unique dining experience which we’ve done and definitely recommend adding to the Sydney bucket list is having dinner at a 360 revolving restaurant. There are a few but the main one is 360 Bar and Dining which is inside the iconic Sydney Tower (the big golden bucket). The restaurant is set high above the city with revolving views of Sydney’s skyline which comes to life at night. Dining here is sure to be a moment you’ll never forget.
24. George Street Shopping
For those that love shopping, head down to George Street in the city for a shopping spree. You’ll find everything from markets and big arcades to your massive modern shopping centres and luxury boutiques. There’s also plenty of great food scattered around the area to keep your bellies full while you shop.
25. Hunter Valley
Escape from the city for the weekend and head to the wine country. The Hunter Valley is 2 hours north of Sydney and is a must visit if you’re a wine lover. The landscape is beautiful and it sure is a great change of scenery from the city life. There are world-famous wineries, plenty of restaurants and also delicious local produce for you to try.
Where to Stay in Sydney
Sydney is a large city with a variety of places to stay. No matter what area you stay in, you’ll be a short bus or train ride away from some of the most iconic attractions. If you’re looking for somewhere convenient with plenty of nightlife, the Sydney CBD is the place for you. There are endless transport options around, bars, restaurants as well as shops. If you’re looking to explore all that the Sydney coastline has to offer, Bondi Beach is an iconic place to stay to experience the Sydney beach life.
Hyatt Regency Sydney – Luxury: The Hyatt is situated along the perfect waterfront of Darling Harbour and is an amazing place to stay. This hotel has large and luxurious rooms and are known for their excellent service and high end experience. They also have amazing food and views of Darling Harbour from the rooms.
Astra Apartments – Midrange: Astra Apartments offers self contained accommodation in the heart of the CBD. From the apartments, it’s only a 5 minute walk to Darling Harbour so you can visit some of Sydney’s best attractions as much as you want! The apartments even come with their own kitchen and the property also has a pool. You can’t beat this place for the amazing price and perfect location.
Noahs Backpackers Bondi Beach – Budget: Noahs is the perfect place to stay if you’re on a budget. Located in the heart of famous Bondi Beach, you can’t go wrong with staying here. They have great communal areas for anyone looking to socialise and also clean rooms. Be sure to book this place in advance because it’s known to book out.
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