Best Things to Do in Sydney - Ultimate City Guide

Best Things to do in Sydney Australia

Sydney / August 20, 2019

Before I go any further, let me say this: Sydney is AMAZING. It’s a legendary traveller hole – people come here and kind of get stuck, they love it so much they find it hard to tear themselves away.

Yes, you must climb the Harbour Bridge, yes, you must take in the view of the Sydney Opera House from the Manly Ferry and yes, of course, you must learn to surf on Bondi Beach. A trip to Australia would feel a little unfulfilled if you didn’t do those things.

That said, there’s so much more to New South Wales than just Sydney. So whether you’re flying in, or just passing through, whatever you do, make sure you hang around long enough to explore, otherwise you’ll be kicking yourself when you hear everyone else’s stories later on – trust me.

Now, back to what you came here for, here are 10 amazing things to do in New South Wales that will take you beyond Sydney…

The Blue Mountains offer amazing views of dramatic landscapes just a few miles north of Sydney.

Climb the Blue Mountains

You can get busy by hiking, rock climbing, and mountain biking the rocky landscape. If you’d prefer to take things a little easier (unless you’re scared of heights) and ride the world’s steepest railway incline up the mountains and then jump in the Skyway – a glass bottomed box that will dangle you over ravines and cliff tops over 270m up. Yikes.

Kiama Blow Hole

Kiama, is a small coastal town around 120kms south of Sydney. Its got a much talked about natural blow hole which makes a pretty impressive stop over – the sea water can be sprayed up to 25 metres in the air in the right conditions.

Don’t miss the blow hole, it’s Kiama’s main attraction, but don’t think that’s all there is for you here. 10 mins further down the road is the beautiful and completely inspiring Seven Mile Beach with miles and miles of beautifully dramatic coast line. If you get up early enough, you should be able sit in the quiet morning sun and watch pods of dolphins swim in the water below.

The Kiama Blow Hole in full effect - stand back!

Walk through Minnamurra Rainforest

Budderoo National Park can be found around 100kms southwest of Sydney. The park is the perfect juxtaposition to the city scapes, mountains and cascading coastlines found in other parts of the state.

Within the National Park is Minnamurra Rainforest, which is exactly what you would expect, and hope, a rain forest would be; thick green leaves, beautiful hidden waterfalls and wildlife, lots of wildlife.

To protect the forest, you walk the whole way on an impressive boardwalk meaning the plants below are protected from repetitive walking keeping the park in it’s natural state for everyone to enjoy.

Head North to Newcastle

Forget getting mortal, this Newcastle is way to cool for that (sorry Geordies!) Newcastle is New South Wales’ second largest city and is jam packed full of hipsters and cool kids.

This is probably due to the fact that the city is a hub of the very best of New South Wales culture. Examples of the very best in Australian art, fashion, and music are everywhere, and the beaches are very impressive. There are so many to choose from, so try and get to them all if you have time, otherwise place Merewether at the top of your list.

Newcastle is full of culture, like this, one of the many examples of local graffiti street art.

Ski In the Snowy Mountains

Yes, Ski. You may not think it, but New South Wales actually has some pretty awesome winter sports potential come winter time. The Snowy Mountains are Australia’s highest mountain range and can be found in the southern part of the state, near the border with Victoria.

If you’re visiting during winter, hit the slopes for some great skiing opportunities and if you’re here in summer then you’re not left out, you’ll just have to swap the skis for hiking boots, kayak or a horse.

Byron Bay

Its one similarity is a cracking beach – in fact ‘cracking’ doesn’t really do the beach at Byron Bay justice, it’s more… Magnificent. Imagine lying on powdery sand, with tropical rainforest to one side of you, and a beautifully blue ocean to the other, and you’ve pretty much got it.

Throw in some chilled out beach bars playing chilled music over your shoulder and you’ve pretty much got the gist. At around a 9hour drive from Sydney it’s a bit of a trek, but it’s so worth it.

Byron Bay is a legendary traveller haven and an absolute must visit when in Australia.

Go Whale Watching in Stanwell Tops

Stanwell Tops near Wollongong is one of the best places to spot whales outside of Sydney, and believe me, with around 45 species of whales in Aussie waters, you won’t be disappointed with your early start.

If Wollongong isn’t floating your whale watching boat then take your pick… you can spot them in Byron Bay, Newcastle, Post Stephens, Crowdy Head at Crowdy Bay National Park and so many more. The feeling you get from watching these incredible ocean giants is an experience that will stay with you forever – DO NOT miss it!

Feed the Fish at Neds Beach, Lord Howe Island

One of Australia’s cleanest beaches, and home to 500 species of fish, Neds Beach on Lord Howe Island provides you with a pretty unique opportunity to stand knee deep in the warm waters as hundreds of fish flap in the water beside to you waiting to be fed.

Bring some bread and help feed eager mullet, wrasse, garfish, silver drummer, spangled emperor and metre-long kingfish, but beware these hungry little ones aren’t shy!

It’s a bit of an effort to get to (a near 2 hour internal flight is easiest) but this tropically beautiful island is absolutely worth the effort if you have some time to spend exploring New South Wales.