Sydney & Surrounds – Activities & Attractions
From adventure parks, hiking, snorkelling, shopping to fine dining and fish and chips, Sydney has it all. There are just so many attractions, and things to do in the Sydney area and its surrounds. The more you immerse yourself within the area, you tend to find that there are more places to go and sights to see. Our friends at Destination NSW, have put together a list of the top 10 best places to visit when first moving to Sydney.
When moving to Sydney, besides some of the great popular attractions and activities like walking the harbour bridge, taking in the sights of the Sydney Opera House, visiting national galleries and touring around the Sydney CBD, you should venture out to the surrounding suburbs. Each area have their own unique experiences, shops and foods.
Just a stone throw away from the bustling metropolitan, you can take that one step further, reaching some of the most serene national parks within NSW, like the Royal National Park and the Greater Blue Mountains that offer an abundance amount of activities.
So when you are looking for more things to do in Sydney, begin to be overwhelmed with enormous amount of options nearby. Here are some of the 10 best places to visit when first moving to the area.
Aquatic Centre – Olympic Park, Sydney West
A 35 minute drive from the Sydney CBD, the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre is a great place for the whole family to enjoy. With 2 massive pools to float around and do laps in, there are also water playgrounds, Spa, Steam and Sauna, and water features that will keep you entertained.
But that is not all, just outside is an urban jungle adventure park that has a series of high ropes and courses for adults and children. With more than 50 aerial activities across the four courses, you are able to explore under a safe environment. Bookings are essential as it does get quite busy.
Explore history and the Olympic Park as it was one of the most memorable moments for Sydney. Some notable activities around the facility are – Archery, Brickpit Ring Walk, Cycling, Playgrounds, Wetlands and trails.
Image: Wiki CC (Maksym Kozlenko)
Wet ‘N’ Wild – Blacktown, Sydney West
Located in Blacktown, it is a 45 minute drive from the Sydney CBD. With over 40 rides and slides, there is also a large wave pool for those that want to skip the queue. This water park also has a dedicated area just for the toddlers and kids. With the amazing attractions and rides that thrill, it is more than just a waterpark.
Image: Wiki CC (Mary and Andrew)
The Greater Blue Mountains – Blue Mountains, Sydney Far West
Going that one step further, the Blue mountains is a 2 hour drive from the Sydney CBD. With plenty of trails that range from easy to difficult, and from a short 20min walk to well over half a day, the Blue Mountains National Park is an outdoor wonderland waiting to be explored.
It makes a perfect destination for the family as it offers serene views and activities. Visitors can hike, horse-ride, abseil, camp, enjoy a Day Spa, 4WDing and much more. Many popular attractions are here, like the Three Sisters, Jenolan Caves, Japanese Bath House, Scenic World rides, Wentworth Falls, and Kings Tableland.
Image: Wiki CC (Sinead Friel)
The Royal National Park – Royal National Park, Sydney South
Just a 50-minute drive from the Sydney CBD, this National park has plenty of activities to keep you entertained for the whole day. Visitors can fish, walk, bird-watch, picnic, camp, kayak, surf and even whale-watch. This diverse park offers the best of both worlds, the lush forests as well as sandy beaches.
Some notable attractions here are – Wedding Cake Rock, Figure 8 Rock Pools, Stanwell Tops and Wattamolla.
Image: Flickr (Sandy Zieba)
Manly Beach – Manly, Sydney North
Hop on the ferry and head straight to Manly, this coastal area is just about a 30 min drive or 1 hour Ferry ride from the Sydney CBD. There are many great attractions nearby. There is the popular Manly beach and bays for those that love water activities. You can snorkel, surf, kayak and paddleboard around this iconic strip of sand.
Visitors can also shop and dine, with spectacular views you can enjoy a nice glass of wine with some fish and chips. Manly also has a lovely coastal walk known as the Manly spit walk, other notable attractions are – North Head, Reef Beach, Shelly Beach, and SEA Life Sanctuary.
Image: Wiki CC (Adam.J.W.C.)
White Water Stadium – Penrith, Sydney West
An hours drive from the Sydney CBD, the White Water Stadium is unique as it is the only man-made whitewater river of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Visitors are able to tackle the rapids and raft or kayak. There are a range of different levels of difficulty and is a great way for the family to bond. However, the youngest participant must be 12 years old and be confident in water.
Image: Pixabay (422737 / 2074)
Shopper Hopper – Drummoyne, Inner Sydney
Start your day shopping in the Sydney CBD at Harbourside Shopping Centre and its surrounds and then take the Shopper Hopper to the Birkenhead shopping outlet to find even greater deals! This shopping adventure is going to take the whole day, so prepare yourself. The Shopper Hopper typically has trips every hour depending on your location. You can catch it from BirkenHead, Circular Quay or Darling Harbour, but don’t be late as the service terminates at 6pm! Driving to Birkenhead Point from the Sydney CBD is only a 15 minutes drive.
Image: Wiki CC (J Bar)
Parklea Markets – Parklea, West Sydney
Open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Parklea Markets is for those that seek international food, fresh fruit and veggies, seafood, deli, clothing, tools, cosmetics, plants, souvenirs and other assortments at bargain prices.
You will find something for the whole family any age. Located on the outskirts of Blacktown, it is a 45 minute drive from the Sydney CBD. It is one of the biggest markets Australia has to offer.
Sky Zone – Alexandria, Inner Sydney
Located just 20 minutes from the Sydney CBD, Sky Zone is an indoor playground that has hundreds of trampolines, with different areas such as the dodgeball zones, and pit zones that let you do sweet flips and high jumps to hone in your skills.
Laser Tag, Enduro Ninja Warrior Course, and Sky Climb are some of the other fun activities inside the venue. But do plan, as this venue does get busy any day of the week!
Image: Wiki CC (dvidshub)
Macquarie Park Centre – North Ryde, Sydney West
One of the best shopping complexes in Sydney, MAcquarie Park Shopping Centre is just 20 minutes from the Sydney CBD, visitors can dine, shop and enjoy the many great activities within the area. There is also an Ice Rink for skating inside the centre for those that want to change it up. With big brands and vast amount of fashion stores, you are bound to find something of fancy to purchase.
Image: Flickr (Benson Kua)
Not only are there an abundant of things to do in the day, but the nightlife is also as compelling. With vibrant pubs, bars and even nightclubs, your whole day can be filled with activities and events. There are many great free events in Sydney as well, you do not always have to spend money to have some fun. These are some of the best places to visit when moving to the area. Locals and tourists alike won’t be running out of locations to visit anytime soon, as these locations may serve as mini-getaways easily.