20 best things to do in Sydney Australia: whale-watching, hot air balloons, & seafood!

Syndey, Australia is home to the world’s most famous landmarks like the majestic Sydney Opera House, the steel-riveted Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the towering Sydney Tower Eye.

The capital city of New South Wales and one of the largest cities in Australia, the Harbour City boasts a sparkling yacht-peppered harbour, art galleries, and beaches easily dubbed as surf paradise.

We’ve rounded up the best things to do in Sydney, Australia the next time you visit!

Take a walking tour of the Sydney Opera House

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Credit: Brett Stone/Pexels

The top iconic landmark in Sydney, the Sydney Opera House’s distinct silhouette is recognised by everyone all over the world, but only those who are in the city get to duck beneath its sails and discover the awe-inspiring architecture up close.

Book a Sydney Opera House Guided Walking Tour for S$40.55 on Klook.

Experience the opera at the Sydney Opera House

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Credit: Klook

The Sydney Opera House might be marvelled at for its astounding architecture and vibrant history, but let’s not forget, as its very name boasts, it’s an opera house that hosts over 1,500 rousing performances each year.

So, if you’re going to visit this world-class performing arts centre, then be sure to get a ticket to at least one of the season’s opera productions – the grand overtures, soulful vocals, and twisting plots will most likely leave you in tears.

Some of 2022’s productions include Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, La Traviata, Il Trovatore, and Attila. Book an Opera Ticket at the Sydney Opera House for S$93.35 on Klook.

Surf the big waves at Bondi Beach

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Credit: Daniel Torobekov

Bondi Beach is Sydney’s most famous beach, boasting a crescent stretch of white fine sand and ever-crashing foamy waves. From dawn to dusk, this paradise beach beckons local surfers and Sydneysider beach-goers looking to bask in a glorious slice of sunshine.

You too can try your hand at riding the waves at the famed Bondi Beach.

Get a private surf lesson where instructors will teach you the basics of surfing. They’ll get you up on a board and catching your first-ever wave in no time!

Book a two-hour introductory Bondi Surf Lesson for S$112.19 on Klook.

Take a freeing dip in the Bondi Baths

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Credit: Matt Hardy

The most photographed pool located on the most famous Bondi Beach, the Bondi Baths is another spot that you can’t miss visiting whilst you’re in Syndey.

The 50-metre pool visually blends with the stretching ocean landscape, so taking a dip in the pool’s crystalline waters easily makes you feel like you’re floating off to oceanic paradise.

Bondi Baths is open to the public for AUD$9 and entry gives you access not just to the pools, but to the hot showers and sauna too.

Mount the majestic Sydney Harbour Bridge

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Credit: Klook

Trekking a meandering dirt path up a mountain is a common enough travel activity, but where else than in Sydney would you get to scale a 134-metres bridge to catch a glorious view of a beautiful harbour and bustling city?

The Sydney Harbour Bridge, nicknamed the “Coathanger” by locals, is the largest steel bridge in the world. More than admiring its structure from afar, you can make a thrilling climb to its peak with the help of BridgeClimb guides and with a group of fellow adventurers!

There are two routes that you can take to the top. For those looking for a quicker route, choose the Express Climb, which brings you over the inner arch of the bridge in a 2.5-hour journey.

Otherwise, enjoy the ascent in its full glory with the Summit route, which takes you along the full, outer arch of the majestic bridge as part of a three-hour climb experience.

Book the Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb for S$252.65 on Klook.

Chopper over the Sydney Harbour

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Credit: Mudassir Ali

There’s no way you can visit Sydney, nicknamed “The Harbour City” without traipsing the Sydney Harbour.

The focal point in the city, the Sydney Harbour is home to sparkling waterways, golden beaches, and dottings of the most iconic landmarks in Sydney, including the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Taronga Zoo Sydney.

While most explore the Sydney Harbour on foot or by boat, there’s a way to catch a stunning, panoramic view of the harbour all at once – and it’s by going on a helicopter tour!

Postcard views await – you can even up the ante on a once-in-a-lifetime thrilling experience by over the illuminated harbour flying after dark.

Book a Helicopter Flight Tour on Sydney Harbour for S$207.39 on Klook.

Watch whales at Sydney’s best spots

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Credit: Klook

Every year, the majestic whales migrate in thousands along the New South Wales and Sydney coastlines, which means, visit at the right time and you’ll get to discover a breathtaking view of the gentle giants.

Since the whales often swim close to shore, it’s easy enough to catch a glimpse of them at known whale-watching spots in Sydney, like the Royal National Park, South Head, or the Barrenjoey Lighthouse.

But, if you’re hoping to get really up-close and personal, hop on a whale-watching cruise that’ll take you to the best vantage points on the open waters.

Book a 2-Hour Whale Watching Sydney Harbour Cruise for S$55.65 on Klook.

Get a bird’s eye view from the Sydney Tower Eye

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Credit: Sydney Tower Eye

The tallest structure in Sydney, the Sydney Tower Eye, also referred to by Sydneysiders as the Big Poke, Flower Tower, or Glower Tower, is a 309-metres-tall building that guarantees you a 360 degrees bird’s eye view of the city.

Hailed one of the safest buildings in the world, the Sydney Tower was designed and built to withstand extreme wind conditions and earthquakes – mighty surprising for a structure that reaches this far above the ground.

If you’re up for a challenge, even step out into the open air at Sydney Tower’s Skywalk, which gives you a 268-metre-tall vantage point. For this, there’ll be no glass windows in between you and the open sky!

Book a Sydney Tower Eye Ticket for S$23.39 on Klook.

Meet Australian wildlife at the Tangora Zoo Sydney

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Credit: Klook

The Tangora Zoo is home to over 350 species of more than 5,000 animals, many of which are threatened. The 280,000 square metres of land is divided into eight zoogeographic regions; you’ll get to visit Sumatran tigers at the Tiger Trek, Asian elephants at the Elephant Trail, and so much more.

Of course, come face to face with Australian wildlife – red kangaroos, tree kangaroos, and wallabies – roaming freely within the premises.

Get a Taronga Zoo Entry Ticket for S$46.50 on Klook.

See a dugong at the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

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Credit: Sea Life

After you’ve discovered the animals that roam Australia’s bush at Tangora Zoo Sydney, head to the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium to enjoy an experience that’s just short of diving into the Great Barrier Reef yourself.

The aquarium houses a wide variety of marine life that can be found in Australia’s waters, including sharks, stingrays, and adorable sea lions.

Home to more than 700 species of 13,000 animals, the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium is where you’ll even get to meet a dugong named Pig – after his colossal appetite, for sure.

Get a SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Ticket for S$36.95 on Klook.

Embark on a magical ride on the Darling Harbour Ferris Wheel

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Credit: City of Sydney

Compared to the Singapore Flyer, the Darling Harbour Ferris Wheel is tiny in size at only 35-metres in height.

However, what’s special about this Ferris Wheel is that you can control the rotation of the gondola while you ride it. Spin the gondola 360 degrees, and you’ll relish an all-around view of the beautiful harbour!

The ticket is priced at AUD$10 per adult, AUD$8 per child, or AUD$50 per gondola (which fits six people).

Enjoy a romantic picnic at the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney

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Credit: sydney.com

The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is an idyllic 30-hectare oasis of flora and fauna in the heart of the city.

It’s close enough to give you a stunning view of the sparkling Sydney Harbour waters, at the same time, it offers enough of a retreat away from the hubbub of the city.

For the ultimate romantic rendezvous with your loved one, embark on a “Mystery Picnic” activity. It’ll have you start off the journey with an empty picnic basket, and then solve clues to pick up gourmet foods like cheese, fruits, meats, and crackers.

Solving the very last clue will lead you to the perfect picnic spot in this serene garden, where you can savour your worked-for foods and each others’ sweet company.

Book a Mystery Picnic in Royal Botanic Garden Sydney for S$65.99 on Klook.

Visit the Art Gallery of New South Wales after dark

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Credit: Art Gallery of NSW

Located a walking distance from the eastern gate of the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, the Art Gallery of New South Wales displays a wealth of artwork by both Australian and international artists.

While most days the gallery closes early, on Wednesdays, it keeps its doors open till late at night. You’ll get to discover the artworks after dark, grab a drink at the restaurant, or even catch a film with your loved ones!

The Art Gallery is open daily from 10am – 5pm, except on Wednesdays when it opens until 10pm. The Art Gallery Restaurant is open until 10pm on Wednesdays, so you won’t have to worry about having nothing to nibble on after.

General admission is free. Check out the details here.

Go waterfront camping at Cockatoo Island in Sydney

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Credit: UPC Sydney Australia

A UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s a short ferry ride away from Sydney Harbour, Cockatoo Island is steeped in history.

It was a penal settlement between 1839 and 1869, became a girls’ reformatory from 1871 to 1888, and then later was transformed into Australia’s largest shipbuilding facility from 1857 to 1991.

Today, Sydney’s Cockatoo Island still retains its buildings of old, which means that you get to explore the heritage sites as you wander the island, as well as serene picnic spots, waterfront cafés, and, yes, campsites.

Enjoy a one-of-a-kind camping experience at Cockatoo Island’s permanent campgrounds, which overlook the blue waters of the harbour.

Choose between sleeping mats or raised beds, as well as camping chairs or sun lounges to go with your tent. You also get to enjoy common facilities like hot showers, a communal kitchen, and even a firepit that’s the perfect place to barbeque marshmallows plus exchange campfire stories.

Camping prices start from AUD$50 per night. See all the prices here.

Chow down on fresh seafood at the Sydney Fish Market

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Credit Sydney Fish Market

Seafood lovers, bring your tastebuds to gastronomic paradise when you chow down on the freshest seafood at the Sydney Fish Market!

The second largest seafood market in the world next to Japan’s, the Sydney Fish Market trades over 14,500 tonnes of seafood a year.

There’s a seafood retail section where you can order tender fish, succulent prawns, and fresh oysters, to name just a few, and have the eatery cook it up the way you like it, right there and then.

For a true waterfront experience, you can choose to dine al fresco at the market’s outdoor seating area – but beware of swooping seagulls that’ll steal your tantalising seafood before you get the chance to bite down.

Check out this website for more details.

Soar in a hot air balloon over the country landscape

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Credit: Klook

Take a breather from the city’s bustle and venture into the Macarther countryside located in the South of Sydney. Better yet, soar above it and amongst the clouds in a hot air balloon to gaze upon endless views of the country landscape – it’s an experience like no other.

The best time to fly in the hot air balloon is at sunrise, because then you’ll get to see the sun’s bright orb slowly rise upwards, and its rays bathe the verdant land in a soft, golden glow.

Before take-off, you can even help with the setting up of the hot air balloon. Otherwise, leave the job to the pros and spend your time snapping ‘gram-worthy shots against a vibrant backdrop of colourful balloons.

Book the Hot Air Balloon Sunrise Flight in Camden Valley for S$291.29 on Klook

Cruise within a coastal town on a bicycle

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Credit: sydney.com

One of the most popular surfing beaches in Sydney – no, in Australia, Manly Beach is where the world’s first surfing competition took place in 1964.

While the beach’s curving coastline creates the ideal conditions for towering waves, there’s plenty more to do at Manly Beach besides surfing the salty sea.

For non-surfers, hop on a bike and peddle your way along the rows of serene Mediterranean-style villas that hug the shore. You can even make pit stops at the cosy seaside cafés, where you can sip on a cup of fresh-brewed coffee whilst gazing out at the sparkling waters.

Simply rent a bicycle from Manly Bike Tours, Sydney’s most affordable bike hire, which offers e-bikes, cruiser bikes, tandem bikes, and much more to suit your needs.

After you cruise along the coastline, even make your way beyond Manly Beach to explore further into the coastal town. Since Manly is clad with over 20 kilometres of cycle paths, you’ll get to enjoy a whole lot of adventuring by bicycle.

Rent a bike from Manly Bike Tours here.

Book a Manly Beach & Sunset Cruise Bicycle Tour for S$138.35 on Klook.

Splash around in the Fairy Bower Sea Pool at Manly Beach

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Credit: sydney.com

Unlike the 50-metres-long Bondi Baths, the Fairy Bower Sea Pool at the end of Manly Beach is a small and cosy affair.

The triangular pool, built by residents in 1929, is framed with natural-looking rocks so that it blends right in with the beachscape.

Keep your eyes peeled for The Oceanides sculpture by Helen Leete, also endearingly called ‘Sea Nymphs’ by locals, which brings that extra bit of fairy-tale magic to this little pool in Sydney.

Reenact the scenes of Mission Impossible II at Bare Island

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Credit: Adam.J.W.C./Wikipedia

Not an island but an islet, Bare Island, located in La Perouse in southeastern Sydney, was where Ethan Hunt battled it out with the bad guys – motorcycles, helicopters, firearms, the works – in Mission Impossible II.

Here, you too can recreate the blockbuster’s action scenes in Tom Cruise-style, just for the fun of it.

Otherwise, simply amble across the boardwalk that links to this islet, explore the fort that was built in the 1880s, and take to the rocky fringes where the land meets the water.

Experience the world upside down in the House Down Under

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Credit: House Down Under

If you love taking trippy photos, then you’ll adore visiting Sydney’s House Down Under, a house that’s inverted both inside and out.

From the outside, it looks like the house crash-landed from the sky; its ​​mint green walls, wood-framed windows, and white roof are all upside down. Enter the house and you’ll almost laugh at the crazy topsy-turvy interior: sofas, potted plants, and kitchen counters, all mounted to the ceiling.

Take lots of comical pictures to post on the ‘gram, and you might even fool some of your friends into thinking that you have wall-walking superpowers.

Adult tickets are priced at AUD$27 each. View all ticket prices here.