Whether you're seeking adventure, impeccable dining, culturally-rich experiences or pure relaxation, Sydney truly is a special city that caters to all. From beautiful beaches and rugged bushland to picturesque suburbs and a thriving CBD, Sydney awakens your sense of wonder with every corner you turn.
Whether you’ve lived here all your life, moved here from somewhere else, or are just passing through, you always need recommendations, because there’s just so much going on. We’ve hand-picked a lucky seven that are sure to delight the senses and leave your heart feeling full.
Soak Up Stunning Vistas At North Head Sanctuary
While Manly Beach is a tourist hotspot, and understandably so, fewer people take in the national park hiding in plain sight. Behind Shelley Beach—itself a picturesque 20-minute stroll from the bottom of the Manly Corso—is North Head. If you wish to hike to the top, it’s an inauspicious start as the entrance is somewhat hidden, but follow the path and keep climbing and you’ll get your reward: an oasis of calm in one of Sydney’s most popular suburbs and the feeling of freedom that comes from the fresh ocean air and stunning vistas. See the city and its iconic landmarks, and also gaze out over the never-ending ocean, all while in virtual solitude.
Eat, Drink And Sing In Chinatown
Is there anything more joyful than spending quality time with the people that matter most in your life? Bonding over food and shared experiences is fuel for the soul, and there’s arguably nowhere better to do that in the hustle and bustle of Sydney’s Chinatown. There are countless restaurants to feed your appetite, whether you’re in the mood for ramen, dumplings or yum cha. Then, hit up one of the area’s many karaoke joints, rent a room, get the drinks in, and while the night away pretending to be Adele, Alanis Morissette, Ariana Grande or, quite frankly, whoever the hell you want. It doesn’t matter when you’re surrounded by those closest to you. Our go-to? Chinese Noodle House (it's BYO) or Lotus followed by K1 Karaoke Lounge.
Tap Into Mother Nature On A Guided Foraging Walk
You probably know some of our native flora—lemon myrtle, wattleseed, lilly pilly—are edible (and delicious!), but would you know how to find edible plant life in Sydney? Wild food advocate Diego Bonetto organises foraging tours, workshops and dinners which look to educate and inspire people to develop a keener interest in their local landscapes. You might think foraging would be restricted to more rural areas, but Diego’s tours take in areas like Lithgow, Clovelly and Tempe. It truly cultivates a sense of belonging to feel more in touch with what you see growing around you every day.
Kick Back And Relax At Slow House
Everyone deserves to treat themselves once in a while, and there are few better places to do it than at Slow House—a space that promotes calm and wellness by encouraging those who visit to take it, well, slow. Epitomising self-care, Slow House has a range of packages where you can mix and match sauna, light therapy and ice bath offerings to curate an experience that is tailored specifically for you. To get the full experience, why not book yourself in after completing a sunrise Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk? We guarantee you’ll leave feeling relaxed, revitalised and rejuvenated.
Rule The City On The Harbour Bridge Climb
Sydney has one of the world’s most instantly recognisable and iconic skylines. The city’s beloved coathanger, which recently celebrated its 90th birthday, connects Sydney’s north and south and is an engineering marvel. Walking across it is always special, but for the real thrill-seekers, you can experience the unique adventure of climbing the thing. You get to stand astride the harbour, 134m above the water with unrivalled views of the incredible city below. Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour and faraway suburbs like Balmoral, Balmain and Bondi are all visible—see the city as you’ve never seen it before with a sunrise, day or night climb.
Marvel At Bundeena’s Natural Splendour
A skip, hop and a jump from Sydney is Bundeena, which boasts some of the most stunning natural beauty you can find within a few hours from the CBD. Located in the heritage-listed Royal National Park, Bundeena is flanked by peaceful bushland and is a launchpad for adventure—expect a splendid mix of idyllic beaches and stunning coastal vistas. There’s an abundance of bushwalks and tracks, including a scenic Bundeena Drive to Little Marley Beach eight-kilometre return walk. Plan your trip well, bring plenty of snacks and be sure to snap the perfect Insta shot (it's begging for it)—we highly recommend getting there early, even before sunrise to squeeze the best juice from the day.
Discover The Old And The New In Barangaroo
These days, Barangaroo is best known for being a business hub but as with everywhere in Sydney, it has a rich and vibrant history that’s endlessly fascinating. Led by environmental educator Clarence Slockee, Barangaroo Aboriginal Cultural Tours explore the area’s significance to people of the world’s oldest living culture. In Barangaroo Reserve, you get the chance to connect with the city’s heritage and hear stories of the clans of the Eora Nation. Barangaroo Reserve is also Sydney’s only public park that contains exclusively native plants; yet another reason to visit and take it all in.
From igniting your sense of adventure to connecting and unearthing a sense of belonging, Sydney, NSW will give you all the feels. Brimming with natural splendour, unrivalled vistas, community spirit and incredible local produce, it's time to get out and explore what NSW has to offer. and feel something new For more, head to visitnsw.com/feelnew.
Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by Destination New South Wales and proudly endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.
Image credit: Elise Cullen