Whether you’ve been called up last minute or you just totally forgot that you promised months ago that you’d play host, this one is for you.
Make your out-of-town friends feel like an absolute local with this list of 15 awesome things to do in Sydney— you know ones that show why this is the best god damn city in Australia.
No pressure, but we recommend ticking them all off your list.
Road Trip To Palm Beach
Drive your out-of-towners to this little slice of paradise in Sydney’s north. There’s a ridiculous amount of awesome things to do like taking them on a boat trip, going fishing, visiting the beach, setting up a picnic and even hiking up to the Barrenjoey lighthouse to snap the incredible views of Sydney AKA the prettiest city in the land.
Lunch At The Newport
Grab an epic feed at this local institution. The Newport is nestled on the stunning shores of Pittwater and this little hub is offering up beautiful gardens and al fresco dining, the perfect set-up for any feast.
Figure 8 Pools Royal National Park
Forget the city and take your foreign mates on an amazing coastal bushwalk to the famous Figure 8 pools. Located at the south end of Sydney’s Royal National Park, trek through bush, beach and rocks to reach these glorious blue sinkholes. Bring your swimmers and heads up— a pair of good walking shoes is a must.
Bondi To Bronte Beach Walk
If you didn’t do the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk, did you even Sydney? Here’s a scenic way to show your friends some of Sydney’s finest beaches, all in the one hit! Tick of the famous Bondi Beach, Tamarama and Bronte, and bask in all of the summer vibes, awesome food and even better beaches (and bods).
Sydney Fish Markets
Scoot on down to the Sydney Fish Markets in Pyrmont, the stomping ground of all things fresh from the ocean. Explore the countless stalls of seafood, deli items, wine and baked goods (plus there’s handful of restaurants to dine at too).
Ride The Ferry
Let’s be honest, hosting people ain’t cheap. So, if you’re a little strapped for cash but have found yourself playing tour-guide for the day, ride a ferry around the harbour and pass the tour-guide duties over to the skipper (and hey, it’s an awesome way to view Sydney even as a local).
Walk Across The Sydney Harbour Bridge
Make like you’re in Brooklyn, just with a harbour instead of a river. No Sydney visit is complete without a sky-high view of some kind and there’s no better way to view the harbour, the bays, the buildings and the beaches than from the top of the Harbour Bridge. Guaranteed to be a super memorable climb, your not-so-local friends will love the adventure and the views.
Picnic At Milk Beach
If you’re keen to take your friends somewhere a little more secluded, Milk Beach is a well-kept hidden gem in the heart of Sydney harbour. Tucked into Hermit Bay, there’s plenty to do at this isolated beach including fishing, snorkelling, picnicking (our favourite) and walks along the Hermitage Foreshore.
For seriously incredible views and cute Australian wildlife, Taronga Zoo is a must and not just because it has the cutest animals on the planet (though even we admit we go back just for them) but our favourite childhood hangout has a few more things on offer. Think awesome high-ropes courses with the Sydney skyline to calm those nerves or an overnight stay at Taronga’s glorified camping ground.
Craft Beer Tour
If you’re going to take your friends on a tour, make it a bloody good one. When you’ve crossed off the beaches and done your classic tourist snaps, hit up a craft beer tour. Dave’s Brewery Tours are for anyone who’s keen to take in the local beer scene (and let’s be honest, who isn’t?), learn all about beer, brewing and the top beer companies in the city, Balmain and The Rocks.
Weekend Trip to the Blue Mountains
For when you’re hosting during the winter months, take your out-of-towners for a weekend trip to the Blue Mountains. There’s a heap of walks to do, valleys to see and caves to explore plus the Winter Magic Festival is a massive celebration of local artists, musicians, dancers, stalls and food.
Show your friends another side of Sydney with canyoning at Eagle Rock adventures. Yes, you read that right, canyoning. Choose from a range of different tours and levels (ranging from the not-so-athletic to pretty-much-a-profesh), which takes you for a hike along rainforest floors and waterfalls. There’s abseiling down rock faces, short swims, rock jumps and natural rockslides so it’s a pretty special way to spend your time in Sydney.
Shop Like A Local At Carriageworks
Carriageworks is the holy grail for all things creative. And everybody knows then when you visit a foreign city, you need to take home a foreign piece of memorabilia. There are exhibitions, performances, and even a farmers market so you can pick up tasty food and beautiful trinkets (and while you’re there you’re obviously going to grab a few goodies for yourself too).
Kayak Coffee Tour
Living in Sydney, there’s not much we love more than our morning coffee. It should really be a national drink. So, it only makes sense to bring your friend to the coffee. And Sydney Harbour Kayaks Coffee Tour is the perfect way to do so. Paddle around Spit Bridge in Sydney and then take a break on one of Middle Harbours pristine beaches where you guys can kick up your heels and enjoy a nice cup (or two) of coffee.
Dinner At The Shangri-La For The Best View In Sydney
So when you want to be awarded “best tour-guide” of the year, this is where you take your out-of-towners. Eating at Shangri-La’s Altitude Restaurant is something to boast about. With floor-to-ceiling windows and the finest Australian cuisine, this one ticks all the boxes. Think stunning views and delicious eats to match. A definite one to put down in your, (now pretty damn impressive), guidebook.
Looking for more things to do in Sydney? Check this out.
Image credit: Natalis Horinkova