One of my long time readers will be visiting my fair city during the Christmas break. She asked if I could suggest a few things for her and her husband to experience while they are here. A few of them are probably a bit touristy, but I have focused on places that have fantastic views to enjoy. When Sydney sparkles on a Summer’s day, there really is nothing else like it!
Five Things to do in Sydney In Summer
This is one of my favourite parts of the city, and has been for a long time. The best way to get there is to catch a ferry from Circular Quay, so you can admire all the beautiful harbour front houses. You will stop in gorgeous suburbs like Rose Bay, where the home owners have the harbour as their back yard (often with private boat ramp!). There are many options for lunch – Doyle’s restaurant, the pub, or fish and chips on the beach (or on your own boat should you be so lucky!). The views across the water back to the city are just stunning. You can have a little paddle at the beach, or walk up to the Heads and admire the view out to sea. Plan your visit on Boxing Day to see the yachts heading off on the Sydney to Hobart race.
It’s often said that these giraffes have the best real estate in Sydney, and I really don’t think that statement is wrong! Taronga Zoo is in Mosman, on the northern shores of Sydney harbour. You can drive, but I love catching the ferry and then travelling by cable car up over the elephant enclosure. You get a wonderful bird’s eye view of the zoo. Be sure to check out the Zoo’s website before you visit, as they have fantastic animal shows, Roar and Snore sleep over opportunities, and also Summer concerts on the lawn. There is also a gorgeous new baby chimp who I think we will be paying a visit to these school holidays!
High Tea at the QVB
The Queen Victoria Building, or QVB as she is affectionately known, has been a Sydney institution since 1898. It houses wonderful shops so you can spend hours browsing, and then refresh yourself at The Tearoom. Spoil yourself with a glass of sparkling wine, tasty pastries and finger sandwiches, and revive yourself before more shopping. Make sure you book around Christmas time, as it will get very busy. If you are there at Christmas, be sure to visit the huge tree decorated with Swarovski crystals (it’s a Christmas tradition for us). There is also a Lego display this year my kids can’t wait to see.
Sea Cliff Bridge
If you have a spare day and can hire a car, take the coastal drive from Sydney to Wollongong along the Sea Cliff Bridge. This feat of engineering hugs the cliffs and grants endless views out to sea. It really is breath taking. Once you arrive in Wollongong, treat yourself to lunch at the harbour. There are several fish and chip shops for a low key lunch, or you can try tapas at the new level one harbourfront with stunning water views. Wollongong is also a wonderful place for adventure, with sky diving over the ocean, kayaking and paddle boarding.
Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge is an iconic Sydney experience. I climbed the bridge about 12 years ago, and it still rates as one of my best adventure experiences. There are several different options for climbs now, so you can find one that suits you. It is incredibly safe, and you will have the most phenomenal views out to the heads on one side, and western Sydney on the other. No matter whether you live in Sydney, or you’re just visiting, a Bridge Climb is really one experience you should have in your life time. If you do not want to climb the arch, it is possible to climb a pylon which still gives a fantastic view, or you can walk, drive or train it across the deck of the bridge.
Other notable experiences:
– Cremorne to Mosman/Mosman to Balmoral walks
– Bondi to Bronte walk
– Kayaking and hiking in the Royal National Park
– Ferry trip to Manly
– Champagne at the Opera Bar (next to the Opera House)
– A day trip to the Blue Mountains
– Visit China Town for delicious dumplings and yum cha
– Experience Sydney Festival events during January
What are your favourite Sydney experiences? What is a must visit attraction?