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Top things to do in Sydney, Australia

From harbor cruises on tall ships to adventures in the Blue Mountains, there’s plenty to see and discover when you’re in Sydney.

Before you book that trip to Sydney, make sure you spare enough time to cover all the events and experiences the city and its surrounding area have to offer. Think walking tours through old cobblestone districts, harbor cruises up and down the coast and bus tours of the city to get you started. Then, venture out and discover the Australian landscape.

We’ve rounded up the best things to do when visiting Sydney, including child-friendly options, so you won’t leave feeling you’ve missed out on anything. Here you go:

Top things to do in Sydney with family

1. Go on a Sydney Harbor cruise.

You won’t be doing a trip to Sydney justice unless you’ve seen the iconic Sydney Harbor from all angles. Stroll along the shoreline to take in the architectural genius of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbor Bridge before exploring the historic Rocks district.

Book the Sydney Harbor Dinner Cruise here

2. Comb the beaches

Some say Sydney has the best beaches in the world. Ask an Aussie and they’ll probably agree.

Book the Bondi Beach Half-Day Tour & Surfing Lesson here

3. Take on an adventurous water sport

With enviable harbors (Darling Harbour and Sydney Harbour for starters) and beachfronts (Bondi Beach, Manly Beach), Sydney is not short on opportunities for adventure on the water.

Book the Port Stephens Dolphin Watching & Sandboarding Tour here

4. Do the Sydney Harbour Bridgeclimb

Climbing to the arms of the coathanger, aka the Sydney Harbour Bridge, is one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments you’ll remember forever.

Book the BridgeClimb Experience at Sydney Harbour Bridge here

5. Visit Taronga Zoo and Wild Life Sydney

Australia has some of the most unique animals in the world. We’re home to the only two monotremes in existence (the echidna and the platypus), and the best place to have a close encounter with either, or both, is in one of our wildlife zoos.

Book the WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo Admission here

6. Get scared at a ghost tour

There’s one in every city, but Sydney’s best has got to be around The Rocks area. Many a murder has been committed in this historic area of Sydney. The ghost tours include historical commentary about the area and the people who lived there.

Book Haunted History Walking Ghost Tour here

7. Bushwalk through the Blue Mountains

Located in Regional Sydney, the Blue Mountains is an icon of Australian bushland. It’s a rugged territory where you can enjoy bushwalks, Aboriginal tours and unique vistas like the The Sisters sandstone rock formation.

Book Blue Mountains Wildlife Day Tour with River Cruise here

8. Day trip it to Canberra

You’re so close, you might as well take a day trip to the capital of Australia. Canberra offers a wealth of educational experiences, including tours of Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial and the National Art Gallery.

Book Canberra Full-Day Tour from Sydney here

9. Drive up the coast

Head further north from Sydney and you’ll discover the Central Coast. It’s a string of beautiful beaches that are a world away from the tourist beaches you’ll find closer to Sydney.

10. Drive down the coast

Head south past Wollongong and you’ll discover the coastal beauties of the south, including Jervis Bay. Its biggest claim to fame are its white sands, which some claim are the whitest in the world.

11. Visit a museum

Learn a bit about Australia’s past through culture and art with a visit to one of Sydney’s museums, like the Australian National Maritime Museum, the Powerhouse Museum or the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Book the Australian Museum Admission here

7 things to do in Sydney for free

  • Have a picnic and see unique plants in the Royal Botanic Gardens.
  • Walk across the sidewalk on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and get a view of the harbor from above.
  • Visit the Luna Park amusement park – it’s free to enter, but you will need to pay to play games or go on rides.
  • Splash around at one of the city beaches like Bondi, Manly or Coogee, or head to a harbor beach like Balmoral for more kid-friendly surf.
  • Bring the kids to The Playground at Darling Quarter, where there are ropes, slides, a flying fox, swings and more.
  • Go for a walk along the city’s many trails in Sydney Harbour National Park or the iconic Bondi to Coogee walk.
  • See the exhibits at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in the Rocks or at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

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