40+ Fun Things to do in Sydney
Whether you are looking for things to do in Sydney for your next visit or a local looking for something different to do this weekend this list is a great starting point for finding fun and interesting things you can do in Sydney.
Get out on the water
Captain Cook Cruises
Harbour Cruises are not just for tourists! As locals, we really enjoy being out on the Harbour, and Captain Cook really looks after their guests.
Captain Cook offer a number of premium dining and adventure cruises.
- Sunset Dinner
- Top Deck Lunch
- 6-course Gold Dinners with the option of a paired wine
- Rocket Sightseeing
A night out on Sydney Harbour is always a good idea!
The Harbour Bar & Restaurant – Sydney’s new floating bar ticks the box with live acoustic music, bespoke cocktails, comfy lounges and 360-degree waterfront views. Sittings are for a minimum of 90 minutes which is the option to stay on.
Why not try out Harbour Bar or Harbour Restaurant on your next date night?
Shark Attack Thrill Ride. Thrills, smiles and laughs all around on this exciting harbour jaunt. It’s a whole new perspective on the icons with fun commentary and plenty of excitement.
Sydney Harbour Tallships
Sydney Harbour Tallships have two majestic vessels and are one of the best ways to see Sydney Harbour for active travellers. It’s also a great family outing, you can even take a turn at the wheel or climb the mast! The crew entertain with stories of the ship and the harbour.
A sunset cruise on a tall ship is a memorable way to spend a couple of hours on the water. The Twilight Dinner Cruise is a two hour tour of Sydney Harbour complete with starters, salads, mains and desserts. You can also add a climb the mast experience or a 2 hr drinks package.
My Sydney Boat
See the best of the harbour over a 90-minute tour that celeb guests like Tom Hanks and Anthony Robbins have enjoyed. Sip French Champagne and delight in the magic golden hour views. Various pick points around the harbour.
Take a walking tour
Local Sauce Tours
Local Sauce calls themselves Sydney’s “funniest” small group tours. Their tours focus on helping you see Sydney like a local, telling entertaining stories, mixing in some history and stopping at excellent, independently-owned bars, restaurants and cafes along the way.
I have done three of the tours on offer and enjoyed them. This is a great way to get to know your hometown a little better and find places to go back to next time you head out.
Sydney Secret Bar Tour – How long since you had a night out in the city? You will discover four small bars on these fun bar tours and learn about the city’s bar culture. Along the way, guides throw in some interesting history and more than a few laughs.
Explore either Darlinghurst or Surry Hills. We had a blast on the Darlinghurst tour and hope to book the Surry Hills one soon.
There is a new Chinatown tour “Chinatown – Stories, Snacks & Secrets” that will help you discover half a dozen new places to eat and teach you a little bit about the history of the area along the way.
Local Sauce also runs a Newtown food and street art tour if that’s more your thing.
Get a discount on any of their tours using the code “Sydneyexpert” or if you have a PARENTSNSW voucher you can use that (until October).
Taste Cultural Food Tours
Taste Cultural Food Tours is a social enterprise that provides training and opportunity to migrants and youth and is possibly the best way to “travel” overseas without leaving home.
The tours mix delicious bites with engaging stories of food, history, and culture. Perfect for foodies like us missing overseas food-based trips!
We recently joined a tour of Hurstville and found some great new places to dine and enjoyed learning more about the traditions and superstitions of Chinese New Year.
These suburban experiences allow you to enjoy some cuisines you love when you travel; Vietnamese in Cabramatta, Indian in Harris Park, or tours that combine a mix of cuisines found in multicultural hotspots like Liverpool, Bankstown and Merrylands.
Taste also offers Barangaroo tours for those who want to get the lowdown on the best alternative places to eat in this new precinct.
The Sydney Connection
The Sydney Connection – Join Maree on one of her famous Dining Walks, where you will experience Sydney’s small bar culture and eat at three different inner-city Sydney restaurants in one night. Along the way, Maree will share her knowledge of these fabulous city locations or answer questions you have about Sydney.
Choose from Potts Point, Darlinghurst or Surry Hills. Learn more about the city and go home with a full belly; it sounds like the perfect night to us!
Sydney Photography walks
Alfonso Calero offers beginner and intermediate smartphone and digital photography walks in the city centre. Three-hour daytime, night courses and sunset classes are offered for $99.
How well do you know the bushland that surrounds Sydney Harbour? EcoWalks has a number of guided walks that provide a great introduction to bushwalking or just a wonderful way to learn more about the landscape.
Most walks are 3 hours and suitable for Choose from Q Station Wildlife Meanders, Middle Head Battery walk – exploring military relics, Georges Head Walk or Curlew Camp Sydney Walk. Walks are priced from $39.
The Rocks Ghost Tours
It does not have to be Halloween to get your spook on, join this Ghost Tour of the Rocks for a dark and spooky history of The Rocks, Sydney’s oldest precinct. Tours are offered at 7:45pm five nights a week.
How much do you know about the women who shaped our city? On this 2-hour walking tour Simon, your incredibly knowledgeable guide will tell the story of some of the city’s amazing women, from a convict who went on to become governor’s wife, to those who fought for women’s suffrage and equality, and those who challenged the status quo in business breaking glass ceilings before it even had a name. I loved this tour and highly recommend it.
Sydney Architecture Walks
How much do you know about the buildings you walk past across the city? With seven tours on offer, the guides at Sydney Architecture Walks (SAW) will help you discover so much about this wonderful city we call home.
Tours include Utzon and the Sydney Opera House, Modern Sydney, The transformation and regeneration of Ultimo or Chippendale and even a bicycle tour. I want to do them all!
Enjoy the arts at Sydney Opera House
Buy tickets to opera at the Sydney Opera House and enjoy the performance while taking a good look around the building itself.
Operas you can book tickets to include La Bohème, Turandot, The Marriage of Figaro, Otello
There is a good range of tickets options in Premium, A, B, C and D Reserve. D Reserve tickets are usually $99 (excluding Saturday night performances)
Enjoy a performance of the Australian ballet at Sydney Opera House, this year they are performing
Sydney Philharmonia Choirs
Sydney Philharmonia Choirs have 7 shows on their performance schedule this year. With tickets starting at $58
Outdoor Activities in Sydney
Make the most of your time outdoors this summer with these great offerings
Troll Tours – Jump on the back of a Harley or ride in style on a three-seater trike while you explore one of Troll Tours popular routes
- The Three Bridge
- Eastern Panoramas
- City Viewer
To book one of these or design your own day out (charges are by the hour), contact Troll Tours on 9568 3082, and they will apply your voucher to your booking.
Manly Kayak Centre
Hire a kayak or paddleboard and explore the north of the Harbour or paddle around to Store Beach for a swim. Manly Kayak Centre is right by the wharf and offers a range of options.
Manly Surf n Slide
Manly Surf n Slide is just a short walk from the ferry wharf and is a perfect school holiday option. There are three giant slides, and with heated water, it’s fun even when the weather cools down.
There is an onsite cafe for breakfast, lunch or just a coffee. And remember, there is no age limit on having fun!
Eco Treasures offer paddleboard, kayak and snorkel hire and tours at both The Basin in Ku-ring-gai National Park and Manly.
Things to do in Sydney when it rains
Strike Bowling Locations at King Street Wharf, Chatswood, Castle Hill and the Entertainment Quarter.
Climb Fit indoor climbing centres. There are centres at Kirrawee, St Leonards and Macquarie.
If the rain has you off the course you can still get your fix at X-Golf Indoor Golf Entertainment Centre. Suitable for golfers of all levels this could be a perfect time to see if you are a golfing natural. Casual play, comps, coaching & heaps of fun!
mini-golf Venues at Wollongong, Newtown, Darlinghurst, Castle Towers and more.
Australian Maritime Museum
Trade your voucher for a Big Ticket at the Australian Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour.
Meet the animals
Taronga is accepting vouchers at Mosman or Dubbo for in-person or online tickets or annual memberships.
Symbio Wildlife Park
Symbio Wildlife Park is offering $25 off adult entry or donate your voucher to the Starlight Foundation
Sea Life Aquarium
Explore the Sea Life Aquarium with your using your Dine and Discover
Featherdale Wildlife Park
Featherdale is upping the value of your discover voucher – trade it for an adult entry worth $35. You can also use your second voucher for animal encounters or annual passes. Dine vouchers are also accepted.
Wildlife Zoo Sydney
Planning a day in Darling Harbour? Wildlife Zoo is accepting vouchers against their most popular tickets.
Sydney Zoo – An adult ticket will be just $14.99 when you use your discover voucher here. They also accept dine vouchers.
Check out our detailed guide to animal and wildlife experiences in Sydney to help you decide which one to visit.
Day tours from Sydney
Local Travel Planner
Sip n Savour – Premium wine tasting tour in the Southern Highlands, their full-day tour includes lunch, tastings at three award-winning boutique wineries, and a choice of a bottle of wine up.
Go beyond the big-name stops and explore some Hunters small producers. You will visit 3 wineries with tastings and enjoy a grazing board for lunch. Make a stop at the sensational Binnorie Dairy, where I guarantee you will want to buy almost everything you taste and visit Hunter’s only locally operated distillery.
AEA Luxury Day Tour of Mudgee – Well known for their high-quality multi-day tours of NSW, AAE also offer a range of fabulous day tours. One for wine lovers is their day tour of Mudgee that includes two winery visits, a superb lunch at Guneemooroo Estate and a tasting at Mudgee Honey Haven.
AEA tours offer a little bit of luxury and really fantastic service. If you are staying in Mudgee, add this tour to your list of things to do.
Regional NSW Tours and Activities
The next group of suggestions is perfect for anyone heading away for their summer holidays.
While our regional areas have been busier lately than the city centres, some operators are still struggling with a lack of international visitors; these visitors consistently rate them highly, so isn’t it about time we locals found out what all the five-star ratings are about?
Blue Mountains Explorer Bus
Kids ride free on all Blue Mountains Explorer bus tours making this is an affordable day out for the family.
Grab your special person and head to the Blue Mountains for a romantic picnic. This local company has discovered all the best spots and will make sure you can create special memories.
It’s a perfect way to propose too (just sayin)!
Blue Mountains Stargazing
Join Astrophysicist Dimitri, PhD and his partner Caroline for a fun and interactive 90-minute astronomy tour. These Leura locals will share their love and knowledge of the stars, skies, and the Blue Mountains.
The tour begins with a Jamison Valley sunset. It includes telescope viewing of the moon, planets, stars and deep space objects, naked-eye astronomy, constellation storytelling and hot chocolate, all with the sounds of Wentworth Falls in the background.
Elixir Journeys, Central Coast
These tours on the NSW Central Coast just north of Sydney include bush walks, sailing and kayaking trips and some great foodie options.
Guaranteed to make you fall in love with this beautiful part of the coast, one of their short walks, either the Nature Therapy or the Sunset Stroll in Bouddi National Park, are affordable ways to put your Discover voucher to good use. For a special treat, selected tours include lunch at Bells in Killcare!
There is plenty of variety on offer at Country Food Trails. With everything from walking and heritage tours of Orange and Millthorpe to tours focusing on particular specialties like ale, wine and even saffron!
Nicole offers down-to-earth food and wine tours of Orange, helping you discover one of NSW’s best regions.
Wine Knot Tours
Shoalhaven-based, the team at Wine Knot has a range of food and beverage tours designed to show off the region’s best products.
If you have a holiday planned for Mollymook/Ulladulla or Jervis Bay, really consider adding one of their great days out to your visit.
I love a pun, so their aptly named “Let The Tour BEER-GIN” immediately appealed. This Distillery/ Brewery Tour between Mollymook and Jervis Bay is a fabulous day out and includes plenty to eat and drink, including lunch at Harvest Bar in Milton. The guides are passionate about the region and love what they do, ensuring you have a top day out.
Dolphin Watch Cruises
Jervis Bay is one of the best spots in NSW to see dolphins year-round and Dolphin Watch Cruises. They have a number of other options.
South Bound Escapes
Operating out of Narooma on the far south coast, South Bound Escapes have a great range of affordable tours and activities on offer that is perfect for your next holiday. Discover this beautiful part of the coast and the popular Tilba Valley.
A few suggestions:
- 2.5 Hour E-Bike Hire
- Big Niles Brewery Beer Tasting Paddle with Grazing Box Picnic for Two
- Winery Tour to Tilba Valley Winery including return transport and lunch
- 3 Hours e-bike hire with a picnic
- Pop Up Picnic for 6 people including grazing box
Discover the Narooma to Dalmeny Coastal Trail on an e-bike & enjoy a delicious local produce picnic. If you are making your way north, then check out these offerings
Tasting Plate Tours
These gourmet food tours showcase the Northern Rivers of NSW, helping you to discover the best farms, restaurants and growers. Their tailored tours operate small groups of 8 or fewer and offer to pick up from Byron, Tweed Valley and even the Gold Coast.
A stand out for us is the Back Roads of Byron tour, which explores the Hinterland’s small communities. It operates daily, and the itinerary changes based on which markets and restaurants are open.
Alternatively tour two of the regions most popular Distilleries, Husk and Cape Byron Distillery with a trip to Stone and Wood. Gin, Rum, Beer and Cider oh and some fab local food, a day you won’t easily forget.
Between last year’s bushfires and covid-19, our zoos, wildlife parks, amusement parks, water parks, and cultural institutions could all use the extra money and patronage this stimulus package offers. Whether it’s a day in Sydney’s CBD or Byron Bay, or the Bega Valley, this boost offers NSW venues the chance to get back on their feet!
Find more great things to do in Sydney
- 33 Lookouts in the Blue Mountains
- An ABC of Gardens in Sydney
- The Best Day Trips from Sydney
- 21 of the Best Picnic Spots in Sydney