Are you in need of a dose of Virtual Sydney to tide you over in these tough times? Whether your much dreamed of Sydney holiday plans have been quashed, or you’ve been stuck at home for more than a couple of weeks if you are missing this fabulous city, we hope these Virtual Sydney Experiences will help.
- The Outdoors
- The Animals
- The Arts
- The Past
- Festivals and Events
- Web Cams
The Bondi to Manly walk
It might be a while before you can test your endurance on this 80km trek but thanks to The Guardian you can experience it virtually with one-minute videos of 14 sections of the walk or if you’re a little too impatient for that, watch the 5-minute hyper-lapse.
Ok so start training now, so when we are allowed out again we can ace this walk over a couple of days.
Qantas Sydney harbour 360
This 360-degree three-minute video produced for Qantas will take you from water level to sky high above Sydney Harbour. Use the mouse to control your view.
Take a walk in Wendy’s (not so) Secret Garden
The garden sits on the northern foreshore and is a lovely spot for a picnic.
NSW National Parks
Google has a bunch of virtual walks in NSW National Parks. This one of the Cliff Top Walk in the Blue Mountains is a beauty.
Check their site for over 30 walks across the state put together with the help of Google Tracker.
Taronga Zoo is missing us as much as we are missing them so they have bought the animals into our homes via Taronga TV. There are a number of live streams and keeper talks.
Do you know what a Bilby is?
Check out the two most popular shows at the zoo: the bird show or seal show
Personally, I find it hard to resist stopping by to see what the Meerkat are up to on their live cam.
The zoo is live-streaming 24/7 so you can enjoy your favourite animals at any time of day.
Wildlife Zoo at Darling Harbour has some excellent keeper talks on their website and YouTube channel. Meet the Koalas and Kangaroos or watch the Croc feedings.
Watch a Koala Weigh-in
Australian Reptile Park
This park just north of Sydney is a great spot to stop as you head up the coast. Alternatively, it makes a top day trip from Sydney. They have some fantastic content on their YouTube channel, the keeper talks here are longer and a little more entertaining.
Have you ever seen a tree kangaroo?
and how much do you know about my favourite Aussie animal the Platypus?
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House has launched a Digital Season which sees a mix of full-length performances and on-demand sessions. They release details on new performances daily Wed-Sunday.
All spectrum of the arts are on offer here. Among my picks so far are Dance Rites and Handels Messiah.
Dance Rites 2019 – a national indigenous dance competition
Sydney Philharmonia Choirs: Handel’s Messiah performed in Auslan
The Australian Ballet also has a Digital Season on offer. They are currently showing Cinderella with Graeme Murphy’s Romeo & Juliet up next from Fri 1-Fri 15 May.
Watch a free performance of Cinderella live now or check the schedule for the rest of the April and their May performances
If you prefer a more active approach check out Dancing with David to learn how to do a PLIÉ and a bunch of other basic ballet moves.
Art Gallery of NSW
The current exhibition “Under the Stars: an exploration of stargazing and mapping by Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists” opened just 2 days before the pandemic cause the AGNSW to close its doors. In this 6 minute video Gail Mabo, daughter of land rights campaigner Eddie Mabo, talks about her artwork featured in the exhibition and her father’s fight.
The gallery is well known for its Wednesday night music programs, so while we can’t visit we can enjoy their online offerings like this very stirring performance from Papua New Guinea-born Sydney-based soul singer, Ngaiire.
Find more on their website and using the hastag #TogetherInArt
The next two experiences are the work of Sydney Living Museums. If you have not visited one of their 12 properties, we encourage you to do so when they reopen. We have an annual membership and get great use out of it – they have such an interesting range of programs and exhibitions.
Hyde Park Barracks
This video from the recently reopened Hyde Park Barracks explores several fragile items in their collection, including one of the few surviving convict shirts, a convict shoe and more.
Susannah Place Museum
Susannah Place in the Rocks is a special piece that details some of the of social history of the area.
NSW Government House
Taking prize position inside the Royal Botanic Gardens just above the Opera House, NSW Government House usually offers free tours. Instead, today you can take a virtual tour of Government House and its beautiful gardens.
State Library of NSW
How much do you know about the first fleet? The State Library’s online exhibition, housed on the Google Arts and Culture Site, includes highlights from First Fleet Collections of the State Library of NSW with maps and drawings made at the time of the voyage. If you want to brush up on your colonial history, here is your chance.
You could also learn about our first female swimmer to win an Olympic Gold for swimming, Sarah ‘Fanny’ Durack. Between 1910-1918 she was considered the world’s greatest female swimmer.
If it’s been a while since you visited, be sure to add it to your post quarantine to-do list. There are several new galleries and plenty to see – all free!
Check out 43 works from the “Sydney Collection” at the Powerhouse on the Google Arts and Culture collection.
The Australian Maritime Museum
The National Maritime Museum has a bunch of online exhibitions that include hour-long talks on Captain Cook and Joseph Banks.
The Australia’s Migration History gives a great background to how we became the multicultural city we are today
Another that caught my eye was on Britain’s Immigrant Children – a program which saw orphans sent here to start a new life.
Festivals and Events
Some of our best annual festivals have moved quickly to make sure the artists and the audiences don’t miss out this year.
The Biennale of Sydney
The Biennale has moved online and will share plenty of talks and exhibits across its channels.
Sydney Writers Festival
A conversation with Malcolm Turnbull and Annabel Crabb is on my list of things to do this week.
Head On Photography Festival
Head On has also announced they will move their festival online. Scheduled to run from May 1-17 keep an eye on their website for details.
So finally, if you just miss the view from your walks down by the harbour, these webcams will offer you a daily fix.
- Cafe Sydney’s webcam
- The spectacular view from Sebel’s Quay West Suites
- Bondi Beach webcam at the North Bondi RSL
Last but not least – Tourism NSW has released a few zoom backgrounds for you to have fun with.
So have we missed anything? Let us know here or on Facebook and we will add it to the list!
Save these Virtual Sydney Experiences for your travel planning