Virtual Sydney Experiences

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 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.

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80kms in five minutes!

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. 

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Take a walk in Wendy’s (not so) Secret Garden

One of our favourite walks with visitors is to make our way onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge, head up to the Pylon Lookout, and then walk across the Bridge to Wendy’s Garden and Lavender Bay.

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Wendy’s Garden in Lavender Bay

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.

Mount Solitary
Views of Mount Solitary from Cliff View lookout

Check their site for over 30 walks across the state put together with the help of Google Tracker.

The Animals

Taronga Zoo

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?

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Learn how Taronga is supporting the Bilby population.

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.

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Can you spot the Meerkats?

The zoo is live-streaming 24/7 so you can enjoy your favourite animals at any time of day.

Wildlife Zoo

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

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Even Koalas have to 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?

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Australian Reptile Park – Tree Kangaroos

and how much do you know about my favourite Aussie animal the Platypus?

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Australian Reptile Park – The Platypus

The Arts

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

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Dance Rites Indigenous Dance Competition


Sydney Philharmonia Choirs: Handel’s Messiah performed in Auslan

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Sydney Philhamonia

Australian Ballet

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

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Cinderella by the Australian Ballet

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.

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Learn to dance with the Australian Ballet

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.

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Artist Gail Mabo

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.

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Ngaiire – the very stirring ‘Fall into My Arms’

Find more on their website and using the hastag #TogetherInArt

The Past

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

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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

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Susannah Place in the Rocks

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.

Government House is free to visit with the, gardens open daily.

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.

State Library of NSW Picture Gallery
One of the new gallery areas in the NSW State Library

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!

Powerhouse Museum

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

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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.

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Sydney Writers Festival

Another big event on Sydney’s calendar this year’s writer festival will go ahead with a combination of Facebook Live events and podcasts. Follow #SYDNEYWRITERSFESTIVAL for more.

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.

Web Cams

So finally, if you just miss the view from your walks down by the harbour, these webcams will offer you a daily fix.

Last but not least – Tourism NSW has released a few zoom backgrounds for you to have fun with.

Mungo roos
Credit: Destination NSW in Mungo National Park.

So have we missed anything? Let us know here or on Facebook and we will add it to the list!

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21 thoughts on “Virtual Sydney Experiences”

  1. Loads of great places to check out virtually! I miss Sydney a lot! This takes me back to when I was there.

  2. These are awesome! I haven’t been to Sydney since I was eight, so this will be a great way to relive my trip haha! I love all of these virtual experience opportunities!

  3. I visited Sydney back in December 2019 and being able to relive all the best parts of my trip during lockdown (and explore a few places I didn’t get to during my trip) is so much fun! Thanks for putting together such a comprehensive list!

  4. I genuinely want to thank you for bringing this far off and enchanting destination that Sydney is to our notice through digital world! It is absolutely cool.

  5. Such a thorough guide! That will be my bible when I manage to visit Australia 🙂 Thanks a lot for sharing this.

  6. Technology is so amazing, allowing us to feel like we can travel around the world, even when doing so physically isn’t possible. What a great round-up!

  7. This is such a great idea, especially during this time! I live local to Sydney and didn’t even know about all these things!

  8. I love this! I’m an Aussie currently living abroad in Canada so this is the little slice of home that I needed to see! Definitely going to check out the Blue Mountain footage, I have been there in the flesh and it’s amazing!!

  9. I love that the Sydney Opera House has launched a digital season! One of my friends from the US works there and they do so many great things for the arts. Thank you for compiling this!

  10. This is such a fantastic resource, both for virtual watching today, and trip planning in the future. You know I started with the animals. I just can’t resist koalas.

  11. I really love how we can explore the world virtually these days. I am a teacher and it is so lovely to show these things to my classes!

  12. It’s really cool to be able to have all those experiences remotely! Makes me wanna visit Sydney even more!

  13. Awesome suggestions! I´ve been to Sydney many years ago, but this just made me want to go back soon! Thanks for sharing x

  14. What a beauty this city is! So interesting that it offers so much virtually too, although i am not surprised!

  15. Love the fact that I can visit Australia from home, One day I’d love to go back in person! Thanks for sharing.

  16. I’m halfway around the world right now but this post makes me feel like I’ve traveled to Australia once more. Thanks so much for helping to keep the travel bug alive during this difficult time.

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