1. Take a dip in a famous pool
It’s an international landmark and no trip to Sydney is complete without a few laps in the Bondi Iceberg pool (below). It’s the most photographed pool in Australia and the 50m swim is a hotspot for both serious swimmers and casual bathers. Entry is A$6.50 and that gives you access to the pool, gym and sauna. A clubhouse sits right above the pool, where guests can get incredible views of Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach.
2. Picnic at the Botanical Gardens
The Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens are believed to be one of the oldest gardens in the Southern Hemisphere, with news about the sprawling lawns and a vast array of fauna and flora dating back to 1810. The popular gardens offer a respite from the busy city life. You can stop by the market on the way and stock up for an afternoon picnic.
3. Get up close and personal with the ocean’s sea pup
Besides its sparkling blue waters and white beaches, Gordon’s Bay (below) – south of Clovelly Beach – is a secluded spot known for its excellent snorkelling. There’s an underwater trail with information about the local sea life, the most popular of which is the blue groper. Known as the ocean’s sea pup, this friendly reef fish has gained notoriety because of its playful and social nature. The nature trail will take about 40 minutes to complete and it’s well worth spending an entire day on the beach right here.
4. Try your hand at paddleboarding
Camp Cove is just a short walk from Watsons Bay Ferry wharf. It’s on the harbour side of South Head and has tons of fun things that will keep you and your family busy all day. Paddleboarding (below) is very popular here and there are on-site hire facilities. You can even hire an expert to give you a lesson for an hour so that once you hit the ocean, you’re more likely to succeed. This is a totally Instagram-worthy day. Of course, you can also use the chance to do more snorkelling and soak up the glorious Aussie sun.
5. Enjoy a Saturday night filled with fireworks
If you’ve ever turned on the telly on New Year’s Eve, you’ll recognise Darling Harbour. It’s famous for the magical fireworks show (below) that is held every year and broadcast around the world. Various bars and restaurants located at the harbour also have fireworks throughout the year (usually on a Saturday) The best way to find out is to take a walk past the area during the day and ask if anything is happening that night. They also have water and musical displays which are also well worth the outing.
6. Get sporty, mate
Sports is a major part of Aussie life and if you happen to be around when there’s anything going on at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG; below) then you must make sure you buy tickets to go. Australians are passionate about supporting their team. Whether it’s footy, cricket or local soccer games, you can bet you’re in for a treat. The SCG attracts more than 1.5 million visitors a year – make sure you’re one of them.
7. Explore 15,000 hectares of bushland
It’s right on Sydney’s doorstep yet many locals have yet to visit the Royal National Park. This park offers mesmerising views, coastal cliffs (above) and eucalyptus-rich bushland. It has hiking, mountain bike trails, swimming and picnic spots and rock pools that are very popular in the summer. The full coastal walk is 26km and should take two days. Another popular activity is the whale-watching season from May to November. If you have the time we’d suggest marking down two days to fully explore the park and experience nature at its very best.
SEE ALSO: A local’s guide to Sydney, Australia
8. Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge
It’s not very often that you get to climb a world-famous landmark. There are various options to climbing the bridge (below), including an express option which takes around 2.5 hours and will have you ascend the inner arch and go through the summit from below. Those with a fear of heights often use the chance to face their fears, and instructors are on hand to help those feeling a little weak at the knees. It’s rather pricey at A$200 but the experience is worth every penny.
– TEXT BY JESSICA FARAH
PHOTOS: BONDI ICEBERGS CLUB FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, DESTINATION PORT STEPHENS, SYDNEY CRICKET GROUND FACEBOOK, NSW NATIONAL PARKS, BRIDGECLIMB SYDNEY, DESTINATION NSW
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.