In 2022, Sydney made it onto Big 7 Travel’s list of most Instagrammable cities in the world. The harbour views, cobblestone streets, stunning skyline and world-famous beaches have long been on Sydney’s must-shoot list. Here, however, is a list of lesser-known spots that should be added to your itinerary in order to capture all the right photos.
1. Zoom in on wildlife at Taronga Zoo
Home to more than 4,000 animals from over 350 species, the Taronga Zoo in Sydney presents around 20 keeper talks and shows daily, as well as periodic zoo tours. Focused on conserving endangered species, the zoo participates in breeding programmes of mammals such as the Tasmanian Devil, long-nosed bandicoot, Asian elephant, and snow leopard.
These animals make great photo subjects – just avoid using a flash! The best time to visit Taronga Zoo during the Australian summer months is early in the morning when the animals are more active. Missed seeing your favourite animal? You can return the next morning with your entry ticket as your admission is valid for two days in a row.
For great views of Sydney Harbour, check out the Wild Ropes adventure course in the zoo, which will reopen around Christmas 2022. Its high-altitude rope obstacle course allows you to catch a unique view of the harbour. While it’s temporarily closed, keep an eye out for a new exhibit that will feature a koala encounter area with a canopy walk.
Where: Bradley’s Head Rd, Mosman
Opening hours: Daily 9.30am-4.30pm
2. Pose against industrial heritage chic at Carriageworks
Fans of urban exploration and 19th-century factory architecture should head to Carriageworks, a large multi-arts centre supporting Australian and international artists with commissions and exhibitions. Situated in the old Eveleigh Rail Yards building at Wilson Street in the Redfern Waterloo precinct, Carriageworks has been developed by the government’s Arts NSW programme. Once a railway carriage and blacksmith workshop, the building’s preserved iron and brick details make a great photo backdrop. The venue often hosts international fashion shows and major festivals such as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, Pacific Runway Fashion Show and Vivid Sydney, to name a few.
Where: 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh (corner of Codrington St)
Opening hours: Wed-Sun 10am-5pm
3. Find your muse at the Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney
The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) is a natural choice if you’re seeking a classic museum selfie. Explore over 4,000 works by Australian artists, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. Indigenous art on display features renowned artists like Vernon Ah Kee, Kumpaya Girgirba, and Noelene Girgirba, amongst others. Prepare to spend the day going through two floors of exhibition galleries, a library and an education centre. The MCA is also a frequent host of the Biennale of Sydney, Sydney’s largest contemporary visual arts event held since 1973.
Where: 140 George St, The Rocks
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 10am-5pm (closed on Christmas Day)
4. Snap a slice of Wedding Cake Rock
Grab a shot of the unique sandstone rock formation aptly named Wedding Cake Rock, located in Royal National Park. A six-hour drive from Sydney will get you there. Wedding Cake Rock is famous for its white sand that makes it a popular subject of photos, although authorities have warned that the rock is fragile and vulnerable to crumbling.
This flat-surfaced rock was once a favourite of daring photo stunts on the rock’s edge, but after a few mishaps, it is now fenced off for safety reasons. You can still get good shots of Wedding Cake Rock with a perfect 90-degree angle. To do so, simply brave the Royal National Park Coast Track while staying safely behind the fences. Do remember to wear suitable clothes and footwear for the steep, rocky trek. Start from 71 Beachcomber Avenue, Bundeena, which is the start of the Royal National Park coastal walk, then walk 3 km (about one hour) to reach the scenic site.
Where: 2 Lady Carrington Dr, Royal National Park
Opening hours: Daily 8.30am-4.30pm
5. Go underground at University of Sydney’s graffiti tunnel
Believe it or not, the University of Sydney actually encourages its students to create graffiti on campus walls. While it was originally started as part of student protests against the Vietnam War, today they are legally allowed to spray paint in one underground tunnel, as long as their art is inoffensive in nature.
To locate this graffiti tunnel, find the underground link between the Manning and Holme Buildings on Technology Lane. Its slightly grimy but edgy appearance has made the underground pathway a popular spot for campus tours. Fresh graduates have also made it a photo stop, resplendent in their graduation robes. While you are there, check out the various statements and club election messages left on the wall by students. You will have difficulty finding any bit of the original wall cement left!
Where: Technology Ln, The University of Sydney, Camperdown
Opening hours: 24 hours daily
6. Cruise and shoot your way down Parramatta River
If you wish to catch some fresh air, going for a cruise down Parramatta River could be a good option. Flowing through Parramatta Park, the river weaves its way past the Sydney Opera House all the way into the open sea. Once a trading area of local Aboriginal people and a key source of seafood, this riverine attraction can be traversed by hopping on board Sydney Ferries services both upstream and downstream. When doing so, you can even capture sunsets against gorgeous views of the wave-washed wharves.
Opening hours: 24 hours daily
7. Take tantalising food shots at Eat Street Parramatta
Allow your eyes and nose to lead the way. Parramatta’s Eat Street, located at the northern end of Church Street, has become a local food hunters’ haven with its array of attractive outdoor stalls and diverse restaurants. Food outlets such as the San Churro Chocolateria, starring hot chocolates, truffles, and churros cooked fresh on the spot with a dusting of cinnamon or icing sugar, are must-go places. Or check out Discover Parramatta’s list of international cuisine to expand your repertoire of tastes.
Eat Street is accessible from Victoria Road’s bus stops. It is located 10 minutes on foot from Parramatta Station and Bus Interchange, and a short 10-minute walk along the river from Parramatta Ferry Terminal. Two hundred metres away, Eat Street Car Park’s street art provides another perfect canvas for your Instagram photography.
Where: Church St, Parramatta and surrounding areas
Opening hours: Various hours, depending on each restaurant
Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking and seating requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings in January 2018