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Sydney is an amazing city with plenty to offer visitors, from the natural beauty of its harbour and beaches to the architectural marvels of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Add a mix of cool things to do and you have the perfect recipe for fun and adventure when it comes to things to do around Sydney. From climbing that famous bridge to taking on the waves at Bondi, here are 10 top things to do in Sydney today.

1.  Harley Davidson tour

Experience Sydney from the back seat of a Harley Davidson on a classic Harley motorbike or a three wheeled trike. Troll Tours have some fantastic rides that take you around Sydney’s best and most beautiful places. Go for a spin over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, take an exciting trip to Bondi to sees the waves, stop for a memorable picnic or enjoy a special lunch at one of Sydney favourite restaurants. This is one of the more unique ways to see the best of Sydney with the wind in your face and a photo opportunity around each corner.

2. Opera House tour

The Sydney Opera House is a global icon. One of the most interesting ways to experience this famous landmark is on a Sydney Opera House tour which covers its often contentious history, cutting-edge architecture and frequent scandals.  Book a tour that covers the basics, or dive a little deeper with a behind the scenes tour of this national icon. With tales of divas and performance mishaps, the “Behind the Scenes Tour” of this fantastic structure will have you in awe. Whether you’re a local or a visitor taking the time to explore this architectural marvel, a tour is well worth the time and money. Bookings are essential and available online via the Sydney Opera House.

Opera House Sydney
Explore the Sydney Opera House

3. I’m Free Sydney Walking Tours

Explore Sydney’s sights with a friendly and knowledgeable Sydney local on a free guided tour. Experience the culture and lifestyle of Sydney as you delve into the city’s history, stories, and secrets. I’m Free Sydney Walking Tours leave from Sydney Town Hall every day at 10:30 am and 2:30 pm and go for about 2½ – 3 hours in every kind of weather. There’s no need to book, just turn up. Tours are also available around the historic Rocks area at 6:00 pm. This tour was created by two Sydney locals who saw similar programs overseas and decided to offer something along the same lines.

4. Sydney Harbour Bridge climb

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the world’s largest steel arch bridge and spans the beautiful waters of Sydney Harbour. Climbing this impressive structure is on a lot of people’s bucket lists but choosing the best time to climb is essential. Sydney Harbour Bridge day climbs are the cheapest option. If you’re after that perfect sunset view of the city and the Opera House, you should book the Twilight Climb as this gives you the best of both worlds: the sunset and the sparkling lights of Sydney all in the one climb.

Sydney Harbour Bridge
Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge

5. Bondi Beach surf lesson

Bondi is the beach that most overseas visitors want to see. This kilometre of golden sand is a beacon to surfers, swimmers, and sun worshipers. With so many foreign travellers you will often find more tourists than locals here, especially mid-week, but it does have a distinctive cool vibe. Catching a wave at this iconic beach will undoubtedly give you some bragging rites. If your enthusiasm is greater than your expertise on a surfboard, book in for a surf lesson at Bondi. These guys will teach you all you need to know about catching a wave at this iconic beach. Don’t forget your camera and have a friend takes some memorable shots of you falling off (ahem, I mean surfing like a pro). One thing for sure, you’re going to have fun.

Bondi Beach
Go surfing at Bondi Beach

6. Kayak on Sydney Harbour

This is a unique way to get three amazing Sydney highlights in the one tour: sunrise over the Opera House, a trip under the Sydney Harbour Bridge and a great coffee. Kayak instructors Laura Stone and husband Ben from Sydney by Kayak run weekly sunrise tours that make the most of Sydney Harbour. The sunrise kayak tour starts at the Lavender Bay Boat Ramp with a 5.40am meeting time.

Sydney Harbour
Kayak past the Opera House

7. Kings Cross tour

The Kings Cross area in Sydney has become more trendy over the years but it is still a red light district and has a certain edge. Urban Adventures take you into the underbelly of Kings Cross with stories about its history, crime lords past and present, and tales of mystery and seduction. Kings Cross is also where Sydney’s famous LGBTI Mardi Gras began. This tour covers its rise from locals with a few trucks making a stand against discrimination to the now famous global event. Urban Adventures also run others tours around Sydney if you think Kings Cross could be a bit gritty for you (or your kids).

8. Fish and chips at Watsons Bay

Take the ferry to Watson’s Bay and enjoy fantastic fish and chips from one of Sydney’s best seafood joints, Doyles. You can treat yourself to a fancy meal at the restaurant or grab the much cheaper Doyle’s takeaway option at the wharf and eat it on one of the seats along the foreshore or in the park. A short walk up Military Road will have you at the historic Gap Bluff walk. This was once an active military area with gun emplacements to protect the harbour. These days it’s best known for its amazing views of Sydney Heads, two rocky headlands which create the gap that separates Sydney Harbour from the sea.

The Heads Sydney
Walk along the Sydney Heads

9. Visit the Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains is a rugged region west of Sydney that is known for dramatic scenery which includes craggy cliffs, eucalyptus forests, waterfalls, art galleries, gardens, and quaint villages and guesthouses. There is a scenic railway and cable car that provides breathtaking views of the mountains and beyond. Add a side trip to Jenolan Caves, and you have all you need to keep you entertained for the day or a weekend getaway.

Blue Mountains
Explore the Blue Mountains

10. Go snorkeling at Manly

The Manly ferry is one of Sydney’s most iconic ferry trips and travels the full length of Sydney Harbor before arriving at the suburb of Manly. From here it’s only a short walk to beautiful Manly Beach which is perfect for a swim, stroll or snorkel. Dive Centre Manly runs Snorkel Safaris of three popular spots in the area every day. You can hire gear or bring your own. From starfish to large schools of fish, kelp and seagrass forests, this tour is great for everyone from beginners to snorkeling pros.

Disclosure: The writers love visiting Sydney and its surrounds. Fish and chips at Watson’s Bay is one of their favourite day trips. 

If you are in Sydney to board a cruise ship, here are some our suggestions for cruise passengers for Sydney things to do.

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Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.