"Secret Sydney - Visit Sydney like a local!"
If you want to discover the best bits of Sydney that the locals like to keep all to themselves, then this is the page for you. Below you will find my top 10 SECRET Local Things to do in Sydney
If you have any to add, please let me know!
10 Local Secret Sydney Things To Do
1) Hire Your Own Boat On The Harbour
Head to Rose Bay and hire yourself a little motor boat. No previous experience is necessary. Bring yourself a picnic and then you can stop off at one of the many sandy secluded secret Sydney coves just off the infamous Harbour.
This is a great one for the romantics amongst you! My husband actually proposed to me this way, right outside the opera house!
2) Take a trip to Sydney's Northern Beaches
The beaches along here have beautiful red sand and are much quieter than the more popular touristy beaches of Bondi and Bronte. You can catch a bus or hire a car.
I'd go all the way to Palm Beach, where they film the famous Australian Soap, Home and Away. Enjoy lunch at Barrenjoeys guest house (another Secret Sydney local favourite) before heading back to Sydney. I'd recommend stopping off in Avalon too. Here you will find some lovely boutique clothes stores and wonderful cafes.
3)Take the Little Ones to The Australian Museum
This museum, situated on the corner of William Street and College Street, near the Cathedral, has the best under 5's area.This really is a great Secret Sydney that only the locals know about! There are a series of cubby holes that your little one can explore where everything can be touched and played with. Volcanoes, animals, mermaid puppet shows, native australian animals, microscopes and plenty of books and comfy corners.
There's also great change facilities, a dinosaur exhibition and plenty of stuffed animals to keep them entertained elsewhere in the museum.
4) Enjoy Afternoon Tea Colonial Style
Come on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to the Victoria Rooms, Victoria Street, Darlinghurst and be taken back in time. The room is sultry and beautifully decorated, the tea list is never ending, the cakes plentiful and why not upgrade and have a glass of bubbly too.
This is a great choice if you are here with the girls or your Mum. Book in advance though as it gets very busy.
5) Spit to Manly Walk and Other Secret Sydney Hidden Beaches
This is a fair walk covering nearly 10km so it will take you between 3 to 4 hours to complete. It takes you through a series of beaches and paths along middle harbour - very picturesque indeed. For more information go to Manly Australia
Alternatively stay on the Eastern side of the city and head to Shark Beach at Nielsen Park. Here you can follow the coastline up to the infamous Watsons Bay (you should have fish and chips here admiring the view of Sydney city in the distance,) passing an array of beautiful sandy coves and beaches on the way. Worthy of a mention are Parsley Bay and Milk Beach, the second is accessed via a path that runs alongside Strickland House.
6) See The Penguins At North Head
Not many people know that Sydney has its very own colony of little penguins. There's about 120 of them and they even have their own bodyguard to protect them.
You'll need to get to North Head which is near Manly and the old Q station. Best time to catch them is early evening as they head back to their burrows.
7) Attend the St George Open Air Cinema
Whilst this is only available during January and February, I can't recommend it highly enough and is a real Secret Sydney. There is a huge screen in the middle of the harbour overlooking Mrs Macquarie's Chair. It means that you get the most stunning view of the bridge, opera house, city and of course the film.
Beforehand, you can enjoy drinks or food (although they won't allow you to bring your own but you could bring a picnic and eat in in the domain instead)
Tickets go on sale on a specific day in December (usually mid December) and sell out that day. So, get yourself on the mailing list and apply for a couple of tickets.
8) Partake in a Secret Syndey Food Safari
Given Australia is a migrant country, there are villages all across Sydney where various nationalities have found their home. For example, Italians in Haberfield and Leichardt, the Turkish around Auburn, the Lebanese in Punchbowl and the Greeks in Marrickville.
You can take a guided walking tour around one of these areas and get to understand the ingredients, the dishes and of course you get to try them.
There are plenty of options to choose from including a bus tour around several areas or a sumptuous banquet usually cooked by a famous chef.
Check out www.gourmetsafaris.com.au.
9) Gross Out Your Teenagers at The Museum of Human Disease
This one is not for the faint hearted! You need to imagine lots of body parts in various jars! Located in the Samuel Building on the University of New South Wales in Kensington, this was originally just for the medical students but has now been opened up to the public weekdays 3pm til 5pm.
We took some overseas visitors here who had teenagers and they absolutely loved it!!
10)A Night at Taronga Zoo
Called Roar and Snore, this is a great one for families. You get to camp overnight in the zoo and enjoy a proper Aussie BBQ. You get to look at some of the animals that are more nocturnal as well as admire some stunning views of the Sydney skyline. You also get up early to go round the zoo without the crowds the following morning.
I know this is not a cheap experience at over $200 per person, but it is a great thing to do with the kids and does include your entrance cost to the zoo. Book a mid-week slot not in school holiday times and you can grab yourself a bargain.
See Taronga Zoo for more info on this great zoo.
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