Sydney is a lot larger than just the CBD and there is a lot to see and do in most outer suburbs. This guide will help you navigate around all of Sydney and highlight the best activities or spots to visit on your trip!
Starting from the South, Wollongong connects with Sydney and Cronulla is the first spot I would recommend seeing. These are the best things to do in Cronulla:
- Cronulla Beach
- Coastal Walk
- Cafes and shops along the beach
From the West of Cronulla is Campbelltown, this is a more inland area but is becoming more populated and still has a few attractions.
- Mt Annan Botanical Gardens
- Old historical churches and land sites
- National Parks
North of Cronulla is Botany Bay which is also close to Sydney International Airport. Here you can see Captain Cooks landing site and visit the beaches. From here you can go into the outer suburbs of the city and then into Sydney CBD. I will highlight some of the best activities to do in this part of Sydney (keep in mind this covering a larger area):
- Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk
- Drive around Watsons Bay and visit Camp Cove beach
- Walk or hire a bike and explore Centennial Park
- Visit The Art Gallery of NSW
- Go souvenir shopping at Paddy’s Markets
- Have some fun in Luna Park
- Watch a show at The Opera House
- Walk across the Harbour Bridge
- Walk around Darling Harbour
- Get Yum Cha for lunch in China Town
- Spend the day walking through the Botanical Gardens
- Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art and explore The Rocks
- Walk through the streets of Glebe and Newtown
- Learn about nature and animals at the Australian Museum
- Go out one night to The Star Casino
- Window shopping in the Victoria Building
- Visit the Ground of Alexandria for flowers and fresh lemonade
- Get a on a ferry from Circular Quay
West from the city is Sydney Olympic Park which is a great place to have a day out and explore the large Bicentennial park area. Ultimately the best way to get around and explore the park is by bike which you can also hire there, otherwise you can do some parts of the park via driving and walking. They also sometimes hold special events and have an education centre for the public. Another great way to get here is via the ferry/catman which comes and goes to the City.
Further along the river is Parramatta which is a suburb full of mixed cultures and a strong sense of Australian heritage. The most popular things to do here are:
- Riverside Theatre
- Walk along the Parramatta River
- Elizabeth Farm
- Parramatta Park
- Church Street at night for Restaurants
This then goes into more of Western Sydney which is more suburban but still has a few attractions worth visiting, however some of these locations would be best visited with a car due to restricted transport:
- Wet n Wild- Prospect
- Feather-dale Wildlife Park- Doonside
- Drive In Movies- Blacktown
Even further west is Penrith City which then goes into The Blue Mountains. This area showcases more nature landscapes with a lot of bushwalking areas and beautiful farmland driving. Similarly, north of Penrith is Windsor which is also a beautiful area to drive through with a more old country town setting. Around this area there are also a lot of back route driving options, where you can drive past stunning farmlands to get back to the North Shore of Sydney.
One of my absolute favourite memories as a child was driving out to Fagan Park to have a BBQ, feed the ducks and just spending time with friends in the sun. As I said before, there are many other ways of driving from around Hornsby to Windsor which can include driving past Dural and past Fagan Park. It is also important to keep in mind you will need a car to get here and it costs money to park in the carpark once you have entered.
Other attractions in the Hills Shire/ Hornsby (Upper North Shore):
- Rouse Hill Shopping Centre
- Cumberland State Forest- Pennant Hills
- Koala Park Sanctuary- Pennant Hills
- Berowra Waters
To the east from Hornsby and North of Sydney lies a lot of the coast line and popular, well known Northern Beaches. Manly is one of the big tourist spots that people will venture out too and spend the day at. It is also a prime spot because of how easy it is to get a ferry here from the city centre at Circular Quay. Other top spots to visit:
- Balmoral Beach
- Dee Why Beach
- Palm Beach
Going back to the north of the Harbour Bridge is Mosman where the famous Taronga Zoo is located, there is also a stunning walk right next door at the Sydney Harbour National Park. Also around this area are cute cafes and shops with some of the streets set like its back in the early 1900’s.
I hope this guide has been somewhat helpful with all these places being spots I have personally visited. I am sure there are even more things to do and I will keep this updated when I do find out about more activities to do. Sydney is a city that holds great, unique experiences whether that means spending a free day at the beach or visiting an iconic place like the Harbour Bridge.