Spring is one of the best times to visit Sydney, for the great weather and palpable excitement of summer being well on its way. As the seasons transition, there is a lot to do in town in addition to spending time on the sand (and, arguably, this is the best time to be at the beach since places like Bondi and Bronte aren’t yet overtaken by the tourists who will soon flock to town). If you’re headed to Sydney and feel inspired to escape the sand, here’s are a few ways to cap off spring and call in the summer.
A digital detox under the stars is easy to find in and around Sydney. Travelers can glamp within the city limits at Taronga Zoo and Cockatoo Island or venture a little further into the bush at one of the area’s famed national parks. Here are a few ideas for where to camp near Sydney.
Surrounded by ocean and forest, Sydney is a city immersed in nature. You don’t have to go far to find a secluded beach, quiet walking track or national park that contains all that plus hidden rivers and waterfalls. From Sydney Harbour National Park, which straddles the harbor along the north and south, to Wollemi National Park, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Greater Blue Mountains Area — which contains the only living examples of the Wollemi pine — here are the best national parks near Sydney.
Sydney is a cosmopolitan city, filled with museums that compete and collaborate with the world’s best. In Commonwealth tradition, many Australian museums are free, some of the best ones living in Sydney. While many of the city’s attractions, such as the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Sydney Jewish Museum, are free once a month, here’s a list of the best free museums in Sydney, no matter the day.
“That was awesome, you’re doing great!” Will says with a smile and holds his hand up for a high five. My hand meets his with a thwap! And we paddle out into the surf to go again. I invested in private surfing lessons on my last day in Australia. Why did I wait until my last day – I guess it’s called procrastination. Once I arrived at Bondi Beach in Sydney Australia and looked out at the hundreds of surfers bobbing up and down waiting to catch the infamous waves, I knew I had to give it a go; better late than never.
If Canberra weren’t the nation’s capital you might be tempted to call it off-the-beaten-path because it’s a gem many travelers forgo in exchange for more popular places like Melbourne or Ayers Rock. The inland stepsister to iconic Sydney, Canberra has a lot to offer visitors willing to make the three-hour drive to the city. Best yet, if you leave early enough from Sydney, you can see Canberra in one day.
The site of exploration, commerce, culture, recreation, and billions of tourist selfies, Sydney’s famous harbor should be the centerpiece of any trip Down Under. It looks different from every angle, whether you’re hiking a coastal trail, picnicking in the park or dining at a waterfront restaurant. The higher you go the better, of course. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge or board a helicopter at sunset and you’ll witness an impressive sight. Here’s where to find the best harbor views in Sydney:
In the 1850s, a rugged hill in the Millers Point district overlooking Sydney Harbour was capped with the Sydney Observatory by English astronomer and clergyman William Scott. In the early years, the sandstone landmark was used mainly for time-keeping to help ships navigate Sydney Harbor, but it later developed into a state-of-the-art observatory that has illuminated the Southern Hemisphere sky for astronomers and visitors.
From June through August, one of the most unique things to do in the Blue Mountains is celebrate Yulefest: a three month-long Christmas-style celebration for those Down Under who have always desired a cold Christmas, just as we celebrate in the States.
Being Australia’s oldest city, with a modern history that dates to 1788 when the First Fleet came from Britain to settle Australia as a penal colony, Sydney has its share of legends and lore. Most of which are centered in the Rocks and Millers Point neighborhoods, within the sandstone walls of Sydney’s oldest watering holes. It’s here that alcohol was smuggled, prostitutes were seduced, convicts escaped and crimes were committed. Here’s a sneak peak of some of the best historic Sydney pubs that travelers can experience on a bar crawl.