Sydney is one of the most visited places in Australia, and when you consider its stunning coastal location on the south east coast of Australia’s New South Wales, it should come as no surprise. There are more beaches than you can shake a stick at, there’s a wicked surf culture, stunningly good grub and world beating coffee around every turn, and the city itself is a real pleasure to explore.
Part of Sydney’s gorgeous charm is thanks to its location on the world’s largest natural harbour; gouged by a river millenia ago and drowned by the Tasman Sea, the city was draped around the bay. Now, it’s home to a staggering 240 kilometres of coastline that allows some 20,000 private boats plenty of room to manoeuvre and dock. It’s home to some incredible species of aquatic life, including seals, dolphins, turtles, and a wide variety of fish. The Sydney opera house sits proudly in the middle of the harbour, the Central Business District towers along the edge of the water and the crowning jewel, the world famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, dominates the skyline.
Sydney is packed to the brim with wonderful things to see and do, so if you and your partner are looking to make memories that will last a lifetime, then check out these somewhat unique ways you can unlock the secrets Sydney holds. Let’s dive in!
Citywide Scavenger Hunts
If you’re the kind of couple that likes to really get to know a city, feel its rhythm, experience the buzz of the streets, meet its people, and envelop your senses in the cacophony of noise and scent, then exploring on foot is a must. And if you like a little adventure thrown into the mix for good measure, scavenger hunts are the way to go.
There are plenty to choose from, with a huge variety of themes and difficulties; all you have to do is follow the clues and enjoy the city. You’ll find yourselves off the beaten path enjoying the sights whilst learning about the real Sydney. It’s the perfect way to get your bearings, enjoy time with your partner, and explore.
Sydney Troll Tour
If you’re looking for something totally off the wall, something you’ve never tried before, something people back home will love hearing about; then look no further than the Sydney Trolls. Even if motorbikes aren’t your thing, what better way could there be than exploring the city with a local guide on the back of a Harley Davidson?
At this point, you may be wondering how this would work for couples. You’d be right to suggest that three people can’t ride a motorbike; luckily for you though, the trolls cruise around on giant, bright yellow, Harley Davidson tricycles. See the sights in total style, arm in arm with your partner and admire the wonderful landmarks of Sydney whilst enjoying the steady course of adrenaline pumping through you!
Sydney Harbour Tall Ship Cruise
You may remember some of the facts about Sydney Harbour from earlier on, and that the Harbour is an oceanic paradise; so could there be anywhere better than the harbour for a bit of exploration? Pre-pandemic Sydney Harbour ferries actually carried out over 15 million journeys per year, many of which were tourists of course, but many were locals lucky enough to call catching the ferry across the bay a commute.
However, you won’t be climbing aboard any old ferry. A Tall Ship is a rigged sailing vessel otherwise known as a ‘tri-mast’ or a ‘schooner’, and probably most recognisable as the vessel of choice for pirates; but don’t worry, you won’t encounter any of those here. Cruise the harbour with the wind at your back and admire the city skyline from the water. Charter a vessel and head out into the Tasman Sea to spot whales, or explore the massive harbour and all its inlets; there are plenty of options available to you, and each is a magical way to spend a day.
The Rocks Pub Tour
Just outside the CBD is one of the city’s most historic areas, known as The Rocks. It sits in the shadow of the Harbour Bridge and is one of the city’s trendiest spots. It’s home to an abundance of youth culture, great food, and most importantly; awesome pubs and bars.
Just as the sailors of yesteryear who were visiting the city headed to The Rocks for a night on the town, you can expect to enjoy a lively atmosphere often improved with live music and great venues. Explore the cobbled streets, learn about the gangs who used to control the area, and visit some of the most historic pubs in the country, with the help of a knowledgeable guide who may well become your drinking buddy by the end of the night!
Surf Lessons at Bondi
Bondi Beach really needs no introduction; it is surely one of the most famous beaches in the world. With amazing, consistent surf, a great neighbourhood, and a passionate contingent of local beach bums, it is one of the coolest places in the city.
Around 3 million people per year visit Bondi from Australia and all over the world, so make sure you and your other half soak up the surf culture. Australia in general is famed for its surf and it can be argued it was all started at Bondi Beach, so why not hit the waves and learn to surf together. Enjoy the warm, clear waters, and get totally pitted on the famous waves; don’t worry, you’ll pick up the lingo as you learn!
Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in the world, as we already know. It’s up there with the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Tower Bridge in London and Brooklyn Bridge in New York. It stands at an impressive 134 metres above sea level, allowing even the largest of ships to pass beneath those famous arches.
If you’re looking for something to get your adrenaline going, a proper adventure, then why not climb the exterior of this iconic structure? Yes, you did read that right; you can actually climb the famous arch to the very top for one of the best possible views of the bay. Get kitted up in all your safety gear, follow your guide, and feel the burn in your thighs as you make one of the most iconic climbs in the world. The reward will be a special moment atop one of the most recognisable and impressive structures known to mankind; that should stick in the memory for a while to come!
Choosing just one of these unique and exciting adventures for you and your partner will really allow you to discover the true Sydney. Get to know the city and all its adventure and beauty, avoid the beaten paths and set your own route through these wonderful streets. It’s all waiting to be discovered, so get out there and explore by any means necessary.
Kate Sheppard is a mum of two from the UK. Kate enjoys writing about all things parenting, lifestyle and travel.