Sydney is a city of unique, fun activities. If you are looking for great outdoor and adventure experiences, you don’t need to travel far from the city. Sydney’s surroundings offer various things to do to suit all ages, interests, and fitness levels.
Sydney has it all: a jet boat experience, a scenic flight, skydiving, a top-tree adventure, canoeing or abseiling. Sydney combines a great location with good weather, offering the perfect environment for various outdoor activities that are hard to beat.
How to experience fun in Sydney
Depending on the type of adventure and the level of fitness you have, there are many fun Sydney activities to choose from. From fundamental ones, with no skills required for extreme adventures that need training and some experience.
Here is our list of unique and fun things to do in Sydney for the first-time traveller.
1. Jet Boating in Sydney – A great boat adventure
Sydney is known for its unique surf beaches, spectacular Harbour and coastal settings, making it ideal for a wide range of water activities. From surfing and wind-surfing, jet boating, and jet skiing to white-rafting, kayaking, stand-up paddle boards and many more.
If you are keen to have a fun adventure and love speed and the adrenaline rush but don’t fancy the extreme challenge, Jet Boating in Darling Harbour may be something for you. It’s a great way to experience the Sydney Harbour and Darling Harbour attractions on a jet boat ride while enjoying the thrill of impressive spins and twists.
2. TreeTop Adventure Park in Sydney – Get active in the Forest
If you are a nature lover and like to get active outdoors, then the TreeTop Adventure Park in Sydney should be on your bucket list of fun things.
This adventure park in western Sydney includes enjoyable tree-top climbing, 15-meter-high flying foxes, and Australia’s longest zip line (360 mt). You are walking on suspension bridges from tree to tree and more fun eco-activities in the forest.
Photo credit Flambulle via Flickr
3. Sydney indoor skydiving – An indoor flying adventure
Indoor Skydiving in Sydney is a new adventure concept and the ultimate indoor flight experience for those who love the thrill of flying but are afraid of skydiving.
How does indoor skydiving work? The flight occurs in a large vertical glass-wind tunnel where turbine fans generate wind speeds of about 250km/h. You will experience acrobatic twists and spins in all directions as if you were flying. It does, simulate the exact free-fall that you experience during an actual 14,000 ft outdoor skydive.
Here are the benefits of indoor skydiving.
First, you don’t have to train for months, and you don’t need any skills to try the thrill of indoor skydiving. It’s one of the safest and most adventurous Sydney activities. It’s something for everyone, from adults, families and kids alike. And also is an excellent chance for those afraid of heights to get familiar with outdoor skydiving before seriously considering jumping out of the plane.
4. Visit Taronga Zoo – A unique Sydney Wildlife Experience
If you are a wildlife lover, then Taronga Zoo is one place to see in Sydney. This is the most impressive Zoo in Australia for its exclusive location, situated on top of a hill overlooking the Sydney Harbour. Here sightseeing and wildlife encounters are perfectly combined.
Don’t miss out on the special birds-of-prey shows and various animal feeding offered during the day while enjoying stunning views of the Harbour. You can also add a treetop adventure, walking on rope lining and suspension bridges.
And if you want something entertaining, try the Taronga Zoo behind the scenes, the roar and snore adventure: Stay overnight in purpose-built tents and awake to the growls and roars of the animals! 🙂 For more info, check out all the Taronga Zoo Adventures.
5. Visit Cockatoo Island – Sydney’s World Heritage Site
Only a short ferry ride from the city, Sydney Cockatoo Island, lies in Sydney Harbour. First-time travellers mostly underrate it. Not many people know that this is the largest island in Sydney Harbour and a World-Heritage-listed site in Australia.
Visiting the island is free. You can either explore it on a self-guided tour or, if you prefer, go on a guided tour to explore the island’s rich maritime and convict history.
You can also stay overnight on Cockatoo Island for a “Glamping Adventure” at the spectacular campsite at the Harbour’s edge.
6. Sydney Whale-Watching – See Humpback Whales up close
It’s hard to believe, but Sydney is a magnificent spot for seeing humpback whales. You don’t need to travel long distances; you can have this unique wildlife encounter in Sydney’s surroundings.
This is a seasonal outdoor activity, though. Between June and September is the time to go on a whale watching tour, when the annual Humpback migration occurs along Australia’s Eastern Coast.
7. Explore Sydney’s Royal National Park – Marley Walking Tour
Royal National Park is Sydney national park, only half an hour’s train ride from the city. It’s the oldest national park in Australia and one of Sydney’s best natural places. It offers unique coastal trails and limestone rock formations.
Among the different walking trails, I would recommend the Marley Walking Tour, which takes you through the spectacular landscape to see some iconic indigenous and natural landmarks like the white cliffs, also known by the locals as the “wedding cake”.
8. Scenic Flight over Sydney – Experience Sydney from the air
Lastly, why not experience the city from the sky and take a scenic flight over Sydney Harbour? I did this a few years ago, and it was a memorable flight that I still remember as if it were yesterday.
The view of Sydney Harbour and Sydney’s coastline from the air is magnificent. A fun adventure to add to your bucket list when exploring Sydney.
More things to do in and around Sydney
If you are a nature lover, visit the Centennial Parks in Sydney; here is a map of the park, or by using public transport, you can go on many day trips from the city.
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This is our list of unique, fun things to do in Sydney to help you map your own Sydney adventures. You can start from the pages below to organise your visit to Sydney.
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First published in 2015, last updated in Nov 2022