Top Things to Do Outdoors in Sydney

If you love the great outdoors, Sydney is the place to be, with a wealth of amazing outdoor attractions waiting for you all set against a beautiful harbour backdrop. 

Take advantage of Sydney's harbourside location and enjoy some fun on—and in—the water. Take a whale watching cruise and view the majestic  humpbacks that trawl the Pacific, or dare yourself to get even closer to Sydney's marine life and swim with sharks with Shark Dive Xtreme. Don't forget to make the most of Sydney's famous beaches—Bondi and Manly are real favourites, with glittering sand and surf to fulfil your swimming and sunbaking desires. 

As well as the beaches, you can take in a bit of lush greenery at the Royal Botanic Garden and the sensational new Barangaroo Reserve. A trip to Centennial Parklands is filled with fun activities, while a more tranquil day can be had at the Chinese Garden of Friendship, and a secret garden refuge can be found at Paddington Reservoir Gardens.

The explorer in you will have a ball at historic Cockatoo Island, and you can view all the highlights of the city of Sydney from the side of a motorbike on Shelby's Sidecar Tours. Taronga Zoo provides a fun day out for all, with plenty of exotic animals to see, and for the adventurers among you, the BridgeClimb is an exciting and exhilarating way see Sydney from above. 

With so many things to do outdoors, you won't need to spend even a minute stuck inside!


Climbing over the Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the all-time great tourism experiences, which is why more than three million people have ventured across catwalks, ladders and arches to get to the 134-metre high peak. Once there, a spectacular view of the Harbour and the city awaits.

Taronga Zoo

Located on the shores of Sydney Harbour, Taronga Zoo showcases over 4000 animals from all around the world. Get nose to nose with everything from emus to elephants, lions to lizards. There are regular shows and feeding times, with great photo opportunities.

Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

Come into the gardens and discover hidden botanic treasures set against one of the most magnificent vistas in the world. Offering arguably the best views of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour, a visit to Sydney isn’t complete without a walk through the beautiful Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.

Shark Dive Xtreme

Take the plunge with Shark Dive Xtreme at Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary. Shark Dive Xtreme is the opportunity of a lifetime where you can get up close and personal with huge sharks, giant rays, turtles, fish and more! Great for first time and experienced divers. Bookings essential.

Chinese Garden of Friendship

A gift from China's Guangdong province in 1988 to celebrate Australia's Bicentenary, the Chinese Garden of Friendship is one of the few traditional gardens of its type in existence outside mainland China. 

Bondi Beach

Australia’s most famous beach is popular no matter what time of 
the year it is. The golden sands and gentle blue waves are great for swimming and learning to surf. Walk along the shore, take a dip in the water or relax on the beach—Bondi is Sydney at its best. 

Barangaroo Reserve

Barangaroo Reserve offers spectacular views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, ANZAC Bridge and surrounds. The six-hectare headland has been planted with over 75,000 trees and shrubs. Stroll around the foreshore on the Wulugul Walk, lie back on the Stargazer Lawn or bask in the vast multipurpose space of The Cutaway. 

Pylon Lookout

Walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge then head up to the 200 stairs to the Pylon Lookout for mind-blowing panoramic views. There is an exhibition inside the pylon where you can learn more about the construction of the bridge.

Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island is a UNESCO World Heritage island located in the middle of Sydney Harbour. Explore the island through its numerous walking paths and tunnels. Camp overnight, or learn more about the convict history of this former ship building dockyard. You can even stay overnight in the campground. 

Shelby's Sidecar Tours

Travel the city streets in the comfort of a vintage sidecar. The fleet of drivers are handpicked for their expertise and provide you with a wealth of knowledge of local insights. Shelby’s Sidecar Tours allow tourists to experience the best areas of Sydney.

Centennial Parklands

Centennial Parklands is a beautiful recreation area in the middle of Sydney’s iconic Eastern Suburbs. Home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, Centennial Parklands is a playground for both adults and children alike. It is one of the few inner city parks with horse-riding facilities as well.


One of Sydney's favourite beachside suburbs is just a 30-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay. The trip on the Manly Ferry is spectacular and once in Manly, there is so much to do. Take a surf lesson, go for a dip, hire a bike and ride along the beachfront or stroll around to beautiful Shelly Beach and go for a snorkel.

Paddington Reservoir Gardens

Housed below street level, the Paddington Reservoir Gardens are a secret hidden treasure of the city. The reservoir was a vital source of water for residents in the 19th century, today it has state heritage listing status.