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8 great Sydney outdoor activities

Gordons Bay, CoogeeCREDIT: Destination NSW

Experience Sydney's outdoors with a swim or snorkel at Gordons Bay.

#ilovesydney

8 great Sydney
outdoor activities

Gordons Bay, Coogee CREDIT: Destination NSW

Experience Sydney's outdoors with a swim or snorkel at Gordons Bay.

#ilovesydney

Hashtags #ilovesydney

Sydney is a city that prides itself on its outdoor opportunities. From its glistening beaches and harbour to its lush urban parkland and coastal walks, here are nine ways to take advantage of the city’s open spaces. 

Hike Sydney’s wilderness 

Sydney might look like a bustling metropolis, but you’ll be amazed at how much untouched wilderness there is within the city limits. Try the 4km Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay trail starting at Taronga Zoo Wharf, on the harbour’s northern shore, for impressive views across the harbour and its most famous icons. Along the coast, visit the city’s northern tip on the Barrenjoey Lighthouse walk, or test your fitness with the two-day 26km Bundeena to Otford track in the Royal National Park to the south.  

Go for a run 

Sydney has many fantastic running routes along the water, through bushland and edging the harbour. In the Inner West, hit The Bay Run, a 7km loop around Iron Cove which links Leichhardt, Haberfield, Drummoyne and Russell Lea – download a map of the run here. In the east, run the iconic Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk taking in magnificent clifftop views and beautiful beaches. To see the Sydney icons, walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, a 20-minute walk from Bridge Stairs at The Rocks to Milsons Point at its northern end. 

Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge 

Tackle Sydney’s most famous landmark, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, with BridgeClimb, as you ascend through the world’s largest steel arch before reaching its summit. Climb at dawn to see the sun break over the city, or at sunset to watch millions of twinkling lights spring to life. Opt for the Ultimate Climb to conquer the entire Bridge from south to north and back again, experiencing 360-degree views of the harbour and city below. 

Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay Walk, Mosman CREDIT: Destination NSW

Take in views of Sydney Harbour along the Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay walk, Mosman.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay Walk, Mosman CREDIT: Destination NSW

Take in views of Sydney Harbour along the Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay walk, Mosman.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

BridgeClimb Sydney CREDIT: Destination NSW

Go on a twilight BridgeClimb Sydney experience overlooking Sydney Harbour.

#ilovesydney

BridgeClimb Sydney CREDIT: Destination NSW

Go on a twilight BridgeClimb Sydney experience overlooking Sydney Harbour.

#ilovesydney

Ride around Centennial Park 

Centennial Parklands is Sydney’s greatest green space, a 360-hectare swathe of undulating parkland and woods in the city’s inner east. It encompasses Centennial Park, Queens Park and Moore Park, and contains heritage buildings, extensive native flora and fauna, a restaurant, cafe, kiosk, and visitor centre. It’s also one of the few city parks in the world to offer horse riding. With Eastside Riding Academy you can enjoy a leisurely ride on a dedicated equestrian track, looping one hour around the park. These rides are suitable for people of all skill level. The centre also offers hand-led 30-minute pony rides for children and both private and group horse-riding lessons.  

Prefer to get around under your own steam? You can hire a two- or four-seater Pedal Car from Centennial Park Cycles and enjoy a loop around the park’s mostly flat Grand Drive. 

Hit the harbour  

Sydney Harbour is an aquatic playground and there are countless opportunities to get out on the water. Sydney By Sail offers three-hour sailing trips where you can get a taste for sailing and experience the harbour’s must-see sights close up. Or try a kayak tour with OzPaddle, choosing from two locations either at the city centre or the eastern suburb of Rose Bay. Just feel like a dip? Jump into Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool, a 50m saltwater pool with a café nestled between the harbour and the Royal Botanic Garden at the fringe of the city centre. 

Snorkel Clovelly Beach 

Clovelly Beach in Sydney’s east is renowned as one of the best snorkelling spots in the city. With a crystal-clear, calm surface and protected reefs you’ll discover diverse marine life such as sea molluscs, surgeonfish and blue gropers. This beach, with its extensive concrete steps and platforms for easing yourself into the water, is perfect for beginner snorkellers. Nearby at Gordons Bay lies the self-guided Gordons Bay Underwater Nature Trail, a 600m diving or snorkelling trail linked by an underwater chain of information plaques.

Learn to surf at beautiful Cronulla 

Cronulla Beach is a stunning stretch of coastline roughly 45 minutes south of the city centre. With Cronulla Surfing Academy you can join a beginner surf lesson, or one-on-one class, learning all the skills to experience Sydney’s waves like a pro. Refuel at one of the beachside eateries along The Esplanade. 

Water fun in Western Sydney 

Western Sydney has become a destination for aquatic adventure in Sydney. The only man-made white-water course in the southern hemisphere, Penrith Whitewater Stadium was built to host the canoe and kayak slalom competitions in the Sydney 2000 Olympics and offers guided and unguided rafting and kayaking. Also in Penrith, you can try cable skiing, wakeboarding and knee boarding at the world-class facility at Cables Wake Park. Kids aged six and over will enjoy the new inflatable Aqua Park here, which has slides, trampolines and obstacles to climb.

East Side Riding Academy, Centennial Park CREDIT: Destination NSW

Enjoy a horse riding experience with East Side Riding Academy in Centennial Park.

#ilovesydney

East Side Riding Academy, Centennial Park CREDIT: Destination NSW

Enjoy a horse riding experience with East Side Riding Academy in Centennial Park.

#ilovesydney

Penrith Whitewater Stadium, Penrith CREDIT: Destination NSW

Go on a white-water rafting adventure in Penrith.

#ilovesydney

Penrith Whitewater Stadium, Penrith CREDIT: Destination NSW

Go on a white-water rafting adventure in Penrith.

#ilovesydney

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