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Embrace Sydney as a first timer

BridgeClimb SydneyCREDIT: Destination NSW

360-degree panoramic views from the Sydney Harbour Bridge BridgeClimb Sydney experience.

#feelnewsydney

Embrace Sydney
as a first timer

BridgeClimb Sydney CREDIT: Destination NSW

360-degree panoramic views from the Sydney Harbour Bridge BridgeClimb Sydney experience.

#feelnewsydney

Hashtags #feelnewsydney

Exploring such an iconic city as Sydney for the first time is exhilarating. It can also be hard to know just where to begin exploring this exciting, beautiful metropolis. From gazing down at the glittering harbour spread out below you while climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge to exploring hidden rooms on a backstage tour of the Sydney Opera House and hopping from one fabulous bar to another, here are 10 ways to make the most out of your very first visit to the harbour city. 

Heighten your senses at Taronga Zoo after dark

Visiting harbourside Taronga Zoo Sydney to meet Australia’s incredibly diverse animals is an unforgettable daytime experience, but spending a night here will have you buzzing. Catch your breath as you catch the eye of a koala munching on eucalyptus leaves right outside your window in one of the stylish guest rooms at the zoo’s luxurious Wildlife Retreat. Or get up close to native wildlife on a guided sunset tour before drifting off to sleep in a safari-style tent listening to a cacophony of bird and animal calls on a Roar and Snore experience.

Marvel at Sydney Harbour on the Manly ferry

For an exhilarating thrill, for first-time visitors and locals alike, board the public ferry bound for Manly at Circular Quay, take an outside seat and watch in wonder as you surge past the Sydney Opera House and find the deep blue expanses of Sydney Harbour unfolding in front of you. Over the next 30 minutes you’ll share the waves with sailboats and glide by sandstone cliffs, secluded beaches and picture-perfect waterfront homes until you arrive at the beachside suburb of Manly. Step off the ferry and indulge in champagne and oysters at Hugos Manly on the wharf. Then wander along the Corso mall to Manly Beach and gaze at the ocean while sipping a refreshing drink at Little Pearl or the Rooftop Garden Bar at the New Brighton Hotel.

Connect with nature in the heart of the city

Renew your view and immerse yourself in untouched wilderness, just a stone’s throw away from the bustling metropolis of the city. Survey Sydney’s skyline from the harbour foreshore before stepping into the protected bushland of Sydney Harbour National Park to be transported far away in moments. Imagine you’re a modern-day explorer as you find hidden beaches and secluded lookouts all along Sydney’s dramatic coastline. Blend in with the locals on the 2.5km Bondi to Bronte coastal walk, beginning at the legendary Bondi Icebergs ocean pool then venturing south on a clifftop tour of the eastern shore, feeling your heart race as you spot dolphins and seasonal migrating whales in the deep blue water.

Reflect on a memorable day with a cocktail

As the sun sets on Sydney’s beautiful harbour, ease into a padded chair at one of the city’s welcoming bars for a pre-dinner drink and let all you’ve experienced that day sink in. Watch on in amazement as Maybe Sammy‘s award-winning mixologists shake and stir you a highly creative cocktail in an art deco-inspired space in The Rocks. Settle into your seat with a house-distilled gin at nearby Hickson House, or watch the ferries dock in Circular Quay from your perch at Hyde Hacienda. Enjoy a sundowner at the grand Menzies Bar & Bistro at Shell House or the decadent Dean & Nancy in the city centre, or feel like you’re on top of the world at CIRQ on the 26th floor of Crown Sydney in Barangaroo.

Enlighten yourself with art after dark

Join the locals in the know and see a different side of the Art Gallery of NSW as you delve into inspiring exhibitions, learn fascinating facts on a tour, catch a movie and then enjoy a drink at the bar until 9pm each Wednesday night as part of its Art After Hours program. Deep-dive into modern Australian art at the Museum of Contemporary Art at Circular Quay until 9pm on Fridays in summer, with sunset beats live from the rooftop bar terrace. Or be intrigued by stories of how the Sydney Opera House was conceived and constructed on an architectural tour of this iconic performance venue.

Taronga Zoo, Mosman CREDIT: Destination NSW

Resident giraffes at Taronga Zoo, Mosman in Sydney.

#feelnewsydney

Taronga Zoo, Mosman CREDIT: Destination NSW

Resident giraffes at Taronga Zoo, Mosman in Sydney.

#feelnewsydney

Manly Ferry, Manly CREDIT: Destination NSW

The Manly ferry service arriving at Manly Wharf.

#feelnewsydney

Manly Ferry, Manly CREDIT: Destination NSW

The Manly ferry service arriving at Manly Wharf.

#feelnewsydney

Fall into the rhythm of Sydney's brunch culture

You’ll truly understand what’s so special about the laidback Sydney lifestyle when you start your morning with a refreshing dip in the ocean or a harbour stroll before finding the perfect spot for brunch. Enjoy the city’s signature carefree meal that’s not quite breakfast and not quite lunch at cafés across the city, from the inner-city chic of Paramount Coffee Project in Surry Hills to beachside goodness at Bondi’s Porch & Parlour.

Soak up the views from Sydney Harbour Bridge

Scale the heights of Sydney Harbour Bridge with BridgeClimb Sydney and you’ll be rewarded with views of a dazzling harbour that’ll take your breath away. See the city’s lights twinkle on a twilight or night climb, or tackle an Ultimate daytime walk across the entire span of the bridge. Or forge an authentic connection to the city’s Aboriginal history and culture on BridgeClimb’s Burrawa Indigenous Experience. You won’t forget the feeling of wonder as your Indigenous Storyteller guide reveals stories of the harbour dating back tens of thousands of years as you ascend to the summit of the bridge.

Wow the kids at Darling Harbour

Give your children memories to last a lifetime at inner-city precinct Darling Harbour’s family-friendly attractions. Earn bragging rights back home while enjoying close encounters with koalas and crocodiles at Wild Life Sydney Zoo, and dive into a colourful underwater world at Sea Life Sydney aquarium. Young adventurers will love splashing around in the water features of the Darling Quarter Playground, which also has impressive climbing nets and a hill of slides.

Lose yourself in Centennial Park

Spend a glorious sun-soaked day unwinding and exploring the 360 hectares of undulating parkland, woods and ponds at Centennial Parklands in Sydney’s inner east. Covering interlinked Centennial Park, Queens Park and Moore Park, the parklands are a haven for outdoor pursuits. Feel the wind in your hair on a memorable horse ride at the Equestrian Centre; explore expansive cycleways on two wheels (or four, in a two-seater pedal car); rollerblade through looping driveways or simply take in the sites on foot – the choice is yours!

Breathe in the crisp mountain air

Recharge in grand-scale nature in the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains, just 90 minutes’ drive west of Sydney. Follow walking trails through rugged bushland to epic landscapes of waterfalls and dramatic cliffs. Be transported to a more genteel era with charming guesthouses and grand formal gardens in and around historic towns like Wentworth Falls and Leura. Then use Katoomba as your base to explore the Blue Mountains National Park, Mount Victoria and the Megalong Valley. Continue on to Blackheath village to while away blissful hours in storied cafés and galleries — stopping to admire the grand Hydro Majestic Hotel, opened in 1904 and restored to its glory. Venture further to be amazed by the limestone formations and underground rivers of the Jenolan Caves.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Darling Harbour CREDIT: Destination NSW

Young boy enjoying his visit to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Darling Harbour.

#feelnewsydney

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Darling Harbour CREDIT: Destination NSW

Young boy enjoying his visit to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Darling Harbour.

#feelnewsydney

Three Sisters, Blue Mountains CREDIT: Filippo Rivetti

Sunrise over the Three Sisters and Mount Solitary in the Blue Mountains National Park, Katoomba.

#feelnewsydney

Three Sisters, Blue Mountains CREDIT: Filippo Rivetti

Sunrise over the Three Sisters and Mount Solitary in the Blue Mountains National Park, Katoomba.

#feelnewsydney

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