Iconic Sydney sights like you've never seen them before

Think you’ve ‘seen’ Sydney? Not like this. The Harbour City always has something unexpected, and these experiences show off some of Sydney's most famous places with a very special twist.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

Oct 2021 -
min read

Soak up Sydney’s golden glow on a sunrise kayak tour

There’s a certain kind of magic in Sydney Harbour you can only find before the city wakes up. In the quiet before the ferries start, paddle out on a serene sunrise kayak tour with Go Sea Kayak. Starting from Point Piper, you’ll glide across the crystal-clear waters to Shark Island, a tiny harbour island with 360-degree views of Sydney. As the sun rises, watch the sky above the city skyline turn from lilac to peachy gold, before paddling back through Rose Bay.

Women kayaking on Sydney Harbour in summer

Kayaking, Sydney Harbour

Go behind the sails of the Sydney Opera House

When most people think of the Sydney Opera House, they think of two things: the stunning white sails and the performances they house within. However, the Sydney icon has another card up its sleeves – its delicious food and wine offerings. And the best way to sample these gastronomic delights? On the Taste of the House tour. The guided long lunch experience takes patrons to all of the leading restaurants and bars for an all-inclusive five-course lunch on the last Sunday of each month.

Taste of the House tour at Opera House in Sydney Harbour, Sydney City

Taste of the House tour, Opera House - Credit: Tobias Rowles

Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge with an Indigenous storyteller

An ascent up the Sydney Harbour Bridge offers jaw-dropping views of the city and the sea. But on the Burrawa BridgeClimb, you’ll see Sydney Harbour through the lens of thousands of years of Aboriginal history. Led by an Indigenous guide, you’ll climb the bridge’s summit and look down on the shores of Gadigal land. Learn the origins of the harbour’s familiar place names, from Bennelong Point to Barangaroo, and gain a deeper perspective of this beautiful city and its Aboriginal history.

Discover paranormal activity on Sydney Harbour

Did you hear something? It could be one of Cockatoo Island’s shady former residents, who have been known to haunt the historic island from time to time. Feel your spine tingle as you join a ghost tour of this former convict prison island after dark. You’ll have your own K-II EMF reader to detect any ghostly behaviour as you wander the abandoned buildings and learn the hair-raising true stories of the island, from grisly murders to botched prison escapes and gang violence. Are you having too much fun to leave? Book into the island's waterfront camping to spend a night under the stars in the heart of the world’s prettiest harbour.

Family enjoying a self-guided audio tour on Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Harbour

Talk to the animals

Ever wanted to go behind the glass walls of the zoo enclosures? At Taronga Zoo, feed the penguins a fish breakfast, walk with the elephants, let meerkats scurry across your lap, stretch your neck with the giraffes and get up close to the koalas. At Sydney Zoo, in Western Sydney, kids can even be a ‘mini zookeeper’ for the day, where they will assist in feeding, help prepare enclosures, learn cool facts about conservation and ask as many questions as they want.

Get a bird’s-eye view of Sydney

Fly up, up and away and watch Sydney get smaller through the window of your seaplane. This scenic day trip with Sydney Seaplanes takes you high in the sky from Rose Bay to Palm Beach. You’ll see the sails of the Sydney Opera House transform as you fly overhead, the glittering shores of the Northern Beaches, and lush green pockets of Sydney’s national parks beneath you, before landing back at Rose Bay for a seafood feast at Empire Lounge.

Sydney Seaplanes

Sydney Seaplanes, Sydney

Discover an underwater world in Manly

Feel the fins of a blue grouper brush past you. Watch the tail of a Port Jackson shark disappear behind coral. Spot the neon stripes of a tiny nudibranch shimmering on the ocean floor. Beyond Manly’s famous surf and sandy beaches, Shelly Beach is a treasure trove of marine life. Swim up close to this underwater world with Dive Centre Manly. Hire snorkel gear, or join a snorkel safari or dive tour and discover the best spots in this protected marine reserve.


See what island life was like thousands of years ago

Jump on board the Mari Nawi vessel and begin your journey with Tribal Warrior, on their Aboriginal Cultural Cruise of Sydney Harbour. Your boat will dock on the shores of Be-lang-le-wool, the Aboriginal name for Clark Island, where you'll be transported back thousands of years to learn what life was like in a pre-European Aboriginal coastal settlement. Hear stories of the people, learn traditional fishing methods and food gathering techniques, and watch an Aboriginal cultural performance.

Tribal Warrior. Image Credit: Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation

Tribal Warrior - Credit: Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation

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