There’s definitely something about Sydney. While other cities may have a similar vibe, when you’re in Sydney you just know it’s special. With ocean air, exceptional coffee, natural wonders, wildlife, and wine country, here are ten reasons (among many more!) to love Sydney.
1. Whale watching
Visit a city where you can whale watch? Yes please! During the winter solstice the humpback migration season gets busy and your chances of catching sight of these unforgettable creatures increases. Prime Sydney whale watching spots are the North Head lookout, South Head, Shark Island, and the Hornby Lighthouse near Watsons Bar.
2. Heaven for theater lovers
Sydney’s performance calendar is among Australia’s best. From professional to independent theater, there are plays every month of the year. Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir St Theatre, Griffin Theatre, and Bell Shakespeare are among the city’s most well-known larger companies, and they are supported by dozens of independent theatre companies and producers whose work will keep you talking for a long time.
3. That harbor
What can we say? Sydney Harbour (or, for bonus points on trivia night, Port Jackson, its official name) is astonishingly gorgeous. Its sheer size and multitude of bays, coves, and beaches change its look and feel as you explore. A memorable way to experience the harbor is to take one of the city’s many ferry services across it. We love the ride on the Manly Ferry, a 15-minute trip across the harbor to the neighborhood of the same name.
4. Taronga Zoo
While we’re on the subject of Sydney Harbour, why not take a ferry to Taronga Zoo? It’s perched high in a natural bushland setting across from Circular Quay. In short, besides its fantastic animal conservation and welfare programs, Toronga Zoo is one of the world’s most spectacularly-located zoos, with countless corners to gaze over that amazing harbor and enjoy a picnic lunch.
5. Natural ocean pools
Sydney’s beaches seem to be uniquely obsessed with rock pools and even full-sized natural saltwater ocean pools carved into their rocky walls. These give a leisurely glow to the beach and attract swimmers of all ages.
6. Bird life
Australian cities can be noisy to visitors, especially those from countries with, let’s just say lesswacky wildlife than Australia’s. Sydney won’t disappoint on the bird-watching front, with a choir of birds that put on a great show all day long. Listen out and in no time you’ll hear (and see) cockatoos, lorikeets, kookaburras, rosellas, and ibises; the last ones won’t sing you a tune, but may steal your lunch at the park if you’re not careful!
Sydney is a city of hidden (and not so hidden) adventure. Pick from the BridgeClimb to the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge 134 meters above sea level; jet boating in the harbor, popping over to Treetop Adventure Park to experience its 100 + high ropes adventures, visiting the iFly Downunder vertical tunnel (like skydiving, but indoors), and much more. Prefer the water? Sydney also serves up places to parasail, whitewater raft, dive, and canyon. Whew!
8. Coffee paradise
Australian coffee lingo does need a little introduction (and you’ll quickly get that after landing on Aussie shores). Once you’ve learned the term for your favorite style of coffee, you’ll see how Sydney betters itself with each and every passing cup. To begin, sample the flat whites, short blacks, and long blacks on a caffeinated tour of the quirky bookshops, cafes, and museums of Surry Hills, Leichhardt, Newtown, Coogee, Paddington, Glebe, and Darlinghurst.
9. Wine and snow
Long weekends are easy to fill when in Sydney. The city is conveniently nestled close by the Hunter Valley, Southern Highlands, Orange, and Mudgee wine regions, which overflow with cellar doors, gorgeous bed and breakfasts, and gourmet dining. Not a wine fan? Believe it or not, you can ski and snowboard in Australia! Perisher Blue (the Southern Hemisphere’s largest ski resort) and Thredbo (Australia’s most famous) are right on Sydney’s doorstep.
International food really found its sweet spot in Sydney. Eat your way around the world, from Latin America (in Liverpool Street) to Italy (in Leichhardt), Vietnam (in Marrickville), or Lebanon (in Granville). Brunch is another sub-category of Sydney’s dining scene that deserves mention: avocado piled high over sourdough, eggs exactly how you like them, fluffy pancakes, button mushrooms, goat’s cheese, pastries, fruit, and those Aussie coffees. Just perfect.