Find a Travel Blog
- Posted:Tuesday, August 23, 2016
- Comments: 0
Offbeat Sydney: Unusual activities in Australia's favourite city
by Ellen Curham
Sydney is probably Australia’s best-known city which is why millions of tourists visit each year. The capital of New South Wales is famous for its beautiful beaches, incredible weather, laidback lifestyle and friendly population. However, being a run-of-the-mill tourist can be boring and it can be difficult to get a real feel for the place. At Hostels.com we like to be a little off-the-beaten-track when it comes to traveling and want to show our readers some Sydney spots off the beaten track...
A secluded beach
Bondi beach is probably the first spot that comes to mind when you think of the strands in Sydney—well, that or ‘Home and Away’s’ Summer Bay. Sure, it’s pretty to look at but it can get super crowded and overrun with holidaymakers. If you want tranquillity instead of tourists, head to Milk Beach.
Located in Sydney Harbour National Park, this stunning little beach is pure paradise. You can get here by public transport and see the city skyline but the secret spot feels like a million miles away from the urban hustle and bustle. Bring a snorkel to explore the crystal clear and calm waters along with plenty of food because you won’t want to leave.
A less touristy tour
Going on a guided tour when on vacation can be a bit disappointing. You can feel like part of a herd of sheep getting in the way of locals on the way to work while snapping obvious landmarks. Yet there are some interesting tours out there that can give you a unique view of the city you are exploring. One of these is the Tank Stream Tour in Sydney.
This tour will lead you underground into the tributary surrounded by a drain that previously served as Sydney’s water supply. It will give you an idea of how the city came to be, as its founder, Captain Arthur Phillip wanted to build a colony around running fresh water. It is only 60 meters long but this tour is seriously fascinating stuff.
Getting a spot on this tour is pretty difficult but otherwise it wouldn’t be atypical. It is run by the Historic Houses Trust and Sydney Water and only occurs twice a year with spots awarded by ballot.
A special screening
Sydney Harbour has so much going on. There’s the Opera House, boat tours and some impressive restaurants. Yet one of the more unique and chilled out ways to enjoy this part of Sydney is to catch a movie there. You might think that it’s crazy to stay in and catch a film instead of enjoying Australia’s enviable weather, but you don’t have to – outdoor movies regularly screen during the summer in Sydney thanks to the St. George Open Air Cinema. There are only 500 tickets available for each screening so make sure to book in advance if you want to see the latest releases of cult classics in this unbeatable setting. You’ll be the envy of everyone back home.
A caffeine fix
Barbecues are the first thing that pops into most people’s minds when it comes to Australian culinary stereotypes, but did you know that the Aussies are coffee fiends, too? So much so that they mastered the perfect coffee in the form of the flat white and gifted it to the rest of the world.
Surry Hills is Sydney’s hippest neighbourhood and where you’ll find the best cafés. Single Origen Café is one of the most beloved spots there and while it can be busy, you’ll find as many locals as tourists there. Other favourites include the Bourke Street Bakery, Reuben Hills and Paramount Coffee Project.
Where to stay?
Does what is says on the tin—Wake Up! Sydney Central is perfectly located for exploring the city. And with air conditioning, secure lockers and plenty of space in their dorms, this is a very comfy place to wake up, indeed.