Enjoy the great outdoors
Take a walk along one of Sydney’s 16 harbour foreshores. Photo: Anson Smart. Courtesy of Tourism Australia

Sydney's great outdoors

Sydney is the perfect playground for people of all ages all year round. From its soft white sandy beaches to the many peaceful national parks and gardens, Sydney's great outdoors has something for everyone.


Playing in and around the water

Family enjoying a picnic on Balmoral Beach in Sydney
Balmoral beach - one of Sydney's beautiful harbour beaches. Photo courtesy of Tourism Australia
  • Head to Balmoral Beach to enjoy calm waters, grassy picnic areas, great cafes and restaurants. For those wanting more action, have a go at windsurfing, kayaking, or paddle surfing. 
  • Learn to surf! There are plenty of surf schools throughout Sydney to choose from, just pick a beach. You’ll have a blast and will be standing up in no time!  ​
  • Sydney's beaches are perfect for swimming, surfing, diving or snorkelling. If you're after something more low key, take a stroll along the waters edge or just lie on the sand and relax. Bondi and Manly beaches are perfect for people watching and celebrity spotting.
  • Enjoy one of 16 harbour foreshore walks, including the very popular Bondi to Bronte coastal walk, the Cremorne Point to Mosman Bay or the Spit Bridge to Manly walk.
Hiker walking along the Manly to Spit track in Sydney
Enjoy a stroll along the harbour. Photo: Anson Smart

Playing in the parks and gardens

There’s more to Sydney that beautiful beaches. Sydney has an abundance of national parks and gardens for people to relax and soak up the atmosphere. Whether you want to go hiking, strolling  picnicking or something in between, the parks and gardens will provide the ideal setting.

Enjoy a picnic in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.
Photo courtesy of Destination New South Wales

  • Sydney has some great FREE self-guided walking tours. The walking themes include Aboriginal history and culture, the infamous Kings Cross and Oxford Street, the historic Rocks, rock and roll walks of shame, celebrity stories, and so much more. Maps show points of interest, detours and museum stops along the way. Each tour takes 1 to 2 hours. Click here to download walking maps, or get printed copies at the City Host information kiosks.
  • Centennial Park is five kilometres from the city. It's the perfect spot for a picnic and has some of Sydney’s best playgrounds to keep the kids entertained. Walkers, cyclists, joggers and rollerbladers love the 3.6 kilometre Grand Drive circuit. Click here for free self guided walking maps and information. The Park also hosts outdoor concerts and events so click here to see what's on.
  • The Botanic Gardens has stunning views of Sydney harbour and is the perfect city picnic spot. Take a run, a walk, join one of the free guided tours through the gardens. In summer, book tickets to the Openair Cinema and watch movies outdoors with the harbour as your backdrop.
  • Hyde Park is right in the middle of the city. It has fountains, monuments and walking paths. This much loved park is a regular lunch-time hangout for office workers, sunbakers, and is a popular spot for tourists to relax and enjoy watching Sydney in action.​
Take a ride around the Sydney Botanic Gardens. 
Photo: Anson Smart
  • Wander through the Rocks and soak up Sydney's history; or head to Cockle Bay or Darling Harbour which are both great parklands and entertainment precincts.
  • Otherwise, explore the city's streets and laneways, or visit the many and varied markets dotted throughout Sydney.