Take a walk along one of Sydney’s 16 harbour foreshores. Photo: Anson Smart, 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
  • Learn to surf! There are plenty of surf schools 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.
  • Head to Balmoral Beach or one of the other harbour beaches for the perfect day out. Balmoral beach has calm waters, grassy picnic areas, plus great cafes and restaurants. For those wanting more action, have a go at windsurfing, kayaking, or paddle surfing. 
  • 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.

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.

A couple enjoying a picnic in Sydney's Hyde Park

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

  • Hyde Park is right in the middle of the city. It has fountains, monuments and walking paths, plus plenty of grass so you can just relax. This much loved park is a regular lunch-time hangout for office workers, sunbakers, and is  a popular spot for tourists to take a seat and enjoy watching Sydney in action.‚Äč
  • Centennial Park is only five kilometres from the city, and has plenty of things to keep everyone entertained including:
    • enjoying a picnic or a BBQ using the eight free BBQs throughout the park
    • some of Sydney’s best playgrounds to keep the kids entertained.
    • the 3.6 kilometre Grand Drive circuit which is popular among walkers, cyclists, joggers and rollerbladers
    • a wide range of activities and events, and outdoor concerts
    • several self guided walking tours
  • The Royal Botanic Gardens has stunning panoramic views of Sydney harbour and is the perfect city picnic spot. Take a run, a walk, join one of the free guided tours or walks through the gardens. In summer, book tickets to the Openair Cinema where you get to watch blockbuster movies outdoors with Sydney harbour as your backdrop.
  • 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. 
People walking around Campbell Cove, The Rocks, Sydney

Explore Sydney's Campbell's Cove in the Rocks.
Photo: Tourism Australia

  • 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.
  • Explore the city's streets and laneways, or visit the many markets dotted throughout Sydney.