5 days of things to do in Sydney in 2019

You must do the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk. Photo: Destination NSW

I’m going to assume that this is your first Sydney adventure so I’m going to stick to five-days of Sydney  highlights. (I'll share another post soon on other activities and we'll dig deeper into other things to do in Sydney).


Tips & advice before you take off & arriving in Sydney

  • ​Before you set off on your holiday to Sydney, I recommend booking a few activities in advance. This is a great way of stretching your budget. One great deal available is the Darling Harbour experience ticket which is a great saving on a bunch of activities.

  • Pack a pair of comfortable shoes. Sydney is great to walk around but our city footpaths were built by convicts back in the day....so they're tough (just like the convicts).

  • ​Don’t let a rainy day stand in the way of exploring Sydney. Just be prepared and pack a rain-jacket, an umbrella and stay warm. 

  • ​Use this 5-day Sydney itnerary as a guide only. Mix and match the days to suit your holiday style. If it's raining, swap the days around so you have wet-weather day activities.

Image by Dariusz Sankowski from Pixabay

Day 1 – Get to know Sydney. Book a tour!

Ride a bike in the Sydney Botanic Gardens. Photo: Tourism Australia

Book a tour of Sydney: You have lots to discover so why not do a walking tour. You have plenty of options and budgets to choose from. Your options include:
  • Take a free walking tour of Sydney. You’ll learn about Sydney’s culture, history and secrets for FREE. If you like the tour, you pay a tip at the end. I can highly recommend I’m Free or freetourssydney.


  • Otherwise, opt for a Fantastic Race around Sydney, which is another interactive clue-based adventure around Sydney. You’ll walk around Sydney and go off the beaten track as you solve problems that lead you to the next clue. This is a tour that is completely out of the box! Allow a complete afternoon for this crazy fun. This takes around 3-4 hours to complete.

  • Why not take a guide bike ride around Sydney! Jump on your bike and pedal past Sydney Harbor Bridge, Opera House, the Rocks, Darling Harbour, Hyde Park, the Royal Botanic Gardens, and heaps of other attractions.

  • If you want to look at what other Sydney walking tour options are available, click here.
Enjoy a picnic in the Sydney Botanic Gardens
Photo: Destination NSW
Visit the Botanic Gardens: Stroll through the Botanic Gardens and pick up some lunch along the way. On a sunny day, this is a perfect picnic spot...munch on your lunch with the Harbour bridge as your backdrop. Walk trhough the gardens at your own pace, or book a tour.

Lunch tip. One of my all-time favourite delis is Pasta Pantry. There’s a few of them in the city. Everything they make is delicious. I love the char-grilled tuna dip baguette, but the salads and pastas are also yummy. So much choice!



Visit Customs House: Walk around to Circular Quay and into Customs House and check out the underground model of Sydney. That’s right – you’ll be the king of Sydney overlooking this 3D Sydney model.


Day 2 – start working that Darling Harbour experience pass

Enjoy Sydney's attractions including Luna Park. Photo: Meridy Scott

Your Darling Harbour experience pass includes 6 cool activities to do over 30 days.
I recommend stretching the pass over 3 days. Maybe bundle your activities like this....

Koala-in-a-tree-Image-by-Stevie-Lee-from-PixabayGet up close to our wildlife. Photo: Stevie Lee
  • Head to the Sydney Aquarium which has 13,000 Australian aquatic animals.

  • Nearby is WildLife Sydney, home to weird and wonderful Australian creatures.

  • Then head to Madame Tussauds to see life-size wax figures of movie and TV stars, sporting heroes, politicians and royals.

      These activities are perfect for rainy days.


Day 3: more cool activities from your experience pass

Time to combine adventure, sightseeing and dining.

  • ​Go 250 metres high on the Sydney Tower Eye and experience Sydney in 4D.

  • Enjoy a 2-course lunch or dinner at Nick's Bar and Grill Restaurant at King Street Wharf. I’d personally aim for dinner – Sydney at night is a sight to behold!

  • ​Head to Lindt Cafe at Darling Harbour for an unforgettable hot chocolate!

Photo: Nicks Bar and Grill

Day 4: do the cruise part of your experience pass

The last activity on your pass is a Hop-on-hop-off harbour cruise which stops at Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, Fort Denison, Taronga Zoo, Watsons Bay, Shark Island and Luna Park. Get on and off at each stop and explore! Consider combining your hop-on-hop-off cruise with:

Taronga Zoo. Photo: Tourism Australia

  • a visit to Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. There are plenty of animal enclosures and free shows. Be sure to pat the wallabies and ride the Sky Safari cable car. (I often take 2 or 3 rides when I visit the zoo because it’s free, you get great views – and who doesn’t love a cable car.) Allow a few hours at the zoo and take lots of photos.

  • Visit Luna Park which is Sydney’s oldest amusement park and right on the harbour. Enter this iconic park through the big smiling mouth where you’ll discover sideshow games, a carousel, ferris wheel, rollercoasters and dodgem cars. (Get off at the Luna Park stop). It's free entry but you pay for your rides. 



Day 5 - climb to the top of the world

Climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Photo: BridgeClimb
You can’t visit Sydney without cimbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  I promise, this is totally legal and you won’t spend the night in goal. BridgeClimb is perfect the perfect activity for everyone, no matter what their age. Kids, grown-ups and grandparents will all love the experience and love it differently.

You’re guide will share advice and stories about Sydney and the bridge as you climb the arches, traverse catwalks and ladders. Your climb takes around 3 hours. This is an experience to remember and enjoy.

Things to do in Sydney at night

Fancy a cocktail by the Harbour? Photo: Destination NSW

Sydney comes alive at night so make sure you take a walk and stop off for a cocktail and a bite to eat. Depending on when you're in town, there's often plenty of festivals and night events. You may even score watching fireworks off the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Do a free walking tour of the Rocks at night.

Do a crimes of passion walking tour through Kings Cross – which is famous for its murders,
drug-obsessions, mysteries, crimes and romances.


Boo! Fancy doing a Sydney Ghost Walking tour around the Rocks where you’ll hear stories about famous ghosts, hauntings and lingering mysteries. This area was home to sailors, prostitutes,
street gangs, opium dens and cheap booze, and today the spirits are still hanging about.
Boo again! If you’re really brave, and at least 15 years old, take a ghost tour at the Sydney's Quarantine Station on North Head (near Manly). You’ll hear stories about untimely deaths, and
the pain and suffering of people 150 years ago. It seems that the restless spirits still hang out
there today.
Head to the Sydney’s Museum of Magic and find out how magicians saw their assistants in half
or pull a rabbit out of a hat. This is your chance to journey into the hidden world of magic.
(This museum is open Tuesday and Wednesday at 7pm).
If you love a bit of cabaret and burlesque, check this out. You'll think you're in 1920s Paris as you're surrounded by sequined costumes, dancing and lounge music. 
Head to Slide lounge where you'll be wined, dined and be entertained with amazing circus degustation El’ Circo and cabaret shows. Shows start from $99.
Imperial-Erskinville-best-drag-queen-showThe Imperial Eskinville. Photo: Destination NSW Head to the Imperial Erskineville and enjoy the best drag shows ever. The Imperial celebrates LGBTI and is some of the best fun you will ever have. It doesn't matter if your gay, straight, purple, green, black, white, or anything else...this is home to fun, laughter and great performances.

Make sure you see the Priscilla drag queen show, which celebrates self-expression, dance and music.

Cruisy stuff and other things to do on the Harbour


Go sailing on Sydney Harbour.
Photo: Tourism Australia

You can’t visit Sydney without experiencing Sydney Harbour! And the great thing is, you have plenty of cruise and sailing options.
  • Take a cruise on a tallship for an unforgettable family adventure. You'll be onboard an 1850s Sydney Harbour Tall Ship, helping to hoist and set the sails.

  • Zip around Sydney harbour on a high speed jet boat. Because you're going pretty fast, you'll probably get a little wet on this adventure..bit don't panic, ponchos are available if you’re scared of a little water.


Walking and hiking around Sydney harbour....yes, there are 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. Some walks are short, others are longer and require more fitness...but either way, they are free fun and worth adding to your Sydney itinerary.  free

Happy travelling and have a great time visiting Sydney.