15 Things to do in Sydney, Australia - Vlog and Photo Diary
Video was shot using the iPhoneX + DJI Osmo Mobile 2 for stabilization. Edited with Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2018 and Adobe After Effects CC 2018.
After spending a few rainy days in Melbourne, I headed off to Sydney in hopes of spending a few days in the sun. Unfortunately, a rare case of rain hit the city for the first two days I was there, so I couldn’t spend as much time outdoors as I had liked to. Luckily, in addition to its beautiful outdoor landmarks and picturesque beaches, Sydney provided some amazing indoor activities during the rain as well.
Take a look at the map I curated to see all the places below in context.
When you get hungry and thirsty at Bondi, stop by Icebergs, a restaurant, bar, and recreation club right next to the beach. There’s a pool carved into the side of the ocean where you’ll still occasionally get hit with the ocean waves while swimming. Visit the bar and restaurant upstairs to get an amazing view of the ocean while sipping your refreshing drinks and eating your delicious meal.
Visit the Wild Life Sydney Zoo to see all of the unique animals Australia has to offer. You can even get up close and personal with some of their koalas.
I got to visit the Opera House twice during my stay in Sydney: once during the more crowded hours in the afternoon, and again at 7AM in the morning. If you want to avoid the hoards of tourists getting in your way of photos, or just want to enjoy a quiet walk up and down the stairs leading up to the opera house, I highly recommend making the sacrifice of getting up at sunrise and visiting the opera house early in the day.
Otherwise, your photo will look more like this one below (with a bunch of people hanging out in the background):
Interestingly, the best view of the opera house is actually not at the opera house. Believe me, the monument looks a lot better once you’re bit further away. Get away from all the tourists and escape to the Botanic Gardens on the east side of the opera house. You can enjoy a quiet stroll through this city park that resembles New York City’s Central Park (at least from what I saw in the movies) and walk past the joggers to enjoy a view of the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and the city skyline.
Sake on the Rocks is a Japanese restaurant located in an area close to Circular Quay called The Rocks, a historic neighborhood filled with cobblestone roads, shops, old pubs, and upscale restaurants. My favorite dish was hands down the “New Style Sashimi,” which is a dish of sashimi revamped with hot sesame oil on top to slightly sear the raw fish.
The Queen Victoria Building (or “QVB”) is a late 19th century building in the CBD that houses a myriad of shops, restaurants, and cafes. There’s a comprehensive selection of stores that range from local Australian boutiques to more common designers like Coach and Calvin Klein. If you’re still not satisfied, QVB is connected to the Westfield mall, which is located directly on its north facing side.
Wander through the streets south of Circular Quay and you’ll find this hidden art installation on Angel Place between Ash St. and Pitt St. The artwork is called “Forgotten Songs” and was designed by Michael Thomas Hill. As you stand underneath the birdcages you can hear the sounds of the birds that once inhabited Sydney before the city was built.
If you’re hungry for more beach scenery after visiting Bondi beach, walk south along the coast to visit a few other beaches and sights, including Mackenzie’s Point, Tamarama Beach, and Bronte Beach.
After hearing about how Thai food is Sydney’s current obsession, I knew I had to check out the craze for myself. Upon seeing great reviews for Chat Thai (a chain scattered across the city, including at the Westfield mall), I had one of the spiciest but most delicious Thai dishes: mu krop—crispy pork belly over rice with a fried egg on top.
Go to the 5th floor of the Westfield mall and you’ll find the entrance to the Sydney Tower Eye, an observation deck with a 360 degree view of the city.
While strolling along The Rocks area or Circular Quay, visit the Museum of Contemporary Art, which is completely free to explore.
15. Take the ferry across circular quay at night
To get another great view of the Opera House or Harbour Bridge, jump aboard one of the ferries going to or from Circular Quay. Your opal card (transportation card for all buses, trains, and trams) will also work for ferry access.
In this post I also wanted to give a huge shout out to the Four Seasons hotel in Circular Quay for a wonderful stay. The hotel is conveniently located just a 5-10 minute walk from the Circular Quay ferry station, several bus stops, and, if you’re lucky enough, you could get a room with a sick view of the Opera House. The best part though, was probably the included breakfast which included freshly-made Eggs Benedicts and omelettes.
I also tried out room service for the first time and got this a.ma.zing pasta. I called concierge to ask the chef for the recipe. Turns out there was uni butter in it, so welp, it might not be very easy to recreate at home.