When it comes to Sydney, there are classic must-do’s that every native Aussie and inbound tourist will think of. From the famous Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge to Bondi Beach and Taronga Zoo, Sydney is never short of things to do. But what are some of the more unusual things to do in Sydney?
Whether you’re after kid-friendly activities or adult adventures – or a bit of both -we’re here for you! Most importantly, if you’re looking to be a tourist in your own backyard this summer with the hopes of staying off the beaten track, then here are six unusual things to do in Sydney.
1. Check-Out Gould’s Book Arcade
This emporium of knowledge in the heart of Sydney is the perfect oasis where fact and fiction intermingle for the avid book lover.
Established in 1967 Gould’s Book Arcade is the largest used bookstore in all of Australia. With titles you’ve never heard of, this is the hub for finding the best late-night reading material in Sydney. Look out for their resident black cat Oscar, who is fond of keeping the shelves messy for all to appreciate.
2. Try Purikura Photoland
This Japanese-inspired rainbow of arcades is made for selfie lovers. Purikura Photoland is essentially a crowd of photo booths and arcade machines. It simply can’t be missed as one of the best unusual things to do in Sydney.
The photo booths incorporate Japanese Kawaii culture, which has become increasingly popular across the globe in recent years.
Yet, these pink, sparkly booths offer snap editing features that you wouldn’t find in your classic passport booth. Each machine (which speaks to you in Japanese) has its own personality and design aesthetic. This can help you become the anime character you didn’t even know you wanted to be. Simply flash a ‘peace sign’ into the camera and let the photo booth do the rest!
3. Hop on a Ferry to Cockatoo Island
Another addition to the best unusual things to do in Sydney is taking a ferry to Cockatoo Island. Just a short journey from Sydney Harbour, this stunning UNESCO site is a historical landmark. It’s steeped in history, and was once home to convicts as a penal unit and also acted as a shipyard hub for Sydney Harbour.
There are so many things to do in Sydney that are fun for adults and exciting for the kids, too, like kayaking around the island, playing vintage games on the lawn or embracing the spooky history of the island with the Haunted History Tour.
Adults can indulge at the Café Marina and Bar, enjoy a picnic with friends or check out the convict precinct.
4. Relax in the Wendy Whiteley Secret Garden
To truly get away from it all, you can wander into the Wendy Whiteley Secret Garden. This beautiful lawn is situated by the water’s edge, overlooking the gorgeous Sydney Harbour Bridge and skyline.
Located in Lavender Bay, it is conveniently quiet; a perfect spot for a romantic picnic or even to get the perfect Instagram snap in the sun. The Wendy Whiteley Secret Garden is named after the artist who transformed the area from a garbage-strewn mess into a beautiful tropical landscape of exotic plants, natural walkways and ancient trees.
This is definitely one of the more relaxing things to do in Sydney and allows time to appreciate the tranquil space.
5. Bare it all at Lady Jane Beach
Here’s one that is not quite so friendly for kids! Lady Jane Beach is a small white sand beach cove in Sydney’s east enclosed by towering grey stone cliffs. Yet, the catch is that it is a nudist beach, meaning that all your worries (and your clothes!) can be set aside!
Heading to a nudist beach is one of the more unusual things to do in Sydney for most people, particularly as there aren’t many in the city. The beach is the perfect serene sport to get that line-free tan and experience unique views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge away from the crowds.
6. Tour Through the Jenolan Caves
Finally, one of the more unforgettable unusual things to do in Sydney is to head West to the Jenolan Caves.
The depths of the limestone cave has unending beauty. The cave is also home to spectacular events held throughout the year. For instance: the concerts and light shows bring life into the stunning limestone caverns and there’s even a fossilised skeleton in one of the caves!
However, make sure you’ve got your walking boots laced up; there are hundreds of steps within each cave tour and each will last an hour.
And, that’s it for the top six unusual things to do in Sydney! With these amazing, quirky and sometimes simply outrageous adventures waiting just off the beaten path of Sydney, why wait?
To discover more things to do in Sydney, check out our other local insights blogs.