From picturesque beaches, hot air balloons perfect for sky-high sightseeing, and the option to surf whenever you want, a trip to Sydney means one thing, you’re going to be busy! Chances are you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice, so to help, we’ve put together a list of the best things to do in Sydney...

1. Climb ‘the coathanger’

It’s one of the most well-known Sydney landmarks. The locals nicknamed Sydney Harbour Bridge ‘the coathanger’ because of its shape and you’re free to stroll across it for some great views of the harbour. You can also go one better and book a climb up into the structure itself, it’s all designed to protect you from accidental injury, and you don’t need to be an expert climber to be able to get up there either. With the ultimate tour you’ll get to stand 134 metres (439 feet) above the water and enjoy fantastic 360-degree views of Sydney. There’s no better way to see the magical Sydney skyline.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Greg Wood (@woodyscanon) on

Red Route, Stop: Sydney Harbour Bridge

2. Go for a beach walk

Everybody’s heard of Bondi Beach, but do you know about Coogee and Tamarama? There are plenty of beaches along this golden coast that are just as perfect and sublime as Bondi, and the Bondi to Coogee walk is the perfect way to see them all. It’s a 6-kilometre (3.7 miles) long trail, and there are a few steep gradients. But the views and beaches are stunning, making the exercise totally worth it.

Going for a seaside stroll is one of the best things to do in Sydney, we recommend wearing comfortable shoes and stopping for lots of delicious cheap eats along the way. With the option to cool off in the water when you want to, we can’t think of a better way to burn off some holiday calories.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by MartinL. (@loefflermart) on

Blue Route, Stop: Bondi Beach

3. Learn how to sail

If you’re going to test your sea legs, we can’t think of a better place to do it. Sydney Harbour is bustling with boats, yachts and ferries, and you can sign up for a sailing lesson to learn the ropes with an instructor while you’re here. If you’ve sailed before, you can charter a yacht for a full or half day and just get out there. If you prefer to be a passenger aboard a boat, then there’s a Sydney activity for you too. Captain Cook Cruises takes you to all the key Sydney sights and gives you a unique view from the water, book your tickets through us to save time and beat the crowds.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Captain Cook Cruises (@captaincookcruises) on

Red Route, Stop: Sydney Harbour Bridge

4. Camp out for the night

Cockatoo Island is a UNESCO world-heritage listed site in the middle of Sydney Harbour.

Being the largest of several islands that were originally heavily timbered sandstone knolls, it’s great for a little daytime exploration and can be discovered by foot. There are loads of hidden gems and places for picnics, but the biggest draw is the ability to camp overnight.

You’ll find a range of tents already planted so, if you’d like to stay overnight and wake up with one of the best views in the world on your doorstep, this one’s for you. And if you’re wondering what to do with kids in Sydney, this is a great way to keep the little ones entertained.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Cockatoo Island Sydney Harbour (@cockatooisland) on

5. Do some whale watching

This should be top on everyone’s list of things to do in Sydney. If you’re here between May and November you’re in the perfect place to see whales as they migrate from Antarctica to the Great Barrier Reef. You can sometimes catch them from the coastline, but the best way to see them is by getting out on the water. Take a whale-watching cruise from the harbour and keep your eyes peeled for Humpback and Southern Right whales. There are 38 vantage points in Sydney where you can go during this time too, Fairfax Lookout in Manly is a great place to spot the migration, as is Cape Solander and Bondi Beach.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by #WhalesAustralia (@whales_australia) on

Blue Route, Stop: Bondi Beach

6. Go up, up and away

It’s very easy to spend the duration of your holiday in the bustling centre, but if you extend your vistas out of the city towards the Blue Mountains you’ll find a magnificent range to the west of Sydney's city limits. The easiest way to get there is to jump on a Blue Mountains Explorer Bus, tickets can be booked through us and you’re free to explore any of the tours 31 stops.

Appreciate the scenery, go for a 'bushwalk' amidst the distinctive Australian flora and fauna, or really live it up and secure a place on a hot air balloon flight, a truly magical experience that will really leave you speechless. Be prepared to get up before dawn for the chance to watch the sunrise from your balloon. And charge your phones, you’ll definitely want to take a selfie.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Steve Burns (@steveburnspictures) on

Red Route, Stop: International Convention Centre (alight for Blue Mountain Tours)

7. See Australia’s unique wildlife

Sydney Zoo really focuses on the animals with an Australian natural habitat, after all if you’ve got species like koalas, kangaroos and duck-billed platypus, why import any others? With great views of the Sydney Opera House in the distance, it’s the perfect place for animal lovers to learn about the various species they house.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by KYM CHAN (@kyymc) on

Sydney Sea Life Aquarium is also well worth a visit. Be sure to catch the Great Barrier Reef exhibit and look out for the sharks while you’re here – they’re some of the biggest in any aquarium in the world. Both activities are great thing to do with kids in Sydney, but we’re sure adults will enjoy them too. Book your Merlin Combination Tickets in advance through us and spend the day in both places. You’ll also get access to the Sydney Tower Eye and Madame Tussauds, some of Sydney’s best attractions.

Red Route, Stop: Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

8. Hit the surf

If you’re going to learn how to surf, the waves don’t get much better than at Bondi Beach. If you’re a complete beginner, you can book a 2-hour lesson as part of a group. Alternatively, you might want to sign up for individual tuition with your own instructor. If you’re here with family or friends why not hire a personal instructor so all of you can make a splash together? As far as options for what to do in Sydney go, it doesn’t get more Australian than this.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by @calibriphotography on

Blue Route, Stop: North Bondi

9. Come to the market

Glebe Market is a browser’s dream, with plenty of bric-a-brac, second-hand clothes, records, books, artisan goods and jewellery, all available at knock-down prices. Held every Saturday from 10:00am till 4:00pm, the market is a great place just to come and chill. Relax on the lawn and listen to the live music. There are plenty of food and drink stalls for refreshments too.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Glebe Markets (@glebemarkets) on

Red Route, Stop: Power House Museum

10. Have a barbecue

With its European heritage and Asian influences, Sydney offers a vast range of eating experiences and tastes for the hungry traveller. But there’s no getting away from the fact that with a climate like this, you can’t beat dining al fresco. Do as the Sydneysiders do, and pitch your barbie in Centennial Park. This is where the locals come to work out and just relax at the weekend, and it's a fantastically authentic place to enjoy Australia's famous culinary tradition.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Centennial Parklands (@centparklands) on

Blue Route, Stop: Centennial Parklands

If you’re wondering what to do in Sydney, just follow our guide and you’re guaranteed to experience some of the very best activities the city has to offer. It only takes one Sydney visit to realise that this is a dream location, with the vast glittering harbour skirting the city coastline it’s easy to become enchanted. And when you’re done with the daytime fun, be sure to check out the best of Sydney’s Nightlife too…