The Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach… Sydney certainly has no shortage of iconic sights. But if you’re visiting the city and have already ticked the big ones off the list, you may be left wondering ‘now what?!’
After all, in a city so large, it can be hard to know where to what’s going to be worth your time. Sometimes, it’s those hidden gems that aren’t in every guidebook or travel website that end up being the most memorable. That’s why we’ve rounded up the things to do in Sydney that only locals know about. From delicious food precincts to bars with spectacular views and secluded beaches, there’s something for everyone!
Ever had those times where you know you feel like Asian food, but aren’t sure which kind? Same. It’s on these occasions that you need to head to Spice Alley. Located in Chippendale’s Kensington Street, this is a Hawker-style mini market filled with Japanese, Malaysian, Thai, Malaysian, Singaporean and Vietnamese delights. The street is decked out with fairy lights and lanterns, which creates the perfect ambience for date night or a casual dinner with friends.
Learn more about Kensington Street.
One of Sydney’s biggest selling points is the seamless blend of beach and city, and nowhere illustrates this better than Milk Beach in Vaucluse. Tucked away in Sydney Harbour National Park, this secluded beach offers one of the most spectacular views of Sydney Harbour. It’s also located right in front of the heritage-listed Strickland House in Vaucluse, which has remained completely intact from its original condition in the 1850s.
Learn more about Milk Beach.
What was once the historic Rozelle Tramsheds has been transformed into one of Sydney’s most unique dining destinations. The beautifully restored precinct is filled with more than 12 delicious eateries, including sustainable restaurant, Butcher and the Farmer, southern soul food joint, Redline Brewing Co and local faves like Belle’s Hot Chicken, Gelato Messina and Mama’s Buoi. They also hold a grower’s market every Sunday morning, which is well worth a visit. While it’s a little off the beaten track, it’s only a short tram ride away from the Sydney CBD.
Learn more about Tramsheds.
Blink and you’ll miss this Sydney hidden gem. Located in the chic suburb of Paddington, this sunken garden was built as a water reservoir in 1899 and reopened as an urban park in 2009. From the hanging garden canopy to the vibrant graffiti art and sandstone pillars, this is easily one of the most Instagrammable spots in Sydney. Or, you can come to simply enjoy the quiet oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Learn more about Paddington Reservoir Gardens.
If the idea of playing golf on a Friday night doesn’t inspire much enthusiasm, you clearly haven’t been to Holey Moley Golf Club. With locations in Newtown, Darlinghurst and Castle Hill, it’s part cocktail bar, part karaoke joint and part mini golf course. Tackling their themed holes with one of their crazy, golf-inspired cocktails (Sugar Caddy, anyone?) in hand is easily one of the most fun nights out you can have in Sydney.
Learn more about Holey Moley.
Many a tourist has been left gobsmacked by stumbling across this cove on the Bondi to Coogee walk. Located in between Clovelly and Coogee beaches, Gordon’s Bay is only accessible by foot—but it’s well worth the walk. The water is such a sparkling turquoise that it looks like it’s straight off a postcard. It’s also a nice spot to go for a dip in summer, if you’re someone who prefers calm water to waves (aka. me)
Learn more about Gordon’s Bay.
Squire’s Landing is a hidden gem purely because it’s only a few weeks old—but chances are, it won’t stay that way for long. Located in The Rocks, the James Squire brewhouse and restaurant offers unparalleled views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. They also have a great range of craft beers and delicious food menu (both in the downstairs bar and restaurant upstairs) you can enjoy while you take in the view.
Learn more about Squire’s Landing.