Best Outdoor Activities in Sydney Everyone Needs to Experience
Sydney is a city full of outdoor adventures that locals and visitors all need to have on their bucket lists. Spending time in the great outdoors is good for the soul, and it’s also sensible in our post-lockdown city. Greater safety and no mask wearing? It’s a win win! Whether you’re planning a solo adventure, a family gathering, or an alfresco catch up with some friends, we’ve highlighted the best outdoor activities in the Emerald City.
Outdoor entertainment doesn’t get much better than Karisma Cruises. Our luxury catamarans are the first to hit the harbour, featuring sundecks, plenty of outdoor space, and a host of customisable options. From corporate functions to birthday parties and even wedding receptions, we’ve been the unique backdrop for a range of special occasions.
In this blog, we highlight 10 great outdoor activities everyone needs to experience in Sydney.
Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge
What better way to spend an afternoon than climbing Sydney Harbour’s iconic suspension bridge? Also known as the ‘coat hanger’ due to its distinctive appearance, the bridge spans from the CBD to the North Shore, and boasts a 134 metre summit. A couple of hours ascending this mammoth steel structure will reward you with some heart-thumping, jaw-dropping views of the harbour. And, at the end of your challenge, you can enjoy some well-earned celebratory drinks back on the ground!
10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Sydney Harbour Bridge >
Go Whale Watching
If you’re in Sydney at the right time of year, don’t miss the Annual Humpback Migration. After a summer feeding on krill in Antarctic waters, humpback wales go on a 10,000 kilometre journey north to breed. The peak time of year for spotting whales is usually between June and August, although this varies year on year. Water temperature, sea ice levels, predation risk, and prey abundance can all be determining factors. If you’re around later in the year, you might spot humpback whales September to November on their way back South if you’re lucky, though they tend swim further away from the shore to make use of the East Australian Current.
Find out more: The Ultimate Guide to Whale Watching in Sydney
Visit the Royal Botanic Gardens
Established in 1816, the Royal Botanic Garden is the oldest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, and the oldest scientific institution in Australia. If you’re looking for an outdoor activity with a slightly lower impact, this 30 acre green oasis in the middle of the CBD makes a great trip for all the family. With a wide variety of plants, insects, and animals from across Australia, the South Pacific and beyond, there is plenty to see, learn and do. With a changing programme of festivals, exhibitions, plant sales and events, there is always something going on at the gardens. Learn about horticulture, escape the hustle and bustle of the CBD and enjoy some waterside refreshments when you’re done!
Enjoy an Outdoor Swim
If you’re looking for somewhere to cool off, try one of Sydney’s gorgeous outdoor pools. The most popular of these is Icebergs at the Southern end of Bondi Beach – so called because its members swim all year round, in all weathers. This saltwater pool is 50 metres long and perfect for whiling away a few hours. And this pool is just the tip of the iceberg (literally!); there are an array of other beautiful outdoor swimming spots across the city, including Bronte Pool, a small manmade rockpool at the southern end of Bronte Beach.
Take a Sightseeing Tour
For an exclusive perspective on Sydney Harbour, it doesn’t get much better than a private sightseeing tour. Experiencing the harbour from the water is something every Sydneysider and tourist alike needs to have on their to do list – and you’ll beat the crowds too! To make the day even more memorable, you could even charter a luxury catamaran. Relax, enjoy some delicious food and drink, and glide past the famous sights of the harbour area in style – including the iconic bridge and the even more iconic Opera House!
See more: Sightseeing Cruises Around Sydney – Everything You Need to Know
Walk the South Head Heritage Trail
Nothing beats getting out and about on foot, and the South Head Heritage Trail is a fascinating but easy walk, ideal for groups with a range of fitness levels. Starting from Camp Cove at Watson Bay, it takes you past some beautiful scenery and fascinating heritage including gun emplacements and the heritage-listed active Hornby Lighthouse. This lighthouse is the third oldest in New South Wales, built in 1858 following the wrecking of the Dunbar and the Catherine Adamson in 1857. With its characteristic red and white stripes, it’s impossible to resist getting a few snaps!
The Ultimate Guide to Organising Group Activities in Sydney >
Discover Harbour Beaches
Sydney Harbour has some stunning beaches that are a little more secluded than the famous but often overcrowded Bondi. Throughout Port Jackson, you can find plenty of sheltered coves and beautiful bays perfect for relaxing in the sun. Swim, kayak, fish, or just sunbathe – the choice is yours! From Camp Cove with its sloping shore and turquoise waters to Seven Shillings with its spectacular view of the bridge, there’s something for everyone in the harbour.
It you want to make the most of your beach day, chartering a boat will make the whole experience unforgettable. With a spacious sunbathing deck, a range of food and drink package options, and a variety of fun add-ons like our aqua pack, our luxury catamaran will take your beach trip to the next level.
Learn to Surf
Australia is known as the ‘Surfer’s Paradise’ for a reason, with 37,000 kilometres of breath-taking coastline, reefs, and beaches that receive consistent swell from all directions. Whether you want to glide along on some easy waves or take on a point break, surfing is a must-do for visitors, and a daily ritual for many Sydneysiders! Of course, Bondi is the go-to beach when it comes to surfing, with reliable waves that are great for learning. It can get crowded in the summer months, however, so it’s best to go early if you can!
Another option is Freshwater Beach, the birthplace of Australian surfing. It was here that the Hawaiian surfer Duke Kahanamoku showcased his wave riding skills in 1915 to the delight of local crowds. Though similar activities had been attempted here before, it was this event that really kickstarted our love affair with the sport. Affectionately known as ‘Freshie’ by locals, this sheltered spot is protected from strong winds making it ideal for novices – especially when there’s an Eastern swell.
Chill Out at an Outdoor Bar
Sydney has an array of beach bars, harbourside hangouts, and rooftop terraces. Maybe you want to relax with family after an adventure fuelled day, maybe you’re planning a glamorous catch up with friends accompanied by some stunning views. CBD or Inner West, there’s a destination for everyone in the city – whatever food and drink you’re craving. For something a bit more unique, why not take your drinks party onto the water? Karisma provides the perfect backdrop for a special occasion, and can be totally tailored to your requirements, tastes, and budget.