The sun is shining. You're studying abroad in Sydney. How do you make the most of the day ahead? Our local staff have a few suggestions:
1. WALK FROM BONDI TO COOGEE. The Bondi to Coogee walk is a coastal cliff walk with great views of the eastern suburbs’ beaches - Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly and Gordon's bay. Along the 6km walk, you'll see stunning views from the cliffs including rock pools, bays and beaches and parks. It is also the venue for Sculpture by the Sea, which runs from October to November each year and features over 100 sculptures by artists from Australia and around the world. The walk is considered a medium grade walk; however, there are plenty of rest stops and beaches along this coastal track to keep you refreshed and energized.
Photo: Sydney's Sculpture by the Sea, 2013 by Ian Sanderson
2. HAVE A PICNIC IN THE ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS. Did you know that 91% of Australia is covered by native vegetation? Even the urban areas such as Sydney have beautiful parks to help people escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney is one of these - a green oasis of 30 hectares right in the middle of the city. It is a popular place to have a picnic and enjoy the stunning views of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour. There are also a number of feature gardens to check out and see gorgeous plants and flowers that you can only find in Australia.
Photo: Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney by Alex Proimos
3. TAKE IN THE VIEWS ON THE FERRY FROM CIRCULAR QUAY TO MANLY. The 30 minute ferry ride from Circular Quay to Manly offers spectacular views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. On a sunny day, the sun glistens and bounces from the structure of the Sydney Opera House to the calm harbour seawater and draws your eyes to other landscapes and architectural designs that surround the harbour that you may have missed back on shore. The Circular Quay to Manly service runs regularly each day so there is always plenty of room on each ferry to catch the stunning views.
Photo: Sydney ferries in Circular Quay by Hadi Zaher
4. CAMP OUT ON COCKATOO ISLAND. Cockatoo Island is a heritage-listed island in the middle of beautiful Sydney Harbour, which is accessible by ferry. It is the only harbour island where you can stay overnight. You'll find all sorts of interesting accommodation options at different prices and that cater to various tastes. A popular option is camping (or “glamping” for those who prefer to rough it without getting rough), which allows you to take in both a gorgeous sunset and sunrise over the unique city skyline. Not to worry if you don't have camping gear. Everything you would need is available to hire on site.
Photo: Cockatoo Island art by Steven
5. LEARN WHAT'S SUP AT ROSE BAY. Explore the harbour in a unique way whilst strengthening those core muscles by learning to Stand Up Paddle (SUP), also known as Paddleboarding, at Rose Bay. People of all fitness levels will enjoy Paddleboarding for a bit of exercise, and it's also an awesome way to see Sydney Harbour. Rose Bay is also an ideal place to learn. The waters are calm and you coudln't ask for better views. One of the appealing differences between Paddleboarding and riding a boat or kayak is that you can see what is underneath you – which can be fun and scary at the same time!
Photo: Paddleboarding in Sydney by Rory
6. ENJOY A BUFFET LUNCH AT SYDNEY TOWER. Sydney Tower Buffet offers locals and visitors dishes from a range of different cuisines, including modern Australian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Italian and a selection of fresh seafood – symbolising the cultural melting pot within Sydney and Australia more generally. Here you can try kangaroo and crocodile as well! But the main drawing card of this venue is the spectacular 360-degree revolving views of the city. It is the perfect location to enjoy a clear and sunny day as well as see just how far the city of Sydney stretches geographically, from the beachside, city side and to the surrounding suburban areas.
Photo: Sydney Tower by CameliaTWU
7. LEARN TO SURF AT BONDI BEACH. Packed full of both tourists and locals, Bondi is one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia and definitely the most popular. It attracts everyone from backpackers to billionaires and is famous for its stereotypical Aussie surf culture. Of all the beaches in Sydney, this is the beach that most urban dwellers flock to and visitors want to test their surfing prowess at as it is the closest beach to the city centre and is a world-famous surfing hotspot.
Photo: Surfing at Bondi Beach by Mary
8. HAVE A BARBIE AND PLAY BEACH CRICKET AT BRONTE. Bronte Park has everything you need when it comes to choosing the best barbequing, or “barbie”, spot. With plenty of hotplates, a beach, and lots of green space to test your cricket playing abilities – or “backyard cricket” as the locals call it, there’s not much else you could ask for on a sunny day down under. Just make sure you don’t feed the seagulls or they’ll be bugging you all day!
Photo: Bronte Park, Sydney by Howie Weiner
9. HORSE AROUND OR PEDAL YOUR WAY THROUGH THE CENTENNIAL PARKLANDS. Cruise the 189 hectares of tranquil serenity on your preferred mode of transportation – horse or bicycle. Centennial Parklands is a grand park in the Victorian period tradition. Wander the grounds to find statues and historis buildings, formal gardens, ponds and spoting fields as well as grand avenues. It also offers horse riding bookings as well as mountain bike to pedal car hire to those wanting to explore the area in their own unique way. When the sun’s out, fun’s out – and you can people watch while you ride and see the locals play competitive soccer games, eat picnic lunches, fly kites and enjoy the splendour in the grass.
Photo: Centennial Park, Sydney by Deborah & Kevin
10. PLAY "BAREFOOT BOWLS" AT PADDINGTON BOWLING CLUB. A recent craze during the summer months that has swept the nation over the past decade is barefoot lawn bowls. When people mention lawn bowls, they think of retirees donning matching white uniforms and visors, discussing what the grandkids are up to these days. However, “Barefoot Bowls” is aimed at the younger crowd and has been successful in hitting this target market with many bowling clubs promoting barefoot bowls during the warmer times of the year. Paddington Bowling Club, “or Paddo Bowls” as the locals warmly refer to it, is where the hip inner west youngsters gather on a sparkling summer’s day to partake in some friendly competitive banter with mates while enjoying the sunshine on their skin and pristine greens under their feet.
Photo: Paddington Bowls Club by Charlie Brewer
Share your favorite sunny day activities with us in a comment!