Sydney is well known for being a city of excitement, culture and adventure. As a popular destination for gap year students, there is a lot to discover upon arrival but as we know flights to the other side of the road in Australia aren’t exactly cheap.
However, that should not stop anyone from pursuing an Australian adventure holiday and having the experience of a lifetime. So here are some activities that won’t break your bank balance but will ensure that you have an incredible time.
Photograph the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Home to one of the most astonishing views in Sydney, the Harbour Bridge is loved by all.
Just as you can see everything from it, you can also catch sight of the bridge from all over the city.
The best way to experience the views is by foot.
A footpath runs right across the eastern side and will provide you with a totally free and true Sydney experience, as well as a lovely stroll.
If you are not quite fulfilled by this view then you can climb the bridge itself for a few hundred dollars!
Free admission at the Art Gallery of New South Wales
Fancy some culture? The Art Gallery of NSW has free entry, which considering its fantastic reputation in Sydney society is definitely something to take advantage of.
There are three permanent collections: Australian, post sixteenth-century European, and Asian.
They offer free guided tours on the hour from 11am-2pm on Tuesday-Sunday.
Along with the art collections there are also concerts, screenings and celebrity talks – not one to be missed!
Amuse yourself at Luna Park!
Walking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the Rock is Luna Park. This 1935 amusement park is well-known for providing a fun-filled day out, and you could take some other travellers with you to enjoy the fun!
Known for the staple Ferris Wheel, Big Dipper and Flying Saucer, as well as many others, it can provide a good combination of nausea and excitement.
The park is free to enter, and you can either pay as you go on the rides or buy an unlimited height restriction pass.
Visit the second oldest National Park in the world
The Royal National Park is a breathtaking coastal park. It’s the second oldest National Park in the world, including dramatic cliffs, golden beaches and amazing rainforests.
Aspects such as the coastal walk from Bundeena or the opportunity to go surfing at Gari or Burning Palms are all very popular attractions.
Walking around the different areas of the park is free, but to make the trip that little bit more special you can also hire rowboats, canoes and kayaks from Audley Boat Shed for about AUD$45 a day in order to paddle up Kangaroo creek or the Hacking River.
Peruse the stalls of Paddington markets
Paddington markets provide the perfect Saturday afternoon experience in Sydney. They are long established markets and turn Paddington upside down with their quirkiness.
They started back in the 1970s and used to be where the more alternative crowd of punks, skinheads and hippies used to hang out together.
Now it is a little more mainstream but more than worth a visit for its variety of stalls.
How To Enjoy The Good Life Down Under
Sydney, Australia was the last stop for my friend and I after 5 months of traveling around South East Asia.
Although it was strange to be in a more Westernised environment again, we soon found our feet sampling all the restaurants and bars that our purse strings could possibly handle.
If you enjoy live music I would highly recommend the Lansdowne Hotel – this is an iconic venue, which is very much part of the underground scene and hosts an eclectic range of different bands each night.
Not only is the music great but the drinks are also relatively cheap and they have a 2 4 1 cocktail hour every night from 10pm-11pm, which we took full advantage of!
However for a real clubbing experience that truly demonstrates the essence of Sydney’s nightlife I would suggest the Tank nightclub in Bridge Lane.
Many DJs come from around the world just to play here and you can understand why the second you enter the underground clubber’s paradise.
Everything has been taken into consideration: a stunning sound system, mesmerizing lighting and even interactive live-mixed video projections, which are always entertaining after a few drinks!
The music is usually funky house, and the drinks are not too pricey and well worth the visual audio experience.
For the morning after the night before, there are hundreds of great restaurants to nurse the hangover – for an experience to remember, Universal Restaurant is definitely worth a try, with its unique and beautifully presented food.
I chose the seared sea scallop with lotus root samphire and wasabi avocado, which is every bit as delicious as it sounds! The great thing about this restaurant is that you’re never completely sure what you’re ordering, but once you’ve eaten it you’re glad you didn’t go with the usual.
However, though this is a wonderful place with amazing food, it is quite expensive for people on a budget.
For a delicious place to eat in Sydney that won’t burn holes in your pockets I would recommend Jasmin’s in Haldon Street.
This is one of the best Lebanese restaurants I have been too! The falafel was to die for and the bread and humus was not far behind.
My traveling buddy loved the meat too, particularly the lamb kebab, which came with some yummy salad and vegetables.
I would really advise giving this place a visit if you enjoy Lebanese cuisine, but be warned it can get very busy – eating in Sydney is a wonderful experience that definitely hits the stop when your tummy grumbles, and the nightlife is just as wonderful!
It’s a very good life down under, one I would truly recommend to anyone considering such an adventure!