Abyss Scuba Diving

Sydney Sightseeing Guide: Top 25 Things To Do For Scuba Divers


Explore the Best: 25 Unmissable Things to Do in Sydney, 2024

Are you looking for engaging things to do in Sydney? Our straightforward guide cuts right to the chase, delivering 25 top experiences across this dynamic city. From first-time visitors to seasoned locals, discover Sydney’s famous landmarks, natural wonders, and cultural hotspots with zero fluff and maximum enjoyment.

Key Takeaways

  • Sydney’s must-see attractions include the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, promising a blend of historical insights, cultural experiences, and breathtaking views.

  • The Avelo Speciality Course at Abyss Scuba Diving redefines underwater exploration in Sydney, with groundbreaking technology that enhances dive experiences and encounters with rich marine life.

  • From serene natural wonders like the Royal Botanic Garden and stunning coastal walks to a vibrant nightlife with entertainment hubs like Kings Cross, Sydney offers a diverse array of attractions for every taste.

Sydney's Iconic Landmarks

Iconic landmarks in Sydney including Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge

Embracing the glittering harbor, Sydney’s skyline is crowned by two of the most awe-inspiring structures known worldwide: the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. These iconic landmarks, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, are not just spectacles to behold but adventures waiting to be lived. The Opera House, with its sailboat-like design, and the Harbour Bridge, the steel arch binding the city together, serve as the gateway to an array of experiences that define the essence of visiting Sydney.

Navigating through the city’s core, these landmarks stand tall, promising an array of thrilling experiences and visual delight. Whether you’re a history buff, an adrenaline seeker, or simply in pursuit of beauty, these attractions in Sydney offer a glimpse into the soul of New South Wales. They are the cornerstone of any visit, the memories of which will linger long after your footsteps have faded.

  • Sydney Opera House

  • Sydney Harbour Bridge

  • The Rocks

  • Royal Botanic Garden

  • Bondi Beach

  • Taronga Zoo

  • Darling Harbour

  • Circular Quay

  • Art Gallery of New South Wales

  • Museum of Contemporary Art

These iconic landmarks and attractions are a must-visit when exploring Sydney.

Marvel at the Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House with a view of the harbor

The Sydney Opera House, a stronghold of art and culture, welcomes you to delve into its mystique via guided tours that intertwine historical tales with glimpses into its performance halls. Scaling up to 300 stairs, each step is a journey through the famous opera house’s past, present, and ambitious future plans. For those who seek a leisurely pace, the accessibility of a stair-free tour ensures that everyone can experience the architectural triumph.

Beyond the tour, indulge in a ‘Tour and Dine’ package that marries fine dining with cultural exploration. Imagine savoring a meal at the Opera Bar after unraveling the mysteries of rehearsal spaces, orchestra pits, and the performers’ exclusive Green Room. In this world-renowned venue, every visit is an act of participation in the ongoing symphony of Sydney’s artistic heartbeat.

Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge for panoramic views

Picture yourself climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, an adventure that propels you to dizzying heights, boasting an unrivaled 360-degree city view. The climb is more than just a physical journey; it’s an educational odyssey, led by experienced climb leaders who ensure safety while sharing insights into the bridge’s construction and historical significance. From the architectural style to the engineering marvel that it represents, the climb provides a unique perspective on Sydney.

Whether you choose a sampler climb or dare to conquer the bridge at night, the experience culminates in a breathtaking panorama of landmarks like the Opera House and the distant Blue Mountains. The entire adventure, including preparation, safety briefing, and the climb itself, spans an invigorating 3.5 hours. It’s not just a climb; it’s a rite of passage for every traveler visiting Sydney.

Dive into Adventure with Avelo

Sydney presents an exceptional opportunity with the Avelo Speciality Course for diving enthusiasts and those eager to venture into the realm of underwater exploration. Offered by Abyss Scuba Diving, this course is a gateway to mastering the innovative Avelo Dive System, which promises to revolutionize your diving experience. With its leading-edge technology, Avelo optimizes buoyancy control, extends dive time, and enhances safety, setting you up for future dives in world-renowned destinations like the Great Barrier Reef or Ningaloo Reef.

Conveniently located a mere 10 minutes from Sydney Airport, Abyss Scuba Diving makes it easy for travelers to embark on this dive course before venturing into the ocean’s depths. Whether you’re in Sydney for a long stay or a quick stopover, the Avelo course is designed to fit into your travel itinerary, providing a comprehensive and thrilling dive experience that will elevate your skills and leave you yearning for more aquatic adventures.

Checking out a weedy seadragon during an Avelo Dive Course

Upgrade Your Dive Experience

To dive with Avelo means to adopt innovative developments that transform the sport. The Avelo Diving System, with its Hydrotank and Jetpack, is engineered to revolutionize buoyancy control and reduce gear weight. As you adjust buoyancy effortlessly with the Hydrotank, independent of depth, you’ll experience a transformation in your dives. The system not only facilitates a more natural underwater posture but also potentially improves gas consumption, a vital factor in extending your time submerged in the marine world.

With the Avelo Modes on dive computers, you gain:

  • Real-time insights and post-dive analysis, crucial for optimizing air consumption rates and enhancing dive planning

  • Reducing the work of breathing by up to 30%, resulting in longer, more comfortable dives

  • The ability to fully immerse yourself in the underwater wonders that Sydney has to offer

Avelo doesn’t just change how you dive; it changes how you experience the ocean.

Encounter Sydney's Marine Life

The Avelo dive course at Abyss Scuba Diving offers:

  • A skill-building session

  • A gateway to encountering Sydney’s abundant marine life

  • Located at the Steps dive site in Kamay Botany Bay National Park

  • Divers are treated to a diversity of aquatic experiences, from sponge gardens to a myriad of fish life

  • The Steps is a renowned destination for divers

  • The ocean’s canvas comes alive with the colors and movements of creatures like weedy seadragons, giant cuttlefish, and the friendly blue gropers

Imagine gliding through the water, your improved diving skills allowing you to seamlessly interact with the marine environment. Here, amongst the grey nurse sharks, seahorses, and various rays, the ocean’s secrets are revealed. With the Avelo system, your dives become more than just a pastime; they become a privileged journey into the heart of Sydney’s underwater realm, where every dive is an opportunity to connect with the wonders of the sea.

Bask in Natural Wonders

Sydney’s charm transcends its urban achievements, encompassing a wealth of natural wonders. From the tranquil expanse of the Blue Mountains to the lively golden sands of its many beaches, nature lovers will find themselves spoiled for choice. Sydney’s walking tracks, punctuated by waterfalls and vibrant plant life, offer serene escapes, while the beaches serve as gateways to stunning coastal walks that promise to captivate with every step.

Whether you’re lounging on the golden sands of Coogee or setting off on the scenic Bondi to Coogee walk, Sydney’s coastline is a treasure trove of photo ops and leisurely pursuits. The city’s natural beauty is a top attraction, inviting you to bask in the sun, surf on the waves, and explore the walking trails that meander through lush landscapes. In Sydney, nature’s canvas is vast and varied, offering a picturesque backdrop to your adventure.

The Royal Botanic Garden

Situated in Sydney’s core, the Royal Botanic Garden offers:

  • A lush haven, narrating a tale of natural grandeur and botanical marvel

  • An enchanting escape from the urban hustle, with no entry fee to deter visitors from its green embrace

  • Themed gardens such as the Australian Rainforest Garden and the Palm Grove, which beckon with their curated collections

  • The Palace Rose Garden, which blooms with an array of colors and fragrances

A leisurely stroll through the Royal Botanic Garden offers:

  • An immersion into tranquility, where the bustling city fades into a symphony of rustling leaves and birdsong

  • Lush gardens that provide photo ops at every turn

  • A peaceful retreat that resonates with the soul

  • A testament to the city’s commitment to preserving and celebrating nature’s beauty

In the midst of central Sydney, the Royal Botanic Garden stands as a testament to the city’s commitment to preserving and celebrating nature’s beauty.

Coastal Walks and Golden Sands

Commence the famed Bondi to Coogee walk, a route that displays Sydney’s coastal beauty at every turn. Starting at the world-famous Bondi Beach, this coastal trail weaves through a procession of picturesque beaches, including the charming Tamarama and Bronte. Along the way, trendy restaurants, bars, and parks offer perfect spots to unwind and soak in the coastal views.

As you traverse the Coogee Coastal Walk, you’re treated to a visual feast of golden sands and azure waters, with numerous vantage points offering unmatched photo opportunities. Sydney’s coastline is a mosaic of natural beauty and beachside charm, and the Bondi to Coogee walk is a journey that encapsulates this essence. It’s more than just a short walk; it’s an experience that will etch itself into your heart as one of Sydney’s most unforgettable attractions, much like the allure of Manly Beach.

Bondi to Coogee costal walk

Cultural Feasts and Historical Treats

Sydney is more than a sanctuary for natural beauty and adventure; it’s also a city steeped in history and culture. From convict times to the present day, Sydney’s past is etched into its very fabric, with sites like:

  • Susannah Place Museum

  • The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hyde Park Barracks

  • Cadmans Cottage, Sydney’s oldest surviving residential building

  • The Museum of Sydney, built above the first Government House

These sites offer glimpses into Sydney’s storied past and provide fascinating insights into the city’s origins as a British settlement.

The cultural feast extends into The Rocks district, where historic pubs like The Fortune of War and the Lord Nelson Brewery hark back to Sydney’s early social life. Here, the cobbled streets resonate with stories of yesteryear, creating a nostalgic journey through the city’s history. As you explore Sydney’s cultural and historical treats, you’ll uncover a tapestry of experiences that paint a rich narrative of the city’s evolution.

Time Travel at The Rocks

Located at the base of the Harbour Bridge, The Rocks is a historic district that bears witness to Sydney’s colonial roots. Known as the landing place of the first European settlers in 1788, it has transformed into a vibrant precinct that melds the past with the present. Guided walking tours, such as The Rocks Walking Tours or the I’m Free Tours, offer an intimate exploration of its cobbled lanes and hidden alleyways, each step a discovery of the area’s rich tapestry.

The Rocks is not just about history; it’s a cultural hot spot with:

  • artisan markets

  • historic pubs

  • The Rocks Markets with over 200 stalls on weekends

  • The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel for a sip of nostalgia

  • The Rocks Discovery Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art for interactive spaces to learn about local history and engage with art

In The Rocks, every corner is a narrative, every building a story, waiting for you to step into Sydney’s historical heart.

Artistic Explorations

Venues like St. Mary’s Cathedral, a sanctuary of worship and artistry where stained-glass windows project a kaleidoscope of light across the nave, serve as a home for Sydney’s artistic soul. The cathedral’s mosaic floor depicting the Creation, the tombs of bishops, and occasional special exhibits invite visitors to explore its artistic treasures within an hour’s visit. Lauded as both beautiful and impressive, St. Mary’s Cathedral is a testament to Sydney’s commitment to preserving and showcasing art in all its forms.

But the artistic journey doesn’t end at the cathedral’s doors. Throughout Sydney, cultural venues abound, offering a world of creative exploration. From contemporary art to Asian art, the city’s galleries and museums are vibrant spaces where the arts thrive. As you wander through Sydney, let the city’s artistic heartbeat guide you, and you’ll find that every gallery, every exhibition, is a chapter in the city’s storied cultural narrative.

Shop and Savour in Style

Immerse yourself in the splendor of Sydney’s shopping landscape, where the historic Queen Victoria Building and the vibrant Pitt Street Mall present a myriad of retail experiences. With a blend of architectural beauty and contemporary indulgence, these shopping havens are where style and sophistication meet. After perusing the latest fashion trends and designer wares, visitors can embark on a culinary journey to Chinatown, where traditional Yum Cha sessions await to satisfy gastronomic cravings with an array of dim sum delights.

The Queen Victoria Building, a Romanesque revival masterpiece, is a shopping destination that marries luxury with legacy. Over 200 high-end stores call this historical edifice home, inviting shoppers to explore a world where elegance and extravagance coalesce. Meanwhile, Pitt Street Mall pulses with the energy of downtown Sydney, offering a mix of local and international brands that cater to every taste and budget. Together, these shopping districts are a testament to Sydney’s flair for fashion and its penchant for the finer things in life.

Queen Victoria Building

Submerge yourself in the magnificence of the Queen Victoria Building, a place where history and shopping merge in a harmonious display of refinement. This iconic Sydney structure is not merely a building; it’s a shopping paradise, adorned with Romanesque architecture that whispers tales of the past while housing contemporary retail luxury. With over 200 stores, the Queen Victoria Building offers a shopping experience that is both diverse and refined, catering to those with a penchant for the finer things in life.

From the unique offerings of shops like:

  • Koko Black

  • kikki.K

  • fashion boutiques

  • jewelry boutiques

  • delectable chocolate boutiques

to the diverse retail mix that includes local and international designer brands, the Queen Victoria Building is a haven for discerning shoppers. As you wander through the corridors, the grandeur of the past and the allure of modern luxury are seamlessly woven together, creating an unforgettable shopping experience in the heart of Sydney.

Queen Victoria Building in Sydney

Pitt Street Mall

Pitt Street Mall, located in Sydney’s core, is an emblem of contemporary retail - a lively outdoor pedestrian mall that encapsulates the city’s shopping ethos. Here, Australian and international labels mingle with department stores and boutique outlets, creating a retail mosaic that caters to every shopper’s desire. Whether you’re in search of the latest trends from global giants like H&M and Zara or unique Australian fashion pieces, Pitt Street Mall is the pulse of downtown Sydney’s shopping scene.

As you stroll through this lively pedestrian zone, the air buzzes with the energy of shoppers and the charm of street performers, making it a dynamic destination that extends beyond retail therapy. Pitt Street Mall is not just a place for transactions; it’s a social hub where fashion, culture, and urban life intersect. It’s where the city’s heartbeat is felt most strongly, and where every visit is an adventure in style and sophistication.

Wildlife Encounters

Encounter diverse wildlife at Taronga Zoo and SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Wildlife encounters in Sydney provide a voyage into the core of Australian fauna, seamlessly blending conservation, education, and enjoyment. At Taronga Zoo, visitors can embark on the new Nura Diya Australia experience, a quarter-mile walking trail that winds through diverse landscapes, offering glimpses of kangaroos, Sumatran tigers, and Asian elephants. Meanwhile, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium provides an aquatic counterpoint, showcasing marine life from rays to tropical fish, right in the heart of Darling Harbour. For an up-close experience with native Australian animals, Wild Life Sydney Zoo and Featherdale Wildlife Park are other must-visit destinations.

Both attractions emphasize the importance of conservation, educating visitors on the critical role of ecosystems and biodiversity. At Taronga Zoo, the focus on transforming facilities into conservation hubs highlights a commitment to a sustainable future, while the aquarium allows guests to discover marine creatures up close, reinforcing the message of protecting our oceans.

These wildlife experiences in Sydney not only entertain but also inspire, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for the wonders of Australian wildlife.

Taronga Zoo

Located along the banks of Sydney Harbour, Taronga Zoo offers:

  • A refuge for wildlife and education

  • An immersive experience that transforms its grounds into a platform for conservation communication

  • New attractions and unique animal experiences

  • The opportunity for visitors to be participants in a global conversation about preserving biodiversity.

Education at Taronga Zoo is an interactive experience, where sustainability is woven into the fabric of each exhibit and program. As you wander through the zoo, you’ll learn about the crucial role each species plays in the health of our planet, and the vital importance of conservation efforts. With each visit, you’re not only enjoying the company of amazing creatures; you’re becoming a part of Taronga Zoo’s vision for an environmentally responsible future.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Plunge into the marine world at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, a leading attraction that introduces the ocean’s depths amidst the vibrant surroundings of Darling Harbour. Here, visitors are invited to come face-to-face with an array of Australian marine life, including:

  • Rays

  • Sharks

  • Fish

  • Turtles

  • Jellyfish

  • Seahorses

The aquarium’s exhibits are designed to fascinate and educate, making it an ideal destination for families, marine enthusiasts, and anyone with a curiosity for life beneath the waves.

After marveling at the aquatic wonders within SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, the exploration continues with nearby attractions like the Australian National Maritime Museum and the tranquil Chinese Garden of Friendship. Together, they form a cultural and recreational precinct that offers a diverse range of experiences, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in both the natural and cultural richness of Sydney.

Sydney After Dark

As dusk falls, Sydney’s nightlife springs to life, presenting a diverse range of experiences to suit all preferences. From themed parties and comedy festivals to pub crawls and live music performances, the city’s after-dark scene is a playground for nocturnal adventurers. Kings Cross, with its dynamic environment and array of bars and clubs, stands as a beacon of bohemian nightlife, inviting you to delve into the city’s spirited side.

Sydney’s nightlife is not just about the places; it’s about the moments that define the city’s character when the stars are out. Whether you’re looking for an evening of laughter, dance, or simply a night to remember, Sydney’s array of special nighttime events and entertainment venues promise to deliver an unforgettable experience. As you explore Sydney after dark, you’ll discover a city that knows how to celebrate the night in all its glory.

Bohemian Nights at Kings Cross

Vibrant nightlife at Kings Cross in Sydney

Kings Cross, the epicenter of Sydney’s nightlife, is a cultural hotbed and hub of festivities, ensuring that each night brings fresh encounters and adventures. Renowned for its eclectic mix of venues, Kings Cross caters to a wide range of preferences, ensuring that there’s a place for every type of night owl. From intimate jazz bars to pulsating dance clubs, the district’s offerings are as varied as the personalities that frequent them.

One of the highlights of Kings Cross is La Cueva, the biggest Latin night hotspot in Sydney. Here, the rhythms of salsa and bachata fill the air, inviting you to dance the night away in a vibrant celebration of Latin culture.

Kings Cross is not just a destination; it’s an experience that captures the essence of Sydney’s bohemian spirit, where every night is an adventure waiting to unfold.

Live Music and Entertainment

Sydney’s live music landscape is a tapestry of genres and venues, providing a medley of sounds to satisfy every musical preference. The city’s array of entertainment venues includes:

  • The Golden Sheaf

  • The Vic on The Park

  • The Lansdowne Hotel

  • Marble Bar

Here, weekends come alive with dynamic music scenes, while places like The Lansdowne Hotel and Marble Bar host a diverse lineup of bands almost every night, ensuring that the music never stops.

For those who seek a fusion of gastronomy and music, Mary’s Underground and Cardea in Barangaroo offer nightly performances with an upscale ambiance. Lazybones Lounge in Marrickville is a haven for avid listeners, with live performances spanning various genres every night. Sydney’s live music scene is punctuated by events like the 00s & 10s Party and Bang On Live, showcasing the city’s ability to host notable artists and create special events that resonate with fans of all musical tastes.

Sydney at night during the Vivid Festival


As our journey through Sydney comes to an end, we reflect on the myriad of experiences that make this city a vibrant mosaic of culture, adventure, and natural beauty. From the heights of the Harbour Bridge to the depths of the ocean, from the historic cobbles of The Rocks to the lively beats of Kings Cross, Sydney offers a world where every moment is an opportunity for discovery. Let the memories of golden sands, lush gardens, and encounters with Australian wildlife inspire you to make Sydney your next destination, where every experience becomes a cherished memory.

Book your Avelo Dive Course today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I spend 4 days in Sydney?

You can spend 4 days in Sydney by visiting Sydney Harbour, Bondi to Coogee Beach, Mosman and Manly, and exploring the city's Inner West. Enjoy stunning views, beautiful beaches, and lively neighborhoods throughout your trip.

How can I prepare for the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb?

Make sure to wear comfortable clothing and suitable shoes for climbing, and listen carefully to the safety briefing and your climb leader's instructions for a safe and enjoyable experience. Good luck!

Is the Avelo dive course suitable for beginners?

Yes, the Avelo dive course is suitable for beginners as it is designed to enhance the skills of divers at all levels. You'll get a comprehensive introduction to the Avelo Dive System.

Can I visit the Royal Botanic Garden at any time?

Yes, you can visit the Royal Botanic Garden at any time as it is open daily, with specific events and areas having their own opening times. Enjoy your visit!

Are there any wildlife experiences in Sydney that are suitable for children?

Yes, both Taronga Zoo and SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium offer family-friendly wildlife experiences that are perfect for children. Have a great time if you decide to visit!