Just when you think you’ve seen it all, Sydney serves you up some more hidden gems. There are so many fantastic places to visit, and fun things you can do here – and I’ve put together some of the most underrated and overlooked.
Whether you live in Sydney or are just passing through – this spectacular metropolis built on a glorious harbor has a wow factor few cities can match.
There is always something on here, so coming up with an idea for some underrated things to do in Sydney shouldn’t be hard – but just in case, you are struggling… I have come up with some spots to allow you to explore a little ‘off-the-beaten’ track.
You’ll never run out of exciting spots to uncover in Sydney, and you can easily visit them all by using the cities amazing public transport. If you want to explore further afield, you, Sydney is also a great place to start a cheap car rental before exploring Australia’s landmarks.
Anyway, for now: here are top underrated spots to see in Sydney recommendations that you shouldn’t miss.
30 Underrated Attractions In Sydney To Inspire Your Next Visit!
- 1. White Rabbit Gallery
- 2. Rose Seidler House
- 3. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
- 4. Sydney Harbor Thrill Ride
- 5. Art Gallery of New South Wales
- 6. Sydney Tower Eye
- 7. Australian Museum
- 8. Sydney Fish Market
- 9. Barangaroo Reserve
- 10. Bondi Surf Lessons
- 11. Cockatoo Island
- 12. Queen Victoria Building
- 13. Drag Shows
- 14. Luna Park
- 15. The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel
- 16. Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden
- 17. Golden Age Cinema and Bar
- 18. Sydney Harbour Helicopter Flight
- 19. Spit To Manly Walk
- 20. Hyde Park Barracks
- 21. Ivy
- 22. Kinokuniya Book Store
- 23. Sydney Observatory
- 24. Taronga Zoo
- 25. Maccallum Seawater Pool
- 26. North Head Quarantine Station
- 27. Paddington Reservoir Gardens
- 28. Reuben Hills
- 29. Henry Deane @ Hotel Palisade
- 30. The Blue Mountains
1. White Rabbit Gallery
The White Rabbit Gallery is a vast space housed in a former Rolls-Royce showroom near Sydney’s Central Station that highlights contemporary Chinese works.
Opened in 2009 and dedicated to works made in the 21st century, the White Rabbit Collection includes 2000 works by almost 700 artists. Privately owned, the works are inspired by the creative energy and technical quality of art in China and Taiwan, and the exhibition space is born from a desire to share this with Sydneysiders.
Covering four floors, the Gallery has two new exhibitions a year, each involving a full rehang – meaning the Gallery is closed during installations, usually in February and August. The entire space is free to visit, and there are free guided tours at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm should you want to gain a deeper understanding of the art.
The Gallery’s tranquil street-level Tea House is also a perfect place to relax before or after with the most delicately flavored Chinese and Taiwanese teas, heavenly handmade dumplings, or just a good coffee.
2. Rose Seidler House
In 1950 when the Rose Seidler House was completed, it was ‘the most talked about house in Sydney.’ Today, this architectural treasure in the North Sydney suburb of Wahroonga is one of the cites most underrated attractions.
Composed by the young Harry Seidler for his parents, the house upturned conventional suburban home design. Harry Seidler was an Austrian-born Australian architect who was the first architect to fully express the principles of the Bauhaus and modernism’s methodology in Australia. In fact, it was the idea of designing a house for his mother in Sydney that tempted him from Vienna to Australia, and the success of the Rose Seidler House launched his prolific career.
The revolutionary design both inside and out unified architecture, art, and technology and presented a daring vision for a new way of living. Today his creation stands out as one of the most distinct examples of mid-20th-century modern domestic architecture in Australia. Its furniture and fittings on their own also form an impressive post World War II design collections. Indigenous bushland still covers most of the site. There are panoramic views of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, which you should explore before or after.
The Rose Seidler House is open to the public only on Sundays only, and pre-purchasing tickets online are essential.
3. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
If you and your kids are up for a wholesome and educational family activity, then you should check out and meet the most dapper penguins at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium.
Get up close and personal with an amazing colony of King and Gentoo penguins by joining the SEA LIFE Penguin Expedition. Take your kids and hop aboard a raft and journey through an immersive Macquarie-themed Island exhibit.
But that’s not all. You can also see a wide variety of fascinating animals, like the majestic dugongs, incredible sharks and sawfish, wonderful seahorses, stingrays, and thousands of tropical fish, among others.
4. Sydney Harbor Thrill Ride
No list of thrilling things to do in Sydney could ever be complete until you enjoy a jet boat ride of breakneck speed across the Sydney Harbor with spins, splashes, fishtails, and dashes!
See Sydney Harbor’s famous and iconic sights, including the Opera House, the Harbor Bridge and more – plus you’ll even get a commentary from your Sydney-born guides who will tell you about the famous skyline sights so you can come back heart-racing and filled with fun facts. Try an unbelievable combination of sightseeing and fun that makes it an unforgettable ride and experience – and if you are in town with your partner, it is also a romantic addition to your Sydney holiday plans.
5. Art Gallery of New South Wales
The Art Gallery of New South Wales is the most significant public Gallery in Sydney and one of Australia’s most comprehensive. Opened in 1871, the Gallery proudly presents fine international and Australian art in one of the most impressive art museums in the world.
Modern and contemporary works are presented in new vast, light-filled galleries – many of which offer striking views of Sydney and the harbor. At the same time, the heritage Grand Courts building is home to a world-class collection of colonial and 19th-century Australian works. There are also dedicated galleries extolling the arts of Asia, the European old masters, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.
A truly magical place to be with a wonderful mix of timeless art, including paintings, sculptures, and more. There is always something interesting to see, and you can easily spend a few hours here.
Admission to the permanent galleries of the Art Gallery of New South Wales is free for everyone, as is access to most exhibitions and events.
6. Sydney Tower Eye
Want to overcome your fear of heights? If so, what better way to do it than to visit the Skywalk at the Sydney Tower Eye, an extremely high outdoor structure where you can casually stroll around outside of the tower and get a 360-degree bird’s eye view of the gorgeous city. But if that’s too much for you, just head over to the observation deck and appreciate the breathtaking view of the city on a sunny day.
You can also take advantage of a bundled package tour of the Sydney Tower Eye Observation Deck and Skywalk and a 24-hour hop on, hop off Sydney Harbour Cruise with Captain Cook Cruises.
7. Australian Museum
The Australian Museum is the oldest museum in Australia and, somehow, despite its location in the central business district, remains one of the most underrated places in Sydney.
A place where nature, science & culture intersect, the Australian Museum is notable for its extensive exhibitions on natural history and anthropology, along with its involved in Indigenous studies research.
There are over 1 million scientific specimens and cultural objects in their extraordinary collections – though only a fraction of these is ever on display at one time. A vast space covering three levels, the exhibits give a more in-depth insight into Australian history, including items gathered by Captain Cook from different parts of the world, a taxidermy exhibit, ancient aboriginal narratives, and a whole floor dedicated to dinosaurs. And who doesn’t love dinosaurs!
The Australian Museum is free to visit, though many of the other exhibitions are chargeable. It was closed for extensive renovations on our last visit to ensure its facilities match its world-class collection. It is expected to reopen in late 2020 – bigger and better than ever!
8. Sydney Fish Market
It’s quite funny to see the lack of attention the Sydney Fish Market receives as it is a large fish market that boasts a wide array of fresh seafood that Australia has to offer. You don’t have to be a seafood aficionado to appreciate this place as you can also find other establishments, such as a greengrocer, butcher, bakery, and cafes.
So, don’t forget to include the fish market in your itinerary.
9. Barangaroo Reserve
Barangaroo Reserve is the newest Harbor foreshore park in Sydney – and while the secret is not yet out, it is sure to be a popular tourist attraction in the future.
A magnificent example of urban renewal, the creation of Barangaroo Reserve saw the transformation of one of Sydney’s earliest industrial sites into an expansive six-hectare headland pace for Sydneysiders and tourists to savor.
It’s hard to believe this space was a desolate concrete container terminal only a few years ago but has now been reborn as a welcoming park filled with over 75,000 native trees and shrubs. There are extended walking and cycling trails, pleasant coves, picnic spots aplenty, and step-downs to access the water. You’ll see the harbor bridge right in front of you and be mesmerized by the water flowing smoothly past. And all those spectacular sandstone steps… It will come as no surprise that no project in history has ever used more Sydney sandstone than Barangaroo Reserve.
Christened after Barangaroo, a Cammeraygal woman who was a commanding voice in the early days of the Sydney colony, Barangaroo Reserve is rich in Aboriginal and cultural history. You can explore the significance of the area for Australians with signboards dotted around the park.
Extraordinary, beautiful, and calm – here you can get the experience of being in “nature,” while in the heart of a 21st Century modern city. Best visited on an extended walk from Darling Harbour through the Rocks to Circular Quay.
10. Bondi Surf Lessons
One of the most quirky things to do in Sydney that we could think of, why simply sightsee when you can awaken the thrill-seeking surfer within you during this introductory surf lesson at the world-famous Bondi beach. Let practiced surfer bro’s and bro’ettes show you have to catch made waves as they safely have you up and onto your first wave before you’ve had time to worry about falling off!
With all key surf and safety rules explained, you will feel confident on the board in no time – and if you have aught the surfing bug you can always sign up for more lessons to discover you try potential – or just hire a board and get out there on your own. Kowabunga!
11. Cockatoo Island
Found in the heart of the majestic harbor, just a short ferry ride from the CBD, Cockatoo Island is an extraordinary yet underrated place to visit in Sydney. Be it for a few hours, a day, or overnight.
One of Australia’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites (due to its history as a convict penal establishment), the 18-hectare Cockatoo Island is the perfect place for lovers of history to explore. It was also the site of one of Australia’s biggest shipyards between 1857 and 1991. It is currently being revitalized by the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust transform Cockatoo Island into a landmark harbor attraction.
Pack a picnic and enjoy unspoiled vistas from the Biloela Lawn or sign up for a historic tour to learn more about this curious island. There is even an adults-only paranormal tour each night, called the Ghostyard, if you are brave enough.
Several notable events and festivals take place here annually, which are also worth planning around if you can – like the Cockatoo Island Festival, the Biennale of Sydney, or the World’s Funniest Island Comedy Festival.
Cockatoo Island is open daily, and there is no admission charge. There is also a range of exciting accommodation options from tents to large apartments with harbor bridge views, so staying overnight is definitely advised. It’s like having a dreamy escape from Sydney, without all the effort of actually leaving…
12. Queen Victoria Building
Have an eye for design and architecture? Then you should add the QVB to your must-visit places in the city. This building took five years to build in commemoration of the Queen of England’s Diamond Jubilee.
If you’re in the mood to go shopping, you will find plenty of stores to choose from, and you can also check out the two giant mechanical clocks on the upper floors that showcase dazzling dioramas and moving scenes from Australia and Europe’s history.
13. Drag Shows
Sydney is the gay capital of Australia, and you’ll see rainbow flags flying high all over the city. While the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras held annually is far from a hidden gem (it is the biggest event annually in Sydney), travelers can experience the queer side of this city with fabulous drag shows – either at brunch, dinner or late in the night. It is truly something memorable to do in Sydney and widely accepted, probably stemming from the colonial days of Australia, where it was mostly men around. We can only imagine what they got up to…
From drag queens and kings to those who resist every label, you can find it all here. Top recommendations include The Imperial Hotel, which was featured in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and has a Drag N’ Dine event serving flamboyance and incredible food 5 nights a week. Then there is the non-conformist and unapologetically queer Bearded Tit drag events.
If you just want to dance and see a less formal performance, the historic Stonewall Hotel has crowded dance floors and drag shows on weekends – and Polly’s Follies, Sydney’s longest-running drag night on Sundays.
14. Luna Park
Luna Park is Sydney’s most beloved amusement park and tourist destination, so what could be more thrilling than wandering around here at night with your partner with lights blaring, sweet scents, and faint screaming in the background.
The views are absolutely spectacular looking back across the Sydney Harbour, but Luna Park also has plenty of fun rides such as the iconic Ferris wheel and the Wild Mouse rollercoaster, 61 dramatic seconds of terror and delight. Easily reachable from Circular Quay via a frequent ferry, enter through the giant smiling face of the Moon, and enjoy a fun-filled night out at Luna Park – one of our top must-visit places in Sydney!
15. The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel
Sydney’s oldest continually licensed hotel, established in the historic Rocks area and home of Australia’s oldest pub brewery. The Lord, as locals affectionately call it, is known for its award-winning beers, wine list, food, and accommodation.
A stay at the Lord Nelson is a step back into Sydney’s past and a taste of Sydney’s present. It is in easy walking distance of most of Sydney’s major attractions and bursting with history, personality, and merriment.
Even if staying here is not on the cards, you should stop by to try their selection of six natural ales, brewed with only malt, hops, yeast, and water. There are no added sugars, preservatives, or additives – ensuring a 100% natural beer. The old-world feel of the bar adds to the entire experience and compliments the delicious pub fare or a pork pie snack. It is the right level of boisterous, and the sort of place that possesses character and a real sense of identity. When you have been selling the same beer for almost two centuries, you have to be doing something right.
If it’s a sunny day, you can order their Ploughman’s Picnic Pack to enjoy at the nearby Barangaroo reserve…
16. Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden
Ok, it is not really a secret – but Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden is still very much an underrated attraction in Sydney often overlooked by locals and tourists alike. A free place to visit, this delightful Lavender Bay garden on the lower North Shore of Sydney Harbor has charming views and a unique feeling of peace and tranquility.
A public garden and much-loved oasis formed on railway land at the bottom of Wendy’s Garden, the site has an intriguing history and is well explained by signboards dotted around. Perfect for a quiet ramble with large shady trees and a nice variety of plants, interspersed with art and seats make it a very charming place.
Adjacent to Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden is the breathtaking Kirribilli Club – perfect for a meal or relaxing drink before continuing on to explore Luna Park, which is just five minutes away.
17. Golden Age Cinema and Bar
A hidden gem beloved by Sydney local, the Golden Age is a cinema and bar housed in the old screening room of the heritage-listed Paramount Pictures Building in Surry Hills.
Think of Golden Age as the femme fatale, the leading man, and the sassy best friend all in one. The famous art deco building was painstakingly transformed for its opening in 2013, including 1940s-era cinema chairs with plush velvet upholstery sourced from Zurich. Then there is the boutique candy counter with gourmet popcorn, Gelato Messina Choc-tops, and to enjoy before (or during) the movie.
As you would expect, there is a formidable independent cinema program that brings together independent titles, special events, classics, cults, horrors, and the best new releases. Complete the evening with a well-deserved drink and bite to eat at the vintage bar. It’s all like stepping back in time, and a Sydney attraction not to be missed!
18. Sydney Harbour Helicopter Flight
Sure it might be one of the most touristy things in Sydney, but it would be hard to overrate seeing the full panoramic views of Sydney’s eastern coastline, including Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, offered from a thrilling flyover. Every passenger on this once-in-a-lifetime ride gets a great view no matter what seat they are in – so don’t forget your camera as you will surely get snap-happy taking the perfect photos in the air of the cityscape as well as famous beaches such as Bondi Beach, Manly Cove and more.
Thanks to a convenient launch location, take off is close to the city and Sydney Harbour, so your Sydney helicopter experience will be over the sights within minutes and you will get maximum enjoyment. And what is travel without a few splurges, right?
19. Spit To Manly Walk
Far less popular than the touristy Bondi to Coogee hike, the Spit to Manly Walk is a quieter alternative with more natural busy and varied views. A stunning day hike along the North Sydney harbor coastline that weaves its way through a mix of lush bushland and scenic harbourside trails with secluded beaches, indigenous rock carvings, and panoramic lookouts along the way.
You can hike the 10km (6.2 miles) trail in 3.5 hours in a hurry, but I recommend you take your time and enjoy the sights and sounds. Take a picnic to enjoy along the way and swim gear for a dip at any of the many picturesque bays along the way.
Starting the walk at Spit means you get to finish at Manly, where you can enjoy fish and chips on the beach, a cocktail or ice cream before taking the ferry back across the harbor.
If you want to add to some snorkeling, you can also add a stop at the underrated Shelly Beach – tucked away on Manly’s southern end. This place is a protected marine reserve and the place to go for snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiasts.
20. Hyde Park Barracks
One of the 11 Australian Convict Sites protected by UNESCO, the Hyde Park Barracks in historic Sydney, is a venerable living record of colonial Australia. Initially, design to house convicts sent from the United Kingdom, the Barracks has also been used as an immigration depot, asylum, law courts, and government offices in the time since.
A ‘blink, and you’ll miss it’ underrated attraction lying on Macquarie Street in the Sydney central business district. The Hyde Park Barracks is one of the best remaining examples of large-scale convict shipment and the colonial expansion of European powers through prisoners’ labor.
Today it houses a modern museum, freshly reopened after an $18 million renovation in 2020. It delivers a rich, immersive visitor experience like never before. On a visit, you’ll hear the stories of the Hyde Park Barracks on a self-guided immersive experience where text panels are entirely replaced with location-triggered audio soundbites.
You’ll reflect on the lives of real people affected by this place – male convicts, settlers, and women in need, as well as the Aboriginal communities that were changed by colonial Australia. The Hyde Park Barracks is a museum, but not as you have experienced it before.
The Ivy. There’s nothing quite like it—an ever-evolving inner-city landmark entertainment destination redefining hospitality by fusing dining, nightlife, and retail.
There is something for everyone here with fashionable restaurants, an extremely cosmopolitan rooftop pool bar, and epic club night parties (including one of the city’s biggest gay parties every Saturday). And all hidden just off George St in the CBD. Ivy is the flagship for the local Merivale group, which was over 70 brands and venues across Australia – but none are quite like this.
It would be easy to pigeon-hole Ivy as Sydney’s best club place – and it likely is, but there is so much more. There is Little Felix, a boutique bar, serving champagne and some of Sydney’s best cocktails, fine European dining at Ash St. Cellar, a kaleidoscopic florist, and the much-lauded Lorraine’s Patisserie. For those who prefer to soak up the sun’s rays rather than dance all night, the Pool Club rooftop oasis is inspired by the Italian Rivera — the place to meet, eat, drink, swim and put your feet up.
Upcoming events are listed on their website and well worth considering. You’ll find everything from salsa & bachata to all-night raves and chilled day events. Thursday nights are cover-free if you want to explore the Ivy on a budget.
22. Kinokuniya Book Store
Book nerds and lovers of obscure finds won’t want to miss a visit to Australia’s largest bookstore. It offers books, magazines, music, CD, Manga, and much more. If you can imagine a topic or book, you will find it here – and we love nothing more than browsing their bargain alley with book specials and unexpected finds.
We fell in love with this Japanese bookstore chain after previous visits to outlets in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Taipei – though the original store was founded in Shinjuku, Tokyo. All Kinokuniya locations are beautifully designed, wonderfully peaceful, and perfect for exploration.
To say there’s an astounding selection of books at their Sydney location would be an understatement. There have over 300,000 titles in English, Japanese, Chinese, French, and German here – along with a massive collection of manga and stationery.
And if somehow, they don’t have what you are looking for – the staff will happily order it for you. A true booklover’s haven in the city, hidden upstairs of Town Hall Station, in The Galeries building.
23. Sydney Observatory
Speaking of underappreciated places, the Sydney Observatory is not something you should overlook. There’s nothing more calming and inspiring than gazing at the stars and just enjoying the vastness of space at night. This can also be a great learning experience for your little ones as they learn about science, technology, and so much more.
Now that you’ve got all these ideas in your head and new places to explore, what are you waiting for? Go make your plans and head on over to a journey through space and time.
24. Taronga Zoo
No list of thrilling Sydney attractions could ever be complete without mention of Taronga Zoo, one of the world’s most beautiful zoos offering panoramic views over the iconic Sydney Harbour – as well as an extra cute array of native wildlife and rare animals for you and your date to fawn over. Simple yet effective, wander the expansive 28-hectare grounds as you snap up-close photos of some of the 4,000 animals (covering 350+ species) found here.
You can never go wrong with attending the informative daily bird and seal shows, or for that extra something special sign up for the keeper-led Wild Australia Experience or VIP Aussie Gold Tour of many of the adorable native animals. You can even camp overnight at the zoo on the Roar and Snore tour, which is certain to be a Sydney experience you will never to forget. Even if you are not a large animal lover, there is the Nura Diya Aboriginal Discovery Tour which investigates the connection between Australia’s animals, plants and landscape and Aboriginal Dreamtime.
Getting to Taronga Zoo is also incredibly easy, all you need to do is jump on a ferry from Circular Quay, and in 12 minutes you will have arrived! Take a picnic, or explore the Rocks – one of the most Instagrammed places in Sydney afterward – and all the delightful restaurants here for bonus points…
25. Maccallum Seawater Pool
While Icebergs at Bondi is definitely the most famous saltwater pool in Sydney, the restored 1920’s Maccallum Seawater Pool is a real hidden gem with glorious views overlooking the harbor.
Located on the western side of Cremorne Point in North Sydney, Maccallum is an unusual 33-meter pool with heritage character, waterside timber decking, and exceptional sunbathing. Originally barely more than a rocky swimming hole rock pool formed by locals, the pool was expanded in the 1920s, when it inherited its contemporary architectural style. It was faithfully restored in 1985, and only minor works have been carried out since.
As the Maccallum Seawater Pool is above the high-water mark, it is filled with water straight from the harbor – so it needs to be cleaned frequently! This means you need to check the pool’s opening schedule as it is closed once a week based on tides. A secret spot known by only the most diligent of sea pool enthusiasts, it’s only a quick ferry trip across from Circular Quay, then a 5-minute walk through a lush garden path to get here.
The Maccallum Seawater Pool used to be an entrance fee but is now free. Best visited on a bright sunny day midweek when the pool glistens a deep blue…
26. North Head Quarantine Station
Sprawling across the North Head hillside, near Manly, on the edge of Sydney Harbor, this historic Quarantine Station has seen a creative reimagining.
A state and federal heritage site covering 277-hectare (680-acre), the Quarantine Station is a crucial piece of Aussie history. The complex operated as a quarantine station from 1832 to 1984. The thought was that, as an island nation, the Colony of New South Wales, was susceptible to ship-borne disease and those who might harbor an infectious disease would be kept in quarantine until it was safe to release them.
The tours offered here today are excellent and a great way to explore different aspects of the North Head Quarantine Station’s history. It is quite disturbing to think just how recently this place was actively used! The history behind the sites repurposing from the harsh reality of a quarantine station to a modern hotel, conference center, and restaurant complex known as Q Station is also fascinating.
There is a delightful open-air cafe on site (if you don’t mind the squawking of Kookaburra), fine dining at the Boilerhouse, and an excellent interpretive exhibition in the Visitors Centre.
27. Paddington Reservoir Gardens
The incredible Paddington Reservoir Gardens is an award-winning public park sunken below Oxford Street in the inner eastern Sydney suburb of Paddington.
Occupying a reservoir that was once a vital source of water for a growing Sydney, this park is an artistic transformation of the heritage-listed site that invokes comparisons with the ancient Baths of Rome and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
The original brick, timber, and iron components of the reservoir were rescued and seamlessly blended with contemporary and sustainable elements. This mix of old and new that make wandering through the stunning sunken garden and wide boardwalks here is such a tempting proposition—a great example of urban rejuvenation and popular with photoshoots and Instagramers.
Entrance to the Paddington Reservoir Gardens is free and can be accessed by Bondi-bound bus from the city. The Paddington Markets are located close by.
28. Reuben Hills
Sydney has so many incredible coffee shops and cafes to explore. Still, one I am utterly obsessed with is Reuben Hills, a boutique micro-roastery based in Surry Hills.
It’s very ‘Melbourne hipster’ and focused on different, gratifying foods and exceptional customer service. The menu is best characterized as inspired by the gastronomy of the country where the coffee was sourced – mostly in Latin American. Think Huevos Divorciados as good as those in Mexico or Choripán (a type of sandwich with chorizo) better than Buenos Aires. There is also a real emphasis on the quality of the coffee and paying tribute to all the hard work that went into its creation.
Everything on the menu here is unbelievably tempting. The staff are second to none, and the decor is oh-so-edgy – what’s not to love!
29. Henry Deane @ Hotel Palisade
Henry Deane, the crown jewel of the historic Hotel Palisade, is a contemporary cocktail lounge with stunning views of the Sydney Harbor. Hidden in Millers Point, close to Barangaroo Reserve, Henry Deane is the perfect place for sunset cocktails in a modern and sophisticated setting.
The space is surprisingly vast and skillfully split into multiple sections over two levels, so it’s easy to find a private spot for conversation – or stay in the middle of the action.
While pricey, the innovative menu was indeed worth every cent. The ‘Below the Belt’ cocktail of spiced Woodford bourbon, apricot, earl grey pineapple, and whey is particularly exceptional — and was the blue eye cod with salted soya bean butter. There are no wrong choices here. While Henry Deane is a hidden bar, you’ll still want to book if you plan to go for dinner – especially on the weekends. Midweek things are a bit quieter.
30. The Blue Mountains
As exciting as Sydney can be, you should not pass up the opportunity to hire a car (or take a tour) to explore the glorious Blue Mountains just west of the city – and yet an entire world away.
Stop by Scenic World and Echo Point, explore the adorable Leura Village for lunch, spot glow worms, work up a sweat on any of the trails or just pull over at all the photo stops along the main road – You’re in charge! And what could be more thrilling that selfies with koalas and kangaroos at the Featherdale Wildlife Park?
Get your cameras ready for panoramic views of the valley and mountains in every direction, but take your map, don’t miss the enigmatic Three Sisters rock formation, and wander to your heart’s content. There is also plenty of Blue Mountains waterfalls to discover.
A little adventure and fresh air in nature is perfect for everybody.
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