45 Things to do in Sydney
What to do
Delve into Sydney's dark
convict past at Hyde Park Barracks!
41 (71) Hyde
Delve into Sydney's dark convict
past at Sydney's Hyde Park Barracks.
Convict Sydney and Hyde
Hyde Park Barracks was a
place for those that had no place. It was built by a convict for convicts.
The barracks was subsequently extended to take care of young orphans
and destitute women and renamed the Hyde Park Asylum.
Free Audio Guide
Hyde Park Barracks is a window
into Sydney's unhappy past, just a little more than 200 years ago. There
are tours and free audio sets to guide you through Sydney's tough start
Hyde Park Barracks Cafe
The extremely pleasant Hyde
Park Barracks licensed cafe located within these same convict walls
might give you food for thought, as well to eat. Here you can enjoy
delights past inmates could not have even imagined including fine wine
and Champaign. The cafe is open every day but closes at 3pm.
for Link to Sydney's Hyde Park Barracks web site
admission to Hyde Park Barracks with a Sydney Attraction Pass
Even after death no-one wants
to leave Sydney. Here are a couple of ghostly places to be scared of.
The Quarantine Station [or Q Station] at North Head and Ghosts that haunt
the haunts of the Rocks. If you're so inclined you can even sleep with
the ghosts - I think I'd sooner take my chances with the Sharks.
Ghost Tours in Sydney
Do you have what it takes
seek out the ghostly places that lay hidden down cobblestone lanes and
behind locked gates? Could you journey through the shadows to hear the
scary ghostly tales of murders, hangings and suicides? Sydney used to
be a grim place to be for many and for some; it was so bad that they
have never truly left. Maybe you will meet one...
The Ghosts that Rock
The Scary Quarantine Station,
now slightly odd Q Station
The Quarantine Station has
been leased to a private company which has officially renamed the Quarantine
Station, 'Q Station'. The Q station Ghost Tour
forms part of the full listing of the Q Station at No 141. The Q
Station is a little odd but please don't be put off by its relatively
low ranking, ghosts are odd to.
Only a couple of Sydney Harbour's
islands are not open to the public. Take a picnic / buy a hamper, explore
then switch off. Alternatively, go on an organised tour such as at Fort
Denison and learn some more about Sydney Harbour. The best islands to
visit are listed below:
Shark Island - Sydney Harbour
Take a picnic and watch the
boats go by in relative isolation. Don't forget to take a picture of
'your Shark Island' as you arrive. Shark Island is small and you can
walk around it in a few minutes – so it’s a great spot if
you hate bush walking!
Shark Island Ferry
The cruise company Matilda
currently run a Shark Island ferry service. Alternatively there is the
more expensive option of hiring a water taxi. If you are feeling active
you could hire a canoe and paddle your way across to Shark Island from
Australia Day Celebrations
Shark Island is an excellent
spot to commence your Australia Day celebrations as the Ferry Race goes
right around the island - quite impressive to witness what seems like
an 'invasion force' of small boats heading towards you.
Shark Island Ferry Service
of being bitten by a Shark in Sydney
Fort Denison - Sydney Harbour
Being so close to Sydney
Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House the view alone makes the trip
to Fort Denison worthwhile. The fort was built out of fear of a Russian
invasion that never eventuated. Fort Denison was fired upon by a Japanese
sub in WW2 by accident.
Fort Denison Cannon
To commemorate its glorious
past a cannon is fired from Fort Denison at one o'clock in the afternoon
(daily, weekly, monthly, washing days I've no idea). Just keep your
head down ok.
Denison - National Park
Cockatoo Island - Sydney
The World Heritage listed
Cockatoo Island is the big island approximately four kilometres west
of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. In its more recent past it was home to
one of the largest shipyards in Australia. Of more interest perhaps
is its convict heritage. Cockatoo is increasingly being used as a venue
for events and festivals including
the arts and popular music. Sign up for the Sydney100
Newsletter for any forthcoming events.
The Sydney Harbour National
Park's Goat Island is a small little rocky island just west of the Sydney
Harbour Bridge on the way to Darling Harbour and Balmain. The reasons
it warrants a visit are that it is a good excuse to get on a boat, the
Sydney Harbour views and the history. The island has served its city
as a gunpowder store, a convict stockade, a fire station, a boatyard,
a film set and as home to Sydney's Water Police. The remnants of Sydney's
convict past bring with them a few stories, of note is that of Charles
“Boney” Anderson, who was chained to a rock for two years.
Are there any Goats on Goat
Nobody really knows for sure
how Goat Island came by its name. It could have been because goats were
seen on the island, it could just be a mistake as, for example, there
used to be some confusion between Cockatoo Island and Goat Island. There
is also a theory that, if viewed from above, the island bears a passing
resemblance to a badly-formed goat.
About four hours west of Sydney,
Jenolan Caves is well worth journey if you like cool, dark and damp.
The jewel like sparkling limestone formations and caverns are well worth
climbing into. The major caves are big enough to be visitor friendly.
If you are lucky, you might hear one or two stories about the first settlers
and bushrangers that came to Jenolan. Whilst there you will probably see
the very Blue Lake and it is well worth taking a stroll under the rather
The Blue Mountains and Great
The caves are doable in
a day, just. On the way you should take the opportunity enjoy the splendour
of the Blue Mountains and the Great Dividing Range. You will have to
travel a fair bit further west to see the desert and the serious outback.
Jenolan's Caves House
Jenolan's grand old Caves
House is in itself something of an attraction (although I grieve the
demise of the pub into a bar) so, if you can, stop and have a look.
I've always found the Jenolan complex of alpine style buildings quite
inviting. The opportunity of a brief stop at Caves House, to chill out,
or maybe warm up, should not be missed.
Holiday Day Retreat
Caves House was originally
built as a holiday retreat for Sydney's rich and famous in the 1920s.
It still retains a certain charm and ambiance. To fully appreciate
Jenolan Caves, and Caves House, you should stay the night.
Jenolan Caves Road
The RTA, bless their little
road tolls, close the Jenolan Caves Road (the route between Katoomba
and Jenolan) to Katoomba / Sydney bound traffic between 11.45am and
1.15pm every day for safety reasons. Poor weather, accidents, rock slides
and anything else that makes the RTA nervous will result in barriers
across the road. Also pay attention the signs besides the road - if
you see falling rocks please don't stop to take photographs...
A cautionary tale
Whilst Caves House has medical
staff, the nearest hospital to Jenolan is in Oberon. The road is now
sealed but it’s still a fair old drive if you're caked in blood.
So please watch where you are going even if you think you've seen a
Rock Wallaby (like I didn't).
Caves dot Org dot Au
admission to Jenolan Caves with a Sydney Attraction Pass
45 Sydney Festival
The 2014 Sydney Festival will
comprise of over a 100 events and many more performances across a broad
range of art forms including dance, theatre, music and visual arts.
The popular Festival Bar
located in the historic Hyde Park Barracks is expected to attract crowds
eager to enjoy performances by bands and DJs until late.
Summer in Sydney
The Sydney Festival offers
a smorgasbord of events and activities some of which are still free!
Sydney is a great place to be at any time of year but in summer it shines