|Top 100 Things To Do In Sydney, Australia|
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Sydney Parks and Wildlife
Parks, Gardens and Reserves in Sydney
The Royal Botanic Gardens to the Royal National Park
From elegance and grace of the Royal Botanic Gardens to the wild splendour of Sydney's many National Parks. Australia is the worlds oldest continent, inhabited by unique flora and fauna. Sydney's excellent parks, gardens and reserves are only surpassed by the surrounding Royal National Park to the south, Ku Ring Gai National Park to the North and head west and you'll discover the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park. Sydney is an excellent base to see and experience many of Australia's best attractions.
9 Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens in
Sydney is a beautiful park on the foreshore of the most beautiful harbour
in the world. Apart from the many exquisite and exotic plants and flowers
the park is a magnet for many of Sydney's resident and migratory birds.
There's a cafe in the middle of the Botanic Garden where you can compete with creatures of various sizes for your lunch. Alternatively bring your own, find a patch of grass and watch the world go by. The Royal Botanic Gardens is a must place to visit and its free.
14 Taronga Zoo
Everybody loves the zoo - maybe some of the lions might look a little fed up with it but we humans seem to enjoy it. If you prefer to see animals less confined Featherdale Wildlife might also be worth a visit.
Taronga Zoo boasts classic views across Sydney Harbour from much of its grounds. Catch the ferry from Circular Quay (Zoo Pass zoo/ferry ticket combo way to go) - anything less than dozens of pictures with the Sydney Opera House/ Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background and you're just not trying. Look out for the bus and cable car to take you up the hill into the zoo or walk it if you like the idea of long tough walk before you walk around the zoo all day.
If you’re a zoo nut click and enquire why they don't have a family pass/ticket into Taronga Zoo that will allow you to leave and return at a later date (it’s a long day if you have children)
18 West Head - Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park
West Head is a 'must go'. A half hour drive through Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park will take you to West Head for sensational views out to Lion Island, Pittwater, Broken Bay and Palm beach - stunning blues, and greens against the canopy of an endless sky...yeah its worth the drive and there's a variety of walks to chose from. How come these places like West Head are so big green and beautiful and yet so close to a city the size of Sydney. Amazing stuff.
As well as West Head Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park has many excellent walks and beautiful scenery to behold so explore and enjoy.
If you can, whiz up to West Head in the morning to give yourself plenty time for a nice lunch (19 - Church Point).
26 Port Stephens Dolphins
Beautiful Port Stephens is located two and half-hours north of Sydney- just north of Newcastle. Petite white sandy beaches, picturesque views, golf, national parks and wineries (Port Stephens 'Reserve" from the Port Stephens Winery is my pick) and Stockton Beach nearby. But the main attraction is in the water rather than on dry land. Get yourself on a boat, in the water if you can, and go see the dolphins. Nelson Bay has a number of tours to choose from. Visit the tourist information centre or take a stroll along the Wharf.
The boats may also offer you the chance to go whale spotting. I maybe a little out of my depth here but there appears to be a network of 'there she blows!' whale spotters. So if your captain is tuned in the chances that you will see a whale are greatly increased. Obviously, your chances are much more enhanced if the Whales are migrating whilst you are here - I believe June and October are the best months.
28 Royal National Park
The Royal National Park is a beautiful slice of Australia. Head for Wattamolla for a gorgeous lagoon, cliffs and beach. Walks a plenty. Garie beach to Bundeena. It costs a few dollars to get into Royal National Park but it is well worth it. The coastal scenery is exquisite and the parks lagoons and waterways are cool and inviting. The Royal National Park has been decimated by bush fires in the past but always seems to bounce back quickly.
31 Sydney Aquarium(s)
A visit to Manly Sea Life Sanctuary or Sea Life Sydney Aquarium is a good lousy weather activity. With only a sheet of glass between you and the Sharks, Manta Rays and other large beasties is pretty 'cool'. Two options - Sea Life Sydney Aquarium at Darling Harbour or Manly Sea Life Sanctuary unsurprisingly at Manly. The Sea Life Sydney Aquarium at Darling Harbour is the larger of the two but the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary at Manly is none-the-less impressive for its smaller size. If you're really adventurous it is possible, at least at Manly Sea Life Sanctuary, to go for a dive in the tank.................rather you than me.
Sharks. In case you haven't heard this before, your chances of being attacked by a shark are extremely low compared to, say, being involved in a serious car crash. This is particularly true whilst on dry land so don't be overly concerned
Aim to visit either Sea Life Sydney Aquarium or the Sea Life Sanctuary in Manly which ever is the most convenient on the day and aim to be there during feeding times. During my last visit to the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary the Mantra Rays 'cuddled' the divers during feeding time (just after 11am). An amazing sight even if not exactly natural behaviour from either species. Click below for more information:
36 Lunch at Cottage Point
You can seaplane, ferry (from Palm Beach) or drive to Cottage Point. Lovely spot by the water surrounded by bush. A chill out affair with the option of a bush walk or a visit to West Head if you so desire (Cottage Point sounds like Church Point? – well it is but different).
Picnic. If you don't have the cash for long expensive lunches get into any of the excellent National Parks in Sydney and have BBQ or picnic.
39 Bradley Head
To visit Bradley Head alight the ferry at Taronga wharf, climb up the hill taking the right fork into the Sydney Harbour National Park. From a choice of three walks 30 minutes effort will be rewarded by a spectacular view extending from Sydney City to the Heads at the entrance of Sydney Harbour.
The white mast you’ll see belongs to HMAS Sydney, a WW1 battleship. Late or early in the day you might catch a glimpse of some ring-tailed possums and water dragons. Rainbow lorikeets may also droppings to say ‘G’day’.
Taylor's Bay and Clifton Gardens
Athol Hall (9968 4441) for a good place to stop for a drink. You can continue on to the peaceful Taylor’s Bay reserve and Clifton Gardens, at Chowder Head, where you'll find a picnic area and ocean pool. It’ll take you around four hours to walk from Taronga Zoo to Chowder Head and back. Like all these walks, the more time you allow yourself the more you’ll get out of it.
A little out west but not too far lies the attractive Featherdale Wildlife Park. Opportunity to feed some of the animals and you could save some cash by printing out the docket off of Featherdales' web site (10% off after 11am Monday to Friday). You could combine this with a trip to Parramatta, Penrith and or the Blue Mountains.
53 Horse Riding - Glenworth Valley
Horse's can smell fear and will not hesitate to stamp on my foot. But you'll be fine – it’s just me they don't like. Have a look at the picture on the Glenworth valley web site below and see if you can fit this in to, what should be by now, a crowded schedule. Even I'm tempted to give it another try.
90 Centennial Park
Centennial Park for cycling, rollerblading and even horse riding away from serious Sydney traffic. Centennial Park is a lovely place so slow down, switch off and just take leisurely stroll around the lakes and count the number of different birds. Centennial Park has a cafe / restaurant, a kiosk (weekends) and is home to the outdoor Moonlight Cinema during the summer.Official Centennial Park Website
99 Lane Cove National Park
The attractive Lane Cove National Park is set along the Lane Cove River leading into the heart of the Northshore of Sydney. If you have a look at the map you might be surprised at just how far towards the heart of Sydney Lane Cove National Park extends.Lane Cove National Park
106 Australian Reptile Park
The Australian Reptile Park just hisses with excitement after a free shortway trip north of Sydney. The Reptile Park is on the site of the ex 'Old Sydney Town' in case your guide book is a tad out of date.