Sydney: 20 hidden gems unknown to tourists!



1. Paddington Reservoir Gardens

Image Courtesy: City of Sydney Council website

The Paddington Reservoir is a heritage-listed public park located in the inner Sydney suburb of Paddington. Designed by Edward Bell in the mid 1800s, it operated as a water reservoir which accepted water from the Botany Swamps pumping station for supply to parts of Sydney between 1866 and 1899.

Click here to find out more: https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/parks/paddington-reservoir-gardens




2. Burnum Burnum Sanctuary

Image Courtesy: Sutherland Shire Council website

Located in Woronora in Sydney’s South, Burnum Burnum Sanctuary is the ideal spot for picnics, with playground, walkways of varying degrees of difficulty, look-out points, sandy beaches, boat ramp and resting places. The reserve contains a playground, bike track, BBQs and picnic shelter, parking, as well as a double boat ramp fronting the Woronora River.


Click here to find out more: http://www.sutherlandshire.nsw.gov.au/Outdoors/Parks-and-Playgrounds/Parks/Burnum-Burnum-Sanctuary-Woronora



3. Great River Walk


Image Courtesy: sydney.com

The Great River Walk offers stunning scenery along the Hawkesbury-Nepean River. Take your bike, pack a picnic or put on your walking shoes and visit the Great River Walk as it passes through Penrith at the foot of the Blue Mountains.


Click here to find out more: https://www.penrithcity.nsw.gov.au/facilities-recreation/outdoor-recreation/great-river-walk



4. Darook Park


Image Courtesy: Sutherland Shire Council website

Darook Park has a sandy bay beach and is great for families seeking a sheltered swim away from ocean waves. Darook Park has a pretty backdrop of bush and a wide view of Gunnamatta Bay and is one of the most popular parks for weddings ceremonies and wedding photography.


Click here to find out more: http://www.sutherlandshire.nsw.gov.au/Outdoors/Parks-and-Playgrounds/Parks/Darook-Park



5. Wendy Whiteley's Secret Garden


Image Courtesy: sydney.com

Wendy Whiteley is the wife of renowned Australian artist, the late Brett Whiteley and this is her small, romantic oasis, open to the public for picnics, walks & harbour views.


Click here to find out more: https://www.wendyssecretgarden.org.au/



6. Kamay Botany Bay National Park



The Kamay Botany Bay National Park is a heritage-listed protected national park located in Kurnell, Sydney. The 1,130-acre national park is situated approximately 16 kilometres south-east of the Sydney central business district, on the northern and southern headlands of Botany Bay. The northern headland is at La Perouse and the southern headland is at Kurnell. The area is recognised for its outstanding cultural and historic heritage values to Australia.


Click here to find out more: https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/kamay-botany-bay-national-park



7. Glebe Foreshore Walk


Image Courtesy: sydney.com

The Glebe Foreshore walk is 27 hectares of beautiful parkland and reserves stretching along Bicentennial Park and all to the way to the Sydney Fish Markets. It is a popular waterfront park with BBQ facilities, extensive paved paths, bike hire & a fenced playground. Enjoy a gorgeous daytime walk and enjoy fantastic views of the bays and the Sydney CBD, Sydney Harbour, and Anzac Bridge. The walk is 2.2 km one way and suitable for all fitness levels. It is also dog-friendly with sections of the walk and park being off-leash.



Click here to find out more: https://www.sydney.com/destinations/sydney/inner-sydney/glebe/attractions/glebe-foreshore-walk


8. Wattamolla


Image Courtesy: sydney.com

Wattamolla, also known as Wattamolla Beach, is a cove, lagoon, and beach on the New South Wales coast south of Sydney, within the Royal National Park. It is a popular family spot for swimming,

fishing, snorkelling and bushwalking. The calm waters of the lagoon are favourite among children for swimming and snorkelling. You can have a picnic under the shade of the cabbage tree palms or head to the beach for a spot of fishing.


Click here to find out more: https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/picnic-areas/wattamolla-picnic-area



9. Hyde Park Barracks


Image Courtesy: sydney.com

The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hyde Park Barracks is a must-visit destination for all ages. Discover one of Australia’s most important archaeological collections. Displaying over 4000 original artefacts, the Barracks is a direct link to items worn, touched and treasured by past residents. As some of the world’s few remaining examples, it’s a rare opportunity to get up, close and personal with Australia’s past. The Barracks provides an extraordinary new way to experience history.

Home to Australia’s convict and colonial history, Hyde Park Barracks is a must-see Sydney destination.


Click here to find out more: https://hydeparkbarracks.sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/



10. Bondi to Coogee Walk


Image Courtesy: sydney.com

The Bondi to Coogee Walk is a popular coastal walk offering beautiful coastline vistas, cosy beaches and cafe strips for refuelling. It is six kilometres long and takes about two hours to complete at a good pace. The walk is easy to medium with a steep section and quite a few steps.


Click here to find out more: https://www.bonditocoogeewalk.com/



11. Shark Island


Image Courtesy: sydney.com

Shark Island is an island in Sydney Harbour, measuring 1.5 hectares in area and lies off the Sydney suburbs of Point Piper, Rose Bay and Vaucluse, in the eastern section of the harbour between the

Harbour Bridge and the harbour entrance. Shark Island sits in Sydney Harbour, just one kilometre from Rose Bay. With its lush grassy areas, picnic shelters and spacious gazebo and amazing 360° views, the island is the perfect place for a harbour picnic or to watch the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Ferries run from Darling Harbour and Circular Quay on a regular basis.



Click here to find out more: https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/picnic-areas/shark-island


12. The Barrenjoey Head Lighthouse


Image Courtesy: sydney.com

The Barrenjoey Head Lighthouse is a heritage-listed lighthouse at Barrenjoey Headland, Palm Beach, Sydney. Positioned 91 metres above sea level, the lighthouse can be reached by a couple of walks. There is a picturesque one kilometre walking track to the top, which is an easy walk offering outstanding views along the track. The lighthouse offers panoramic views of Broken Bay and the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. It is an easy day trip from Sydney and is a famous landmark as a shooting location for the hugely popular Australian TV drama, Home and Away.


Click here to find out more: https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/historic-buildings-places/barrenjoey-lighthouse



13. The Koala Park Sanctuary


Image Courtesy: sydney.com

The Koala Park Sanctuary is a privately owned and run wildlife park located at West Pennant Hills in Sydney. The park is known for its collection of koalas and other animals and is set in a lovely quiet rainforest- like park. The park is a walk-through wildlife park and most of the animals are contained behind wire and cage style exhibits. Other animals in the sanctuary include peacocks, little penguins, cockatoos, dingos, emus, kangaroos, wombats and echidnas.


Click here to find out more: https://koalapark-sanctuary.com.au/



14. Vaucluse House


Image Courtesy: sydney.com

Vaucluse House is a heritage-listed former Aboriginal land, residence, colonial farm and country estate and now tourist attraction, house museum and public park. It is a 19th-century estate with house, kitchen wing, stables and outbuildings, surrounded by 10 hectares (28 acres) of formal gardens and grounds. The house is one of the few 19th-century houses near Sydney Harbour retaining a significant part of its original setting.


Click here to find out more: https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/vaucluse-house



15. Auburn Botanic Gardens


Image Courtesy: sydney.com

The Auburn Botanic Gardens are a botanical garden located in Auburn, in Sydney’s west. It was established in 1977 and covers an area of 9.7 hectares. There are two lakes, a waterfall and bridges. The Auburn Botanic Gardens attract thousands of visitors each year, including a significant number from outside Australia, who come to enjoy the surrounds of the gardens, which provide a variety of flora and fauna. In August each year, the gardens are home to the council’s Cherry Blossom Festival.


Click here to find out more: https://www.cumberland.nsw.gov.au/auburn-botanic-gardens



16. Sydney Park


Image Courtesy: sydney.com

Sydney Park is a 41.6-hectare recreational area in the inner-city suburb of St Peters in Sydney. It is a multi-award-winning regional park and the third largest park in inner-city Sydney. The park comprises large open recreation spaces with distinctive hills that provide 360-degree views over Sydney, a children's playground, wetlands, a sports oval and skate park. There is also barbeque and picnic areas and a café. A great place to spend a day strolling, cycling, skating and playing with your dog in the off-leash area.


Click here to find out more: https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/parks/sydney-park



17. Observatory Park


Image Courtesy: sydney.com

Observatory Park is located in the heart of the Sydney central business district. It is situated near the Harbour Bridge and is the site of a number of historical buildings including the historic Sydney Observatory. The site of the building was chosen because it was clearly visible from the harbour. The Sydney Observatory is a heritage-listed meteorological station, astronomical observatory, function venue, science museum, and education facility located on Observatory Hill at Upper Fort Street, in the inner city Sydney suburb of Millers Point. It is one of the most significant sites in Australia’s scientific history. It has a central role in the history of timekeeping, meteorology and astronomy.


Click here to find out more: https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/parks/observatory-park



18. Clark Island


Image Courtesy: sydney.com

Clark Island is a small island in Sydney Harbour. The island is part of the Sydney Harbour National Park and lies offshore the Sydney suburb of Darling Point, in the eastern part of Sydney Harbour between the Harbour Bridge and the harbour entrance. The lovely Clark Island spans less than a hectare in size. It is perfect for a tranquil picnic lunch while soaking up the island’s exceptional vistas and historic surroundings.


Click here to find out more: https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/picnic-areas/clark-island



19. The Australian Museum


Image Courtesy: sydney.com

The Australian Museum is a heritage-listed museum in Sydney. It is the oldest museum in Australia, with an international reputation in the fields of natural history and anthropology. Apart from exhibitions, the museum is also involved in Indigenous studies research and community programs. Established in 1827, it is Australia’s first museum and has been at the forefront of scientific research, collection and education for more than 185 years. Through exhibitions and other public programs it continues to inform and amaze generations of visitors about the unique flora, fauna and cultures of Australia and the Pacific.


Click here to find out more: https://australian.museum/



20. The Royal National Park


Image Courtesy: sydney.com

The Royal National Park is inland from the eastern coastline of Australia, just south of Sydney. It is characterised by coastal cliffs, secluded beaches and eucalyptus-rich bushland. The park is inhabited by kookaburras, lyre birds and echidnas. The Royal National Park was established in 1879 and spans 160 square kilometers. It is popular for picnics and family days out, bushwalkers and cyclists make the most of its many tracks and you can even go surfing here.


Click here to find out more: https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/royal-national-park




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