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By Concrete Playground
December 30, 2016

200 Highly Awesome Outdoor Sydney Adventures to Try

There's got to be at least one in here for you. At least.
By Concrete Playground
December 30, 2016


There's got to be at least one in here for you. At least.

So you're keen to sink your teeth into Sydney's best openair adventures? We're with you on that. We've been bangin' on about pristine waterfalls right outside the city, we've preached from the mountains about mountains you can climb, and we've sent you exploring (and camping in) Sydney's gloriously mysterious caves. Hopefully, you made it out, unlike those crazy cats in The Descent. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Haven't done it all? Haven't ridden a horse along a NSW beach Daryl Braithwaite-style? Haven't elegantly dog paddled in one of Sydney's offensively pretty ocean pools? Fill up your canteen with water (wink), pack a little lunchbox and get going this weekend. Here's a little guide to help you.

  • 20
    The Most Spectacular Waterfalls to Visit Near Sydney

    It’s easy to forget that Sydney is also surrounded by loads of staggeringly beautiful waterfalls — many of them hidden within national parks and wilderness areas. While some are built for swimming under, others are made just for marvelling at (and furiously Instagramming). Here are ten of the most road trip-inspiring falls you’ll find near Sydney.

  • 19
    The Five Best Overnight Hikes Near Sydney

    Put on your walking shoes, pack some sunscreen and a big bottle of water, because we’re going for a wander. Sydney is surrounded by so much incredible bushland and rugged coastline that’s just begging to be explored. Many of these overnight walks are close to the city, but — if you’re really lucky — you’ll spot some incredible wildlife, score some solitude and feel like you’re a million miles from civilisation.

  • 18
    The Ten Best Coastal Walks in Sydney

    You can walk to the shops. You can walk to work. But no walk will feed your soul like a walk by the water. And if you live in Sydney, your soul should be pizza-party-level full. These ten coastal walks have it all — wild scrub, picturesque paths, yacht clubs and war ruins. Bar stops right where you need them. Parts of the Bondi to Coogee you can blitz in an hour, while the Bundeena to Otford track is an overnighter. Here’s your next ten weekends’ worth of active leisure.

  • 17
    The Ten Best Places to Play Lawn Bowls in Sydney

    Once the realm of social seniors in Napisan-clean whites, lawn bowls has been adopted by a younger, bare-footed, beer-sinking generation. Now that Sydney’s days are growing longer and warmer, you’ll find them taking over greens everywhere. While some get pretty serious about showing off their skills, for others, the bowling bit is just an excuse for getting together with mates, spending a lazy afternoon in the sun and soaking up the views offered by the city’s many beautifully situated clubs.

  • 16
    The Ten Best Places to Go Horse Riding Near Sydney

    If My Friend Flicka scarred you for life with horsey dreams you’ve never had the chance to live out, it’s time to take the reins of your destiny. Luckily for you, Sydney — encircled with national parks, wide beaches and vast farmlands as it is — is just the place to do it. For a taste of the equine life without leaving the city, head to Centennial Park. Harbouring ambitions to become the next Man Ffrom Snowy River? You’ll find bolder, braver adventures further afield. Giddy up.

  • 15
    The Ten Best Lighthouses To Visit Near Sydney

    Gone are the days when lighthouses were the domain of lonesome keepers, spending long nights keeping an eye on kerosene lamps and braving the fog and the foam. These days, automation does all the work. But despite that, it’s hard to spend time at one without feeling like you’re going back in time 100 years, when adventuring by ship was an extraordinarily risky business. Since 1622, more than 8000 ships have wrecked on the Australian coast, yet only about 2000 have been found. Visit these ten lighthouses in and around Sydney to travel back in time a little, take in some dazzling views, visit some beautiful beaches and perhaps even sleepover in an original light keeper’s cottage.

  • 14
    The Ten Best Kayaking Spots in Sydney

    You’ve seen Sydney and its surrounds from rooftop bars, strategically positioned restaurants and mountaintops. But jump in a kayak, where you can watch at human-powered pace, from sea level, and you’ll discover a whole new perspective. While you’re at it, stumble across secluded beaches, hidden coves and magical forests. Here are ten of Sydney’s best locations for sea kayaking — from tranquil, National Park-flanked rivers to secretive sections of the harbour. Make good use of daylight savings with a quick one-hour post-work paddle, set aside an entire day for exploration or pack your tent for a multi-day expedition. Every spot on this list has kayak hire nearby and most are accessible by public transport.

  • 13
    The Ten Best Outdoor Swimming Pools in Sydney

    Balmy, breezy and beckoning, the warmer months are well and truly here, bringing with them blue skies and long days. While Sydney’s beaches are some of the best in the country, we sometimes forget we also have a collection of outdoor pools unlike anywhere else in the world. We want you to take full advantage of just how incredible this city can be when it’s hot and beautiful, so check out our ten favourite outdoor pools to cool down in.

  • 12
    The Most Unusual Swimming Holes to Try Around Sydney

    Of all the watery cities in the world, Sydney has one of the longest coastlines. By the time you count up all the beaches, the entire harbourfront and the scattering of islands, you’ve a serious stack of kilometres behind you. So far, we’ve brought you secluded beaches, outdoor pools and waterfalls. Now we’re adding a dash of adventure to the mix, with ten of the most unusual swimming experiences to be had in and around our city. A quick dip above a waterfall, with sweeping national park views? Check. An adrenaline-pumping frenzy in a wild, exposed ocean pool? Check. A deep plunge into a limestone gorge, bordered by steep marble cliffs? Check. Whether you want rapids, waves, rock scrambles, views, art, secrecy or nudity with your swim, we’ve got them.

  • 11
    Five Waterfalls Near Sydney You Can Swim Under

    Don’t let summer disappear without initiating your own personal Brooke Shields-Christopher Atkins moment. Even though Sydney is well-known for its sand and surf — from beachy, bleachy Bondi to the Harbour’s numerous secret, secluded coves — its waterfalls don’t often receive the same attention. Here are five Blue Lagoon-esque locations that you really should get to before winter sets in.

  • 10
    The Ten Best Harbour Beaches in Sydney

    There are some days in summer where the thought of being sandwiched between a family of whinging kids on one side and teenage girls gossiping loudly about last night’s gathering on the other is enough to put you off going to the beach all together. An excellent alternative is to visit one of Sydney’s incredible harbour beaches. Usually far more serene and less populated, with excellent views and (sometimes) more parking, these coves are Sydney’s hidden havens in summer.

  • 9
    The Best Rivers For Swimming In Near Sydney

    Just when we thought we’d done all the swimming there is to do in Sydney, we make new discoveries. After paddling under waterfalls, throwing ourselves into extraordinary swimming holes and plunging into ocean pools by the moonlight, we’re now exploring rivers. Make like Huckleberry Finn and get yourself to one of these meandering beauties before summer slips away.

  • 8
    The Ten Best Beaches for Learning How to Surf Around Sydney

    One of the biggest mistakes that novice surfers make is thinking they can learn anywhere. Soft-top board in hand, they plunge idealistically into thrashing waves and rips, and, after two hours of near-drowning, return – bedraggled, without a single catch to brag about and vowing to never venture out again. But if you start in the right place, it’s a different experience altogether. What newbies need are small waves breaking over sand, as opposed to rocks or reef. You won’t find them at just any old beach — so if you’re looking to learn this summer, get yourself (and your board) a few of these beginner-friendly locations. You’re bound to have some fun.

  • 7
    The Ten Best Picnic Spots in Sydney - OLD

    After a long and furiously chilly few months, the balmy, warm weather is slowly returning to Sydney. And with all the excitement of summer comes the onset of picnicking season, when there’s nothing better than gathering your favourite people, packing a few too many tubs of hummus and plonking yourself in a beautiful place, be that Sydney’s postcard-perfect harbour, a classic beach set-up or a dense forest. So pile up the picnic basket with your favourite goodies and head to one of these perfect Sydney locations for a long, lazy lunch in the great outdoors.

  • 6
    The Ten Best Ocean Pools in Sydney

    New South Wales’s first human-made ocean pool was the work of convicts. In 1819, Newcastle’s Commandant Morisset decided he wanted his own private swimming spot. So, he ordered a bunch of resident prisoners to start digging and, after several months of hard labour, the Bogey Hole was created. These days, there are more than 100 rockpools in the state, many of which had much happier beginnings. And Sydney is home to several of the most dramatic and most fun. Here are ten places where you can swim between the coast and the mighty Pacific, without the risk of rips (or sharks).

  • 5
    The Ten Best Caves to Visit Near Sydney

    Don’t spend all winter sprawled on the couch enthralled by The Goonies — go out and choose your own adventure. Within a couple of hours’ drive of Sydney, there are hidden caves for cooling off in, huge sandstone caves for camping in (with 50 or so of your closest mates), beachside caves for picnicking in, tunnel caves for meeting glow worms in and river caves for swimming in. In short, there’s a lot of caves. Here are ten we think you should visit.

  • 4
    The Ten Best Walks In and Around Sydney

    Offset all that sitting you’ve done this week. According to the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, ‘walking is man’s best medicine’. 2,500 years — and the invention of antibiotics — later, he’s still got a point. And in Sydney — where cliffs, caves and coastline are just minutes away from the car-strangled CBD — following the doctor’s advice is easy. Lengthen your life this weekend with one of these ten walking adventures in and around Sydney.

  • 3
    The Best Bike Rides In and Around Sydney

    Many people associate cycling in Sydney with dodging cars, battling road rage and navigating their way through complicated tangles of main roads and side streets. But there are oodles of dedicated (and more serene) bike paths to explore, passing through expansive parks, around tranquil lagoons and alongside stunning beaches. Whether you’re still on your training wheels or prepping for the Tour de France, here are ten of Sydney’s best bike rides.

  • 2
    Ten Ways to Get on the Water in Sydney

    If there’s one thing Sydney has a lot of, it’s water. Whether it’s the gobsmackingly beautiful harbour, the many rivers snaking their way to the sea from the west or the scores of pristine white sand beaches that stretch along the city’s giant coastline, this whole place is full of H2-oh-wow moments. They’re basically at every turn. But sometimes heading to Bondi Beach for the umpteenth time just won’t cut it. So here are a few ideas to help you get wet, steal some sea spray and cool down creatively.

  • 1
    The Ten Best Secluded Beaches in Sydney

    Escape the chaos of the big beaches and explore these secret little hideaways. Whether you’re after a dip post-hike or something a little more relaxed, you’re sure to find it along the New South Wales coast. Want even more beaches? Check out our picks of the best beaches in Sydney and the best harbour beaches in Sydney.

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