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Best Outdoor Activities in Sydney – Adventure City Guide

From surfing at Manly Beach to hiking the Blue Mountains. Find out what the best Outdoor Activities in Sydney are with the latest Adventure City Guide.

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Outdoor Activites in Sydney - Spit Bridge

Are you looking for an insider’s adventure travel guide for the best outdoor activities in Sydney?

As part of our Adventure City Guide series, here are my expert insider tips on the top adventure and outdoor activities to do in Sydney.

Sydney Opera house HDR Sydney Australia

Why visit Sydney for adventure?

Sydney, on the south-east Coast of Australia, is the most populous city in the country. It is also one of the most popular travel destinations in Australia. However, if you want to escape the crazy rat-race, then Sydney is perfect for any adventure travellers. From sailing on the harbour, to hiking along the coast and in the Blue Mountains, there are plenty of outdoor activities in Sydney to keep you busy.

Plus you can fly cheaply to Sydney from New Zealand in just a few short hours.

Outdoor Activities in Sydney

Kayaking on Sydney Harbour

Getting out onto the water in Sydney Harbour is one of the most iconic outdoor activities you can do in the city.

Jumping into a Kayak for a couple of hours and paddling under the Harbour Bridge and around the Sydney Opera House will give you views like no other adventure activity can. Fully guided by experienced kayakers you can paddle for 2 – 4 hours and grab a picnic lunch on the shore as well.

Kayaking on the harbour.

Getting to the start point for Kayaking on Sydney HarbourThere are a variety of Kayaking operators in Sydney but a lot will start and finish in the Rose Bay area. This is central Sydney so any of the city buses can get you where you need to be. You will also need to book in advance as weather can sometimes change the plans of the trip.

Cost of Kayaking on Sydney Harbour

All your safety equipment and kayaks are included in your tours. 2 hour trips start from $70 while longer ones over 4 hours are $105 per person. You will usually need at least 4 of you to book a private trip.

Hiking the Blue Mountain from Sydney

The Blue Mountains are an easy day or weekend trip away from the city. Within just a couple of hours drive of downtown Sydney you can be high up in the majestic Blue Mountains which are world renowned for their hiking and beauty.

From 3 hours to multi-day camping hikes, there are a variety of different routes available with tour guides in the Blue Mountains. Or you can have a crack yourself. Just remember to have everything you might need.

You will be able to discover ancient rock formations, sweeping rainforest views, and waterfalls to cool off in when it gets too hot.

Bridal Veil Falls, Blue Mountains

Getting to the Blue Mountains from Sydney

The Blue Mountains are only a two hire drive away from the CBD. Tours can drop you off and pick you up, or you can drive out there very easily. There are also some bus services to the Blue Mountains.

Cost of Hiking the Blue Mountains from Sydney

If you join a tour then prices range from $150 – $200 for a day of hiking. This will include transportation and lunch. If you make your own way up there then make sure you have all the right equipment and know where you are going.

Make sure you also let someone else know too.

Surfing in Sydney

Manly Beach is only 17 kms from Sydney CBD, but it feels like a world away.

Sydney is a serious surf centre and Manly Beach is also one of the best places to learn to surf in Australia. Manly beach itself has over 6 surf breaks although there are plenty more along the coastline to the north. And while there are plenty of beach breaks for beginners, there are also some serious point breaks over some very shallow reefs for advanced surfers looking for a challenge.

If you are a beginner then there are plenty of surf schools at Manly Beach who will have you riding the waves in just a couple of hours.

Manly Beach Surf

Getting to Manly Beach

You can transfer out to Manly Beach via the ferry. This is one of the best ways as you get to cross Sydney harbour and enjoy the views rather than squeeze through traffic.

There are also Buses which will take you out to Manly Beach from various areas around Sydney CBD.

Cost of surfing at Manly Beach

Free if you have your own equipment. But if you want to rent your gear it’s going to cost about $40 a day for surfboard and wetsuit rental.

Exploring the Coastline on foot

The Coastline around Sydney is spectacular and there are plenty of half-day and day hikes for you to explore the area. One of them is the popular coastline hike through the rugged Sydney Harbour National Park. It’s only 10 km’s in length so shouldn’t take you any longer than 4 hours.

Outdoor Activites in Sydney - Spit Bridge

Outdoor Activites in Sydney – Spit Bridge

If you have already been out to Manly then this is where it starts. Head along the coast past Manly Aquarium to Fairlight Beach. There are some amazing views along this section so bring your camera and take your time.

Entering the Sydney Harbour National Park the path becomes harder as you contend with shifting sand and rocky paths. But the views from Dobroyd Head will make all the sweating worthwhile. Keep an eye out as well for original Aboriginal rock carvings on a ledge to the left of the track near Grotto Point Lighthouse.

From here you finish up at the westernend of the National Park at Spit Bridge and it’s time to jump a bus back into Manly. Make sure you bring food and water as there aren’t any cafes or shops along the hike.

Getting to the start point

Just head out to Manly Beach via the ferry. This is one of the best ways as you get to cross Sydney harbour and enjoy the views rather than squeeze through traffic.

To come back at the end of the hike catch any of the local buses. Or feel free to hike back into town too.

Cost

Apart from your transport costs it is free to hike along the Sydney Harbour coastal trail.

Best time of the year to visit Sydney for adventure?

Sydney has on average 340 days of sunshine every year. It’s unlikely that you are going to get terrible weather, but it can happen.

As with everywhere in Australia, January – April, which is the southern hemisphere summer, is the most popular time to visit. The weather is warmer and outdoor activities in Sydney can be fully enjoyed. However if you want to go hiking then you may want to consider spring or autumn to keep the temperatures down.

Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge

Finally, the reason I love Sydney for adventure is because…

Sydney is a city that has it all. The CBD is always bustling but it also is only a short drive out to some of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world. And you have the natural coastline and harbour right on your doorstep. Sydney is definitely perfect for adventure travellers.

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. OCDemon

    September 2, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    That’s such a massive harbor that it looks like a million people could be there and it might still feel empty. But I’d be looking for Nemo dumbly. I expect quite a few people would, though.

    • Cole Burmester

      September 2, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      They regularly have that many people there for things like Australia Day and New Years Eve! Haha definitely lots of Nemo hunters too 😉

  2. Kristy of Family Visa

    September 3, 2013 at 7:25 AM

    What I love about Sydney is their delicious food and their hot coffee.

  3. Peter Lee

    September 5, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    Lovely post ! The scenario from blue mountains is so beautiful. I have included Sydney in my bucket list. Thanks for sharing this information.

    • Cole Burmester

      September 6, 2013 at 8:11 AM

      Thanks Peter and hope you visit Sydney for some outdoor adventures soon.

  4. Jason Ryaan

    September 10, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Yes I completely agree that Sydney is one of the most popular cities in Australia as people can do various outdoor activities over there. I have also visited this place once.

    • Cole Burmester

      September 11, 2013 at 4:21 AM

      Not only is Sydney great for it’s outdoor activities but it’s also fantastic for culture and food 😉

  5. Sonali

    September 18, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    I’ve done all of the except the dog tour! My favorite tour the last time I was there was actually the Robert Service walk. It was a hike though the woods around the city with frequent stops for poetry.

    • Cole Burmester

      September 20, 2013 at 8:58 AM

      The Robert Service walk sounds great and will have to check it out! Thanks for the tip Sonali.

  6. emi

    September 20, 2013 at 1:05 AM

    this is so great. we can’t wait to visit sydney. let’s collaborate! we are travel bloggers based in san francsico! XOXO

    • Cole Burmester

      September 20, 2013 at 8:55 AM

      If you want to write adventure posts for us then feel free 🙂

  7. Ann Shirley

    September 20, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Great post! I really love the photographs you included! I have heard so many great things about Manly. I will be visiting Sydney from the US in January. I’m really looking forward to escaping the cold climate of the US to enjoy Australia’s summer! It’s nice hearing that this is a popular time to visit! I love reading your description of Manly. I was aware of their beach, but didn’t know they had an aquarium. Have you ever been to it? Is it nice? I’m definitely considering checking it out!

    The pictures you included of Blue Mountains are also stunning! This is one of the things I have planned for my trip that I am most excited about seeing. You mentioned that some people visit them as part of a tour. I’m going to be taking a Blue Mountain day tour from Sydney. Are you familiar with this tour? I heard they have a wildlife park that I’m really looking forward to seeing. I hope I can be lucky enough to cuddle a koala or something!

    • Cole Burmester

      September 24, 2013 at 5:12 AM

      Hi Ann,
      Thanks for your wonderful comment 🙂
      I actually haven’t been to the museum at Manly but have heard it is good. And I think the idea to go on a tour into the Blue Mountains is fantastic. I haven’t done that particular tour either but I think you will get a lot more out of it than trying to do it yourself! Let me know how it goes 🙂
      Enjoy your travels.
      Cheers,
      Cole

  8. Smith Jack Lean

    October 2, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    Thanks Cole Burmester for this post. You gave us lovely ideas for adventure tour for Sydney. Your photography is good. So keep posting.

  9. Abby Ang

    October 9, 2013 at 7:12 AM

    Hello there!

    Thank you very much for sharing this. Nice shot here! Sydney is such a nice place.

    -Abby

  10. Vinson

    October 22, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Sydney is a city with lot of Activities to do there. Tourists are often found performing some great enjoyable activities in Sydney, as you mentioned above. Always a big fun to visit Sydney

  11. Patricia Lopez

    April 24, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Australia has been a hands down favorite adventure spot for me. I am yet to explore Sydney to its full capacity though..:)

  12. Travel to Indochina

    July 8, 2015 at 8:35 PM

    Look amazing, hope to visit these beautiful places soon.

  13. Courtney Jones

    July 19, 2015 at 12:31 PM

    Great photos! Happy to say I’ve crossed off all the activities you’ve recommended (and agree with the recommendations – great list!)

    I love Sydney because there’s literally always something to do – winter doesn’t mean hibernating, as there’s plenty of outdoor activities to take in even when the temperature drops!

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Adventure Travel

Explore Auckland’s Coasts With One Exquisite Walking Hike

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There is a wonderful place found in the far southwest of the Pacific Ocean. It is a place called Auckland, and it is found in the amazing terrain of New Zealand. It is a place that commands the attention of over 1 million people who prefer to live and reside in this majestic city.

Did you know that Auckland claims the top spot in New Zealand with its wide range of people and the most concentrated number of people within a city in New Zealand?

But why do so many people come to Auckland, New Zealand, and live there? What do they appreciate the most?

The truth is that the answer may vary, and it may differ from person to person, but it is hard to deny that nature is not a crucial part of their decision making. The beautiful city has fantastic places that offer great adventure and recreational activity.

You can take advantage of the diverse coasts, hidden coves, and more of the northern area in the North Island. It is known for its various boats, and some believe that it has more ships than any other city in the entire world.

It is a city that resides between two large fantastic natural harbors.

Let us find out more about how you can explore this majestic city with one fantastic walking hike.

The Auckland Coast

For those who want to stay near to Auckland’s city and travel well, it is necessary to start your journey with the Auckland Coast’s breathtaking area.

Did you know that Auckland’s coast ranges over 15km, will take over four hours to traverse, and is somewhat challenging to navigate? But the truth is that it is worth it. Why is it worth it? Well, you can seemingly walk the length of an entire nation within the span of a few hours. If you wake up early in the morning and go on this journey, you can finish your hike by noon or an hour past noon.

But in that brief timeframe, you can experience several oceans, notice a slew of volcanoes, and have a glimpse into people’s regular lives in the New Zealand area.

This fantastic walk is excellent because of its duration and because you are able to experience lush greenery and park settings over 30% of the time. It is a great way to clear your head, get to know more about the people you are traveling with, and experience the refreshing Auckland air.

Experts suggest beginning your journey at the less intriguing Onehunga area and then moving forward with public transportation at the Britomart stop. You will find that you can travel east to take in the water sights with a bit of work.

When your walk is over, you can grab a fresh beverage at the Waitemata Harbour, a premium harbor.

You will want to make sure to bring some healthy snacks along for the walk because you may not notice different places to eat as you go on this part of the hike.

It is best to ensure that you understand that you must input the Ferry Building into your mobile device or ensure to use the local municipal iSITE for further guidance.

If you are limited on time, I would suggest that you go on this route because it lets you take in the entire area and understand this excellent place.

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Adventure Travel

Hiking Adventures in Bryce Canyon National Park

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If you are on the lookout for the perfect environment for an adventurous and challenging hike, look no further. Located in the Southern Utah region is the best park that is most suitable for your hiking adventure, the Bryce Canyon National Park. This is a great option to relaxed after you are through playing in $5 minimum deposit casinos.

This park hosts hike lovers from time to time and people even come from other countries in the world to experience the wonder of this park. The landscape and beautiful trails make this a choice venue. There is a rental service at this location if you love to stay behind.

You can enjoy the priceless glimpse of the sunrise and sunset from the different landscape. The part also permits visitors to create traditional camps at different locations for a more adventurous experience.

There are a couple of trails that you can choose from for your hiking adventure, and no matter your level of experience in hiking, you will find a track that matches your taste. Even if you are totally new to hiking, there is something for you at the Bryce Canyon National Park . Below is a list of some of the trails to try when you take a trip to this park.

The Rim Trail

This is the most accessible trail at Bryce Canyon National Park. It is suitable for those who just want to have a good time walking around and savoring the magnificent scenery of the park. From any part of the park, you can connect to this trail as it goes all the way around the park.

When lodging at the Bryce Canyon Lodge, it is a good idea to start your hike from the place known as the sunrise point. Just as the name implies, if you wake up early to start your walk, you’ll be able to watch the sunrise. If you have a camera with you, you’ll take some fantastic pictures.

Also, you’ll get a clear view of the Bryce amphitheater from this point. Just like in an adventure movie, you have to find a way to link up to boat Mesa, and on your way, you walk through some sites like the Mormon temple and Queen garden. This hiking trail is easy, and all you have to deal with is a total of approximately 200 feet elevation. You will surely have a nice time on this trail.

Navajo Loop Trail

On the order of difficulty, this trail comes next after the rim trail. The starting point of this trail begins from the sunset point around the southern area of the Bryce Canyon Lodge. Just like for the rim trail, the trail presents a nice view of the sunset, and with a good camera, you’ll be able to take exciting photo shoots.

Walking this route involves a visit to the Silent City, which is an aesthetic combination of limestone and urban expansion. During the hike, you will also walk through Wall Street, which happens to be a distinctive attraction at the Bryce Canyon park. You won’t ever want to miss the narrow walls. From this point, you may decide to go back to the sunset point or take other shorter hikes like the Peekaboo loop trail and Queen garden trail. Both routes are challenging and adventurous, but you will enjoy every bit of the challenge. After you have done this, you can then go ahead to have some fun in a $5 minimum deposit casino.

Mossy Cave Trail

This Trail presents an entirely different sight than the one that we have previously mentioned. From this trail, you will be able to catch the view of the towers in the park nearby without descending to the amphitheater. This hiking course begins at approximately 4 miles from the entrance to the Bryce Canyon park. However, if you visit this park and would like to enjoy something completely different from the other common tracks, then this is an exciting hiking trail for you to try.

Hiking is more than a walk, it is a fun and adventurous experience. All trails at the Bryce Canyon National Park are worth trying on your next visit. Whether you seek to have some fun or you just want to catch some beautiful scenery and feel close to nature, you will find the right place that suits you. Get ready to have an amazing hiking experience.

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Adventure Travel

Walking the Camino de Santiago Photos

These are my favourite Camino de Santiago Photos from my pilgrimage along the French Way in March. A truly beautiful way to spend a few weeks.

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Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

El Camino de Santiago kicked my ass. Well technically it kicked my feet. Turns out my minimal preparation for the Camino de Santiago was terrible. After a miserable effort of only 4 days, the doctor in Legrono told me that I wasn’t allowed to go on until me feet healed. I had walked just over 100 km’s and my feet were bloodied and blistered.

To be honest, I was relieved.

The thought of putting back on my shoes made my shudder. For the last 9 km’s I had stumbled along in jandals and socks. One of the travelling fashion sins I vowed I would never break.

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

So while I have unfinished business with the Way of St James (an upcoming post), I did want to share with you some of my favourite photos from the Camino de Santiago. Because I had yet to reach some of the more “unsavoury” parts of the Camino that Sherry Ott had discovered, every step of my pilgrimage had been beautiful.

Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

Puenta La Reina Bridge – Camino de Santiago Arrows

There is no way you can get lost on the Camino de Santiago. Arrows, scallop shells and signs point you in the right direction at every bridge, road crossing and intersection.

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Reaching the top of Alto Pedron gave views back the way I had come from Pamplona, as well as views to where I was going. The rocky path on the way down proved to be my ultimate downfall, as my too small shoes caused my toes to smash into the front.

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

There were so many beautiful old churches along the Camino de Santiago. But since I was walking in early March, it seemed that most were yet to open for the busier summer season.

Church of Obanos

The Church of Obanos

And between every small village the well-maintained pathways of the French Way wound across the spectacular Spanish countryside.

The French Way - Camino de Santiago

The French Way – Camino de Santiago Photos

Puenta La Reina

Puenta La Reina in the evening

Puenta La Reina has one of the most amazing bridges I have ever seen. It was also the 1st village I had the pleasure of sleeping in after busy Pamplona.

Puenta la Reina Bridge and Sunrise

Puenta la Reina Bridge at sunrise

Most mornings I was up and walking before the sun began to sprinkle across the horizon.

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Every village and town was built on a small hill. Sure it looks beautiful until you realise you have to go back up again to go through them all!

Church of Santa Maria - Los Arcos

Church of Santa Maria in Los Arcos

While there were only about 20 pilgrims walking each section every day, it wasn’t uncommon for you to encounter them all. The people I met along the Camino de Santiago were some of the most inspiring and remarkable people I have ever spoken to. They are the ones that make the pilrgimage so special.

The endless French Way

The endless French Way

Irache Wine Fountain - Fuente del Vino

The free flowing Irache Wine Fountain or “Fuente del Vino”

Hay bales along the French Way

Hay bales along the French Way

Every village had at least one ancient church and it wasn’t uncommon to find them dotting the landscape in remote locations either.

Ermita de San Miguel

Ermita de San Miguel

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

I have travelled through Spain in the past, including cycling in Costa Brava and surfing in San Sebastian with both independent planning and a vacation planner. But having the opportunity to walk at my own pace through some of the most beautiful scenery in Spain on the Camino de Santiago has so far topped them all.

Natural arches - Camino de Santiago

Natural arches on the Camino de Santiago

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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