Sydney, with its famous harbour and Opera House, excellent cuisine and climate, waterside culture and friendly locals, is one of the world's top tourist destinations and it's easy to see why. No matter your age or interests, you're sure to find plenty to do in Sydney. The tourist guidebooks are packed with all the most popular attractions. Yet if you're the type of person who enjoys tourist activities that are a little bit “different”, it pays to dig a little deeper if you want to come up with the perfect itinerary. Here are five slightly more unusual or less common activities you can get involved in when visiting Sydney. Why not give them a go?
1. Whale watching
Whales pass by Sydney during their annual migration in their thousands, making the city a great place from which to experience a close-up marine encounter you will never forget. If you're on a shoestring budget, consider trying to spy a whale or two from one of the following spots along Sydney's coastline: Cape Solander, Cape Banks in La Perouse, Magic Point at Marouba, Ben Buckler at Bondi, South Head Signal Station at South Point, North Head Lookout at North Head National Park and Long Reef Point. A whale watching tour however, offers you a much higher quality experience as you get up close and personal with the marine giants and learn all about them from an expert guide. There are many tour operators departing out of Sydney's main harbours which offer excellent value for money. It will truly be an experience you'll cherish forever.
2. The Quarantine Station
Back in colonial times, an outbreak of disease could easily have wiped out Sydney's entire population. Which is why the early arrivals established a Quarantine Station in 1835, located at North Head. The station sill exists today, converted into a museum where you're sure to learn many interesting tidbits about the early days of the city.
3. Ghost Tours
For the more adventurous or those who like a bit of a scary thrill attached to their holiday, a ghost tour in Sydney is the perfect activity. The Quarantine Station offers ghost tours, as does Old Government House. The latter tour is done completely by candlelight. Spooky!
4. Tunnels At Balmoral
In the middle of Balmoral Beach, you'll find a concrete bridge leading out to a tiny island. The kids will love playing in the many caves you'll find scattered across the island whereas at nearby Georges Head you'll find an expanse of old abandoned military tunnels rumoured to have been used for training for the Vietnam War. Hint: bring a torch!
5. Roar and Snore
Fancy sleeping just a few metres away from lions and giraffes and all the other animals housed at Sydney's famous Taronga Zoo? Amazingly, this is an option for a night of your holiday, thanks to the zoo's “Roar and Snore” experience. Fully hosted, it will be a night you won't forget easily. You'll sleep in luxury tents and get to see all the animals before the rest of the punters in the morning!