Life Travel Seven Sydney attractions that didn’t make the cut
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Seven Sydney attractions that didn’t make the cut

Sydney
From the coast to the CBD, Sydney has plenty to offer. Photo: TND
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As Australia reopens for the summer, the NSW government has kicked off a new campaign to get domestic tourists to visit Sydney.

The TV spot features the usuals – think Bondi Beach, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge – as well as performing arts venues such as  Carriageworks and Bangarra Dance Theatre.

However, even this assortment only scrapes the surface of what Sydney has to offer.

“Sydney is the beating heart of our state and promises our visitors an experience unlike any other with the power to inspire and reinvigorate,” Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres said.

“Whether it’s Sydney’s world-class restaurants or its glittering coastline, vibrant nightlife or abundant national parks – there is no shortage of ways to feel new in our city.”

Here are the local gems that didn’t make the cut.

The Bondi-Coogee walk in Sydney
The Bondi-Coogee walk is a great way to tour Sydney’s beaches and rugged coastline. Photo: Getty

The Bondi-Coogee walk

Bondi Beach is no secret, but those who might be quick to write it off should consider walking along the cliffs to neighbouring Coogee Beach.

The aptly-named Bondi-Coogee walk provides a sea breeze and idyllic views of Sydney’s rugged coastline.

It passes five or six beaches (depending on who you ask) as well as the heritage-listed Waverley Cemetery.

“It’s the perfect way to soak up Sydney’s outdoors and beachside lifestyle surrounded by stunning scenery,” Daily Sydney Tours director Korhan Karakoyun told The New Daily.

Newtown in Sydney
Newtown has gained a reputation for being one of Sydney’s most eclectic neighbourhoods – and rightfully so. Photo: Getty

King St, Newtown

There are plenty of suburbs vying to be Sydney’s trendiest, but none have the reputation or name-recognition of Newtown.

Walk along King St at any time of day and you’re bound to stumble across a cute cafe or a treasure trove of vintage fashion.

The street art alone is Sydney’s fourth-highest-rated attraction on Tripadvisor.

Newtown is also home to the famous Young Henrys craft brewery, with plenty of other choices within walking distance of the suburb.

At night, Newtown’s bars, pubs and clubs come alive despite Sydney’s sleepy reputation.

As for other cool suburbs, honourable mentions go to Balmain, Glebe and Paddington, but none can quite match the charm and energy of Newtown.

Taronga Zoo
The animals at Taronga Zoo remain blissfully unaware of their million-dollar views. Photo: Getty

Taronga Zoo

A zoo is not always the most representative attraction for a city, but Taronga Zoo is no ordinary zoo.

“Whether you want to get up close and personal with lions and tigers or are just after some unrivalled views of the CBD, Taronga Zoo is well worth the visit,” Finder travel expert Courtney Edwards told TND.

“With over 4000 animals to see along with multiple shows and talks throughout the day, you’ll never fall short of things to do.

Roar and Snore is an overnight glamping experience where guests can sit in on feeding time, while the famous bird shows run twice daily.

Best of all, Taronga Zoo can be reached via a 12-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay in the heart of the city.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney
Cockatoo Island is a great opportunity to witness the industrial past of Sydney Harbour. Photo: Getty

Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island isn’t pretty, but that makes it all the more interesting to explore.

The island was home to one of Australia’s biggest shipyards before being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010.

Nowadays it’s a venue for live music and art exhibitions, with a trendy bar to boot. You can even camp overnight by the water’s edge.

Outside of this, visitors are free to wander through the architectural mishmash of heavy industry relics, colonial-era buildings and the occasional art deco flourish.

Being an island, it’s only accessible by ferry or water taxi – but that’s half the fun.

The Queen Victoria Building is an architectural gem in the heart of the city. Photo: Getty

The Queen Victoria Building

The Queen Victoria Building was considered an eyesore not long after it was opened in 1898, but more than 100 years later it’s a centrepiece of Sydney’s CBD.

Situated right next to Sydney Town Hall, the QVB, as it’s universally known among Sydneysiders, is impossible to miss.

Although it’s really just a fancy shopping centre, the Victorian-era architecture has been restored to such a standard that you don’t need to be a shopaholic to appreciate its appeal.

The QVB is also home to a huge model railway display at Hobbyco, a Haigh’s chocolate shop and an art gallery dedicated to the drawings of Dr Seuss.

If this alone hasn’t satisfied your fix, the nearby Strand Arcade is yet another beautiful shopping centre to wander through.

The Royal National Park
Wattamolla beach in the Royal National Park might look remote, but it’s easily accessible by car. Photo: Getty

The Royal National Park

Sydney has no shortage of national parks, but the Royal National Park just south of the city is hard to beat.

“Situated on the traditional lands of the Dharawal people, the Royal National Park contains unspoilt beauties like Wedding Cake Rock and the Figure Eight Pools,” Mr Karakoyun told TND.

“It’s also the perfect vantage point for spotting whales during their migration seasons.”

In other words, the Royal National Park is an Instagrammer’s paradise.

Bushwalking and mountain biking opportunities abound, while Wattamolla lagoon is a favourite picnic and swimming spot for families.

The national park is reachable by car, or by a privately-run ferry from Cronulla.

The Manly ferry in Sydney
The Manly ferry showcases Sydney Harbour, and best of all passengers end up at the beach. Photo: Getty

The Manly ferry

Sydney Harbour featured prominently in the new TV commercial, and so too did Manly Beach.

Linking the two places is an unsung hero of the city: the Manly ferry.

While Sydneysiders might consider it an essential piece of public transport, visitors will find it to be one of the easiest – and cheapest – ways to see everything the harbour has to offer.

The journey lasts roughly 20 minutes, but there’s so much to take in that it’s worth catching the boat both ways.

Manly Beach is a bigger and far less touristy alternative to Bondi Beach, and the ferry connects it to the tourist hub Circular Quay, which is wedged between the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

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