Australia, Destinations, Expat, Like A Local, Types of Travel

An Expat’s Guide: Locals Only Spots in Sydney

I recently posted about the top tourist attractions that you really just have to do when you’re in Sydney. Even if you’re the most anti-tourist attraction traveler in the world, you still have to bite the bullet and do it – Sydney won’t disappoint you.

After you go ahead and take your selfie with the Opera House, there’s quite a lot you can do around Sydney that will give you the same (if not better) experience without being a tourist. I’ve been here for ten months, and I still have so much left to explore. Sydney truly is never ending when it comes to things to do and places to see. You’ll never get bored.

I’ve found my favourite spots in the Sydney that are free of tour busses and selfie sticks, and if you’re willing to go the extra mile, you’ll fall in love with these local spots as well. Whether you’re in Sydney for a day, a week, a month or you live here, be sure to check out these great spots around the city!

1.) Relax at Blues Point


Blue’s Point is one of my all time favourite spots in the city. Tucked away behind North Sydney, most people don’t even know it’s there. The main street is filled with adorable cafes, wine bars and restaurants. Once down at the point, you get an uninterrupted view of the city, Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Grab a blanket, pack a picnic basket and sit down on the green grass to watch as the sun fades behind you casting beautiful hues of pink, purple, blue and orange over Sydney’s iconic landmarks.

2.) Watch the Sunset at North Head Manly


North Head Manly has the best view for sunset in all of Sydney! Just a short drive up away form Manly, lies a green patch of grass on top of the North Headlands that leads out to the ocean. From here, you can see all of Sydney’s amazing icons – the Harbour Bridge, South Headlands, City Skyline and even North Sydney. As the sun sets west over the city, you get a spectacular view.

3.) Roam around the Graffiti Art in Newtown


pic credit – Shane from Sea Salt Secrets


Newtown is the grungy cousin of the city. It reeks of culture, art, laneway bars and beer gardens… and sometimes it actually just reeks of other bodily fluids. But that’s just the charm of this little hub outside of the city. One of the best things to do on a sunny Saturday is to have a few beers and roam around catching a glimpse at the ever changing Graffiti Art. You’ll never see the same thing twice!

4.) Grab a Cocktail at Cockatoo Island


When you drive over the Harbour Bridge into the city, you may take a look out to the west and see a whole slew of islands in the harbour. One of those islands is home to Cockatoo Island, which played a vital part of the development of the city way back in the late 1800s. Now, it serves as a campground, historical education center and The Island Bar, which is clearly what I’m talking about! The Island Bar is a nautical oasis with a true island feel. With lawn chairs, umbrellas, fruity drinks and astroturf, this cozy and sunny spot makes for a great weekend hangout. You have to take a ferry there, so go on a Sunday because with an Opal Card, it will only cost $2.50!

5.) Run around Centennial Park


pic credit – h2gsydney


Need a breathe of fresh air out of the city? Head on over to Centennial Park. With massive, sprawling green fields and track that loops around, you can run over 6 km with just one loop and have continuous views of the city skyline the whole way through! Centennial is home to the Food & Wine Festival and the Garden & Home Show. No matter what day it is, you’ll be sure to find something new to do!

6.) Lawn Bowling at The Greens North Sydney


I had never heard of lawn bowling before I came to Sydney, and this was the first thing we did when my family came into town. The Greens is a gorgeous lawn bowls facility with a country club vibe and a hipster twist. Not only is lawn bowling SO much fun, The Greens is also one of the most popular venues for a good weekend day drinking session, as well. Every weekend The Greens is packed, even with a line out of the door, with young people waiting to mingle and maybe bowl a ball. It also has an amazing view overlooking the city from North Sydney!

7.) Spend the Day at Milk Beach


I’ve written about Milk Beach before, and I’ll do it again. Milk Beach is the true hidden gem of Sydney, tucked away in a Marine Park, and quite the walk away from the small amount of parking offered. It’s a small beach only visible during low tide, but this isolation is what makes it so beautiful. It’s a great spot for snorkeling, relaxing, reading and taking in the stunning view. Milk Beach looks out in the Harbour with nothing but uninterrupted views of the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, City Skyline and North Sydney. It really doesn’t get better than that!

To be honest, you could just roam around Sydney and stumble into your own local spot. The city has so much to offer to pretty much any type of person, and that’s what I love the most about it. I hope these tips help you find your way in one of the best cities in the world!

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