Getting off the Beaten Path in Sydney

Our magnificent hometown sure doesn’t lack popular highlights and iconic sightseeing spots. But for someone who wants to have a taste of the true spirit of Sydney, mix and mingle with the locals, as well as feel like a part of the community, there are a number of places and events that should be on any visitor’s bucket list.

My family and I do our best to discover yet another new corner from time to time, and we always go back to those that are our all-time favorites. So, if you’re a first-time Sydney explorer, or even a veteran traveler, feel free to stop by some of these atypical, non-touristy neighborhoods and festivities to get a better insight into Sydney!

Time-traveling in The Rocks

The infamous convict district is now a vivid collection of cobbled streets meandering below the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and it maintains its curious, laid-back vibe with a selection of old pubs, museums, and vibrant cafes. While you’ll see most tourists hanging around the Bridge, the surrounding neighborhood offers a unique glimpse of local life. Friday morning is the best time to visit the Rocks Foodies Market, while Saturdays and Sundays are a perfect opportunity to shop for one-of-a-kind gifts, hand-made art, clothes and truly Aussie jewelry.

The local hotels, including the famous 1824 Australian Heritage Hotel, have beer and wine lists every connoisseur will adore. Think one hundred Australian craft beers and pizza with crocodile meat! Glenmore Hotel from 1921, on the other hand, is a hotspot for after-work gatherings, but their rooftop is my personal favorite when it comes to having my favorite beer with a view.

Animal-lovers’ paradise – Super Furry Festival

A relatively new tradition that’s celebrating its fourth birthday this year, the Super Furry Festival is a dream come true for those of you who love animals. And even if you’re not traveling with Fido, the festival, which happens on Saturday, October 14th in Surry Hills, ensures that all visitors will have plenty of fun. If you’re an Aussie, perhaps you’re looking to adopt a pooch or a similar furry friend?

Yes, there truly is such a thing as the Bunny Snuggle Tent and the Kitty Cuddle Tent, and they do require a reservation beforehand; so, hurry up and get your dose of stress relief while nestling with these fuzzy creatures. Trust me, the kids aren’t the only ones who go nuts over all those animals having fun in a single place!

Two-wheeled fun during Sydney Rides Festival

If you’re a fan of outdoorsy activities, but still crave for a more communal experience with a view, then exploring the city streets and it surrounding neighborhoods on a bike should definitely be your go-to solution. What’s more, the Sydney Rides Festival, which started on the 4th of October and lasts until the 29th of October, has about 30 different events and fun routs for you to enjoy. Keep in mind that you can also rent a bike in case you don’t own your own, or left yours at home.

We’ve turned this annual festival into a family tradition. Every Halloween is reserved for putting on our costumes, mom and dad each with a kid comfortably positioned in a child bike seat, and we head to one of the earlier, and as they say almost calorie-neutral foodie ride. It’s a guided tour of hidden chocolateries and ice-cream makers, as well as little-known patisseries. It makes for an incredible experience even for us who live in the city.

Dining out Sydney style in Nielsen Park

The suburb of Vaucluse is another less-visited area for tourists, so it’s naturally brimming with locals, and an incredible way to immerse yourself in the local culture. A top summer spot is Nielsen Park, with many cool picnic areas meant for a chill at Shark Beach or the park’s rocky shore. And no reason to worry, there’s a separate, netted swimming area, too, so that you can cool off at any moment in the sizzling heat of summer months.

Unlike Bondi and Coogee, this nook isn’t as popular among the many visitors who visit the city during summer. So, take your picnic blanket, pack your favorite sandwiches, and spend some time just relaxing, reading a book, or bonding with your family.

Sculpture by the Sea

Of course, Sydney has so many noteworthy museums that your stay in the city could be filled with nothing but artsy exhibitions. Yet, in all fairness, it would be a pity not to experience the colorful vibe found in the streets and green nooks of the city. Instead of spending all those beautiful sunny days indoors, have your cultural boost in the Bondi area!

For over two decades, the stretch between Bondi to Tamarama Beach is filled with sculptures created not only by artists from Australia but from all over the world as well. It’s two kilometers of vivid education, and the backdrop of ocean waves, sunsets, and sandy beaches only enhances your enjoyment and takes the art to a new level of beauty. This truly is the best way to dive into the authentic spirit of Sydney, and one of the best ways to preserve its culture for all those who are eager to experience it.

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