Sydney has countless famous and impressive places. So you might wonder if I’ll just list all the famous spots again here. Well, no. I won’t. I did visit the most famous places as well, like Sydney Opera House, and they are famous for a reason. One evening I stopped by the Opera House on my way back to my Hostel from a hike I did. You could hear the waves from the harbour, from somewhere you could enjoy the sound of live Jazz music, a slight breeze made the warm weather super pleasant. That, in combination with the view of the softly lit Opera House and Harbor Bridge, Sydney’s iconic landmarks, gave me Goosebumps! I’m glad I didn’t miss this, even if it was super touristy and crowded. But there are other places. Less overcrowded, and for me even more worth visiting. After four weeks in Sydney, it was tough to choose just seven favorites, but here are the highlight spots that made my list.

These are my 7 highlight places, I’ll make a separate post about my top hikes, because they deserve their own appreciation!

Harbour View Lawn & Macquarie‘s Chair

Harbour View Lawn in Sydney, a green calm park with view of the Ocean, Opera House and Harbour Bridge

One of my first days in Sydney is still vivid in my memory. Jet-lagged from the long flight (thanks to Melatonin, it wasn’t too bad of a jetlag), I was in an Uber on my way to Macquarie’s Chair. The driver joked endlessly about the name, suggesting I could get a chair anywhere—a joke I didn’t find particularly funny, though his laughter was infectious and that positive vibe was lovely, that’s why I still recall it so well. Well, when the driver dropped me off, a few meters of walking later I had the perfect view of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. I remember that I was just thinking „woahhhh“ all the time. I was standing in a sweet and peaceful park, with a few other people but not even close to something that would count as “crowded”, and could see these iconic Sydney spots, plus the city skyline, but without the crowd. That was just an incredible start into my adventures in Sydney, and a great choice for one of my first days.

Walking a few meters further, closer to the water, it got a little more crowded, but still very acceptable even for the tired & jetlagged me. I just found out later by checking Google Maps that this was Harbour View Lawn then. It was connected to a vast meadow leading away from the water towards the Botanic Gardens. I stuck close to the shoreline along a clean footpath shared with joggers and pedestrians, all enjoying the stunning views. If I hadn’t gotten hungry and therefore headed back to downtown, I could’ve stayed there the whole day, just breathing in that air and view.

Fun fact: Macquarie’s Chair is also where I had professional photos taken, which I frequently use on my website and this blog. Most of the header images you see are from that very spot!

For those looking for the touri-guidish details:

Located in Sydney, just east of the Royal Botanic Garden and easily accessible from the city center, Harbour View Lawn and Macquarie's Chair offer stunning views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Macquarie's Chair, a historic sandstone rock formation, provides panoramic vistas of Sydney Harbour. Adjacent to it, Harbour View Lawn is a tranquil green space perfect for relaxing, enjoying the view, or going for walks and runs. These spots offer a serene introduction to Sydney, ideal for anyone starting their exploration of the city.

Barrenjoey Lighthouse

Barrenjoey Lighthouse in North Sydney, with stunning views of a narrow strip of land with water on both sides

It was a Wednesday afternoon when I decided to ride my motorcycle to one of Sydney’s nature gems - Barrenjoey Lighthouse, about an hour north of Sydney downtown (yet, it still belongs to Sydney). The ride itself was something out of a storybook, cruising through a national park forest where the trees seemed to reach for the skies in a way you just don’t see everyday. The forest opened up to a luxury village with houses that looked like they were made for a postcard, all boasting stunning views of the coast. I hadn’t picked a day with good weather, so it was raining a bit and my clothing wasn’t suited for that, but I remember that I couldn’t stop smiling for the full hour drive, because I was so amazed and struck by those views on the road.

When I got to the base of the lighthouse, the short walk up was just the beginning of the adventure. The path wound its way up gently, and with each step, the views got even better. I was listening to my music, pretty much having my own little party as I walked (if you know me, you can imagine :D). Reaching the top, I was met with a view that took my breath away - a narrow strip of land with water on both sides, with the sunset behind the clouds softly illuminating everything.

It felt like I had the place to myself. I danced around, climbed off the path over some big rocks to the other side of the hilltop where I could see the open ocean, and small green islands dotted the horizon. It was one of those moments where I felt like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Quick Touri-Guide Info:

Barrenjoey Lighthouse sits at the tip of Palm Beach and is part of Sydney's Northern Beaches. It’s not just a historical spot but a great place to catch a panoramic view of the coastline and the surrounding national park. The lighthouse dates back to 1881 and is well worth the moderate walk up. There is a second path up, known as Smugglers Track, which adds a bit of an adventurous twist to the climb, perfect for those who like a bit of a challenge.

Visitors should come prepared with good shoes and water, especially if you plan on exploring around. The area is perfect for a day out, whether you're into photography, need a quiet spot to chill, or just want to soak in some epic views without the city buzz.

I can highly recommend not only following the normal path, but also climb around a bit. But please, be careful with that! Going offroad can always be dangerous, so come prepared and only climb where you are certain that you can handle it. You’ll hear me say and write that a few times, because I went offroad quite often :D

Marine Parade Lookout

Marine Parade Lookout in Sydney, with mesmerizing Ocean, City and Cliff Views

After smashing a personal best in a powerlifting session, with by far the best gym atmosphere I’ve ever experienced thanks to the amazing powerlifting gang there, I was ready for some evening relaxation with a view. A gym mate had swarmed over Marine Parade Lookout, so I decided it was the perfect spot to wind down. It was just a 10-minute scooter ride from the gym, which was already close to the city center.

I arrived just before sunset, with only a few other people around. The lookout extends over a cliff that juts into the ocean, and I spent some time wandering along the edge, fascinated by the waves crashing against the rugged cliffs. The Sydney coastline had already stolen a piece of my heart during earlier hikes, and this was a chance to soak it all in one more time, as this was during my last week in Sydney. Sitting on the edge of the cliff, I watched the sun dip below the horizon, and if you haven’t seen an australian sunset yet, it’s a completely different and totally breathtaking coloring than in most other places. A few minutes later, I also found a bench to enjoy some nice dinner wraps I had prepared earlier back at the hostel. That was such a lovely and calm ending to that adrenaline-filled day!

Quick Touri-Guide Info:

Marine Parade Lookout is a lesser-known gem that offers a quit escape from the city life. This spot is ideal for those looking to experience the natural beauty of Sydney's coastline without the crowds and without a far drive. The cliffs offer a dramatic backdrop, perfect for contemplative panorama views or a peaceful afternoon with a book. The area is accessible and provides a few benches where visitors can sit back and enjoy the wide views of the ocean and cliffs. Whether you're winding down after a busy day or just seeking a quiet place to admire nature, Marine Parade Lookout delivers a stunning experience.

Remember to bring a camera, or at least your phone camera, as the scenic views here are truly worth capturing, and maybe even some snacks to enjoy as you take in the peaceful surroundings. Just like I did, you might find it the ideal spot to reflect on your journey and the adventures of the day.

Cape Solander

Cape Solander, Stunning Cliff, Ocean and Coast view in Sydney Cape Solander, Stunning Cliff, Ocean and Coast view in Sydney Cape Solander, Stunning Cliff, Ocean and Coast view in Sydney Cape Solander, Stunning Cliff, Ocean and Coast view in Sydney Cape Solander, Stunning Cliff, Ocean and Coast view in Sydney Cape Solander, Stunning Cliff, Ocean and Coast view in Sydney

When a gym mate recommended Cape Solander, I didn’t know I was about to find my most favorite spot on Earth. It’s a bit of a ride, about 40 minutes on my scooter from the city, but every minute of that journey is worth it. The area offers easy hikes along dramatic coastlines, featuring a blend of rugged cliff formations as well as vast, open ocean views.

The path itself is quite an easy but very rewarding walk, leading through various coastal formations combined with green, rocky landscapes. Signs along the way even mention the possibility of spotting whales during certain times of the year. Sadly, I didn’t catch sight of any whales, but just knowing they could be out there was a great feeling.

As I followed the path - I went there on a sunny monday noon - it curved around a sort of canyon, and that’s where I saw my chance to go a bit off the beaten track. I decided to climb down the cliffs at this point - a decision that led me to the most amazing spot I’ve ever experienced (and I’ve traveled quite a lot and saw some damn amazing things already, but nothing compares to this one). This isn’t for everyone though. I want to stress: climbing here can be extremely dangerous. Never attempt it alone, in bad weather, or without some experience in climbing. The risks are real, and falling could be fatal. But for those who can do it safely, the reward is unparalleled.

Down there, now, that’s something I can’t really put in any words. I was surrounded by towering cliffs, with the roar of huge waves crashing into rock pools, looking dangerous and scary, but from safe distance the power of the water was an incredible sight. The ocean stretched out endlessly before me, above me, below me and to the left and right were the rugged cliffs, It’s really hard to put into words how magic it is to be so close to such raw natural beauty. I was completely alone, just nature and me. I spent hours there, feeling like I never wanted to leave, and returned several times during my stay in Sydney. It’s a place I’m eager to visit again.

Quick Touri-Guide Info:

Cape Solander is located in the Kamay Botany Bay National Park and is renowned not only for its scenic hiking paths but also as one of Sydney’s prime whale-watching spots during migration season. The cliffs offer breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and are a fantastic spot for those looking to escape the city and immerse themselves in nature.

If you plan to visit, stick to the marked paths and stay safe. For those seeking a bit of adventure, the views from the cliff edges - or, as I did, from slightly below - are extraordinary. Just be sure to always prioritize safety and never climb alone or unprepared.

This spot, especially the secluded area I discovered off the normal path, stands out as a profoundly memorable encounter with nature. While no photo can fully capture the essence of Cape Solander, I hope the images above can offer a glimpse into the stunning environment that makes this place so special. So, enjoy the photos and maybe catch a little of the atmosphere of my favorite spot on earth!

Port Jackson Bay

Intense Orange Sunset at Port Jackson Bay in Sydney, with the sun setting behind Opera House and Harbour Bridge, seen from a park with the Ocean in front

On one of my last days in Sydney, I was looking for a calm and cozy spot to just zone out and enjoy the iconic Sydney skyline. After a sucessful and fun, but tough, day’s work remote working (which, by the way, Sydney’s vibes and coffee make incredibly satisfying - I’ll definitely talk about that in another post), I wanted to chill out in the evening. That’s when I stumbled upon Port Jackson Bay on Google Maps. The ride there over was great already, especially since it included crossing the famous Harbour Bridge. Sure, you can’t see much from the bridge when you’re driving, but just knowing you’re cruising over this majestic structure is an awesome experience.

Arriving at the Bay, I found myself following some laid-back footpaths that snaked through the forest right alongside the water. It was incredibly peaceful - just me and maybe two other people the whole time I was there. There were party boats out on the water, adding a distant backdrop of festivity, which sent over even more good-vibes (I’m not a fan of party boats, but the vibe was great and it was clear people there were enjoying themselves).

The local wildlife was pretty cool too, including some animals that looked like oversized lizards - I still didn’t find out what species that was - that weren’t shy about being near humans. And of course, the views were exactly what I was after, with the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House perfectly framed by nature. I had packed some toasts and orange juice for dinner, and enjoyed them while chilling on a bench with my book, after some relaxed wandering around.

Then there was the sunset - Sydney is known for its stunning sunsets, but this one was next level. My brain just went „woahhhh“. The sun set directly behind the Opera House and the skyline, painting everything in the most intense shades of orange I’ve ever seen. It was so spectacular that I made a photo of it my phone wallpaper; I still have it there. I was already on the way back, but the sunset made me stay a lot longer until it was dark. Because of that, the road back was a bit of an adventure, having not much light on that lonely path. Gladly, I made it back safely to my scooter, and on the drive back to my hostel made a quick stop directly at the Opera House, to catch the night-atmosphere of that one last time. After that work-day, this was even better than what I was looking for.

Quick Touri-Guide Info:

Port Jackson Bay is a must-visit if you're looking to experience Sydney’s natural beauty without straying too far from the city. The bay offers easy-to-navigate paths perfect for a leisurely day out, surrounded by lush forest and waterfront views. Whether you're looking to relax, take a gentle hike, or just enjoy some quiet time with nature, this spot has you covered. Plus, it's a fantastic place for photography (I do say that for every spot, don’t I? :D But it’s just so damn true!), especially during the sunset when the city lights start to twinkle against the evening sky. Maybe pack a snack to enjoy by the water - you might find yourself not wanting to leave!

The Rocks Market

Passionfruit Ice Tea and The Rocks Market in Sydney, with Opera House view from a calm lawn

The Rocks Market might not fit the “less-crowded” label, but the half day I spent there was so charming it just had to make my list. Located on the opposite side of the harbour from the Opera House, it’s right in the heart of Sydney, bustling with life, but only open on weekends. I explored this spot on my third Sunday in Sydney, at about the midpoint of my stay.

Initially, navigating the bustling market was a bit of a maze due to its size and crowdedness. After wandering around for a bit, I got oriented though. The market is a treasure trove of small stalls selling everything from handmade soaps and jewelry to all sorts of artistic creations. Unlike many crowded places I’ve been to around the world, where the atmosphere can feel rushed and stressful, The Rocks Market had a relaxed vibe. It was crowded, sure, but in a way that felt easy and enjoyable. People were clearly there to have a good time, not just to rush through.

That morning, I treated myself to some delicious vegan focaccias - one classic with olives and another fancier one topped with potatoes and rosemary (and garlic, of course. Never forget the garlic!) I took my treats up to a small lawn on a hill, which offered a stunning view of the Opera House and the harbour. Standing there in the sun, enjoying my snacks, was just perfect. The culinary adventure continued with something new for me: Sushi-on-the-hand. These sushi wraps are perfect for eating on the go, and I had never tried anything like it before. To top it off, I enjoyed a freshly made passion fruit ice tea while walking back to my scooter.

Riding off to Darling Square, which is one of my top remote work spots that I found, to get some work done before heading to the gym later, I couldn’t have asked for a better start to a weekend workday. The Rocks Market not only filled my stomach with good food, but also provided a lovely morning and a true taste of Sydney’s vibrant market scene.

Quick Touri-Guide Info:

The Rocks Market is a bustling weekend market located near some of Sydney's most famous landmarks. It offers a variety of goods, from food to crafts, making it a perfect place for those looking to experience the local culture and find unique handmade items. While it's known for being crowded, the atmosphere is surprisingly relaxed, making it a delightful place to spend a morning or afternoon. If you're planning to visit, come with an empty stomach to fill and make sure to try some of the street food and drinks.

West head lookout

West Head Lookout, view of green islands in the Ocean, near Sydney, in a national park with majestic trees

Technically not in Sydney, but who cares, such an amazing lookout I needed to include this! Do you remember Barrenjoey Lighthouse? I wrote about how I climbed around to the other side of the hill and saw the ocean with the green islands. West Head Lookout is close to that spot, but it involves another ride through Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, which technically doesn’t count as Sydney anymore, but it’s not longer to drive than to the lighthouse.

The last 20 minutes of the ride go through the national park, showcasing some of the craziest tree nature I’ve ever seen. Plus, this is where I met my first (but not last!) kangaroo - a great moment just by the side of the road when I stopped for a minute to enjoy the view of that national park. When I arrived at the lookout in the late afternoon, as most of my trips were timed, I was struck once again. In all directions, just the ocean and the small green islands, a mesmerizing mix of green and blue.

There are also some hiking trails that go around from here. I did a short one spontaneously down to the water. The lookout was about 150m above sea level, and the hike took me down to the water over some rocks and a ladder to climb - exciting stuff. The lookout itself was right where I parked and was a stable and well-maintained structure.

Spending the evening there was simply lovely, and the awesome 1-hour ride there was just as thrilling on the way back in the dark. Loved every bit of this trip.

Quick Touri-Guide Info:

West Head Lookout offers expansive views over the Pacific Ocean and is a highlight for anyone visiting Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Not only can you enjoy the panoramic vistas, but there are also several hiking trails that offer different levels of adventure and exploration. The lookout provides a dramatic vantage point to see the rugged coastline and distant green islands, making it a perfect spot for photography and nature lovers. Whether you're up for a leisurely visit or an adventurous hike down to the water, West Head Lookout is well worth the journey. Just remember to bring a flashlight if you plan on staying until dusk—it's an exhilarating ride back!

That wraps up my tour of Sydney’s gems! From peaceful markets to breathtaking lookouts, each spot offered its own unique slice of this vibrant city where I had the best travel of my life, to date. I hope you enjoyed exploring these places with me and maybe found some inspiration for your own adventures down under. If you liked this journey through Sydney, keep an eye out for more travel posts coming soon. I’ll be diving into some of the best hikes and remote work spots in Sydney, sharing tips and personal stories from my travels. So, whether you’re planning a trip or just daydreaming about new destinations, stay tuned for more adventures! Thanks for reading, and happy travels!

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