The best things to do on, by or near the water in Sydney

With one of the most scenic coastlines in the country right on our doorstep and a set of vast rivers meandering in and out of the city, Sydney has plenty of options for relaxing by the water. .

Whether you opt for a stopover on the Georges River or are on the coast, there is plenty to keep you busy during your stay. Maybe you’re a wanderer who likes to wander at your own pace with a scenic view. Perhaps you are certain that any drink or bite swallows better when you can feel the breeze of the river or the sea against your skin. Or, you might like to be active on the water itself, but in a creative way.

Whichever category you fall into, we’ve picked out the best ways to get the most out of your chosen body from H20 Sydney.

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HEAD TO A WATERFRONT CAFÉ, RESTAURANT OR BAR

When it comes to waterside drinks and restaurants, Sydney has it in spades. There are options for just about every time of day, from fancy brunches where you can start your day, to nighttime beachside haunts like Ravesis or Manly Wine. And it’s not just these stalwarts that offer dinner and drinks with a view. There are many new faces appearing near the port.

Take Bay Nine, for example, which just opened at The Rocks and offers six-, eight-, and 11-course omakase menus right on the waterfront. If you need inspiration, just browse our list of all the seaside bars, restaurants and cafes you can find in this city.

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PICNIC BOAT RENTAL FOR YOU, YOUR DATE, YOUR COMPANIONS AND YOUR DOG

Picnicking by the water in Sydney is a tried-and-true way to spend an afternoon – and it’s on this list a bit further down. But now you can also picnic above the water, all thanks to Danish company GoBoat, which cruises its 18-foot-long, dog-friendly boats on the Parramatta River.

The company aims to make the whole of boating more accessible to everyday people, and its Scandinavian-designed vessels are slow, easy to use and do not require a boating license, allowing for fun and hassle-free browsing sessions. .

Each GoBoat has a central picnic table that seats eight people (and all necessary snacks and drinks). And despite what you might think, they’re even affordable enough to fit your budget – just BYO food and drink, find enough willing sailors to come on board, and a GoBoat session will set you back less than $17 per person per hour. That’s $129 an hour in total.

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Bondi to Manly Walk by Destination NSW

COMBINE A WALK OR BIKE WITH A VIEW OF THE WATER

Some people prefer to put one foot in front of the other and see where it takes them. Others like to sit on two wheels and start pedaling. Whichever one suits you best, if you live in Sydney, you won’t run out of options – but we all know that oceanside options top the list.

For walkers, you can choose from one of the many coastal walks on offer, ranging from the wild trails of the Royal National Park to the sparkling new Barangaroo Foreshore Walk. Cyclists may find the ins and outs of the national park a little tricky, but never fear. There are still countless bike rides to be taken from the run from the bay to the Manly Beach foreshore.

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TAKE A KAYAK TOUR

You’ve seen Sydney and its surroundings from rooftop bars, strategically positioned restaurants and mountain peaks. But jump into a kayak, where you can observe at a human pace, from sea level, and you’ll experience a whole new perspective. Plan a day on the water from one of Sydney’s many prime kayak rental locations, found everywhere from deep in Hawkesbury to the hustle and bustle of the city.

If you’re looking to feel like you’ve achieved more than just an enjoyable day of adventure on the water, you can also add the option to help the environment on your kayaking trip. Sydney by Kayak’s Sydney Harbor cleanup tours mean you can remove rubbish from the ocean as you float along Sydney Harbour. Sustainability-focused tours typically arrive at the port from 9:30-11am at $65 per person.

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Brooke Zotti

PICNIC IN A WATERFRONT PARK

The weather is beautiful. Your basket is filled with homemade salads, a big stack of cheeses or the best sandwiches your local deli can make. Lawn games are ready. A relaxing picnic is just moments away – and yes, because it’s Sydney, it’s easy to add a sparkling view to your alfresco dining. While we may all have been on picnics at some point, enough time has passed since the end of the 2021 lockdown that just laying down a rug and having a snack can feel exciting again.

Sydney is home to a whole range of places that fit the bill. Whether you want to lay back with a view of the iconic skyline or rolling sand dunes, there are plenty of picnic spots you can check off your list. For the ultimate inspiration, check out this huge guide to all the best places to picnic, plus what to bring.

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Destination New South Wales

DIVE IN A MAN-MADE OCEAN POOL

There are over 100 ocean pools scattered around NSW, and Sydney is home to some of the most spectacular and fun of them. These idyllic and mostly free swimming holes are found on some of the city’s best-loved beaches and have become as much a part of Sydney’s beach culture as the sand.

These man-made wonders let you wade through salt water or do a few tricks without risking tears (or sharks). Highlights include the Bronte Baths which were built in 1887, the iconic Bondi Icebergs and the recently refurbished Dawn Fraser Baths which finally reopened to the public last year after two years.

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BOOK A STAY IN THIS FLOATING VILLA

If you’re looking to truly immerse yourself in the deep blue areas of this city, what better than to book an overnight stay floating atop the ocean. Lilypad, the lavish floating accommodation in the northern beaches is due to reopen later this month, after a series of upgrades and renovations. The villa, which opened in 2019, has been outfitted with a brand new design that takes inspiration from Spanish and Mediterranean coastal villas as well as an onboard sauna.

The floating paradise was built with respect for its natural environment, running entirely on solar energy. Inside, you’ll find all the comforts of a luxury home, from a full modern kitchen and king bedroom to a wine cellar. The living space opens onto a terrace where you can sit and admire the surrounding ocean while you eat or have a drink. And if all of that is a little out of your price range, the northern beaches have plenty of other waterfront stays you can book.

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Top Image: DNSW

Posted on February 02, 2022 by

Sarah Ward


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