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Ultimate bucket list of things to do in Sydney

Sydney is a mecca for travelers from around Australia and the world. And for good reason. With its diversity of natural wonders, rich history, culture, architecture, and picture perfect harbour; it is no surprise it is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world.   You truly are spoiled for choice for things to do in Sydney. So to make things easier during your stay, we have put together our ultimate bucket list of the top 20 things to see and do while you’re in Sydney. The sort of things you can only find in Sydney. And to help make the experience that bit easier, we’ve included handy directions from the Holiday Inn Express Macquarie Park.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Located less than 1 hour away by public transport from the Holiday Inn Express Macquarie Park, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in Australia. Sydneysiders refer to the largest steel arch bridge in the world as the coat hanger, mainly due to its coat hanger-like shape.   This mega-bridge sets the scene for some fantastic photographs overlooking the Sydney Opera House and the city skyline. Why not climb aboard one of Sydney has many ferries and see the bridge in all of its mighty glory. Once you have got photographs from beneath and on the bridge, why not take part in a bridge climb for a bird's eye view of the city?   The bridge climb takes anywhere between two and four hours to complete. Once you reach the summit you will have unprecedented views overlooking the Sydney skyline, Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Opera House. The perfect time to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge is at dusk. This allows you to go from day tonight and watch as the city begins to light up.   Directions to Sydney Harbour Bridge from Holiday Inn Express Sydney Macquarie Park   Walk from hotel to station, will take about 8 minutes, 550 m  

  • Head northeast on Byfield St
  • Slight left to stay on Byfield St
  • At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Waterloo Rd
  • Turn right toward Waterloo Rd
  • Turn left onto Waterloo Rd
  • Turn right
  • Macquarie University Train Station will be on the left

  From Macquarie University Station - 26 minutes  

  • Train T1 - Penrith Via Chatswood takes 26 min (9 stops) from Platform 1
  • Get off at Milsons Point Station

  Walk for about 1 minute, 140 m  

  • Head east and then turn right toward Burton St
  • Turn left onto Burton St, then turn right
  • Take the stairs
  • The bridge will be in front of you.

  Address: Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney NSW, Australia

Sydney Opera House

As one of the most famous buildings in the world and possibly the most famous in Australia, the Sydney Opera House is an absolute must for every bucket list. The iconic building provides stunning views over Sydney harbour. Directly outside of the Opera House is the Sydney Opera House Boardwalk, which has its own bar and allows you to take in the view with a cocktail or two.   There are always plenty of operatic performances available for those who appreciate classical music. Various concerts are available throughout the year. For those who don't want to take in a show, there are several tours available throughout the week starting at 9 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon.   The tours through the Opera House takes approximately one hour to complete The backstage tour offers an in-depth look at the different structures throughout the Sydney Opera House and is available in various different languages.   Directions to Sydney Opera House from Holiday Inn Express Sydney Macquarie Park Walk from hotel to station, will about 8 min, 550 m  

  • Head northeast on Byfield St
  • Slight left to stay on Byfield St
  • At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Waterloo Rd
  • Turn right toward Waterloo Rd
  • Turn left onto Waterloo Rd
  • Turn right
  • Macquarie University Train Station will be on the left

  Train from Macquarie University Station  

  • Train T1 Penrith Via Chatswood 30 min (10 stops) from Platform 1 to Wynyard Station
  • At Wynyard Station, walk about 1 minute to platform 6
  • Train T8 Macarthur Via Airport 3 minutes (non-stop) from Platform 6
  • Get off at Circular Quay Station

  Walk for about 10 min -  800m  

  • Take the escalator down to 0 and walk for 8 m
  • Head east, turn left, turn right, then the next right 4 more times.

Address: Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour is filled with plenty of tourist friendly attractions and things to do. It is in this area that you will find the Australian National Maritime Museum, along with the LG IMAX theater which has the largest screen in the world. The main attraction is the abundant shopping opportunities.   Every Saturday there is a free firework show at 9 p.m. and a wide array of street performances. The large collection of restaurants and cafes serve food from around the world, which is certain to keep the hungriest explorer full.   Darling Harbour is perfect for families and groups and has many attractions for kids to enjoy. Once you have had a fun-filled day in the area, why not head to nearby Chinatown and explore the many night markets, restaurants and shopping opportunities to be had. Reaching Darling Harbour by public transport takes approximately 45 minutes from the Holiday Inn Express Macquarie Park.   Directions to Darling Harbour from Holiday Inn Express Sydney Macquarie Park   Walk from hotel to station, will about 8 min, 550 m  

  • Head northeast on Byfield St
  • Slight left to stay on Byfield St
  • At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Waterloo Rd
  • Turn right toward Waterloo Rd
  • Turn left onto Waterloo Rd
  • Turn right
  • Macquarie University Train Station will be on the left

  Train from Macquarie University Station  

  • Train T1 Penrith Via Chatswood 34 min (11 stops) from Platform 1
  • Get off the train at Town Hall Station

  Walk for about 8 minutes - 700 m  

    • Take exit 4. Cathedral
    • Head west on Bathurst St toward Kent St
    • Turn left onto Day St
    • Turn right, then turn right again

 

  • Destination will be on the left

    Address: Darling Harbour, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Royal Botanic Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens are over 200 years old and are filled to the brim with fragrant and eye-catching plants from around the world. Located just a 30-minute train ride from the Holiday Inn Express, Macquarie Park it is definitely worth a visit. The park has been divided into various different terriers come up with the most popular being the palace Rose Garden.   The palace Rose Garden is one of the most popular wedding venues in Sydney and contains more than 1,800 different varieties of rose from around the globe. The Royal Botanic Gardens are conveniently located next to Sydney Harbour and is 100% free to enter. The Royal Botanic Gardens are open 365 days a year between 7am and 5pm special events are held throughout the year and these may require an entry fee, so it is best to check before visiting.   Besides the Rose Garden, there is tropical latitude 23 which holds lilies, ferns and orchids. There is also a fragrant herb garden and two different restaurants are available on-site. For those making a day of it, why not pick up one of the picnic boxes from the botanic gardens Cafe and enjoy an Alfresco lunch under the tree canopies.   Directions to Royal Botanic Gardens from Holiday Inn Express Sydney Macquarie Park   Walk from hotel to station, will about 8 min, 550 m  

  • Head northeast on Byfield St
  • Slight left to stay on Byfield St
  • At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Waterloo Rd
  • Turn right toward Waterloo Rd
  • Turn left onto Waterloo Rd
  • Turn right
  • Macquarie University Train Station will be on the left

  Train from Macquarie University Station - 30 minutes  

  • Train T1 Penrith Via Chatswood 30 min (10 stops) from Platform 1 to Wynyard Station

  Walk for 1.2 km - 15 minutes  

  • Take exit 1. Wynyard Park
  • Head north on Carrington St toward Margaret St
  • Turn right onto Margaret St
  • Turn left onto George St
  • Turn right onto Bridge St
  • Turn left onto Macquarie St, then turn right

Address: Royal Botanic Gardens ,Mrs Macquaries Rd, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Lane Cove National Park

Lane Cove National Park is one of the finest metropolitan bush lands in the country. Filled with literally hundreds of bush walking trails, there is something suitable for every ability level. Located less than a 15-minute walk from the Holiday Inn Express Macquarie Park, Lane Cove National Park is an absolute must see when in Sydney.   The Lane Cove Boatshed is the perfect place to hire paddle boats, canoes, kayaks and rowboats. You can also hire bicycles from the Boatshed to use on the cycle tracks. Hiring boats is available from 10 in the morning till 5 in the afternoon at the weekend, and from 12 till 5 p.m. during the summer holidays and on weekdays. Another thing that will keep the kids entertained are the three kids playgrounds. Outdoor barbecues and toilet facilities are available.   The National Park is the perfect place to watch Eastern water dragons, swamp wallabies, brush turkeys, lorikeets and kookaburras going about their daily routines in their natural habitats. There are also various different sites of historical importance throughout the park. In fact, there is so much to see and do here that many people visit on more than one occasion during their stay.   Walking directions to Lane Cove National Park from Holiday Inn Express Sydney Macquarie Park  

  • Head northeast on Byfield St for 150 m
  • Slight left to stay on Byfield St for 29 m
  • At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Waterloo Rd for 180 m
  • Turn right toward Waterloo Rd for 12 m
  • Turn left onto Waterloo Rd for 400m
  • Turn right onto Research Park Dr for 350 m
  • At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Technology Pl for 110 m
  • Turn left onto Talavera Rd for 8 m
  • Turn right onto Christie Rd for 170 m
  • Turn right, walk for 130 m

  Address: Lane Cove National Park, Lane Cove Valley Walk, West Pymble NSW 2073

15 other must-see things to do in Sydney

1. Macquarie Ice Rink - 550 m form the Holiday Inn Express Macquarie Park

What could be better than spending a day on the ice and escaping the heat of the day? Macquarie Ice Rink is the perfect place to sharpen your ice skating skills and is suitable for the whole family. Various themed days are held at the rink, including sports events and party nights. Skates are available for hire at the rink, along with lessons for kids.

2. Laser tag and escape rooms - 750 m from Holiday Inn Express Macquarie Park

Put your brain to the test and explore on of 3 escape rooms located at Strike Bowling in Macquarie Park. Each room has its own theme, ranging from Prison Break to the Space Station. If escape rooms are not enough, you can indulge in a spot of laser tag in the arena, strike some pins with a few games of bowling, or while away the hours belting out your favourite tunes in one of the many private karaoke rooms.

3. See the stars- 2 km from Holiday Inn Express Macquarie Park

See the stars and planets in all their glory at the Macquarie University Observatory. Every Friday night you have the chance to head to the top of the observatory and look into space through the powerful telescopes. Learn more about the constellations and see the stars as never before.

4. Visit the lookout point - 1.9 km from Holiday Inn Express Macquarie Park

Visit college creek lookout point for sweeping views over natural bushland. It is the perfect place for photo opportunities and has plenty of seating so you can sit back and soak up the views.

5. Ride a rollercoaster - 12 km from Holiday Inn Express Macquarie Park

Luna Park is Sydney’s best fairground for those looking for an adrenaline rush. Whether you are a fan of big wheels, roller coasters or bumper cars, Luna Park has them all. Kids will love the arcade games and it offers a real seaside theme park vibe that everyone will love.

6. Picnic in the park - 4.9 km from Holiday Inn Express Macquarie Park

Cottonwood Glen picnic park is the perfect place to enjoy an outdoor dinner with family and friends. Beautiful natural surroundings allow you to escape the urban city setting and relax with the sounds of nature.

7. Shop til’ you drop 400m from Holiday Inn Express Macquarie Park

Macquarie Park shopping centre is just a stone's throw from the hotel and has plenty of shops ranging from boutiques, outlet stores, local goods, cafes and restaurants. When you get the urge to shop, you can be at the centre in under 5 minutes from the hotel.

8. Take in some art - 1.4 km from Holiday Inn express Macquarie Park

Macquarie University Art Gallery features regular events and exhibitions covering a whole range of topics. For those that enjoy absorbing art pieces of cultural and historical significance, this is the best place to head to.

9. Watch a movie - 400 m from Holiday Inn Express Macquarie Park

Event Cinema is just a 5 minute walk from the hotel and is the perfect place to spend an evening watching some of the latest Hollywood blockbusters. Located in the Macquarie Park shopping centre, there are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat before or after too.

10. Visit Koalas - 10.2 km from Holiday Inn Express Macquarie Park  

Koala Park Sanctuary Sydney is a 10 acre reserve that is home to some of Australia's most iconic wildlife. Get up close and personal with some koalas and watch them in their natural habitat. Lush rainforests and plenty of breath-taking bushwalks are also available.

11. Explore the dam - 6.9 km from Holiday Inn Express press Macquarie Park  

Avondale Dam is the perfect place to check out one of Sydney’s oldest dams. Located in bushland, the dam is as unique as it is beautiful. The surrounding area is perfect for a picnic and exploring more about the history of the city.

12. Hit the green - 3 km from Holiday Inn Express Macquarie Park  

North Ryde Golf Club is the ultimate golfers day destination. Enjoy a few holes at this stunning golf course and improve your skills. When your game is done, why not enjoy a few drinks at the clubhouse and take in the views.

13. Wade a waterfall 4 km from Holiday Inn Express Macquarie Park  

Terrys Creek Waterfall may not be mighty in size, but it is one of the few waterfalls you can actually wade in. The creek is the perfect place to enjoy a dip and relax. It can get crowded during peak holiday times. Pack a swimsuit and some food and enjoy an afternoon out in nature.

14. Check out Chinatown - 17 km from Holiday Inn Express Macquarie Park

Chinatown is an absolute must-see for anyone who loves Asian food. Aside from plenty of restaurants there are also several markets and a distinctly Chinese vibe. Stock up on well-priced gifts, watch a street performance or try your hand at haggling.

15. Grab a game - 11 km from Holiday Inn Express Macquarie Park

Sydney Olympic Park is the best place to watch sporting events and concerts. Each week there are different schedules, so check the website to see what’s on when you visit. Tours of the stadium are available and reaching it by public transport is easy.

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