Cool Things to Do in Sydney during the Semester Break

Sydney offers international students many experiences and adventures. Here are our recommendations for cool things to do in Sydney during the semester break:

Explore the Sydney Harbour

Sydney Opera House

  • Why not consider taking a guided tour to learn about the history and architecture of this UNESCO World Heritage site? The Opera House hosts a variety of performances, from opera to contemporary music, so check the schedule and maybe catch a show.
  • Must see: Located on the ground floor is the famous Opera Bar with the best views of the Harbour Bridge. Grab a drink and soak up the sun with hundreds of other tourists!
  • If you walk around the Opera House to the right, you can enter the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens. Climb up the hill for more stunning views or relax on a park bench surrounded by old fig trees and seasonal flowers.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb

  • Bucket List item: For an unforgettable experience, the Bridge Climb offers panoramic views of Sydney and its surroundings. It’s a unique way to see the city from above, with various climb options available, including dawn, day, twilight, and night climbs. It’s a bit pricey but they often have special deals or cashback options if you live in the greater area of Sydney. Book outside of peak travel times (May – September) and on weekdays!

Ferry Ride to Manly

  • This isn’t just a mode of transport; it’s one of Sydney’s best-value scenic cruises. And you only have to pay public transport prices! The 20 – 40 minute ride (depending on the type of ferry) offers spectacular views of the Harbour and the open ocean.
  • Manly itself is a vibrant area with various swimming spots and beaches, shops, and eateries. Check out the Manly Markets at the Corso on the weekends and make sure to stay for a sundowner at Wharf Bar before heading back into the city.

Visit the Beaches

Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

  • This 6 km walk is a fantastic way to explore Sydney’s coastline, offering stunning views, beaches, parks, cliffs, and bays along the way. It’s a great opportunity for photography, swimming, and even spotting whales during migration season (May to November).
  • Our tip: Check out the ocean pool in Clovelly. It’s not the most beautiful beach, but if you bring your snorkel and dive down and hit a rock against the stones, you might be surprised! The basin is home of a big blue groper called Bluey! These friendly giant fish are like dogs and very curious to see what’s going on.

Surf Lessons

  • Many beaches, including Bondi and Manly, offer surf lessons for beginners. It’s a chance to learn a new skill and immerse yourself in Australia’s surf culture.
  • Even though is still a male-dominated sport, there are heaps of female surfing communities emerging, like Chix Surf School or Manly Wave Dancers.

Enjoy the Natural Beauty

Things to Do in Sydney during the Semester Break

Blue Mountains National Park

  • Just a two-hour train ride from Sydney, the Blue Mountains offer hiking trails, abseiling, and the famous Scenic World. Stop in Katoomba for stunning views of the Three Sisters or in Leura, where you can board the world’s steepest passenger railway.
  • This area is rich in eucalyptus forests, waterfalls, and rock formations. There are many easy walks and more serious hikes that you can do according to your time and fitness. But make sure to enjoy a cuppa in one of the little cozy cafes after your adventure!

Royal Botanic Garden

  • The best things are for free: There’s nothing better than a picnic in the Royal Botanic Garden, overlooking Sydney’s Harbour, the ferries, and the Opera House.
  • Free guided walks or an Aboriginal heritage tour of the gardens can provide insight into the area’s native plants and traditional Indigenous uses.

Experience the Culture and Food

Things to Do in Sydney during the Semester Break

Global Cuisine

  • Sydney’s culinary scene is a reflection of its multicultural population. For an immersive experience, try attending a cooking class or food tour! Check our article about great dining spots in Sydney’s Inner West.
  • For seafood fans: Make sure to try Sydney Rock Oysters (a staple in every good restaurant!). Other typical Sydney dishes are kingfish crudo lobster linguine. Yum!

Cultural Festivals

Take Part in Adventure Activities

Things to Do in Sydney during the Semester Break


  • For the ultimate adrenaline rush, skydiving over Sydney provides breathtaking views. There are several companies offering tandem skydives for beginners.

Jet Boating

  • Experience high-speed maneuvers, including spins and slides, on a jet boat ride in Sydney Harbour. It’s a thrilling way to see the city’s major sights from the water.

Hiking and National Parks

  • For those who prefer terrestrial adventures, Sydney is surrounded by national parks with trails ranging from easy walks to challenging hikes. The Royal National Park and Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park offer a mix of coastal views, indigenous rock art, and secluded beaches.

Each of these activities not only offers fun and excitement but also a deeper understanding and appreciation of Sydney’s lifestyle. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, a nature lover, a foodie, or a culture enthusiast, Sydney has something special to offer during your semester break.

The Switch