Top things to do

Top Choice Zoo in Sydney Harbourside

Taronga Zoo

A 12-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay, this bushy harbour hillside is full of kangaroos, koalas and similarly hirsute Australians, plus numerous imported guests. The zoo’s critters have million-dollar harbour vi…
Top Choice Pub in Sydney Harbourside


A cracking pub, especially at weekends when it thrums with life all day, this is a real eastern suburbs favourite whose recent makeover has only enhanced it. The beer garden is among Sydney's best: large, with good …
Top Choice Pub in Sydney Harbourside

Watsons Bay Beach Club

One of the great pleasures in life is languishing in the rowdy beer garden of the Watsons Bay Hotel, mere metres from the ferry wharf, after a day at the beach. It goes off here at weekends, with food options and a …
Top Choice Viewpoint in Sydney Harbourside

McMahons Point

Is there a better view of the Bridge and the Opera House than from the wharf at this point, a short hop by ferry northwest of the centre? It's all unfolded before you and is a stunning spot to be when the sun is set…
Historic Building in Sydney Harbourside

Vaucluse House

Construction of this imposing, turreted specimen of Gothic Australiana, set amid 10 hectares of lush gardens, commenced in 1805, but the house was tinkered with into the 1860s. Atmospheric, and decorated with beauti…
Island in Sydney Harbourside

Cockatoo Island

Studded with photogenic industrial relics, convict architecture and art installations, fascinating Cockatoo Island (Wareamah) opened to the public in 2007 and now has regular ferry services, a campground, rental acc…
National Park in Sydney Harbourside

Sydney Harbour National Park

Sydney Harbour National Park protects large swathes of bushland around the harbour shoreline, plus several harbour islands. In among the greenery you’ll find walking tracks, scenic lookouts, Aboriginal carvings, bea…
Cinema in Sydney Harbourside

Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace

Return to cinema’s golden age at this fab art-deco gem (1935). It still has its original Wurlitzer organ, which gets a workout at special events.
Area in Sydney Harbourside


Once a tough, working-class neighbourhood, Balmain now rivals Paddington in Victorian-era desirability – with the added advantage of being surrounded by water and city-bound ferries. Darling St traverses the spine o…
Amusement Park in Sydney Harbourside

Luna Park

A sinister chip-toothed clown face (50 times life-sized) forms the entrance to this old-fashioned amusement park overlooking Sydney Harbour. It's one of several 1930s features, including the Coney Island funhouse, a…