Sydney is home to a fifth of Australia’s population, and a decent chunk of our country’s most celebrated landmarks. But this world-famous destination has secrets that even lifelong residents haven’t yet explored. Here’s the skinny on the Emerald City.
If you travel interstate reasonably frequently, chances are you’ve spent some time in Sydney, and been to all the usual places—Circular Quay, The Rocks, Bondi Beach. And even if you’ve never been but plan to one day, we don’t need to tell you about famous landmarks you already know about. Instead, this is a list of places you might not have heard of, that are well worth your time to discover.
1. Camperdown Cemetery
Okay, so this one isn’t hard to find per se, but it’s a level or two below the clichés of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, offering some of the best ghost and murder tours in all of Australia. If you love a good spook, a little bit of history, and something alternative, this is a cemetery with a lot of life still left in it. 1/5 Hush points.
2. Forgotten songs
Tucked away in a hidden alleyway just moments from Martin Place, you’ll find a canopy of suspended birdcages that pay homage to the birds that once chirped and fluttered the streets of Sydney. It’s an art installation from Michael Thomas Hill and it’s a jaw-dropping and thought-provoking place just a hop and a skip away from the regular tourists tracks. This commemoration of our feathered friends features a soundtrack of birdsong as well as information about endangered and threatened species. 2/5 Hush points.
3. Collins Flat Beach, Manly
Sydney beaches and Australian Summer—name a better duo. We’ll wait.
It’s hard to find a secret beach in Sydney these days, but this welcome escape from the crowds on Manly Beach, Collins Flat Beach lies on the harbour side of Manly and is as idyllic as it is centrally located. Accessible only via water or lesser known walking trails, Collins Flat Beach feels like a local find, but is welcoming to everyone intrepid enough to look for it. It’s the perfect spot for an Instagram post, and this list. 3/5 Hush points.
4. Employees Only
Part of the charm of Employees Only is that, much like its New York namesake, it’s frustratingly difficult to find. Once found though, it’s easily one of Sydney’s coolest bars, a speakeasy that brings the city that never sleeps to Sydney Harbour. This cocktail bar lurches from quirk to quirk, allowing you to dance late into the night with top tier DJ’s, complimentary chicken soup, and an in-house psychic. To give away more would be to spoil the experience, so best you go discover it for yourself. Once you find the right alleyway, look for a suspicious neon sign…we’ve already said too much! 4/5 Hush points.
5. Clovelly Bowling Club
Bowls is a sport often overlooked in a country where footy and cricket are considered religions, but it’s something that everyone can get involved in and have quite a bit of fun doing. Clovelly Bowling Club is sneakily positioned right between Bondi and Coogee, hidden right under the noses of lots of unsuspecting passers-by. It’s a clifftop paradise suitable for anyone willing to learn, and the stunning view can be appreciated with a drink in one hand and a winning bowl in the other. Better yet, you don’t have to worry about membership—this place is open to members, families, visitors and everyone in between. 5/5 Hush points.
If secret Sydney feels like a place you’re destined to explore, then here’s one last confidential tip we’ll let you in on: Fraser Suites Sydney puts you right in the middle of the action. A premium hotel that punches above its weight in value, it’s the perfect place to base yourself as you explore this exceptional city.
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