Lifestyle and recreation

Sydney – Lifestyle and Recreation

Sydney's residents are known for their love of the great outdoors. The city's spectacular natural scenery beckons with open-air recreation and sporting activities, while thriving arts, cultural and hospitality scenes offers a lively range of dining and entertainment options.

Outdoor activities

Sydney is renowned for its strong beach and water culture. Here you can kayak, sail and scuba dive in harbour coves; snorkel, surf and swim in crystal-clear waters; or relax on sun-drenched beaches.

Scenic walks line the city's coast and foreshore, from gently undulating paths to challenging walking tracks. The Bondi to Tamarama Beach and Manly to Shelly Beach coastal walks are some of Sydney's most famous and offer spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. Harbour foreshore walks in the central business district boast the stunning backdrop of the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.

Walking tracks also weave through Sydney's expansive national reserves and lush parklands, where you can enjoy challenging hikes or gentle strolls.

Indoor activities

Having fun in Sydney is not isolated to the great outdoors. The city is thriving with cultural events and cerebral pursuits to fulfil the enquiring mind's every whim. The city offers unparalleled opportunities to learn a foreign language, take art classes, connect with local book clubs, join community chess clubs, enjoy cultural lecture series, enrol in cooking classes, relish cheese and wine appreciation classes and become a member of various societies.

The city's libraries, colleges, universities and cultural institutions offer diverse and exciting courses, while famous icons such as the Sydney Opera House and Art Gallery NSW regularly host thought-provoking lectures. Cultural events such as the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, Sydney Comedy Festival, Sydney Writers' Festival, Biennale of Sydney and Sydney Film Festival bring world-class talent to Sydney's stages.


Sydney hosts a vast range of sports, tournaments and clubs for serious and social players and spectators. Every area has its own local sporting clubs, as do universities and many large companies.

You can participate in a vast range of activities across the city, including cycling, dance, football, golf, hockey, polo, rowing, rugby, swimming, surfing and tennis. Sydney also has a lively spectator sporting scene and hosts major national and international matches.

Sydney also sports a strong gym culture. The CBD, suburbs and universities are home to fitness clubs with facilities for group classes, personal training and individual workouts. Most gyms offer casual passes and ongoing memberships.

If you prefer adventure activities, you can hike, horse ride and mountain bike in the city's bushland or brave adrenaline-fuelled pursuits such as parasailing and skydiving.

Australia's snowfields are also a five-hour drive from Sydney. For more information on activities outside Sydney visit regional recreation.

Arts, entertainment and dining

Sydney's cosmopolitan and multinational culture has infused the city's hospitality scene with the finest international flavours. Here you can relish countless Asian and European cuisines in buzzing cafes and restaurants and appreciate some of the best coffee and wine in the world. Sydney is also home to sophisticated bars and lively local pubs.

The city offers an exciting arts and cultural scene and houses some of Australia's finest museums and galleries. Theatres, playhouses, live music venues and cinemas are scattered throughout the city and suburbs, which showcase talented local performances and globally touring productions.

Sydney's world-class retail offerings include top-shelf international brands and independent Australian names. The city is home to famous fashion houses and designer stores, major chains, large retail centres, boutique shopping strips and local artisan markets.