Quirky Sydney

Unusual things to do in Sydney

Sub Base Platypus is a quirky Sydney place to visit

Sydney is jam packed with amazing things to do.

But some days call for a little more action then others.

So shrug off the boring and try out one of these 15 Quirky Sydney places to visit!

1. Discover the Brickpit Ring Walk, Sydney Olympic Park

This 18.5 metre high walk towers over a former Brickpit. The Brickpit is now a ‘pond’, and home to the endangered Green and Golden Bell Frog. The ring walk is 550m long and along the walk you will hear frog and bird calls and you can soak up the history of this quirky Sydney spot. It’s pretty cool to look down and see the historic buildings – they look so small!

The Brickpit Ring Walk is right near the Homebush Bay Shipwrecks so you can scratch two off this list in one day!

Address: Brickpit Ring Walk, Marjorie Jackson Parkway, Sydney Olympic Park NSW 2127

More information: https://www.sydneyolympicpark.com.au/things-to-do/brickpit-ring-walk

Unusual things to do in Sydney

The Brickpit Ring Walk is intriguing 

2. Watch a sunrise from the secret Manly wormhole

There’s a secret Manly wormhole that not many people know about. You will find this secret tunnel hidden in the cliffs above the Queenscliff Ocean Pool.

To get there head up the stairs near the pool, then scramble along the rock ledge for a while. Just before the giant pink graffiti heart you will see the wormhole! How cool is that. The tunnel will lead you out the other side and to amazing views of the ocean. The wormhole was constructed in 1908 by fisherman as a shortcut between Manly and Freshwater. It is also known as the Queenscliff tunnel.

Address: 2096 North Steyne, Queenscliff NSW 2095

3. Hunt for the Homebush Shipwrecks, Bicentennial Park

This is such a fun thing to do and one of my favourite Sydney secrets.

The Homebush Bay Shipwrecks are the remnants of an old ship wrecking yard that operated in the 1960’s. Today there are four ship hulls and remains of other barges and vessels to see here. You’ll find these historic hulls in Bicentennial Park.

Address: Australia Ave, Sydney Olympic Park NSW 2127

More information: https://www.freedays.com.au/homebush-bay-shipwrecks/

Bicentennial Park Shipwrecks

Enjoy finding these historic hulls

4. Immerse yourself in history at Bare Island Fort

Soak up the history at Bare Island in Sydney’s South. Accessible by a foot bridge, Bare Island is a pretty interesting spot. A fort was built on Bare Island in the early 1880s, but it was rife with problems. It has also been a former war veterans’ home and museum and is now a historic site.

Tours of the site are conducted by National Parks and Wildlife or you can explore the island yourself.

Address: Bare Island NSW 2019

More information: https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/kamay-botany-bay-national-park

5. Discover a secret history at Scheyville National Park

This park is not your average National Park. Full of unique history, Scheyville National Park is a fascinating, odd and interesting place to visit.

Be intrigued by historic buildings that highlight the parks former use as a casual labour farm, farm training centre, military training camp and migrant accommodation centre. 

Address: Scheyville Road, Scheyville NSW 2765

More information: https://www.freedays.com.au/scheyville-national-park/

Historic buildings to explore at Scheyville National Park

6. Be amazed at Paddington Reservoir Gardens

Paddington Reservoir Gardens are pretty darn special. The gardens were formally a water source for Sydney in the 19th century but no longer supplied water after 1899. It was recreated in it’s current form in 2009 and is heritage listed. 

Featured within the reservoir are gardens and boardwalks. There is a sunken garden as well as a section of preserved graffiti. Enjoy a picnic or stroll. Take the time to read a book or browse the newspaper. Lighting transforms the space at dusk.

Address: 251-255 Oxford Street, Paddington NSW 2021

More information: https://www.freedays.com.au/listing/paddington-reservoir-gardens/

Paddington Reservoir Gardens

Fascinating right! Photo by Twistie.man, CC BY-SA 3.0

7. Slide down the Cronulla Sand Dunes

Run up the Cronulla Sand Dunes to give the legs a work out. Or why not bring a boogie board and slide on down. Make it to the top and you will be rewarded with a lookout with views across to the City and Cronulla.

Address: 434 Captain Cook Drive, Kurnell NSW 2231.

8. Explore the Big Dig Archaeological site

The Big Dig Archaeological site is one of Sydney’s most significant archaeological finds. The site contains the foundations of over 30 buildings (including homes and shops) and also 100’s of thousands of historic artifacts.

Address: 110 Cumberland Street, The Rocks NSW 2000

More information: https://www.freedays.com.au/listing/big-dig-archaeology-education-centre/

The Big Dig Archaeological Site

See one of Sydney’s most significant archaeological finds

9. Visit the Egyptian Mummy at The Nicholson Museum

The Nicholson Museum is a pretty neat museum located at the University of Sydney.

Kids will love the lego displays and adults will love the interesting exhibitions including Death in Ancient Egypt, Remembering Roman Lives and Tombs and Excavating the Near East. At the museum you will also find an Egyptian coffin that holds the mummified remains of a 26th Dynasty (6th century BC) woman.

AddressManning Road, Camperdown NSW 2006

More information: https://sydney.edu.au/museums/collections/nicholson.shtml

10. Go back in history at Q Station

Many of us know that you can stay at the Q Station at Manly, but did you know you can come here to explore the historic buildings and enjoy the amenities? Come for a visit and enjoy the views, learn the history of the area and swim at Quarantine Bay.

Address: 1 North Head Scenic Drive, Manly NSW 2095

More information: https://www.freedays.com.au/listing/quarantine-station-q-station/

Quarantine Station is an unusual things to do in Sydney

Q Station is an amazing historical site

11. Climb the 100 stairs at Macquarie Lighthouse

Take a tour of Sydney’s most famous lighthouse, the Macquarie Lighthouse. Tours run for 20 minutes and you will learn about the lighthouse’s history.

Climb the 100 steps to the lantern room and you can access a balcony for a panoramic view of Sydney

Address: Macquarie Lightstation, Old South Head Road, Vaucluse

Cost: there is a small cost of $5.00 per adult, $3.00 child/concession, $13.00 family (2 adults & 2 children). Booking fees apply.

More information: https://www.freedays.com.au/listing/macquarie-lighthouse-and-lightstation/

13. Visit the Coal Loader Tunnels, Platform and Eco Centre

The Coal Loader is such an interesting place to visit. See the historic Coal Loader tunnels, relax on the green platform and get your eco on at the Sustainability Centre.

Address: 2 Balls Head Drive, Waverton NSW 2060

More information: https://www.freedays.com.au/coal-loader-centre-for-sustainability/

The Coal Loader Tunnel is a quirky sydney thing to do

The Coal Loader Tunnels really are a Sydney secret

14. SPASM Museum

SPASM Museum (which stands for The Society for Preservation of Artefacts of Surgery & Medicine) is located within the grounds of Gladesville Hospital. It is truly an Quirky Sydney thing to do! 

The museum includes nine display rooms all dedicated to illustrating the history of and advances in health care. The museum is not for the faint hearted with many confronting items on display – including early syringes and knives, straight jackets and ancient surgical instruments.

Address:Building 6, Gladesville Hospital Victoria Road, Gladesville NSW 2111

Cost: Gold coin donation

More information: http://www.spasmmuseum.org.au/

15. Visit a former submarine base at Sub Base Platypus

Sub Base Platypus is an unusual things to do in sydney

Sub Base Platypus is a historical, harbour side precinct – its history includes life as a gasworks, a naval torpedo manufacturing and maintenance facility and the HMAS Platypus submarine base.

Closed to the public for more than 150 years, today the site is a park that includes harbour views, playground, BBQ facilities and an over-water walkway. More developments are happening here all the time.

Address: 118 High Street, North Sydney NSW 2060

More information: https://www.freedays.com.au/sub-base-platypus/

Worth a visit even though they cost a little bit…..

16. Take the 4WD car to Boat Harbour

Boat Harbour is actually a privately owned beach!

The amazing thing about it is that you can drive your car onto the beach and set up for the day, There are beautiful rock pools and marine life, spots to kayak and it is dog friendly.

Address: 280-282 Captain Cook Drive, Kurnell NSW 2231

Cost: to access it there is a charge of $30.00 per day and please note that there are no amenities.

17. Get grossed out at Museum of Human Disease

If human tissue specimens are your thing, then the Museum of Human Disease is the place for you! The museum contains over 2,500 diseased tissue samples eek! The museum is only open weekdays 10.00am to 4.00pm.

Address: Ground Floor, Samuels Building, University of NSW, Sydney NSW 2052

Cost: $10.00 per adult, $5.00 per child

More information: https://www.diseasemuseum.med.unsw.edu.au/

18. Get spooked on a Rookwood Cemetery Twilight Tours

This has to be one of the best things to do in quirky Sydney! Who would have thought that you could do on a tour of Rookwood Cemetary ! Twilight tours are held from 5.15pm until 7.30pm. Twilight tours are conducted from November until March, excluding December.

Address: East Street, Lidcombe NSW 2141

Cost: $15.00 per adult, children 11-16 years half price. Children under 11 are free. Tour costs provide the funds to assist in the restoration of projects within the cemetery.

More information: http://www.friendsofrookwoodinc.org.au/tours

If you are interested in cemeteries you may also find St John’s Cemetery in Parramatta (which is Australia’s oldest surviving European cemetery) and Waverly Cemetery (which has been open since 1 August 1877) of interest.


Do you have any other quirky Sydney things to do?



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