Off The Beaten Path: An Unusual Sydney Cultural Guide

Sydney is one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Around 5 million people live in Australia’s biggest city, giving it its unique, multicultural flavor. Of course, there is plenty to see and do in Sydney. Its attractions like the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and Manly Beach are famous all around the world and attract millions of tourists every year. However, sometimes the most fun travelling experiences are when you go off the beaten path and opt for some of the less known, but equally amazing sites. Luckily, Sydney has plenty of those to offer. Here an unusual Sydney cultural guide for you.

Sydney Cultural Guide, graffiti
Sydney Graffiti

Off the Beaten Path Sydney Cultural Guide

Artsy Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island should definitely be on every traveller’s list. After all, the whole island is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. It’s speculated that this island in Sydney Harbour was once an Aboriginal fishing base, and in the 19th century, it was used as a prison. Nowadays, it is one of the most exciting cultural melting pots in Australia. It houses several festivals for arts, music and comedy.

Sculptures by the Sea

As if the view of the ocean and the golden sands of Sydney’s shores weren’t gorgeous enough, Australians decided to make them even more breathtaking. Once a year, every spring, the world-famous Bondi Beach turns into the largest outdoor sculpture gallery in the world. For twenty years now, the event has been drawing over 100 artists every year.

Sculpture by the sea. sydney cultural guide
Sculpture by the sea: Photo on Flickr by Jason WongCC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Body Art Museum

Body art is one of today’s most important forms of self-expression for people all over the globe. In fact, Sydneysiders love body art so much that they have decided to devote a museum to it. The museum explores, exhibits and explains different forms of body art, and delves into their meaning and symbolism. It covers both the temporary forms, like body painting and the permanent ones, such as shaping, scarring and – the most popular one – tattooing. And if the visit inspires you to get some new ink, don’t miss the best place where you can get amazing Japanese tattoos in Sydney, the Tattoo Movement.

Surry Hills Graffiti

Australians sure love their graffiti. The art form has been very popular forever, and some believe it evokes the ancient times and Aboriginal rock paintings. Whatever the case, if you are into graffiti and would like to see the best Sydney cultural guide has to offer, head to Surry Hills. The inner-city suburb can be found just southeast of the CBD.

Surry Hills graffiti. sydney cultural guide
Surry Hills graffiti: Photo on Flickr by JAM Project, CC BY-SA 2.0

Visit Bundeena

The little village just outside of Sydney might seem like a curious choice, but it is in fact, one of the oldest and most beautiful national parks in the world. The village itself is charming, and it’s surrounded by a lush rainforest and beautiful tranquil beaches perfect for swimming and fishing. The area is also home to Indonesian Rusa deer.

Coastline. Flickr: Eddy Milfort / CC BY 2.0

Sydney Vivid Bridge Climb

Have you ever seen the Sydney Harbour Bridge? Have you ever crossed it? How about climbed it? Once a year (usually May and June), Sydney hosts the Vivid Festival – the festival of ideas, music, and light. The bridge gets illuminated in all the colors of the rainbow and is open for climbers every night. And once you reach the top, you can dance to 70’s hits on a flashing dance floor. How exhilarating is that?

Sydney cultural guide. Sydney Bridge climb
Sydney Bridge climb: Photo on Flickr by Cliff, CC BY 2.0

These are just some of the locations and events in Sydney that might take you by surprise. If you ever get bored by the usual holiday packages, plan your own itinerary and tick some of these off your list. Oh, and don’t forget to wander and get lost in Sydney – that’s the best way to enjoy a trip.

About Nicole Noel

Nicole is an avid traveler passionate about yoga and healthy living. She loves to explore different cultures and share her experiences with others. In her free time she likes to prepare healthy and delicious food for her friends.

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