Once in a Lifetime: Sydney’s Most Extraordinary Experiences

By: Katie Manning

January 11, 2013

Sydney is a city we can’t get enough of: amazing sunshine, friendly people, history and fantastic beaches. What’s not to love? Here we offer some of our top Sydney experiences that we think you’ll love.

Roar & Snore

Taaronga Zoo | Sydney

Roar and Snore at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo © Lorinda Taylor

Go on safari in the city and sleep among the animals at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. You stay in a luxury tented camp that has a dazzling panoramic view of the harbour and city skyline, enjoy a roast feast and a get a guided tour of the zoo at night, when animals are at their most active – including some up close encounters, like feeding a giraffe or stroking a seal. But our favourite part is the next morning, when you wake up and enjoy the zoo before the crowds arrive.

Taronga Zoo, Bradley’s Head Road, Mosman, Sydney, +61 2 9978 4791,

V8 Supercar Racing

V8 Supercar Racing | Sydney

V8 Supercar Racing with Adrenalin at the Mount Panorama Track © Adrenalin

Hopping into a V8 supercar with a professional race car driver for some heart-jolting laps is one Sydney experience we wouldn’t miss. Located at one of Australia’s best known circuits, the Mount Panorama track at Bathurst, all the experiences include training by the experts – so you’ll soon know how to corner and accelerate like a pro.

Mount Panorama Track, Bathurst, +61 2 8324 9999 or 1300 791 793,

Tall Ship Sailing on Sydney Harbour

Tall Ship Sailing on Sydney Harbour

A Tall Ship Sailing on Sydney © Harbour SydneyTallShips

Nothing conjures up Sydney’s yesteryear for us like sailing on a wooden ship and imagining the First Fleet voyaging from England to Australia. The Tall Ship, built in 1922, offers two-hour BBQ cruises, perfect for families. We especially love the Twilight Dinner Cruise, because you can watch the sunset while you sail. You can help out sailing, heaving on ropes and scurrying across the deck, if you want to. Or you can just sit back, relax and enjoy.

Kiosk 3, Wharf 5, Circular Quay, Sydney, +61 2 8243 7961,

Sydney Seaplanes

Sydney Seaplanes

A Sydney Seaplane flying over Sydney Harbour © Sydney Seaplanes

We know Sydney is stunning from the ground, but from the air, she’s a goddess. Our favourite uninterrupted bird’s eye view of the capital is to be had from a Cessna plane. The tours take off from Rose Bay and soar above the city’s coastline, harbour and beaches before landing, skimming gently across the water. Sydney Seaplanes also offer various, ultra-luxurious “Fly and Dine” and “Fly and Stay” packages where you are whisked off in style to a secluded restaurant or hotel.

Lyne Park, Rose Bay on Sydney Harbour, +61 2 9388 1978,


Katie Manning

Katie is an author for the Virgin Atlantic blog. Despite her urban London residency, Katie can often be found exploring far-flung corners of the globe in search of exciting new experiences and stories. A self-confessed night-owl, she makes it her mission to search out the best cocktail bars and live music venues on each and every expedition. Follow Katie @kt_saramanning

Categories: Our Places