20+ Unique and Unusual Things to Do in Sydney (CBD & Beyond)

CityDays’ Guide to finding Unusual and unique things to do in Sydney in the CBD and Sydney’s West.

And just so you know - nobody pays us to be featured on this list. They’re our recommendations to you so you can discover the best places and things to do in Sydney.

The Best Unique Things to do in Sydney CBD

We know you know about the Opera House and other major tourist attractions, so we’ve left them out. Instead, find out the best unique things to do in Sydney’s CBD - whatever your interests are!

Go on a Scavenger or Treasure Hunt Through The CBD


No matter where in Sydney (or anywhere else, for that matter!) you call home, it’s almost impossible to have uncovered all of the CBD’s secrets.

Scavenger and treasure hunts like these take you through Sydney on a whirlwind adventure that always keeps you right at the epicentre. Together, you and your team of family, friends or partner solve puzzles and answer riddles delivered to your phones that eventually lead you on a route around various parts of the CBD, giving you the chance to discover it for yourself at your own pace.

Open your eyes to the incredible landmarks, history, and quirks that make Sydney what it is by scavenging for secrets!

Find out more here.

Go Camping at Cockatoo Island

Formerly a penal colony for reoffending convicts, Cockatoo Island has a pretty dark yet fascinating history - but these days, it’s best known for its awesome campground and close proximity to the CBD.

Only accessible by boat, Cockatoo Island is a unique slice of Australian colonial history with plenty to see and do. Catch the Rivercat from Circular Quay or Parramatta and stay the night - it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and unlike any other in Sydney’s CBD.

Solve a Murder Mystery in The CBD

You wanted unique things to do in Sydney, and this is about as unique as it gets.

Death on The Rocks is a murder mystery game that takes place live in the streets of Sydney CBD where you and your friends, family or whoever become the ultimate code-cracking detective squad. 

Perfect for true crime podcast listeners and cosy detective novel readers alike, the game follows a mysterious case involving a washed up body at Circular Quay, a deadly game, clues embedded in the most unlikely places and a wily perpetrator…

It’s your job to solve puzzles, seek out clues and find out what happened - before you become the next victim. 

Find out more here.

Bring Movie Night to Sydney Harbour and The Opera House

While going to the cinema is hardly likely to be up there on any list of unique things to do in Sydney, this isn’t just your average trip to the movies.

Westpac Outdoor Cinema is an experience that can’t be replicated anywhere else in the world: you get all the benefits of the cinema with the massive benefits of seeing Harbour Bridge, The Opera House and Sydney Harbour at its absolute finest in the background. 

Available for a limited time during summer, this activity should be done at least once by movie lovers and Sydneysiders alike.

View The Sculpture By The Sea Exhibition between Bondi and Coogee


Although the Sculpture By The Sea Exhibition is only available for a limited time, it’s a great way to pass the time in Sydney’s East. 

Sculpture By The Sea is an annual art exhibition that is free to the public. You’ll find handmade sculptures dotted along the scenic coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee, some huge and others barely noticeable at first glance, but each of them are totally unique. 

If you’re reading this when the exhibition isn’t on - don’t worry, the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk is incredible any time of the year. Expect gorgeous scenery, plenty of spots to take a quick dip for a break - and there’s great ice cream shops and cafés at either end, too!

Prolong Your Barbie-Era at the All-Pink Arcade in Burwood

2023 was the year of Barbenheimer: two epic movies hit our screens and we, the world, went nuts for them. But as it turns out, some of us had gone crazy for pink long before Margot Robbie made it cool again.

Tucked away in Burwood Chinatown is Million Life, an all-pink arcade packed with claw machines, arcade games and, let’s face it, very instagrammable interiors.

Try your hand at winning a games console or a life-size teddy bear and embrace your very own Barbie era in Burwood - the choice is yours. 

Find out more here.

Get Closer To The Stars at Observatory Hill Park


Back in the 19th century, Sydney was still pretty underdeveloped compared to how it is today. That meant that the stars, planets and sky was much less affected by light pollution

and it’s also how Observatory Hill near Wynyard Station got its name.

Home to incredible panoramic views of the harbour and a delightful place to take a walk, a trip to Observatory Hill offers plenty of things to see and do for those who want to observe the city’s incredible and unique beauty.

Find Magic at The Australian Museum of Magical Arts

For unique things to do in Sydney that involve tricks, treats and everything in between, check out the Australian Museum of Magical Arts. 

Currently (2023), the only experience available is the Secrets of Magic tour, held at the Magicians Cabaret Theatre Restaurant in Pyrmont. Expect optical illusions, a few untold mysteries and plenty of theatrical verve and vigour as you experience magic firsthand in Sydney’s CBD. 

Find out more here.

Discover Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden


Lots of cities claim to have a “secret” garden - but none of them look or feel like Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden in Lavender Bay. 

Sure to be unlike any other garden you’ve seen before, exploring the Secret Garden is one of the best unique things to do in Sydney. For nature lovers, it's a sanctum to enjoy the beauty of plant life, and for others, it’s a calm oasis to lose yourself in just minutes away from the buzz of the city. 

Take a walk around and enjoy finding new hidden spots or simply admire the view and take deep breaths of fresh air: it’s entirely up to you.

Looking For Unique Team Building Days in Sydney? We can help.

CityDays have made countless bespoke team-building days for companies all over the world - including right here in Sydney! 

We tailor a route that suits your company’s needs, whether you have five employees or 500, you can be sure that a team day with CityDays is a day your colleagues will love.

Find out more about our team building activities in Sydney here.

Unique Things to do in Western Sydney

We might have just coined a new phrase: when you’ve seen and done the rest, head out West! It might take a while to catch on, but believe us when we say that western Sydney has a lot to offer. 

What it lacks in beaches and globally-famous landmarks, it more than makes up for in scenic spots and unique things to do in Western Sydney. Read on to find out more! 

Visit The Museum of Fire (Penrith)

In a country dominated by extreme weather, Aussies are well-acquainted with the hottest natural element. But that doesn’t mean you know everything about it.

The Museum of Fire in Penrith is a fascinating place to learn all about the history of firefighters and tackling bushfires or just seeing how it used to be done. You can walk around the retired fire trucks, press buttons and set off sirens, and even browse the library where old fire journals are kept. On certain days, you can even ride in a fire truck! 

A great day out for people of all ages, a trip to the Museum of Fire is easily one of the best unique things to do in Western Sydney.

Find out more here

Smash Stuff at…Smash Stuff (Jamisontown)

Whether you’ve had a bad week or you just want to hear the sound of objects smashing, Smash Stuff have you covered. 

Offering a safe environment to anyone over the age of 13 (minors from 13-17 years old have to be accompanied by a parent or guardian), Smash Stuff lets you turn anything into garbage by handing you a weapon of your choice and providing you with protective gear. 

Obviously, there are caveats: you have to comply with the company’s rules, you can only hit ‘things’ (not other people!) and be mindful of your fellow smashers, but if you’re looking for unique things to do in Western Sydney, this is about as “individual” as it gets.

Find out more here

Take a Classy Visit to The Fancy Fernhill Estate (Mulgoa)

If you’re looking for something a bit more highbrow, take a visit to the Fernhill Estate. 

Purchased by the NSW Government in 2018, Fernhill Estate is a gorgeous piece of land with colonial-era houses and gardens on Darug Country just outside of Mulgoa. 

Visitors can do the 2.6km walking trail loop and get a breakdown of the history of the buildings on the property while taking in the stunning 383 hectares of epic scenery at the foot of the Blue Mountains. It’s currently being renovated to be turned into a public park, but you can still see the marvellous sandstone house, smaller cottages, and the horse stables and racing track. 

Find out more here

Take a Dip at Jellybean Pool (Glenbrook)

- ©Peter Ostergaard

While Jellybean Pool is technically located in the Blue Mountains, at just under a 20 minute drive away from Penrith (and an hour from Liverpool in the city’s West) it’s an ideal activity if you’re stumped for ideas of unique things to do in Western Sydney.

A great place to splash around and cool off, Jellybean Pool is on the outer edge of Blue Mountains National Park and offers landlocked West Sydneysiders a natural place to swim without having to drive all the way to the beaches (weather and safety concerns permitting). 

There are also some great walking trails nearby so if you’re into hiking, this could be the ideal place to visit. 

Find out more here

Snap Up Some Bargains at Fairfield Showground (Prairiewood) 

With a reputation as one of the best markets in Sydney since the ‘70s, Fairfield Markets have helped thousands of shoppers from Sydney’s West bring home some bargains.

Open from 9am to 4pm every Saturday, Fairfield Markets has a huge assortment of stalls selling pretty much anything and everything, including: clothes, sports gear, tools, fresh fruit and veg, jewellery, and kids toys. 

And don’t worry about getting hungry, either. There are heaps of food vendors offering everything from burgers to kebabs, as well as donuts, coffee, ice cream and so much more.

Find out more here

Take a Look Around The Historic Old Government House (Parramatta)

- ©sv1ambo

Few people know that Old Government House is Australia’s oldest surviving public building, and as such, it’s up there with some of the best unique things to do in Western Sydney - I mean, you’re not gonna find anything else like it in the country! 

Anyone interested in Australian colonial and social history will love exploring Old Government House’s eerie secrets, but it’s not all about timelines and people who’ve been gone for centuries. Old Government House is home to some pretty gruesome tales and even ghost stories. 

Find out more here

Take a Stroll Around Wistaria Gardens

Wistaria Gardens is a beautiful historic park and scenic spot right in the heart of Parramatta in Sydney’s West. 

While it’s fairly small at just 2 hectares, Wistaria Gardens is a total feast for the eyes during early springtime when the many cherry trees come into bloom and the first flowers poke their heads out of the soil and add a splash of colour.

Visitors to the park can make the most out of the many picnic tables, walkways and green space where ball games are permitted - and best of all, it’s totally free!

Find out more here

Embrace The Beauty of Nature at Auburn Botanic Gardens

- ©Andrew Beeston

While the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney’s CBD (rightfully) gets a lot of praise, few people know that its counterpart in Sydney’s west is just as beautiful and often far less crowded.

Ideal if you’re looking for date ideas in Sydney or a day out with friends and family, Auburn Botanic Gardens packs heaps of experiences and unique things to do in Sydney under one metaphorical roof.

Special mentions have to go to the bird aviary, rainforest garden, scented garden, sunken rose garden, the amphitheatre and the fishpond full of Koi and ducks - but there’s so much to see and do that visiting it yourself is a must.

Find out more here

Visit The Seven Peacekeepers near Flinders Slopes

Get up close with and learn about local Aboriginal art by paying a visit to The Seven Peacekeepers near Flinders Slopes, just north of Georges Hall.

The Seven Peacekeepers is a permanent art exhibition created by Jamie Eastwood, a Western Sydney based Aboriginal artist. Surrounded by beautiful nature and serene landscapes, this piece of art is more than just visually pleasing - it tells the story of local Aboriginal lore and offers its visitors a chance to learn more about Aboriginal culture from the source.

Find out more here.  

Time Travel at the Communications Museum in Bankstown

Technology can be frustrating at times and yes, it drives us nuts - but when you stop and think about it, communicating is a lot easier these days than it ever has been (shutoffs aside).

Don’t be fooled by the Communications Museum’s outside appearance: it might look like a slightly run-down office on the outside but it houses heaps of now defunct tech that will bright you right back (or make little ones grateful that they never have to use a rotary phone).

The best part is, the volunteer staff are former telecommunications technicians and telegraphists so they can offer you unique insights into how technology has changed and guide you around the museum and answer any questions about the fascinating relics you stumble upon.

Find out more here


So there you have it! 20+ unusual and unique things to do in Sydney.

Remember that no matter what you decide to do on your morning, arvo or evening out, there’s nothing like teamwork to make the dream work.

That’s why we at CityDays create fun, interesting and challenging trails around the world to help you immerse yourself in a city’s culture, history and curios. 

Want to find out more?

Check out all our available activities in Sydney here and embark on an adventure in the city you’ll never forget: CityDays awaits!