Offbeat Sydney: the weird and wonderful down under

Guest blogger Anita Dykstra is a travel writer from New Zealand. You can read her great blog on her website.

SydneySydney; a multicultural city with a huge amount of offbeat and quirky activities for you to try. This place is so diverse from the glamorous harbour to some of the most beautiful and relaxing beaches like Bondi and Coogee, there’s always something for you to do here.
Best known for the Opera House there’s more to the city than the popular attractions that are usually advertised. Let’s take a look at seven quirky and offbeat activities to do in one of Australia’s most popular cities.


Wander through the Tank Stream

Taking a tour through an old spring-turned-sewage-stream may not seem appealing at first but do give it a chance! This was home to the finest spring water imaginable in 1788 when Sydney was first discovered. In 1826 the Tank Stream became so polluted it became an open sewer, so in 1958 they diverted the stream and built what is now the Sydney CBD over the top of it. Not many people are familiar with the history that lies right underneath their feet!

Discover the weird and wonderful at the Nicholson Museum

Inside the Nicholson MuseumThis museum, which was founded in 1860, and has two permanent collections on show. One is Ancient Egyptian antiquities and the other is Etruscan. The most bizarre and quirky collections, however, are found in the Egyptian section where you can see mummified body parts of both humans and animals. Sir Nicholson, who donated these collections somehow purchased the body parts of a mummified child. What was he thinking?!



Cosy up at the Catmosphere café

Cat YogaMissing your beloved pets while you’re away? Here you’ll find felines who aren’t just cats—they’re catstronauts! You can play, do yoga, have a hot drink and even sponsor them to support their ongoing care. This is Australia’s first space cat café so come and enjoy observing these furry felines. Make sure you go to their website to book your spot so you can come and enjoy this quirky and offbeat café only found in Sydney!

Have a beauty treatment at the Salt Rooms

Salt RoomsSydney brings a taste of Eastern Europe for those who can’t make it to the original salt mines and caves made from evaporated ancient lakes and seas. Sitting in one has huge benefits for your skin and respiratory system. It’s said that sitting in a salt cave for an hour can lower your blood pressure and help cure a mountain of diseases. So, why not try it for yourself? Even if you’re a sceptic everyone needs an hour of relaxing time! The Salt Room is located in the concrete jungle of Bondi Junction.


Discover the street art in Newtown

Snape Snape Severus SnapeMake sure you walk around the back streets of Newtown to discover the phenomenal street art scattered around this area. You can opt to join a tour or simply walk around and discover it for yourself. Newtown is home to the most vibrant art in the city and is definitely worth a visit. The council has worked carefully with the property owners and artists in this area so instead of fining people for painting across properties, they help the owners in finding an artist they would like to collaborate with.

Dance likes nobody’s watching

No Lights No Lycra on InstagramEver feel like you’re being judged on your weird dance moves? No Lights No Lycra is pitch-black so not one person can watch you dance like a lunatic. There’s strictly no alcohol and no drugs, just good music and a place where you can dance comfortably and literally dance like no one’s watching. Which dance moves will you bring to the dance floor?



Admire the views from Waverly Cemetery

Waverly CemeteryThis is considered one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world. It’s located right on the top of the cliffs of Bronte in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. If you’re doing the coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee then you will come across it. Waverly Cemetery opened in 1877 and is famous for its large Victorian and Edwardian monuments. It was even used in the 1979 Mel Gibson film ‘Tim’. The famous, infamous, authors, millionaires, singers and even an Olympic swimmer are buried here. But in June this year a big storm hit Sydney and resulted in a big landslide happening here; now the cemetery is in danger and some of the graves are being pushed off the side of the cliff. Make sure you visit this place quickly before a part of Australia’s history could be gone forever.

Where to stay?

Does what is says on the tin—Wake Up! Sydney Central is perfectly located for exploring the city. And with air conditioning, secure lockers and plenty of space in their dorms, this is a very comfy place to wake up, indeed.

Which place would you like to visit? Is a relaxing trip to the salt rooms your kind of thing or will you venture into the underground Tank Stream for an insight into Sydney’s fascinating history?


Thanks to the euskadi 11, JAM Project, Nicki Mannix, Jason james and Dave Keeshan for use of their great images under the Creative Commons license.

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